The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage that runs through the wrist that is crowded by nerves, blood vessels and tendons. It is caused by the swelling of overused or injured tendons that compress the nerves running through this area in the wrist.
Repetitive, forceful movements of the hands cause the swelling of the tendons. This causes numbness, tingling, burning and aching in the wrists. Severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome can cause pain to shoot through the arm to the shoulder. If the damage is left unchecked, then permanent muscle and nerve damage may occur.
Become aware of your sleeping position. Wrists that are bent or tucked under your head or pillow can cause nerve compression. Try to train yourself to rest your wrists flat on the mattress. Do not prop your head on your hands. While awake keep your body and wrists in a comfortable position. Keep your posture straight and not bent. Try not the hunch over.
When working at a computer, try to keep the monitor at eye level. Rearrange the keyboard so you do not have to strain or bend the wrists to type. It should be at elbow height and your wrists should be in a straight line with your forearms. Keep your workstation so that everything is within reach. Watch for pressure points. Do not rest your wrists on the sharp edges of a desk or table.
Tiredness in the joints and muscles is the body’s signal that you need to take a break or change your movements. Shake out your hands when they start to feel tired. Walk around in order to increase blood circulation. Stretch out your arms. Take a one to two minute break every 20 to 30 minutes to help decrease the impact of repetitive movements.
Rotate your jobs in order to avoid doing the same task for more than a few hours at a time.