We are in the age of technology, so it’s no surprise that we do a lot of texting and typing in our daily lives. This can easily result in carpal tunnel syndrome, which is characterized by numbness, tingling, weakness and other problems in your hand due to the pressure on the median nerve on your wrist. Repetitive stress of the nerves from typing or a medical condition like diabetes, osteoarthritis, and hypothyroidism can all lead to this syndrome.
It however doesn’t necessarily have to be carpal tunnel syndrome for you to feel a pain in there. It can simply be from spending long hours typing on your keyboard, but if it is beyond just pain and there’s a feeling of numbness or tingling, you are likely to have the condition. Either way, you can reduce the pain you feel by engaging in some stretches, some of which are mentioned below.
1. Finger flexion and extension
Sit upright in a chair and position yourself so that your upper body is directly over your sit bones and your spine remains neutral. Now, extend your arms directly in front of you with your palms facing down. Flex your fingers inward and make it form a claw, then spread your fingers apart as far as you can. Repeat this 5 to 10 times every 30 minutes while typing.
2. Grip strengthening
Get a soft ball or something that you can grip with your hands. Grasp the object till the pads of your fingers are holding it firmly, then squeeze and release. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
3. Wrist extension
Begin by being in a seated or standing position, with one arm extended in front of your body at shoulder level and your fingers pointing upward. Grasp your fingertips with the other hand, and pull them gently toward your body, so that you feel a stretch beneath your wrist. Maintain this pose for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side and keep alternating.
4. Forearm stretch
Sit upright in a chair and position yourself with your upper body sitting directly over your sit bones and your spine in its neutral position. Now, extend your arms directly in front of you and keep your palms faced down, with your fingers directed toward the walls on either side of you. Do this till you feel a gentle stretch along the inside of your forearms, then maintain the pose for about 10 seconds. Release and repeat.
These stretches will not only help to relieve the pain, but also increase flexibility in your wrist and reduce the risk of minor sprains.
image courtesy of: researchgate.net, weightlossforall.com, orthopedicsatoz.org, easyfitnessdaily.com.