Dec 9, 2013

Share Button

Tips for Living with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

living with carpal tunnel syndromeCarpal tunnel syndrome is a problem that many people deal with on a daily basis. Overusing your joint causes the flare-ups and symptoms to occur. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, then you know how it feels when your wrist hurts after repetitive movements throughout the day. It can be difficult to live with carpal tunnel syndrome, but there are several lifestyle changes that can be made to accommodate or alleviate the pain. Below are seven tips for living with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Living with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Tips

  • Wear a Brace – Wearing a brace allows you to keep your wrist from moving in a way that it should not. The brace also helps to support during the day and night and helps to alleviate any pain that the CTS sufferer might be experiencing. Palo Medical has a breakthrough technology when it comes to the wrist brace. The aPallo Wrist day and night brace system is one of the most effective non-invasive treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome. For daytime use, the brace properly positions and supports the wrist so that you can go about your daily routine. Additionally, the fabric is breathable and very functional with an ice strap that allows you to apply cold or hot therapy as you see fit. For nighttime use, the brace holds the wrist and hand in a neutral position and is easy to apply. Sleep better with the aPallo Wrist brace system!
  • Use Utensils and Tools with Larger Handles – This will help to keep you from gripping the tool too tight, taking the pressure off of the median nerve, which causes the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome to flare-up. Cover handles with tape or a type of rubber grip to make smaller handles easier and thicker to hold onto.
  •  Hold Pens Loosely – When you are writing, be sure to loosen your hold on the pen or pencil that you are using. Keeping the stress off of the median nerve will help to keep symptoms and pain at bay.
  • Use a Rubber Band – You read right! Keep a rubber band near by so that you can use it to exercise your fingers and thumbs. Place the rubber band around all of your fingers and thumb and attempt to open your hand, but not too far because the band will snap. Doing this simple exercise will strengthen the muscles in your hand and eliminate pressure around the carpal tunnel.
  • Ice Therapy – When you experience any pain from your carpal tunnel, be sure to use an ice pack to relieve the sensation. This will also keep swelling down.
  • Take Vitamin B6 – Or add it to your diet. Stray away from packaged and processed foods filled with sugars, because these only inflame the carpal tunnel that much more. Eat raw fruits and vegetables and whole grain breads as much as possible. You know the saying, “You are what you eat.” Stay healthy and eat accordingly.
  • Stretch and Exercise – Be sure to stretch and exercise your hands and arms every now and then in between repetitive work you do with your hands. Take the time to do this, so you can keep the symptoms at bay.
Share Button

  • NurseEJ

    Great information in this post! Stretching exercises and a wrist brace can often keep you from having to do any of the other interventions. In addition to using tools with larger handles, many people find relief by using other ergonomic devices. When thinking about the amount of B6 in your diet, remember that processing foods (including cooking, canning, and freezing) can decrease the amount of vitamins by half. Eat raw fruits and vegetables when you can.

    • Isabella Vargas

      It is good that you point out how processing foods can take away from the nutritional content of that food. The raw form is always the best form when possible. I like using the NutriBullet product to make smoothies and juices using fruits and veggies in their raw form. It is very easy to look up recipes for blending using certain ingredients and it is a good way to get those adde nutrients without taking away from the nutritional value.

    • Danny

      I must admit that I am surprised about the B6. I never would have thought that a specific vitamin or mineral could have a direct impact on the joint and tendon health. That is something I will have to keep in mind and maybe I can eliminate my occasional CT flareups all together!

  • Reese

    If you have not been over to the Education section of this web site, it is well worth the visit! Some of the same information as presented here but with videos to show specifically how to apply the braces, how the braces work, how to use the canes, and a ton of good information on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

    • Joy

      Thank you for the suggestion Reese. I think I will take a look at the Education section. I am someone who likes to find out all the information I can about subjects that pertain to me because I think it is important to be well informed. Then I can actually understand what is going on rather than being clueless about what is happening to me. Also, then I can be more actively involved in the process of treating or managing the condition.

    • PB and Running Shoes

      Just checked them out. They are great!

  • Isabella Vargas

    You often don’t think about how writing can impact carpal tunnel or just your hand/wrist area in general. I have noted that long periods of time spent writing (i.e. taking notes in class, drafting a paper, or completing an exam) can lead to pain in my fingers and wrist. The way I hold my pen is something I don’t consciously think about, but I am beginning to think that I should.

