Even if you're the world's fastest typist, you can help avert carpal tunnel syndrome – a ligament inflammation that causes numbness in your wrists, hands, or fingers – by following these tips.
Step 1: Keep a neutral wrist position When at a computer or other workstation, adjust the height of your chair if necessary, so that your forearms are level with your keyboard. Keep your hands and wrists in line with your forearms.
TIP: Don’t flex your wrists while typing.
Step 2: Take frequent breaks Take breaks every 10 to 15 minutes to rest your fingers and wrists if you are doing something that requires repetitive hand and wrist movements.
Step 3: Stretch your fingers and wrists Exercise your fingers and wrists every 20 to 60 minutes. Extend and stretch both hands as if you were holding up a wall. Hold that position for five seconds and repeat several times. Make a tight fist with both hands, then bend wrists downward and hold for five seconds. Repeat several times.
Step 4: Wear a splint Consider wearing a wrist splint to keep your wrist neutral while you work. Wearing one while you sleep can also help maintain good wrist position.
Step 5: See a doctor If you experience numbness, tingling, or pain, visit your doctor for a medical evaluation.
FACT: Carpal tunnel syndrome is most common in middle-aged women