Articles, Ergonomics

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Not a permanent injury

The words “carpal tunnel syndrome” strike fear into the hearts of knowledge workers.

What is the carpal tunnel? All the tendons that make your fingers work the keyboard go through a tunnel in your wrist made up of eight carpal bones and a thick band of ligament. Nine tendons and one nerve go through that tunnel.

Where is the carpal tunnel? To find your carpal tunnel, put one elbow at your side with your forearm and palm facing the ceiling. Take the index finger and thumb of your opposite hand and put it around your wrist as close to your hand as you can get. This is the carpal tunnel.

What creates carpal tunnel syndrome? Anything that takes up space and puts pressure on the nerve will create carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, swelling due to pregnancy can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

Why does keying cause carpal tunnel syndrome? If you’re working without breaks, the tendons that power your fingers become hot and swollen. They take up extra space and put pressure on the nerve.

What are the symptons of carpal tunnel syndrome? Symptoms can include pain, numbness or tingling in the second and third fingers, half of the fourth finger, and the thumb. Your fingers might feel swollen.

What are NOT symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome? If your little finger hurts, you don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome. If your wrist hurts, you probably don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome.

How can you prevent carpal tunnel syndrome? The number one cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is poor posture at the keyboard and incorrect arm position.
Keep your shoulder blades against the back of your chair.
Keep your elbows at 90 degrees and your wrists straight – not bent down or up.
Drink water while you keyboard.
Pay attention to what you’re feeling and recognize the first signs.

Is carpal tunnel syndrome permanent? No. With a change of habits, people recover. Improve your posture. Drink more water. Stretch forearms regularly. Rest between times at the keyboard.

Are you worried about carpal tunnel syndrome? Don’t procrastinate. The sooner your get help, the easier it is to cure.

Correct posture, rest and water keep your hands healthy.

Check out Kathi’s DVD “Stretch Away Neck, Shoulder, and Arm Pain”
to help establish an effective routine!

 

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