    • jem1997

      Wow! I didn’t think about the impact that writing might have on carpal tunnel syndrome. In my job, I mainly use the computer and I KNOW that is problematic. But I didn’t stop to think that even something like writing might make CTS worse. Now I will have to begin to think about the position of my wrist when I am writing.

    • Julia

      Like you all, I never thought about writing as harmful as typing. I notice when I write, I tend to grip the pen very tightly and I know after I’m writing for only 10 minutes or less, my wrist becomes very sore and irritated. I’m glad I am now aware how this can affect my carpal tunnel syndrome as I will now try to take breaks while I am writing and try to reposition my hand better.

    • PB and Running Shoes

      I’ve never thought about the impact of writing on carpal tunnel either. I guess it is a repetitive motion too.

    • T.J.

      Spending a lot of time on the computer can have the same impact, The pressure on the wrists from the keyboard and the desk near the mouse can really aggravate carpal tunnel symptoms and make them a lot worse. Taking a few steps to be mindful of your hands and wrists can go a long way in helping with CT symptoms.

  • Kellie

    I had never heard about the rubber band exercise but it makes good sense. I have some very thick and strong rubber bands that I used to use to hold pottery molds together. I suspect those will work very well — and there is not a chance in the world that I would have enough strength in my hands to break one of them!

  • Chell

    Love vitamin b6. I’ve never heard of the rubber band exercise. I will definitely be giving it a try. Like Kellie said, I doubt I’ll be breaking one!

    • Diamond Grant

      I just started to take vitamin b6. I am hoping to note a difference though I know it will take time. I think that healthy living which includes vitamins, eating right, and exercise can significantly help anyone battling carpal tunnel. Such measures can reduce inflammation and help strengthen the muscles and tendons which is sure to ease pain.

    • Julia

      I take a B6 supplement as well as eating many raw vegetables and whole grain breads. I have noticed a lot less inflammation since I started eating more of these and have stayed away from unhealthy foods. Even though none of this will eliminate my pain completely, these tips for living with carpal tunnel syndrome are very helpful and can really help alleviate the pain at times!

  • Joy

    I have a bag of rubber bands in my room that I never use. Now I have a way to put them to use rather than just letting the $5 I spent go to waste. We take the time to strength train some of the other parts of our bodies, so why not strengthen the muscles in the hand to help eliminate pressure. Plus, this activity can be done frequently throughout the day when I have a couple of minutes of down time. I will certainly give it a go.

  • PB and Running Shoes

    It’s funny how you take for granted the ability to use your wrists with full function.

    • Diamond Grant

      It is true that full function of the wrists can be easily taken for granted. I don’t think you realize just how much you use your wrists and those muscles until you are experiencing pain and discomfort doing everyday activities. Suffering from such pain will definitely make you appreciate the small things.

  • Sarah Jo Coryell

    Another helpful tip I found for alienating CTS in your day to day routine is to use cushion pads with your mouse and keyboard, They support your wrists and take the pressure off the joints so the CTS flare up is not as bad. It has been a real life saver for me at work!

    • Danny

      I have seen co-workers using those and they swear by them. I found it interesting about the rubber band exercises as I have never heard of that before. But it makes perfect sense that stretching the fingers and thumb like that would help strengthen the wrist and fingers and help reduce CT symptoms.

    • T.J.

      I have used the keyboard cushion supports before and they really do a great job and taking the pressure off and making the pain much less. If I know I will be at the computer for long periods of time without many breaks I will wear braces right from the start and I can generally avoid a carpal tunnel flareup that way.

  • Patrick M.

    I understand how the gripping issue works. I have noticed that my carpal tunnel flares up very quickly if I do a lot of writing by hand with a pen or pencil. The grip and cramped position my hand is in causes it to flare up quickly. I think that is why I do so much on the computer because it doesn’t aggravate my carpal tunnel as quickly.

  • Val Kara

    These are all great little tips to taking the edge off of CTS but I’ve found that voice activation technology makes a much larger difference. I use this for my laptop and smart phone and it gives my CTS significant relief. I have to wonder: if I had been using voice commands all along, would I have developed CTS at all?