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Do You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome From Too Much Computer Use?

You need to take a break from too much Facebooking!

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes numbness, swelling, weakness, and pain in your wrist because of the pressure on the median nerve [via WebMD]. Pain often begins in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger, and may progress to the wrist and arm area between the hand and elbow. In some cases, the pain reaches the neck.

Pregnancy and illnesses such as arthritis and diabetes are common causes, but repetitive hand movements—especially when the wrist is bent down with the hand lower than the wrist—are also culprits. A desk job that keeps you glued to a computer all day—and, not to mention, your obsession with social media—are abusing your fingers and wrists, CGs! If you’re starting to feel the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, heed these tips to prevent it from getting worse.

1. Rest

When mild symptoms such as tingling or numbness occur, it’s your hand’s way of telling you it needs a break from all the typing. Take a break from computer work and rest your hands. You may apply ice to the tingling areas 10 to 15 minutes at a time, once or twice an hour. Resume keyboard work gradually.

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2. Stretch and massage

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You can ward off and relieve lingering symptoms with proper stretching. To alleviate the pain and numbing, try these desk-friendly exercises and wrist massages from Women’s Health.

3. Yoga

When you come home after a long day at work, put that gadget down and bring out your exercise mat. Yoga poses such as cow, cat-cow, eagle, and dolphin can help ease the pain and prevent further symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

4. Wrist splint

In more severe cases, simple hand movements such as brushing your hair may be difficult and excruciating. When the pain is making it difficult for you to go about your day, try wearing a wrist splint, a hand brace that looks like a fingerless glove. It minimizes the pressure on your median nerve and helps give your wrist relative rest.

5. See a doctor

If the symptoms worsen and persist for more than a week, it’s best to see a doctor. You may be prescribed with anti-inflammatory drugs to help reduce pain and swelling. Long-term and serious cases may need surgery.

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