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Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Typing all day can be a pain in the wrist! I'm talking about carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which occurs when the median nerve, running from the forearm into the hand, becomes compressed at the wrist. This nerve runs through the narrow carpal tunnel at the base of the hand, and controls sensations to the palm side of your thumb and fingers. It also signals movement in small hand muscles, creating motion in the fingers and thumb.

Women, whose smaller carpal tunnels make them more prone to developing this problem, are three times more likely than men to develop CTS. The tingly and painful syndrome can be caused by injury or fluid retention during pregnancy, but the most common causes are repetitive motions like typing and mousing.

To prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, try these suggestions:

  1. Alter your desk ergonomics as needed. Adjust the height of your chair so your forearms are level with your keyboard so your wrists don't need to flex while typing.
  2. Use a wrist pad ($9) that runs the length of your keyboard, propping up the heels of your palms, so your forearms, wrists, and hands are in one straight line. This position should prevent the median nerve from getting squeezed. If your mousing hand bothers you, try a mouse pad ($14) with extra cushioning to support your wrist.

There are three other suggestions, so


  1. Using an ergonomic keyboard ($60) may provide space for the nerve by keeping your hands and wrists in a more natural position.
  2. Try a vertical mouse ($53) that places your wrist in an more ergonomic position with your thumb pointing up. Or experiment with a Wacom Mouse Tablet ($100).
  3. Take regular breaks from mousing and typing. Shake out your wrists and do some wrist stretches.


aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
My work is too cheap to buy us anything like this. :(
fittipdaily fittipdaily 8 years
Make sure that if you tend to curl your wrists at night , you purchase a wrist guard. Bending your wrist in your sleep cuts off the blood flow to the Median nerve which runs through your wrist. With out blood flow, you wake up with inflamation that gets worse as the day wears on. Bending your wrist as you sleep almost guarantees that you will for sure get carpal tunnel at some point in your life! Adria
Lukin Lukin 8 years
I developed carpal tunnel syndrome from playing guitar. I also have arthritis. I have the world's crappiest wrists.
ShedItandGetIt ShedItandGetIt 8 years
Ugh I developed carpal tunnel but luckily I saw my doctor before it go too bad and wearing braces at night has helped a lot..some of my friends haven't been as lucky! If you're getting tingly/numb hands, go to a doctor!!!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I should get one of those vertical mouses for my husband. For whatever reason, the traditional mouse style doesn't work for him. Maybe it's because his hands are really big, but after a few hours of mousing, his carpal tunnel syndrome acts up really bad.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
how ironic since my left wrist is hurting! tho it's not from typing at the keyboard this time around. :\ thanks for the wrist stretches Fit. Hopefully it works.
ammura ammura 8 years
Moms suffer from this as well. I have had to deal with the pain and discomfort for about 4 years, since the birth of my first son. My mom, who also suffers from this, introduced me to magnetic bracelets. Speaking for myself, they really are effective. My pain was gone in about a week from continuous wear. Now, since I know it is something I deal with on and off, I wear mine all the time, although there have been times where I have taken off for 3-4 months. Some are plain, while others are quite fancy and pretty with various colored stones. So they are quite fashionable looking. You can find magnetic bracelets online or at Walmart in stores. I bought mine at Walmart for $5.
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