What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The nerve that comes all the way from our neck into our arms and our hands is called the median nerve. When that nerve passes through the carpal tunnel through the wrist, it gets trapped or pinched by other tendons.
It goes into our hands to flex our fingers. The tendons in our hands will get swollen, organic enlarge that creates extra pressure on the median nerve. That’s the reason why Carpal Tunnel Syndrome happens because of that pressure.
People will usually feel numbness, tingling, shooting pain, or in worst cases, people might even have weaknesses with their grips.
What to do when this happens?
Since the tendons are being enlarged, the treatment to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from happening is to decrease the pressure and keep the tendons very moldable. Here are some things can do to prevent it:
1. Soft Tissue Release
You will need lotion; any kinds of lotion are fine. Apply some lotion to your hands. Then press your palm against your forearm. Stroke it for 10 repetitions or more on each side. You will gradually release the tightness in the flexor tendons of your hands by doing this.
Do not worry; this is not going to do you any damage because you’re doing it very gently. You may do this at the end of the day after work. But most people do this first thing in the morning after sleeping for several hours.
2. Air Guitar
The finger has the motion from the flexor tendons coming all the way from the forearm into the fingers and hands. The multiple tendons create pressure on the median nerve causing the symptom. The way to relieve this is to move one finger at a time; you will be able to glide the tendon individually and separately.
Do this on both of your hands and make sure it’s one finger at a time, so the tendons are colliding separately. You will feel a calming effect because the pressure is releasing gradually. Do this for 10 reps of more for each finger.
3. Prayer Stretch
Put your palms together. Then press your palms down and back up. This will help you elongate the median nerve that helps relieve the tension. Do this for 10 reps or more. But don’t hold it for too long. Stop when you already felt the stretch and give it a glide.
4. Rainbow Stretch
Start with wrapping your arms in front of you like hugging yourself. Then lift your chest and open your arms. Feel the stretch in front of your arm and between your shoulders. Then do it again. Do this for 10 reps or more and do it gently.
So that's that and these are the three simple things of self-care routine you can do to help you prevent carpal tunnel syndrome..
I’m Andy Tseng, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, as well as a Pilates Instructor practicing in Austin, Texas.
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