Could you be at Risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

By: 10x Marketing

It used to be that the only person in the company who put in long hours on the computer was "that IT person." Nowadays, everyone and his or her grandmother is working, researching, socializing, and even shopping on the computer. Americans are typically putting in over eight hours a day on the computer, and their wrists are paying a hefty price for it!
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Luckily, new technology presents a solution to the constant computer use that is taxing our wrists. Choosing an ergonomic mouse and a touchpad keyboard can ease up some of that tension. The ergonomic mouse of today is not the mouse you may be thinking of. It is actually a touchpad providing ergonomic comfort. Both the ergonomic mouse and the touchpad keyboard are highly sensitive to touch, allowing your hands to relax more.
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But what about those of us who have already been working for a long time with an old ratty mouse (no pun intended) and the most ancient keyboard from the prehistoric year of the 1992? Could we already have or be at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome?
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Brenda Jones is a pianist who plays Beethoven and Bach three or four hours every evening.

During the day, Brenda works at an office where her responsibilities involve data entry and fingering through company files. In her spare time, she knits sweaters and chats with friends on instant messenger or email. Oh, and her other hobby is photography, which she organizes of course on her laptop. Brenda's total time exerting her wrists? Over twelve hours a day. She ignores the little shooting pains in her wrists because she is young and, well, what else can she do? She loves all of her wrist related activities.
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During 1998, as workers increased the amount of time they spent at the computer, an estimated three of every 10,000 American workers lost time from work because of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The average lifespan price of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, including time lost from work and medical bills, amounts to about $30,000.00 per injured worker. How can you prevent becoming a statistic?
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The following symptoms may indicate that you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:


  • Neck pain and a neck that often snaps or cracks.

  • A weak grip of the forearms and hands.

  • Difficulty using hands for normal activities such us lifting the milk jug.

  • Tingling, numbness, burning sensation, loss of sensation, clumsiness, or stiffness in the fingers and/or palms of the hands.

  • Cold fingertips and cold hands.

  • Difficulty sensing hot and cold.

  • Fingers that feel swollen or weak.

  • The tendency to self-massage the forearms, wrists, or hands.


If any of these symptoms sound like what you are experiencing, consider listening to that message your friends are probably already telling you: be good to yourself. Take some time to reevaluate how you can improve the health of your wrists.
Physicians and physical therapists who see wrist injuries more often point to bad form than overexertion. In other words, the way you hold your wrists as you type is more important than how much you are typing. Just like when your physical trainer tells you to stand with aligned posture as you lift weights, doctors are encouraging people to invest in computer ware that aids proper wrist form. By investing in an ergonomic mouse and a touchpad keyboard, fears of Carpal Tunnel will disappear just like your ratty mouse from 1992.

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