A wrist brace can help correct posture and prevent flare-ups of carpal tunnel syndrome. Braces can be found at most pharmacies but they come in several varieties. You need to know how to use a carpal tunnel wrist brace because misuse can actually make your symptoms worse. Read on to learn how to use a carpal tunnel wrist brace.
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Shop for a brace that fits over your hand like a glove, but allows free movement of your fingers and thumb. The brace should extend four to six inches up your arm and have adjustable straps.
Put your brace on the hand with carpal tunnel syndrome. You want to tighten the straps so that they are secure but not too tight. You should be able to bend your wrist forward and backwards a tiny bit, but it should mostly be locked in a neutral position.
Use your wrist brace whenever you do activities that involve extensive use of your hand. These actions can include computer work, household chores, cooking or carpentry.
Take a break from using your hand and remove the wrist brace. You should spend at least 10 minutes of every hour resting your hand and moving your wrist in different directions.
Wear your wrist brace while sleeping if you tend to wake up with carpal tunnel pains. Some people have a tendency to roll around in their sleep and lie on their hands. A brace will prevent your wrist from staying bent. Fit the brace looser while you sleep since it will be on for about eight hours.
Buy a wrist rest to put in front of your keyboard to support both of your hands while you use the computer. It's important to take steps to prevent the development of carpal tunnel syndrome in both your wrists.
Tips and warnings
- You can put different ointments inside your brace to help sooth wrist pain. Just be sure that the brace is washable.
- Some braces have a stiff material on the inner side that can be uncomfortable until it molds to your arm's shape.
- If you are a musician with carpal tunnel syndrome, be sure to talk to your doctor before using a brace while you play. Some instruments, like the double bass, require that your wrist be able to move into the flexion position.
- Your blood flow can be cut off if the straps of the brace are too tight around your wrist.
- A brace that extends to your elbow is too big for you.
- Don't get a brace that just wraps around your wrist and doesn't go up your arm. These kinds are not intended for people with carpal tunnel syndrome.