30/05/2024 1:17 PM

Baen Scriptions

The Health Maniacs

Woodcarving and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

2 min read

Carpal tunnel syndrome does not necessarily come from daily work at the computer. There are numerous causes, but carvers are prone to acquire this syndrome.

A channel or narrow pathway on the palm side of the wrist is where the median nerve is located. It is surrounded by bones and ligaments. Constant pressure on the nerve causes swelling and irritation to this area of the wrist. The pathway or channel is about the size of your thumb. The median nerve carries impulses to the hand and tendons in your fingers.

Since I am a woodcarver and spend long hours carving walking sticks, I felt compelled to pass on some information as surgery was necessary to take away constant and severe pain to both hands.

Last year the following symptoms developed in both hands and shoulders; aching hands and a tingling numbness in the index fingers,ring fingers and pain radiating up into both shoulders.

The hands became weak and it was difficult to grasp a knife and power tools. It was difficult to complete simple tasks while carving sticks.

The condition of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be caused by other conditions so it is important to see your family doctor for advice.

How do you treat this condition before and after surgery? While you are working at your bench, stop frequently, stand up and stretch your arms above the head. clasp your hands while you have your arms above your head and hold for at least a minute. Make this a habit and repeat every 30 minutes. Also, place the hands together in a vertical position with the fingers pointed to the ceiling. Press together firmly for at least 30 seconds. Do this several times.

Purchase a wrist splint or brace at a local Walgreens or Walmart store or from your medical provider. The brace should be worn while at your bench and also at night, when you go to bed. This prevents the wrist from bending during sleep and will lessen the irritation to the wrist or wrists.

Go on the internet and find information about exercises that are good for the hands and wrists and shoulders. The doctor may send you to a physical therapist for treatment. This condition can be quite painful and do not let it continue without pursuing treatment.

See your doctor.

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