Monday, August 22, 2011

Carpal Tunnel Coping Tips

It's no secret that I suffer from chronic CTS and that I'm hoping to have surgery before the end of the year. Some of my friends, however, also suffer, though (thankfully) not to the same extent. Still, just because they can't get surgery, doesn't mean they don't suffer. So I promised to compile a list of tips for you, some are obvious and often repeated, some aren't often included on carpal tunnel pamphlets.

  • The obvious: avoid activities that exacerbate the symptoms.
  • If you can't avoid something (e.g. it's part of your job), try to find a different way of doing it. Maybe hold the controller a different way, or use your other hand as often as possible.
  • Keep your wrist straight when typing. Adjust your keyboard. Use a wrist pillow. Keep your wrists up, like they taught you in school. Basically, keep your hand level with your arm. When you bend your wrist, it cuts off the tunnel more, hence the pain after hours of typing.
  • If your hand/wrist/arm/elbow hurts, raise it to heart level or above.
  • Ice, rather than heat. 30 mins
  • Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs. Whatever will reduce the swelling. Use these in moderation, of course.
  • Massage the nerve running round your elbow.
  • Stretch your muscles, but slowly, as if you're doing yoga.
  • Avoid sharp, staccato movements.
  • Avoid the salty foods. They cause you to retain water, bloat, and constrain the pathway through your wrist.
  • Don't hold up books. Rather, place them on the tabletop and hold the pages down.
  • If you can carry things by balancing them on your palm, rather than gripping them, do it. This is especially important when you've reached the same point as me, as dropping becomes a major concern.
  • Take a warm shower.
  • Use a splint or brace when it's especially painful. Using one at night is also quite beneficial.

1 comment:

Casye said...

You rock. Thanks for the tips! <3


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