Q: I use a computer a great deal at work and I have been experiencing numbness in the tips of my fingers. Is this a sign of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

A: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is becoming more and more common as computers invade the workplace … and our homes. Common symptoms are tingling and numbness in the fingers, a burning pain from the wrist to the fingers, clumsiness in the hands, and a weak grip. These symptoms are often worse at night resulting in carpal tunnel pain.

When we repeatedly use compromising hand postures, the nine tendons that run through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, may swell and put pressure on the median nerve that supplies the thumb side of the hand.

Q:  What can I do to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? 

A:  To prevent carpal tunnel pain it is especially important for anyone who works with electronic devices like computer keyboards to use proper hand positioning. It takes less effort and fewer changes in hand position to push computer keys than typewriter keys. As a result, tension builds up in your hands, shoulders, and forearms, making you vulnerable to cramps or stiffness. In addition, neck and back problems can arise from staring at a computer monitor or from talking on the phone for extended periods of time.

Q: What can we do to reduce the stress on the carpal tunnel area and prevent carpal tunnel pain?

A: To avoid the pain of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome take frequent breaks from your sitting position, keep your wrists fairly straight or slightly extended back while doing your work. This position maximizes the size of the bony tunnel at the wrist (the carpal tunnel) through which the tendons and the median nerve pass. For some people, wearing a splint at night seems to give relief.

Q: Are there exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and managing carpal tunnel pain?

A: Yes, there are exercises to help those managing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Here are some exercises you may find helpful. ADD LINK TO EXERCISES FOR CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (Always check with your own healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise or exercise program.)

(Repeat each exercise 1- 3 times, staying within your limits of comfort.)


Grasp Exercise For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Make a firm fist.  Hold for a count of three, then open hand to relax.


Finger Spread Exercise For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Rest hands on table, palms down.  Spread fingers wide apart, then bring together.


Long and Short Flexors Exercise For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

With straight wrist, place one hand, palm up on table.  Cover all fingers but one with other hand (start with index finger).  Isolate each finger by holding the others in place and bend each one toward the plam of your hand 3 to 5 times.  Since movement of the little finger is difficult to isolate, hold only the index and middle fingers in place at this point.


Praying Position Exercise For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (glides tendons through the carpal tunnel) Start with palms and fingers facing each other but not touching. Keep the knuckle joints of the fingers straight – bend the middle and end joints of the fingers until the pads of fingers touch pads of hand (at base of fingers). Then bend at knuckle joints and curl fingers under even more, making a fist. Then straighten the middle and end joints of the fingers out, extending fingers out like a flat table from knuckle joints. Straighten knuckle joints. Wiggle fingers out.



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