Monday, July 19, 2010


Medical professionals all over the world have reported that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common injuries being sustained today. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an overuse injury caused by repeatedly flexing the wrist or maintaining the wrist in a flexed position. This means that your wrists are constantly bent in such a way that the palms of your hands are facing you, even slightly, like if you were to bend your wrists to type on the keyboard.

People often bend their wrists to type, but, unfortunately, that’s totally the wrong way to go about it. Again, maintaining or constantly bending your wrists in that position can lead to a very serious injury, which can often lead to surgery, and you don’t want that, do you?


The best way to type on a keyboard is to do it like the expert piano players do, with their wrists in a neutral (not bent) position. Some people might think this contrary, but this is the most natural position for your wrists to be in. After all, you don’t naturally bend your wrists and form your fingers into a claw while walking do you? No, and if you do, you really should read on to see how you can correct that.


The best way to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is to maintain your wrists in a neutral position for as long as possible. Don’t bend them if you know that you don’t need to. If you have trouble doing this, then get a few tools to aid you. Adjusting the arms of your chair, for example, to the correct height, so that when you rest your elbows on them, your wrists are exactly where your keyboard is without needlessly bending them. There are also other readily available tools on the market that can help you maintain this position comfortably as well.


As with your other joints when you play sports or exercise, you should stretch your wrists when you work them often, even when you maintain them in the neutral position. Every once in a while, when you want to naturally take a 1 minute break to stretch and rest your eyes from the computer monitor, you should also take a few seconds to stretch your wrists as well.


Bend one of your wrists such that the back of your hand is facing you and your fingers are pointing up. Hold it in that position for 10 – 20 seconds, then perform the stretch with your other hand.


Bend one of your wrists such that the back of your hand is facing you and your fingers are pointing down. Hold it in that position for 10 – 20 seconds then perform the stretch with your other hand.


This one tackles your fingers, which also shouldn’t be neglected. Simply open your handas and outstretch your fingers to the farthest they can reach, hold them there for a second or two, then make a tight fist. Do this with both hands simultaneously 10 – 15 times.


Squeezing a tennis ball or any other similar object from time to time during the work day is also a wise idea to strengthen your hand, fingers, and wrists. During one of your 1 minute breaks, pick up the ball and just squeeze on it. You can make a game of it. Try squeezing it quickly over and over, or just hold the squeeze for as long as you’re comfortable. Do this every once in a while with both hands.


If you’re always stuck at your keyboard all day at work, then you should really integrate wrist curls into your regular weight lifting routine. I took this into account when designing my simple, but effective dumbbell home workout, and you should too. Simply follow the video below and maintain proper form with a weight that you can handle comfortably. This exercise will strengthen your wrist so that you can maintain them in the neutral position comfortably for extended periods of time, and with much reduced risk on injuries.


Since your wrist can bend in two directions (upwards and downwards), you should strengthen them the same way. Again, you should integrate reverse wrist curls into your regular workout routines as well if you’re always stuck at a keyboard all day. Follow the video below and maintain proper form with a weight that you can handle comfortably.


If your wrist already hurts, you can still follow all the pieces of advice in this article. Maintain your wrists in the neutral position using a tool of your choice (your chair’s arms or something else), then regularly stretch your wrists and strengthen them with a tennis ball or something similar. You can also still do the wrist curls and reverse wrist curls with a much lighter weight. They’ll still serve to strengthen your wrists and help in their recovery. When your wrists feel better, you can increase the weights and turn rehabilitation into prevention!


Some people who have had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for a while but didn’t do anything about it often continue to aggravate the injury and need surgery. If this is you, then please, take the surgery or risk losing the use of your hands forever. When the surgery is done, you can follow the advice in this article to rehabilitate and strengthen your wrists.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a serious injury in the modern, technologically dependent world, but there are very simple steps to prevent it. Hopefully, if you have been having problems with your wrists lately, you’ve followed the advice in this article, and are on your way to better wrist strength and health! If you are, or have additional questions about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and your wrists, please leave a comment below as I’d very much like to hear about it!

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Hello, I'm Noel Blanco and I write Fitness Philippines. I have been involved in physical fitness for more than 10 years now and am currently taking up graduate studies on Exercise and Sports Science at the University of the Philippines. You can contact me at
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