Week 38: What a pain

I’ve been napping more frequently to shake off a recent cold.  Unfortunately, my occasional overnight swollen finger sensations morphed into carpal tunnel (tingling and numbness in my arms – hands, wrists and fingers).  This is mainly due to reverse gravity where the daytime fluid accumulation in the legs gets redistributed when I lie down.  At least my ankles and feet are swelling less since I stopped work!

How to alleviate these edema symptoms, be it overnight hand pains or daytime leg pains? Overall goal: Let blood and fluids flow as freely as possible!

  • Drink water early and often, 8-10 glasses a day to detox your system and minimize swelling.   Avoid caffeine, tobacco and excess salt 
  • Avoid long periods of standing or sitting. If you’re on your feet a lot, wear comfy shoes (no heels), take breaks and have a seat. If you’re on your butt a lot, take a 5 mins stroll every hour
  • Keep your legs elevated when sitting or lying down
  • Avoid tight elastic-top socks or stockings. Try support hose – full or knee-/thigh-highs that aren’t tight on top 
  • Take frequent hand-stretching breaks – shake your hands and wrists out, squeeze a soft ball
  • Type gently with wrists straight and elbows higher than your hands
  • Try not to sleep on your hands. Use a pillow to prop up your arms, hang your hand over the side of the bed and shake it at night
  • If swelling persists for more than a day with no improvement overnight, let the doc know, explore braces or acupuncture
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