Recent studies show that computer use can cause wrist and hand pain.
Research shows that repetitive motions in the hands and wrist can cause chronic hand pain. Continuous use of the keyboard or the mouse, or even keeping the wrist in the wrong posture while using your computer can put pressure on your median nerve and cause tingling, numbness, and even pain.
These issues of hand and wrist pain, which were once very rare, are now a very common problem. The two most common hand problems are Carpal Tunnel and De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. Increased use of computers and continuous tapping of the mobile is to blame. Office workers often spend 8 to 9 hours working on a computer and 2 to 3 hours tapping on their mobile. When this is done repeatedly for years, it can result in chronic conditions.
Hand conditions caused by computer use
Carpal Tunnel syndrome
This is the most common hand condition. The repetitive motion in the fingers or the bending of the hand and wrist can cause pressure on the median nerve. A Carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of the hand. When the median nerve is compressed, symptoms can include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and arm. This is often seen in people with jobs that involve a lot of typing.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
This is a painful condition that affects the thumb and wrist due to strain or overuse. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is swelling of the tendons that run along the thumb side of the wrist and attach to the base of the thumb. This can cause pain, and numbness and even restrict the normal movements of your hand. One of the common signs of this condition is severe pain at the base of the thumb.
Thankfully for both these conditions, therapy, rest, stretching, and medication can work. However, in some cases, surgery might be required.
Preventing hand pain caused by computer use
Stop straining your hands
Since this condition is caused by overstraining of your hands, wrists, or fingers, the most logical solution is to limit the use of computers or mobile. Stopping their use completely is not practically possible, so make sure to give your hands some break time. Stretch and relax after every 20 minutes to prevent straining your nerves.
Set your workstation right
Ergonomics in your workplace is very crucial. It is the most effective yet most ignored way of preventing and treating hand and wrist pain. Here are some tips that you must keep in mind for setting up your workspace right –
- Place your keyboard at elbow height. This keeps your wrists straight and relaxed.
- Try to keep your forearms parallel to the floor for better wrist posture.
- Sit in an upright position with your head and backbone vertically aligned.
- Put the screen at least 20 inches away from your body and adjust the screen at eye level.
Exercises to relieve your wrist
Simple wrist exercises can help in relieving as well as preventing wrist pain. Before beginning your exercise, shake off your hands and wrists to get the blood flowing. Follow this with a simple finger stretch or make a fist, practice grip strengthener with a sponge ball, play with the clay or try pinching exercises. This will help strengthen your hands and relieve the pain.
Watch now: Wrist exercises for pain-free hands
Hand massage with Ksheerabala Taila
Massaging your hands with Ksheerabala Taila can help in relieving the pain. This oil has anti-inflammatory, analgesic properties that can help in relieving the pain. Apply the oil to your palms, fingers, and wrists and massage gently. This is very effective in relieving the severe pain associated with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or fibromyalgia.
Try DIY home remedies
The best go-to solutions for hand or wrist pain caused by overuse of computers are – rest, ice, and elevation. This helps in relieving the swelling and combating the pain. You can also use a brace for support to relieve the pain of sore fingers, thumb, and wrist. Meditation is another very effective home remedy that can help tackle the pain.
Don’t ignore your problems
The most common mistake that most people make is ignoring their problems and moving on with their life. If you are experiencing persistent pain then it is highly recommended to become alert, conscious, and careful. In case, the pain still persists, then consider consulting your doctor.
The cases of wrist and hand pain caused by computer use are rising by the day. And it is crucial for all of us to know about these emerging conditions and take proper care right from the beginning. Ensuring a correct posture, taking frequent breaks, strengthening your hands and fingers, and massaging your hands can help in relieving this pain!