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5 Things: Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at Work With 5 Tips

If you're working on a computer all day, you may be putting yourself at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand, which houses the median nerve and tendons. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. This nerve controls sensations to the palm side of your thumb and fingers, as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move.

Some people are more prone to this because they have a smaller carpal tunnel, but women are three times more likely develop CTS. It can also be caused by an injury, fluid retention during pregnancy, or repetitive motions like using a mouse or keyboard. Take matters into your own hands and learn five ways to prevent the pain and tingly sensations caused by CTS.

  1. Revamp your setup: Be aware about your desk ergonomics at the office. Keep your keyboard, mouse, and phone within your forearm's length, and adjust the height of your chair so that your forearms are level with your keyboard. When you set your keys up this way, you don't have to flex your wrists to type.
  2. Prop up: Using a long pads that run along the length of your keyboard to prop up the heels of your palms. This way your forearms, wrists, and hands are in one straight line, which can prevent the nerve from getting squeezed. If your mousing hand bothers you, try a mouse pad with support and cushioning the so that you rest your wrist more comfortably.
  3. New keys: Setting up correctly helps, but your wrist may benefit from using a ergonomic keyboard like the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard ($50) so that hands and wrists type in a more natural position.
  4. Go for height: If you're using a regular mouse and it bothers your wrist, pick up a vertical mouse. The Ergoguys Wow Pen Joy Vertical Mouse ($30) works so that your thumb is pointing straight up. It may feel more comfortable on your wrist.
  5. Break for a stretch: Take regularly from using your mouse and typing. Regularly perform wrist stretches at your desk to promote strength that will keep your wrists safe from CTS.
peterpan56 peterpan56 9 years
Very good advice for everyone not just those with Carpal Tunnel.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Good tips...
emalove emalove 9 years
I think I might be getting this right wrist always bothers me when I'm on the computer for too long. I've been trying to cut back and it's been feeling a little better.
tweet__ tweet__ 9 years
Yep, I have this.. Allthough I don't think I've ever had it from using the computer. First time I had it, it was because of knitting a lot, haha. The second time it just came from a lot of pencil writing. It really sucks. After the second one I couldn't use my right hand for about two weeks..
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
My wrist bothers me all the time and goes numb, i think i have this.
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
I used to have a job where I typed all day and I really think I was getting it. It just hurt so bad to type. Now that I don't type all day everyday anymore, I don't notice it, so that is good!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I already think I have it :( Some days when I a, extreamly busy at work and typing a lot, my right wrist KILLS me...I think i shoudl go to the doctor and check it out...
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