Carpal Tunnel Ergonomics
Following Carpal Tunnel Ergonomics is becoming the need of the day as more and more people are reported to have been complaining of experiencing the problems caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is found to be one of the most common issues at workplaces and the main reason is that bad ergonomics is being followed at work. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome causes pain in the hands, wrists, fingers, arms and sometimes the back also. Sometimes this pain gets so severe that the patient cannot do even the simplest of tasks.
If you are having related problems, then consult a doctor immediately.
However, if you are not very sure and you want to determine whether you have carpal tunnel syndrome or not then there are certain symptoms.
Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
Do you identify with any of these symptoms of Carpal Tunnel?
There will be numbness along with burning sensations or tingling in your thumb and fingers; the fingers mostly affected are the middle finger and the index finger. You will also have pain in your hands and wrists as well as shoulders and arms.Hands would get swollen up especially at night. In severe cases, you won't be able to grip on to something. These symptoms can be mild and can be very severe and will get worse with time.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused when the median nerve of the carpal tunnel gets compressed due to some pressure.On one side of the carpal tunnel is bone and on the other side is the inflexible ligament, so when there is pressure the nerve gets pressed in between and then hurts and in some cases ceases to function properly.
Everything is made to function in a particular manner and when that gets disturbed, problems arise. Similar is the case with the bones, tendons and ligaments in our wrist. They are made to function in a straight line.When we repetitively move our hands in an angled position, the tendons in our hands rub and get swelled up. This causes our wrists to be bent, which is the wrong hand posture. They are not supposed to be working in that typing position, so the tendons swell and put pressure on the median nerve which in turn gets damaged due to this pressure. Result is the numbness and tingling and ultimately the inability to do any task.
Please read Typing Ergonomics to understand more.
Consequences of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is Irreversible.
As a treatment, medicine like cortisone is given along with taking certain corrective actions like wearing a wrist brace
which helps in protecting the tendons from rubbing. Sometimes surgery is also performed if the problem is very severe.
Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
To prevent Carpal Tunnel, ergonomics should be practiced in the following way:
The keyboard and mouse should be placed at such a height that you do not have to put your elbows up or lean down.
Instead, the elbows should be in a straight line on the table where you have put the keyboard and the mouse.
Keep your forearms in a parallel position with the floor. Your wrists should be in a neutral position. Hang your arms naturally from the shoulders. Keep both your feet on the floor (or on a footstool if your knees aren't making a right angle).
The following picture is the WRONG (wrist) carpal tunnel Ergonomics position. See how the wrists are bent at an angle? To keep them in neutral position is to keep your wrists in a straight line when typing.
This is what NOT to do.
See also Ideal posture at a computer.
Products For The Prevention of Carpal Tunnel
Ergonomics and understanding its principles can help you reduce more than half your risk with the Carpal Tunnel syndrome, however there are also available products in the market designed to ease the carpal tunnel problems and provides relief of sore wrists.
You can use the computer hand brace which helps in relieving as well as preventing the wrist pain caused due to the carpal tunnel syndrome.This glove helps in the proper positioning of hand and wrist. The computer glove increases the circulation in the hand. It provides comfort to the wrist by cushioning the underside of the wrist and ensuring the ergonomically correct position of the wrist.
There is another product for carpal tunnel ergonomics the wrist wrap
. It securely fits around the wrist giving it much needed support and protection from wear and tear through daily activities. A wrist wrap is effective for all kinds of wrist pains including the sprains and strains.
Using Wrists Rests, Wrists Cushion or Ergonomic Mouse Pad
Using a wrist cushion for keyboard is good for carpal tunnel ergonomics. It supports the wrist and forearm and reduces the stress being put on your hands, arms and wrists. IMAK's wrist cushions are filled with ergoBeads which help in massaging your wrists.
You can also use wrist cushions for the mouse. It will provide you comfort while using the mouse and will reduce the stress put on the wrists and forearm. Moreover it will also massage the wrists.
DO NOT REST on wrist cushions WHILE TYPING
Warning: Do not rest your wrist on the wrist cushion while typing.
Related to Carpal Tunnel Ergonomics - See also The Case of The Ergonomic Mousepad (with wrist rest) which shows you how using an ergonomic mousepad can be very harmful to your wrists when used inapproriately.
Of course, to prevent carpal tunnel, ergonomics need to be applied in everyway. Practice good habits such as not over stretching, taking breaks, sitting properly with good posture helps with your overall health.
Go back to Computer Injuries.