Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or CTS, is a painful condition of the hand and fingers caused by compression of a major nerve where it passes over the carpal bones through a passage at the front of the wrist.
The most common cause of CTS is repetitive use/overuse of the fingers, hands, wrists and upper extremities.
CTS can be prevented, especially by utilizing proper ergonomics in the workplace.
Most people who work at a desk utilize a computer with its associated monitor and keyboard. The proper placement, height, type and design of each these is very important.
There are specialized types of “split” keyboards that can help prevent poor mechanics, such as the wrists being too flexed. Typing in a “wrist-neutral position” means working with the wrist “straight” and not too “bent up or down.”
Similarly, there is such a thing as an “ergonomically correct” computer mouse, which is, again, designed to put your hand in a more neutral position.
Other things you can do to help lessen the risk of CTS include:
- Frequent breaks.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises for the hand, fingers, and arms.
- Yoga and flexibility exercises.
- Relaxing your grip on the mouse, and lightening your touch on the keyboard.
If you work for yourself, try to get ergonomically correct equipment, and utilize the suggestions above.
If you are employed, ask your employer if they could consider hiring an ergonomic specialist. Prevention of workplace injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome is less costly in the long run.
Source: Dr. Marc P. Pietropaoli