Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common source of numbness and pain in then hand. It is caused due to the compression of the median nerve in the wrist. The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is a confined space made of eight carpal bones. The flexing tendons also pass through it. The swelling of these tendons also causes carpal tunnel syndrome. This disorder is characterized by pain, numbness and tingling sensation in the hand. Patients often experience a feeling of swelling, even though there is no apparent external swelling.
The compression of the median nerve is caused due to excess pressure on the wrist. Forced and repetitive movements of the wrist lead to entrapment of the median nerve. Other risk factors include rheumatoid arthritis, injury to the wrist, diabetes, hypothyroidism and menopause. Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in people engaged in certain occupations. Jobs such as sewing, cutting, meat-packing and prolonged working on the computer keyboard increases vulnerability to this disorder.
Working on the Keyboard
With the widespread use of computers, carpal tunnel syndrome has become a common ailment. It is caused due to incorrect posture while working on the computer. Improper positioning of the wrist puts excess strain on it leading to the disorder. Working in this position for long hours is a potential risk factor for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
How to Prevent It?
It is necessary to take some precautions while working for long hours on the computer. With the correct posture and arm positioning, it is possible to eliminate the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. The keyboard must be placed directly in front of the user with the mouse or the trackball next to it. It is advisable to align the wrist in a straight manner and not twist or bend it unnecessarily. It is best to position the forearms parallel to the floor and the elbows bent at right angles while typing. Wrist support pads and ergonomic arm rests help maintain correct working position. Ergonomic chairs are also helpful in maintaining the correct posture. For people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, it is advisable to invest in a keyboard that has modular and fully adjustable wrist and forearm support docks. With the right working environment and equipment, it is possible to eliminate the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.