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How can carpal tunnel syndrome be prevented?

Although carpal tunnel can happen to anyone, the following careers place you at greater risk:

  • construction worker
  • musician
  • seamstress
  • knitter
  • typist
  • computer operator
  • hairdresser

Sometimes carpal tunnel syndrome happens because of diabetes or pregnancy, especially when someone has swelling in the hands. This swelling causes pressure on the median nerve as it travels through the bones in the wrist, which form the carpal tunnel. When the swelling improves, the symptoms may also improve.

At the workplace, workers can do on-the-job conditioning, perform stretching exercises, take frequent breaks for rest, wear splints to keep the wrists straight, and use correct posture and wrist positions to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Wearing fingerless gloves can help keep the hands warm and flexible. Workstations, tools and tool handles, and tasks can be redesigned to enable the worker's wrist to maintain a natural position during work. Jobs can be rotated among workers. Employers can develop programs in ergonomics, the process of adapting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of workers. However, research has not conclusively shown that these workplace changes prevent the occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome.

It may not be possible to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, but there are certain things you can do to reduce your risk. Think about your posture and how you hold your arms and wrists. Sitting up straight will help your arms and shoulders be more relaxed. Make sure your wrists aren't bent too far up or down-if necessary, adjust your computer keyboard so your wrists are more relaxed. Also, if your job requires a lot of working with your hands, make sure to take breaks more often to stretch your hands and wrists.

Continue Learning about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What nerve tests are used to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome?
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not life-threatening.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.