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Can exercises prevent carpal tunnel syndrome?

Some people are more susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome than others. This devastating work-related, repetitive-use injury often befalls those who spend a lot of time using a computer, mouse and keyboard. The repetitive action of typing keys over and over again causes inflammation that results in painful and numbing nerve-pathway interference that may prevent someone from being able to carry out his or her job duties.

Here are a few ways to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome through exercise:

Do "spider push-ups on a mirror": Do you remember this joke when you were a child? Put the fingers of each hand together, so that your fingertips are touching and your hands are mirroring one another. First, with all the opposite fingers touching, steeple your fingers together. Next, stretch them all out. Repeat this action at least 10 times multiple times a day. You're doing it right when it looks like you're mimicking a spider doing push-ups on a mirror.

Just shake it out: On a regular basis during the day, take a break and simply shake out your hands as if they were wet and you were trying to get all the water off them.

Stretch your wrist: To stretch your wrist, point your arm out away from you with your palm facing the floor, and hand and arm straight out in front of you. Now, with your free hand bend your wrist and hand downward, until you feel a mild stretch on the back of your wrist. Feel this stretch for 20 seconds and do it on the other side. Repeat this stretch during the day.

Sometimes, no amount of stretching or exercise will prevent carpal tunnel. If you're suffering from a serious case of this debilitating condition, seek medical attention. You should also report the injury to your employer and seek workers' compensation to pay for your medical care and — if it's particularly severe — get the time off you need to recuperate.

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