This nifty guide will tell you everything you need to know about carpal tunnel syndrome

While many consider carpal tunnel syndrome to be a part and parcel of modern-day life that includes a lot of typing, the truth is it can be prevented.
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Put your phone away for sometime. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Disha Nayak Published: 8 Sep 2020, 20:55 pm IST
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Have you ever noticed a nagging pain which started slowly and then got aggravated after using your smartphone or constantly typing on your laptop?

You may have thought it to be carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), but you get such pain due to repetitive strain which may lead to CTS with added other risk factors. Some studies say that carpal tunnel syndrome may not be a direct occupational hazard of technology.

So then what exactly is carpal tunnel syndrome?
The wrist is surrounded by a band of fibrous tissue that normally functions as a support for the joint. The tight space between this fibrous band and the wrist bone is called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve passes through a tunnel of carpel bone at the base of the wrist. Compression of the median nerve at this point causes carpel tunnel syndrome

What are the signs of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Numbness and tingling of the hand around the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers are the biggest sign of CTS. This may increase at night, especially if you sleep with your wrist flexed. Here are a few other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Burning sensation
  • Reduced grip strength
  • Atrophy of muscles in your hand
  • Radiating pain, from hand to forearm

But what exactly causes carpal tunnel syndrome
CTS is most commonly linked with the following conditions:

    • Diabetes
    • Pregnancy
    • High blood pressure
    • Fracture or trauma to the wrist
    • Repeated motion of the wrist, like constant typing and playing instruments like piano.

      personal space
      Constantly scrolling on your phone can put you at the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. GIF Courtesy: Public Art Fund via Giphy

Here are some exercises that can help you deal with carpal tunnel syndrome

1. Make a tight fist and open all your fingers fanning them as wide as possible. Repeat this for five to 10 times.
2. Touch the tip of your index finger and thumb making an O. Hold for five to 10 seconds
3. Make a fist with your thumb in first, then siding it out like giving thumbs up. Repeat this for five to 10 times.
4. Touch your thumb to every finger like you are counting on your fingers.
5. Rest your hand on an armrest or a table such that your hand is hanging out. Now flex and extend your hand, and with help of your other hand stretch the fingers backwards. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat three times.

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About the Author

Dr Disha Nayak (M.PTH rehabilitation) is a physiotherapist, fitness enthusiast and a blogger. Having worked in the field of women’s health, geriatric rehabilitation, oncology, and physiotherapy rehabilitation, her idea of giving back to society is by writing on health and fitness. ...Read More

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