Finger Fitness: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

TeddyWalker.CarpalTunnel.1In the countdown to finals week, it’s common and tempting to buckle down for marathon study sessions in the library with your favorite caffeine fix to keep you going like the Energizer bunny. But the National Institute of Health just came out with a new statistic that might have you re-thinking some of those all-nighters.

According to the NIH, women are three times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than men. This means that your hands could need a lot more love to keep toughing out the final papers, exams and projects. The good news is that carpal tunnel can be easy to prevent. Prepare and maintain your fingers the same way you do your other fitness routines.

What are the signs of carpal tunnel? Tingling, numbness, a need to pop your hands similar to how you pop your knuckles or a burning sensation are all signs that it may be time for a little hand TLC. If you’re a pillow-clutcher or fist-clencher when you sleep, you may notice these symptoms a lot more when you wake up because the hands are stiff and need a break from being in one position all night.

So how do you prevent your hands feeling left out as you concentrate on the books? Treat your hands like you would your posture while you study. Take frequent breaks and make them good ones. A true break is one that doesn’t involve the same hand position you’ve had for a long period of time. If your hands have been cramped up typing a paper, more typing is the last thing your hands need on their break. Flex the fingers and gently massage your hands. Squeeze a stress ball and stretch out the fingers.

Hand love is more than some lotion or awesome nail polish. It’s as simple as giving your hands more time to catch up with rest of you. Your hands will thank you and be fit to run the marathon-long study sessions. Just make sure your breaks also include a well-deserved snack to show your stomach a little a love too.

Photo by Teddy Walker


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