Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Carpal Tunnel

He's coming right onto the boat! Mr. Jaws [the shark], why are you grabbing my hand?
"Wouldn't you give your hand to a friend?"
– lyrics to “Mr Jaws” by Dickie Goodman

As a computer programmer, blogger, and computer game player I spend a lot of time at a keyboard. I have only once, knock on wood, experienced the pains of carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is a passage where the median nerve and flexor tendons pass through the wrist bones. If the tendons swell from overuse or the nerve becomes inflamed, the nerve is pinched inside the tunnel causing pain.

There are many recommended exercises to help prevent hand pain from repetitive typing or writing.

About.com recommends:
1) Extend both arms straight out in front of you
2) Extend your wrists and fingers back (as if directing traffic to stop)
3) Hold this position for 5 seconds
4) Now straighten your wrists and relax your fingers
5) With your arms still straight out in front of you keep your wrists straight, make a fist, and squeeze it tightly
6) Hold this position for 5 seconds
7) Keep your fists clenched and bend your wrists down
8) Hold this position for 5 seconds
9) Straighten both wrists and relax your fingers again
10) Repeat above ten more times

At eHow.com, physical therapist, Monica Paradise, demonstrates exercises and stretching in several online video clips.

Another eHow site describes stretching ideas for wrists and fingers. It also claims that your forearm muscles determine your wrist strength. Build up the forearms by squeezing a rubber ball and doing wrist curls with a light weight. Don’t over do the exercises!

A percussionist instructor demonstrates three clever wrist stretches.

eFuse.com has recommendations for Desktop Yoga, with many exercises for bad computer posture and repetitive stress.

Bottom Line

Don’t take your hands for granted. Work some type of wrist stretching into your daily routine.

If you experience pain, see a doctor. I can not vouch for the effectiveness of the exercises listed above.

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Anonymous James Tailor said...


Thanks for the nice and informative article. I find doing hand yoga really helps me. It is amazingly simple but has great results.

All the best,


May 27, 2010 at 1:18 PM  

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