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Reducing Your Risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Minimize repetitive hand movements when possible.
- Alternate between activities or tasks to reduce the strain on your body.
- When using your wrists, keep them straight and let your arms and shoulders share the stress.
- Use your whole hand or both hands to pick up an item.
- Avoid holding an object the same way for a long time.
If you work in an office, adjust your desk, chair, and keyboard so you are in the best possible position:
- Back straight
- Feet flat on the floor or resting on a footrest
- Knees level with or slightly lower than your hips
- Shoulders in a neutral position, not forward or back
- Elbows bent at a 90 degree angle
- Forearms parallel to the floor and wrists straight
Take breaks at least once an hour to:
- Rest or shake your hands.
- Massage the palms and backs of your hands.
- Do a few stretches and loosening movements of the shoulders and arms before settling in to work. Do them often during the day.
- Keep hands warm, with gloves if necessary.
- Get regular aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming.
- Cut down on caffeine and smoking, which may reduce blood flow to your hands.
- Hold your hands in front of you as if pushing on a wall. Count to five.
- Relax your wrists and fingers.
- Make tight fists with both hands.
- Bend both fists downward. Count to five.
- Repeat each step ten times.
- Then shake arms loosely while hanging at your side.
American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home.html .
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aaos.org .
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research website. Available at: http://www.mayo.edu .
Occupational Safety and Health Administration website. Available at: http://www.osha.gov .
- Reviewer: Teresa Briedwell, DPT, OCS
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013