5 Desk Accessories to Help Prevent Carpal Tunnel

Businessman suffering from wrist pain

Plus, Information on Where to Find Carpal Tunnel Doctors in Wichita

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), carpal tunnel syndrome affects up to 6% of adults in the United States. The condition is caused by compression of the median nerve, which passes through the arm, hand, and wrist. The median nerve is what’s responsible for motor function and sensation in the three middle fingers and the thumb.

When the median nerve is compressed for an extended period of time or otherwise aggravated, it can lead to the symptoms most commonly associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. These symptoms include:

  • Uncomfortable tingling
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Reduced coordination

Carpal tunnel syndrome is defined as a progressive condition, meaning that it gets worse the longer it goes unaddressed. Some may find that using a computer, including typing or using a mouse, aggravates their carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.

Keeping that in mind, the following five desk devices and accessories are beneficial in mitigating the symptoms associated with carpal tunnel.

#1 – Wrist Rests
Some people experience carpal tunnel syndrome because their wrist is not receiving enough support. Gel- or foam-based wrist rests provide the necessary cushion to keep your wrist in a position that doesn’t compress the median nerve. They work with laptops and desktop keyboards. Wrist rests may also be built into mousepads to support the wrist while you use your computer mouse.

#2 – Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace
For those with more advanced cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, a wrist brace can greatly reduce your symptoms by keeping your wrist straight during computer usage. Although a wrist brace will take some getting used to when it comes to typing and mouse usage, wearers will notice their symptoms are greatly reduced as soon as they put it on. Ask your physician if wearing one is right for you.

#3 – Chair Cushion
Many cases of carpal tunnel syndrome are caused by computer users who are sitting too low in their office chairs. This causes them to have an unnatural break in the wrist while typing and during mouse usage. By adding a cushion to your office chair, it will raise you to the correct height so that you can keep your arms in the ergonomically correct 90-degree angle they’re supposed to be in during computer usage.

#4 – Ergonomic Keyboard
To some, traditional keyboards force them to type in a way that feels awkward for their arms, wrists, and hands. If a traditional keyboard feels unnatural to you, you may benefit from an ergonomic keyboard. The unique wave design of the keys promotes a more natural typing experience that mitigates the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Because ergonomic keyboards can be expensive, we recommend going to your local electronics store to try one out before purchasing.

#5 – Ergonomic Pen
If you find that your wrist is cramping or flaring up in pain every time you use a writing utensil, you will likely benefit from an ergonomic pen. These writing utensils use a super soft non-slip grip and a thicker design to minimize the symptoms of carpal tunnel. The majority of ergonomic pens use ballpoint tips with easy flow ink, so you don’t have to press as hard while writing.

Other Ways to Reduce Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Overcoming carpal tunnel syndrome can be difficult, especially if you have a job that puts stress on your wrist and hand. Further, working with heavy machinery that excessively vibrates can also trigger carpal tunnel symptoms. If you are currently experiencing symptoms, try employing the following tips for carpal tunnel treatment:

  • Minimize repetitive hand movements as much as possible.
  • Avoid tasks that put an unnecessary strain on your hands and wrists.
  • Always keep your wrist in a neutral position. Using a brace helps.
  • Avoid holding heavy objects or objects that put a strain on your wrist.
  • Wear a wrist splint while sleeping.
  • Ice your wrist in 15-minute intervals.
  • Take anti-inflammatory drugs to help relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Rest your wrists and hands periodically during your work day.

What to Do for Serious Cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Those who have tried behavioral modification, splints, and other accessories to no avail may benefit from seeking carpal tunnel treatment from an orthopedic doctor. Because the condition is so common, Wichita residents will find that there are reputable carpal tunnel doctors and carpal tunnel specialists in their area.

In addition to performing a physical examination, your doctor may also perform an X-ray, ultrasound, or conduct a nerve condition study. It’s all dependent on how severe your condition is. After your carpal tunnel doctor has fully examined the area, they should be able to provide you with a recovery plan that will address your symptoms.