Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
As computers have become part of everyday life, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) has become more widespread in the general public. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is caused when the median nerve travelling through the group of bones (the Carpal Tunnel) in the wrist are constantly under pressure or are compressed.
Any occupations or hobbies that require constant repetitive movement of the wrist or for the wrist to be at an awkward angle may cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Some occupations are more at risk than others, such as:
Carpenters or construction workers
Poultry, fish and other meat processors
There are a few symptoms that you can look out for:
Thumb, index and ring fingers may start to tingle as the day progresses.
The ability to squeeze things may be impaired.
Sometimes you may feel pain up the arm, sometimes up to the shoulder.
May become unable to pick up small objects.
Fingers may feel swollen when they are not.
May loose the ability to differentiate temperatures.
Hand is numb or has a painful tingling at night. This might be bad enough to disturb sleep.
May become unable to undertake tasks such as tying shoe laces.
Remember: If you are in pain see your doctor.
Like many forms of repetitive strain injuries (RSI), the best prevention is to avoid repetitive movements, but this is not always possible. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is something that often comes on slowly, with a tingling sensation often preceding pain. If you think you might have a minor case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome coming on, you can still stop it with preventative measures.
Maintain a healthy weight
Avoid resting your wrists on hard surfaces for long periods of time.
If possible, switch hands periodically.
Use tools that are comfortable for you to use.
Take regular breaks.
Try not to continually twist extend or bend your hands continually.
Do not stand or sit in a similar position for a long period of time.
Adjust your workstation so that is comfortable and you do not need to move your wrists to type.
Avoid using your hand as much as possible.
Prop your arm up at night with a pillow when you are lying down.
Use your other hand as much as possible.
Use a different tool
Use a different motion or position.
Wear a splint.
See your doctor as surgery or medication may be a possible solution.