Home Office Products to Help with Carpal Tunnel Pain
If you work in an office setting or do a lot of work at home on your computer, you may experience pain or numbness in your hand and forearm. While many try to brush it off, the numbness and pain can become severe. If this sounds like something you’re experiencing, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. The good news is that this condition is treatable and can sometimes even be improved without medical treatment.
At The Hand and Wrist Institute, we aim for you to live life as problem-free as possible, whether you visit us or want to treat your symptoms at home. Here’s more about carpal tunnel syndrome and home office products that might be able to help.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition of the wrist that causes pain, tingling, and numbness of the forearm and hand. It occurs because the median nerve is compressed or squeezed. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive condition that gets worse over time. Left untreated, it can lead to loss of sensation, weakness in the fingers, and permanent dysfunction of the hand. Proper diagnosis is essential when treating carpal tunnel; luckily, some specific treatments and products may help relieve your symptoms at home or in the office.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
A combination of factors cause carpal tunnel syndrome. It occurs more often in women than in men and older people more so than in younger people. Risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Repetitive use. Repeating the same activities over a prolonged period can cause swelling, which causes pressure on the median nerve.
- Smaller wrists. Carpal tunnel may be hereditary, such as with those who have smaller frames, which may reduce the amount of space available for the nerve.
- Wrist position. While doing certain activities that cause extension or flexion of the wrist and hand for long periods of time, your hand and wrist position can put increased pressure on the nerve.
- Health conditions. Various conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and more are associated with increased risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
How to Optimize Your Work Space for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
You should consider several factors when setting up your workspace if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Incorporating these ideas can help ease your symptoms.
Establish the correct monitor, chair, and desk height to improve your posture. Your arms should be parallel to the floor to prevent wrist strain. Your monitor should be at eye level to protect your shoulders and neck. Keep your desk space tidy and eliminate clutter to avoid having to reach over things or slouch to reach the mouse, keyboard, or other items you may need while working. Make the items you need to work easily accessible to avoid straining your wrists, neck, or arms to reach the things you need.
Align your hands and wrists with your elbows and forearms. Holding them close to your sides can help prevent or minimize pain. Avoid leaning on your wrists or the heel of your hand.
Home Office Products to Help With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Numerous home office products may help alleviate some carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Some of these items include:
- Monitor stands or laptop arms can help get your monitor to a height that is level with your eyes.
- A detached keyboard can make typing more comfortable.
- An adjustable sit-and-stand desk may help you achieve the perfect height and improve alignment.
- Wrist rests or pads can help take the pressure off of your wrists and help you correct your posture without straining.
- An ergonomic mouse can help you avoid bending your wrist.
- An ergonomic keyboard can also help reduce the strain on your wrists while typing.
- A document holder organizes necessary documents for easy access and declutters your workspace.
If you’re having a significant amount of numbness or pain, purchasing or downloading speech recognition software may be beneficial to allow you to use voice-to-text for quick transcription.
Tips for Working With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Aside from using the above items in your workspace and optimizing your space for work with carpal tunnel syndrome, there are other things to keep in mind to help reduce your symptoms or risk of developing the condition. These include:
- Alternate between standing and sitting at consistent intervals.
- Take a short break every 10 to 15 minutes to walk around and to take a break from repetitive activities.
- Avoid slouching and sit up straight. Avoid hunching over.
- Do exercises such as squeezing a rubber ball or flexing the wrist backward.
- A wrist splint can be used to help improve the alignment of the wrists.
- Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, rest, or ice the area after work if you’re experiencing pain.
Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The first step in diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome is to see a medical professional for a physical examination. Your provider will review your symptoms, gauge your hand strength and sensation, and test for tenderness and swelling. A nerve conduction study, ultrasound, MRI, and electromyography may also be performed to test the severity of your carpal tunnel syndrome. If your symptoms continue, Dr. Knight at The Hand and Wrist Institute can discuss your options moving forward and develop a treatment plan that may include an endoscopic carpal tunnel release or open release procedure.
Call The Hand and Wrist Institute For Help
If you’ve already tried the above home office products for carpal tunnel pain and nothing has helped, it may be time to reach out to a trained professional. At The Hand and Wrist Institute, our orthopedic team specializes in the advanced care of hand and wrist conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Our mission is to provide efficient, quality healthcare made possible by cutting-edge technology.
For more information on scheduling a consultation with Dr. Knight at The Hand and Wrist Institute, call us at 855-558-4263 or complete our secure online contact form. A team member will be happy to answer any questions you may have or get you set up with an appointment. We have locations in Southlake and Dallas for your convenience.