Managing Carpal Tunnel Pain During COVID-19 : Even in the best of times, living with the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome is an arduous chore. However, dealing with CTS pain amidst a global pandemic can prove tremendously frustrating and stressful. While carpal tunnel pain can prove downright torturous, managing it isn’t quite as difficult as many newer CTS sufferers may expect.
Additionally, being stuck at home during the current pandemic may be disheartening, but it also provides you with ample opportunities to experiment with various forms of CTS relief. So, if carpal tunnel syndrome has been a longtime thorn in your side and you’re looking for constructive ways to spend a pandemic-triggered abundance of free time, put the following pointers to good use.
Invest in a High-Quality Brace
A high-quality wrist brace can be a CTS sufferer’s best friend. It isn’t until being afflicted by carpal tunnel syndrome that many of us are able to realize how much wrist movement is associated with our everyday tasks. Typing, cleaning and eating are just a few of the things we do that involve copious wrist-bending. Additionally, since most of us bend our wrists in our sleep, one needn’t actually be conscious to put a strain on their wrists. This is where the best carpal tunnel brace enters the equation. By ensuring that your wrist remains in a straight, neutral position, a reliable brace prevents you from placing unnecessary strain on the area, thereby leading to a significant reduction in pain. Additionally, upon removing the brace, take care to continue moving your wrists, as this will help your muscles stay loose and maintain their strength.
Make Adjustments to Your Workstation
For many of us, working from home has become commonplace since the emergence of the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, a fair number of CTS sufferers have home-based workstations that leave much to be desired. If you’ve grown accustomed to working exclusively at your place of business, it’s easy to see why you’ve never felt the need to set up a home office. However, with COVID-19 projected to be a threat for the foreseeable future, there’s never been a more important time for people afflicted with carpal tunnel to get their remote workstations in order.
For starters, you’ll need to adjust your chair and/or desk to ensure minimal wrist-bending and prevent yourself from placing too much pressure on your wrists. Standing desks can prove particularly beneficial to CTS sufferers, but they’re clearly not an option for everyone. Furthermore, investing in comfortable palm and wrist rests can effectively ease the pain associated with typing and help prevent carpal tunnel from developing in the first place. When typing, make an effort to relax your wrists and elbows, as this will enable blood flow to comfortably reach your fingers and hands and result in less strain being placed on the tendons.
Taking regular breaks throughout the workday can also prove effective at minimizing pain. Every 15 minutes, give yourself a break from typing, and use this time for hand stretching, finger wiggling and wrist movement. In addition, make a point of exerting as little force as possible when typing and performing other work-related tasks. If you don’t trust yourself to keep track of designated break periods, simply set a timer to go off every 15 minutes. Once the timer sounds, save whatever you’re working on and take a break, regardless of how “in the zone” you may be.
Experiment with Temperature Therapy
Some carpal tunnel sufferers have experienced success with temperature therapy. Applying heat pads or cooling packs to the affected area(s) can sometimes ease pain and pave the way for a faster recovery. Discovering which form of temperature therapy works for you is likely to take some trial and error. For example, you may respond well to heat but not cold – or vice versa.
As any longtime CTS sufferer can attest, carpal tunnel can take a lot out of you. For people afflicted by this troublesome nerve issue, even the most seemingly mundane daily tasks can become arduous undertakings. Needless to say, managing the pain and discomfort associated with carpal tunnel syndrome during a global pandemic is liable to prove exceptionally stressful. Luckily, with the pointers found above at your disposal, keeping CTS pain in check throughout the current crisis should be well within your abilities.
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