Carpal Tunnel Syndrome … oh no not again!
It began this afternoon, a twinge on the inside of my left wrist, and then the sudden awareness that my pinky finger and ring finger were feeling a bit numb. Talk about an “oh no” feeling, I had surgical treatment for the same thing in my right wrist about nine years ago, so the thought of having to repeat is not exactly high on my list. While carpal tunnel syndrome generally entails a narrowing of the sheath where the nerve that feeds the thumb, index and middle finger (medial nerve), it can also cause symptoms in the Ulnar nerve.
Thinking about it and given that I’ve had relative wrist health (with the exception of a ganglion cyst on my wrist as a result of rehab on my shoulder), my first question was what’s different?
The obvious culprit was a new keyboard at work–slightly smaller, lighter and not as angled as the previous one. I certainly hadn’t given it a thought, but as each new key stroke caused yet a new ache on the top of my wrist, I knew I was probably onto something.
The mechanics of my body position in relation to the keyboard aside (which will have to get dealt with tomorrow), my task now is to immediately reduce the inflammation, which includes taking an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen or aspirin). Next up will be wearing a wrist brace to keep it angled in a non-stress position for a few days. There are also a series of exercises that can be done to aid in wrist health. The main thing is to address it fairly immediately and if it continues over a few days–to seek out medical attention.
For further information here are some links:
National Institute of Health: Carpal Tunnel Fact Sheet
University of Maryland: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The main thing is to see if non-invasive treatments can be started to mitigate the problem before it gets to the point of requiring serious medical intervention.
Physical Therapy exercises for Carpal Tunnel:
Yoga exercises for Carpal Tunnel: