Carpal Tunnel Prevention
After doing repetitive movements for a while, you can sometimes cancel out the effects of those movements by flexing and bending your wrists and hands in the opposite direction.
(Click Carpal Tunnel Exercises for more information.)
Relax the Grip
Sometimes, people get into a habit of tensing muscles without needing to -- or realizing it. Practice hand and wrist motions more gently and less tightly. Stress and tension play a role in muscle strain and irritation.
Muscles that are warm are less likely to get hurt, and the risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome is greater in a cold environment. It is important to keep your hands warm while you work, even if you must wear fingerless gloves.
People with jobs that have awkward wrist positions and repetitive hand movements are at increased risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome (see Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome). Prevention in the workplace is focused on ways to relieve these awkward positions and repetitive hand movements. It is also focused on decreasing the vibration from hand tools.
Incorporating ergonomic solutions, such as ergonomically designed tools, tool handles, and workstations that keep a more natural wrist position, is ideally the first step in carpal tunnel prevention. Other suggestions for preventing (or at least decreasing) the condition in the workplace include:
- Take more frequent breaks to allow the hands and wrists to rest and recover. Experts believe that taking a 10- to 15-minute break every hour is a good way to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Rotate workers across jobs.
- Use correct posture and wrist position (a position where the wrists are not bent).
- Adopt training programs that increase awareness of carpal tunnel symptoms and prevention methods.
- Provide early medical intervention for injured workers.