Why Your Hands Can Go Numb at Night and How to Prevent It
Have you ever experienced numbness in your hands and fingers as you fell asleep? It might be an early sign of the so-called carpal tunnel syndrome, which affects an estimated 4-10 million Americans. If ignored it can cause long-term damage, so it’s really important to take preventive measures against it.
Bright Side has gathered the most effective ways to treat numbness in hands. Give them a try as soon as you experience the early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is also known as a median nerve compression. The first symptoms that occur are numbness and tingling in the hands and wrists at night. As the condition progresses, the symptoms may worsen during the day. Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common among women than men and is more likely to affect middle-aged people. It’s important to take certain precautions in order to prevent CTS from developing.
1. Take frequent breaks.
Jobs that require a lot of repetitive motion in hands and wrists can have a negative impact on carpal tunnel symptoms. Your hands need regular breaks between working sessions. Set a reminder every 2-3 hours and do a little exercise. Add some squats to it — and you’ll tone up your whole body!
2. Keep wrists straight while working.
Studies confirm that there’s positive association between wrist posture and carpal tunnel syndrome. Adjust your chair, so that your forearms are level with your keyboard. Try to keep your wrists in a neutral position, without bending them.
3. Consider wearing a wrist splint.
Wearing a splint helps you hold your wrist in a neutral position. It’s especially important to wear one if you do a lot of typing or while sleeping at night. It’s pretty difficult to control your wrists while sleeping and a wrist splint can make a significant difference.
4. Do wrist exercises.
Exercises to stretch the muscles surrounding the wrists help to ensure that the tendons, that pass through the carpal tunnel, stay in good shape. Try to include stretching, bending, and flexing your wrists when doing these exercises.
5. Use correct posture.
Using correct posture while working is vital for more than just your back. It turns out that if you succumb to poor posture on a regular basis, your shoulder nerves tend to be compressed, which ultimately affects your wrists and hands. Sit with your back straight and feet flat on the floor.
6. Ice your wrists.
Ice is known to relieve the pain in your wrists and hands. Ice your wrist or soak it in an ice bath for 5-10 minutes. This method will not prevent carpal tunnel syndrome but will alleviate the pain that it causes.
Do you experience numbness in your hands at night? Are you going to take any of these preventive measures? Share your experience in the comments below.
Illustrated by Yekaterina Ragozina for BrightSide.me