Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
Twisted (Ankle)
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

It's All in the Wrist


Sometimes the wrist feels better after shaking out the hand. The hand may also feel clumsy because of muscle weakness resulting from the compression of the median nerve. Symptoms may be felt in one or both hands.

Pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis and some thyroid conditions can increase your risk of developing this nerve-compression syndrome.

If you're active, symptoms may not occur during activity but rather afterward or upon awakening. Athletic activities that often produce or aggravate such a problem include cycling, rowing and racket sports. A very common cause is the cumulative trauma to this area from repetitive actions such as typing, gardening, supermarket checking, knitting, packaging and assembly work.

Workers required to perform repetitive or continuous hand and arm motions without variation or frequent breaks are at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Computer work is a major culprit.

Each time you punch a key a muscle contracts. The muscle is attached to tendons connected to the fingers. They glide through lubricated sheaths. With repeated movements, the muscles and tendons swell, causing friction.

Friction in the sheaths in turn causes fluid accumulation and sometimes scarring. When tendons and sheaths in the carpal tunnel swell, they compress the structures in this narrow space, especially the median nerve. Since swelling increases after activity, the symptoms may not be present until after the activity or workday is over.

Treating the Injury

Early treatment is essential. If nerve compression continues to the point of numbness or muscle atrophy the nerve damage may be irreversible. The first aspect of treatment is to modify your activity to reduce forces on the wrists.

What else can you do to improve the situation?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

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