Prevention is always the first line of defense in medical care. There are ways to help minimize the likelihood that you will develop carpal tunnel syndrome and there are certainly ways to help minimize the likelihood that your condition will progress and become severe. If you start to experience numbness and tingling and waking up at night with numbness in your thumb, index, and middle finger, the first thing to do is to get a wrist brace. A simple neutral wrist brace that leaves the fingers free, but keeps the wrist in a neutral position, preventing flexion and extension while you sleep will often help to alleviate those symptoms. And it's important to try that early on to help prevent the pressure on the nerve from building up and making the problem worse. Because patients often experience symptoms with repetitive activities, being aware of how you're doing those activities and taking frequent breaks during them can help to minimize symptoms and in fact, if the condition is mild, it may help to resolve the condition. So making sure that your work setup is proper, that your keyboard height is low, that your tray is not cramped, that your elbows are not flexed, and your risks are not flexed and cramped during activities can be very helpful in minimizing your symptoms. In addition, practicing good work habits, getting up out of your chair periodically, stretching your arms and your neck, and shaking your hands out can help to minimize the repetitive and damaging nature of your activities. So being aware of your environment and how you're doing things can often be the very first line of treatment in carpal tunnel syndrome.
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