Why Is Carpal Tunnel A Bigger Threat While Working From Home?

With many offices shifting the work environment to allow employees to work from home, more people are doing work on their laptops in the comfort of their home office. The more time spent on the computer typing and mouse-ing (not sure if this is a word), the more susceptible we are to office type strains, such as carpal tunnel. That being said, working from home also has advantages, such as the possibility of taking more stretch breaks as your boss might not be peering over your shoulder. Read below to understand what carpal tunnel is, and what stretches you can do to try to prevent this or help treat it. 

What Is Carpal Tunnel?

Carpal tunnel is a condition that affects one of the nerves that travels through the palm side of your wrist into your fingers. This nerve is called the median nerve. As the name implies, the nerve runs through a tunnel between some of the small bones in your wrist. Carpal tunnel occurs when the median nerve gets trapped or pinched in this tunnel, causing inflammation. This inflammation can lead to pain, numbness, tingling, or pins and needles in the hand or 1st three fingers. In severe cases, it can lead to weakness in the thumb, fingers, or wrist.

What Are Some Exercises For Carpal Tunnel You Can Do From Home?

Performing specific stretches and exercises can help counter the affects of prolonged typing and mouse-ing and help reduce the likelihood of developing carpal tunnel. Below you will find a few simple exercises that you can perform throughout your workday. 

Disclaimer- if you feel pain or discomfort with any of these exercises or are unsure if these exercises are right for you, stop the exercises and contact us at Headon Physio and speak to one of our physiotherapists. 

1. Try the above exercises- 3 sets of 10, 1-2x/day. No need to hold the stretch for this one. You are mobilizing the median nerve rather than stretching out muscles. Perform this on the affected side.

2. The above exercise is a sustained hold. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds or as tolerated. Perform every 2 hours or so.

3. See #2 for parameters

4. Find a lacrosse ball, baseball, or tennis ball. With your palm down and roll out the muscles in the front of your forearm with your palm facing down. This will help release some of the muscles in the front of your arm. Do this for 3 minutes, 2x/day.

If you would like to book a physiotherapy appointment to help treat your carpal tunnel, book your treatment here.

If you are unsure if physiotherapy can help, or would like to know more information about how we treat carpal tunnel, feel free to contact us at simonjanikpt@gmail.com.