Get Help for Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Over the years, it’s become more and more common that work is taking place at a computer. We’re hunched over a desk for much of the day, tapping on the keyboard and staring at the monitor. There is a host of health problems that can result. Neck pain, headaches and poor posture likely all come quickly to mind.
There is another harmful condition, however, that can result from the repetitive motion of typing and improper ergonomics: carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
You probably know that carpal tunnel syndrome has something to do with pain in the hands. To understand more, it’s important to learn about the anatomy of the wrist and hand.
There is a space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel. It’s surrounded by the bones of your wrists. The median nerve runs through the hand after originating in the neck and traveling down the arm. When this nerve is compressed in the wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs.
Typically, carpal tunnel syndrome will get worse after it initially sets in. That means getting the appropriate diagnosis and treatment is vital to recovering.
The Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel
If you’ve noticed that you have some pain in your hand or wrist, you may be wondering if it’s a sign that you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Some of the most common symptoms include
- Burning and pain
- Clumsiness and dropping objects
- Shock-like sensations
- Tingling and numbness
- A feeling of swollen fingers
The onset of your symptoms may begin gradually, growing over time. Your dominant hand is likely the one that is first affected and has the most severe symptoms. You might feel like you can “shake out” the feeling you have in your hand or wrist, though doing so won’t lessen any sensation.
The Causes of Carpal Tunnel
Where does your issue come from? You might wonder why carpal tunnel syndrome is affecting you and not someone else. There are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood that you’ll suffer from carpal tunnel syndromes. For example, if you have a family member with carpal tunnel syndrome, heredity is an important factor. Repetitive motions, such as typing at your computer or gripping, can aggravate wrist tendons and make carpal tunnel more likely to set in.
Having an improper workstation setup can mean that carpal tunnel affects you. You must consider the ergonomics involved in your desk, keyboard and chair to reduce the probability of getting carpal tunnel syndrome.
How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Though you can’t help factors such as genetics, there is much you can do to reduce the chance that you’ll experience carpal tunnel syndrome.
Change your workstation height. Your arms should fall at a relaxed, 90-degree angle on your desk.
Take breaks. Every half-hour, get up and stretch your whole body, including your hands and wrists.
Watch your posture. Don’t let your shoulders roll forward, which will cause you to slump and compress the nerves of the neck.
See your Chiropractor. Though most people associate Chiropractors with necks and backs, there is much the chiropractor can do for your entire body. They’re able to address problems in all joints of your body, including wrists and hands.
What’s So Important About Omegas?
There’s so much information about nutrition available today. You’ll hear conflicting reports from all kinds of sources. It’s difficult to decide what to listen to. Fad diets abound, giving mixed results that typically aren’t sustainable. You hear about a miracle food one day and the next, it’s not so good for you. What do you listen to, and how do you decide what’s right for you?
There’s one fact that nearly everyone can agree on: that Omega-3s are essential to your good health. You’ve likely heard of Omega-3s being contained in fish. There are different ways to get these nutrients, but you must make sure that what you’re taking has everything you need.
What Are Omega-3s?
Omega-3s are fatty acids that are classified as polyunsaturared fatty acids. Omega-3 is an umbrella term used to refer to different forms of these fatty acids, which include ALA, EPA and DHA.
- ALA (alpha-linoleic acid): Your body cannot make this fatty acid alone, which means you need to be sure to work it into your diet.
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): You can find both of these forms of Omega 3 in fish and other forms of seafood.
Why Omega-3s Are Essential
There’s good reason you need Omega-3s to be healthy. They are part of the body’s cell membranes and play a part in brain function, inflammation and normal growth and development levels.
Omega-3s have been studied in various bodies of research, all with varying conclusions about what they can do for you. A deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to some cancers, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, mood disorders and arthritis, amongst others.
Do You Need to Supplement?
Whether your body requires an Omega-3 supplement depends entirely on your diet. If you eat two servings a week of tuna, salmon or herring, you likely are getting enough Omega-3s. If you’re a vegetarian or don’t eat these types of nutrient-dense, fatty fish, you may benefit from taking a supplement.
Vegetarians and vegans, don’t worry: there are plenty of algae-based supplements that are still chock-full of the Omega-3s you need. You should get at least 150 grams, or 5 ounces, of cooked fish each week. Your EPA and DHA can also be found in eggs, which is a great way to add more into your diet. If you don’t eat fish, look for a supplement
Concerns About Mercury and Fish Consumption
There has been talk in recent years about whether it’s safe to eat fish due to the mercury levels found in some fish. If that’s a concern for you, there are plenty of fish you can eat that have lower mercury levels. These include salmon, anchovy, trout, sole, lake white fish and more. Certain fish accumulate greater levels of mercury than others. These should be eaten with a lower frequency to ensure you aren’t exposed to mercury, such as tuna, marlin, shark or swordfish.
If you feel uncertain about the safety of eating fish due to mercury, taking a supplement is an ideal way to get the nutrients you need without compromising your health.