To help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Take good care of your general health. This includes staying at a healthy weight, not smoking, and getting regular exercise.
- Keep your arm, hand, and finger muscles strong and flexible.
- Stop any activity that you think may be causing finger, hand, or wrist numbness or pain.
- Use hand and wrist movements that spread the pressure and motion evenly throughout your hand and wrist. For example, keep your wrists straight or only slightly bent. Avoid activities that bend or twist the wrists for long periods of time.
- Switch hands and change positions often when you are doing repeated motions. Take breaks, and rest your hands.
- Use correct posture.
- Restrict your salt intake if you tend to retain fluid.
- Wear a wrist splint when you cannot control your wrist motion, such as while sleeping. A splint can keep your wrist in a neutral position-that is, not bent too far forward or back-and reduce the stress on your fingers, hand, or wrist.
If you feel that certain work activities are causing finger, hand, or wrist numbness or pain, talk to your human resources department. Ask about different ways of doing your job, changes in your equipment, other job assignments, or the possibility of an ergonomics evaluation of your work space and procedures. For more information, see the topic Office Ergonomics.
In daily routines at home or while doing hobbies, think about changing activities in which you make repeated finger, hand, or wrist movements. Train yourself to use other positions or techniques that won't stress your hand or wrist.