Thursday, December 14, 2017 17:14

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Posted by on Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 16:14
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If you work on a computer, play a musical instrument, or are in a manual occupation where you perform the same task over and over aging you are at risk of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is characterized by pain and numbness in the index and middle fingers, weakness of the thumb, and pain which may be felt in the wrist, palm, and/or forearm. It is caused by the compression of the median nerve as it enters the pal, of the hand.

The most common cause of this condition is repetitive overuse of the muscles and tendons of the fingers, hands, arms and shoulders. Symptoms can be mild such as a sensation of “pins and needles” in the hands, or quite severe such as excruciating pain in the hands, burning and throbbing of the arms, numbness, and weakness. It can sometimes lead to long term disability.

Typical sufferers are computer programmers, writers and editors, grocery store checkers, factory workers who perform the same repetitive motions every day, and office workers who spend their days in front of a computer keyboard.

Others at increases risk of repetitive stress injuries are menopausal women, pregnant women, women taking oral contraceptives, arthritis patients, diabetics, or kidney patients on immortalises. Carpal  Tunnel Syndrome is more prevalent among women and occurs frequently between the ages of forty and sixty years, which leads some experts to suspect that hormonal imbalance may play a role in causing this problem, but the actual role that hormones may play is till unknown.

In severe cases, surgery maybe required for CTS, but many cases can be prevent by simple changes in the workplace. In the days before computers put the world at our fingertips. office workers did not have to sit in a chair in front of a screen all day long. They left their posts to distribute mail, work at the photocopy machine, or deliver messages from one employee to another. Today, everything from research to mail to telephone messages to interoffice memos, appear on a scree in front of us, eliminating the need to get up and move around.

As a result, computer users sit in the same position using the same finger movements, sometimes for hours at a time. The sme is true in some factory and other labor intensive jobs where computers and modern technology eliminate unnecessary movement and force workers to sit or stand in the same position all day long.

If you are working in a situation where hand movements are repetitive , here are some work situation guidelines:

Pay attention to the chair. It should slope slightly forward to facilitate proper know position, keept back upright or inclined slightly forward from the hips, and should be shaped to maintain the slight  natural curve of the lower back. There are several chairs in the market that are specially designed to prevent excess muscle fatigue.

The computer screen should be at or slightly below eye level. The fingers should be able to curve gently and extend from the wrists without having to twist the wrist.

Get up every fifteen minutes to stretch or walk around! There is a reason why CTS  is called a repetitive stress injury. Doing the same task over and over can overuse tired muscles. Simply giving your muscles a break to recover can make a big difference in how you feel at the end of the day.

Studies indicate that a handful of supplements may help to relieve the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

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