We’ve spoken many times about carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and the causes, concerns, and possible cures. It remains a major problem today since so many of us spend a great deal of time at the computer, whether for work or for recreation, putting us all at risk for developing this type of repetitive stress injury (RSI).
To help prevent RSI of the hand and wrist, here are 5 practical tips that you can use at the office or at home. Make sure your family is aware of these suggestions as well. Even children spend an inordinate amount of time on the computer these days, not only at home but in the classroom.
Take frequent breaks from the keyboard. You’ve heard this over and over, but I’ll bet you don’t really put this into practice. Take 5 minutes every hour or so to take your hands off of the keyboard and get up and stretch. You need to give your hands a rest from the repetitive motion that can contribute to RSI injuries.
Whatever type of exercise you do over the course of the day (either at a gym, or just walking to your car), include exercise of your arms and hands. Give your arms, hands, wrists, and fingers a workout. There are many specific exercises to help prevent CTS and RSI and you can find demonstrations of these on youtube.com.
Check with your physician for suggestions on the best type of wrist support for you. This will depend on how advanced your symptoms of CTS are. There are a variety of supports available, including wrist braces and wrist rests for in front of the keyboard.
If you’re spending a great deal of time in front of a computer or laptop every day, you might want to consider changing your keyboard/mouse configuration. This could include adding an external mouse to your laptop, or adding an ergonomically configured keyboard to your computer.
Whenever possible you want to rest your hand by simply not adding more stress. An easy way to do this is to use my ergonomic UGLee Pen whenever you write. The pen is scientifically designed to actually relax your hand as you use it. Whether you’re writing a lot at work, or simply writing out a grocery list at home, using this comfort pen truly gives your hand a rest.
(Photo credit – personalinjuryclaims1.co.uk)