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Subject:Re: carpal tunnel From:Ron Sering CDS <ronser -at- MANX -dot- CDS -dot- TEK -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 20 Feb 1997 08:37:51 MST
I wrote an article some time ago in collaboration with a local physician, and here are some ideas he shared with me:
Anything that increases pressure on the carpal tunnel can restrict nerve response and increase numbness. This includes such things as water retention, poor sleeping position, or overuse. The inflammation is self-perpetuating: the tendons get inflamed from long hours at the keyboard, swell, and the increased pressure on the carpal tunnel causes more inflammation. One of the aspects of this disorder is that the symptoms are more pronounced at night. When true nerve damage takes place, the symptoms begin to persist into the daytime hours.
Some simple things to do to relieve the symptoms and break the cycle of inflammation are to ice your wrists after (or during) work, much the way an athlete does to prevent muscle strain, or to take an anti-imflammatory drug such as Ibuprofen or Naprosyn (Alleve). Also, you can benefit from gentle massage or wearing supports that maintain proper wrist position.
One preventive measure is to simply warm up before working by stretching the wrists. This makes the tissue in the carpal tunnel more supple and able to accomodate the swelling brought on by inflammation. You can also take breaks during the day and do all of these activities.