Gadgets take up all the time. Our hands are constantly busy with devices, be it a keyboard and a computer mouse, a smartphone or a tablet. Over time, they can cause unpleasant pain in the wrist and numbness in the fingers, which are symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. What is it and how to deal with it, says Candidate of Medical Sciences, Deputy Chief Physician for Medical Part of the First Professional Network of Orthopedic Salons ORTEKA Alexander Boykov…
Moving a little
Numbness in the neck, pain in the shoulders, tingling in the legs, and pain in the lower back are frequent guests of those who spend a lot of time at the computer. Often, another ailment is added to this list – carpal tunnel syndrome, which develops due to pinching, swelling or pinching of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is quite narrow, with 9 muscle tendons and one median nerve passing through it, which controls the sensitivity of the palm, thumb, index and middle fingers. When you make monotonous movements, typing on a keyboard or touching a smartphone screen, your hands get tired of constant stress. At the same time, your hands are not always in a comfortable position when you hold the mouse or the phone, the same muscles regularly experience static stress. All this is fraught with an increase in the volume of the tendons that form the carpal tunnel and compression of the nerve. Hence – carpal tunnel syndrome. The disease is observed in women 3-10 times more often than in men (according to various sources). Preventing it is much easier than treating it: in advanced cases, the nerve is damaged so badly that it is very difficult to restore its normal function later.
When to sound the alarm?
The first symptom is numbness in the fingers. Usually, the discomfort is felt in the morning and goes away by noon. With the development of the disease, numbness is felt even at night, pain, tingling or burning in the fingers are added to it. If you do not take action at the first “bells”, complaints appear already in the daytime, the disease worries during the day. The hand can “lose weight”, there is weakness in the fingers. It becomes difficult to keep hands on weight, awkwardness in movements and difficulties with using small objects appear, for example, it turns out worse to write with a ballpoint pen. If you begin to drop everything more often, because you cannot hold it in your hands, it’s time to sound the alarm. Otherwise, at an advanced stage of the disease, there is a rather high probability of losing the sensitivity of the fingers, up to the loss of the sensation of touch. And even if the pains suddenly suddenly receded, this does not always mean that everything has passed and you have recovered. Perhaps the nerve is already damaged, and the disease will return with more serious consequences for you. Therefore, when the first symptoms appear, you need to consult a neurologist or neurosurgeon. You can also seek help from the orthopedic traumatologist of the first professional network of orthopedic salons.
How to avoid?
With sedentary work and lack of regular physical activity, problems with the musculoskeletal system are inevitable in the future. Therefore, the simplest advice on how to prevent them lies on the surface – try to lead an active lifestyle, do physical education. Exactly physical education – in everything you need to know when to stop! To relax your hands, do simple exercises throughout the day: clench and unclench your fingers into a fist, stretch them, rotate your hands, and so on. Sometimes, to rest, you just need to relax your hands and shake them in the air. For exercise, you can use special rubber balls with and without spikes. Twist them, squeeze them – in general, try to take active breaks from work during the day.
Finding the right gadget
A computer mouse, the phone must be selected according to the size of your palm. When using the mouse, keep your palm firmly on the table and not hanging in the air. Use other tools periodically, such as the touchpad. The phone should also fit comfortably in the hand, since there is a possibility that carpal tunnel syndrome can provoke a load on the thumb. It has to be pulled and strained unnecessarily if the phone doesn’t fit you. Now manufacturing companies offer a wide selection of gadgets, so it is quite easy to find a convenient device for yourself. But you need to approach this responsibly in order to reduce the risks of problems in the future. You will be surprised, but, for example, working on a “rough” mechanical keyboard, you can easily get arthritis of the joint, since in this case the phalanges of the fingers hit without shock absorption and are injured.
How can you get rid of wrist pain?
To do this, you need to relieve the pressure on the nerve. In the first professional network of orthopedic salons, you will find a special fixator – orthosis, which is indicated for the prevention and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a medical device that is worn on the arm and holds it in the correct position. Such an orthosis is effective, at the same time convenient and easy to use, it is comfortable to work in it at the computer. The product can be worn overnight to provide wrist support. Regular wearing of such a medical device helps to reduce pain and get rid of the disease with a minimum of effort. Of course, it must be borne in mind that it is always better to prevent the disease and not bring it to a neglected state. Just don’t forget about rest and proper prevention. Best of all, try to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Believe me, this will help get rid of many orthopedic problems.