Numbness and tingling in the thumb and fingers are often a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome. The condition is common in individuals who perform repetitive actions using their hands and wrists. The median nerve that provides feeling to the thumbs and all of the fingers with the exception of the pinky finger, passes through a small tunnel of ligament and bone called the carpal tunnel. Repetitive motions can cause inflammation within the carpal tunnel to the point that it impinges upon the median nerve causing numbness and tingling. Click here to learn about other medical services our LA plastic hand surgeons offer including for cumulative trauma, tumors and masses, hand infections and more.
How You Can Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Although it may not be possible to avoid all activities that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, there are certain steps that can be taken to limit the stress on the wrists and hands that can exacerbate symptoms.
• Avoid using excessive pressure or force to perform activities. For example, use light keystrokes when typing instead of pounding the keyboard.
• Avoid tensing the hands or gripping objects too tightly.
• Take a break for 10 to 15 minutes each hour to rest and stretch the fingers and wrists.
• Try to keep the wrists in a neutral position instead of bent to reduce pressure on the median nerve.
• When possible, switch hands when performing tasks.
• Maintain good body posture since slouching can place strain on various muscles and nerves that can exacerbate wrist problems.
• Try to keep the wrists and hands warm to alleviate pain and stiffness.
Stretching Exercises for the Fingers and Wrists
The following stretching exercises can help release tension in the wrists and hands:
Start by making a fist and then fan the fingers out by stretching them as far as possible. Make a fist again and then slide the fingers up to point straight out. Repeat these exercises up to 10 times during each break.
For more information about carpal tunnel treatment options, contact our Beverly Hills practice to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic and hand surgeon and carpal tunnel specialists.