Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the arm into the palm of the hand, is compressed or squeezed inside a narrow passageway at the base of the hand, called the carpal tunnel. 

This kind of pressure on the carpal tunnel can happen due to repetitive movements, inflammation of hand tendons, or medical conditions that cause inflammation in the body, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. The condition is more common in women than in men.

Preventing carpal tunnel syndrome can be as easy as adjusting your daily routine to reduce stress on your hands and wrists in the following ways:

  • Minimize repetitive hand movements.
  • Alternate between activities or tasks to reduce the strain on your hands and wrists.
  • Keep wrists straight or in a neutral position.
  • Avoid holding an object the same way for long.
  • If you work in an office, adjust your desk, chair, and keyboard so that your forearms are level with your work surface.
  • Wear a splint at night to keep your wrist straight while sleeping.

If you’re experiencing numbness, stiffness, or pain in your wrists and hands, doctors at NYU Langone can help you manage your symptoms before carpal tunnel syndrome develops. Whether your discomfort is merely an annoyance or has become severe, our hand specialists conduct a thorough evaluation and make a diagnosis as quickly as possible.

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