Tips for Typing with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Virtual work and school has many people on a computer more than ever before. For many people the increase in time at a computer or on a laptop leads to hand pain, numbness, and tingling.
Most people do not start out with full blow carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. The hand numbness and tingling builds over time. Many people start to notice the symptoms while they are driving, sitting in bed, and or sleeping. It starts with low grade hand numbness and builds into wrist pain and numbness.
If you’re starting or already have carpal tunnel syndrome, you might ask, “How do I continue to work in this new normal?”
The answer is simple. Modify what you are already doing. Here are some suggestions on avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome.
#1 Elevate Your Hands
Ever hear that your hands should float over the keyboard like you’re playing piano? While you may or may not have played piano. The truth is that your fingers should be the only thing touching the keyboard or desk.
This prevents the wrists from spending increased time in extension or bending back. That extended position can create excessive pressure in the wrist and on the median nerve.
How to train this? Start by putting a soft cushion below your wrists to elevate them. Make sure that your wrist(s) and elbow(s) are in a straight line. Once you’re comfortable in this position remove the cushion.
#2 Take Breaks
Did you know that most nerves can be compressed for an extended period of time without creating any problems? Well they can be.
What happens with extended periods of time working at a computer then?
The wrist stops moving as much as it used to. The position of the wrist and hand increases tension in the nerves and muscles. This starts inflammation. You continue to use your hands and then pain, numbness, and tingling set in.
So, to avoid or reduce this, you should stretch and move your hands and wrists at least 1 time every hour.
#3 Sit up!
No you don’t have to have perfect posture. But this significantly reduces your risk of developing something like carpal tunnel syndrome. Sitting with a slouched posture increases the tension in the nerves from your neck to your hands. This can also increase the number of places the nerves are pinched. The more times a nerve is pinched the higher the likelihood or intensity of symptoms. Many people who have carpal tunnel do not experience symptoms until they have more than one problem area for the median nerve.
So make sure you are sitting up. Making sure your knees are at 90 degrees, your chest faces forward and the computer monitor’s in line with the top of your eyebrow ridge are just a few ques to help with your posture.
If you continue to have pain in your hands or wrists while working, call or book an appointment online. We would love to help get you out of pain.