Carpal tunnel syndrome affects more than 8 million people in the United States annually, resulting in more than 230,000 corrective surgeries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Workers who type all day are at the highest risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. However, there are steps you can take to help prevent this injury.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of repetitive stress injury. It occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway in the wrist. The median nerve is responsible for sensation in the middle, index, and ring finger, as well as muscle control of the base of the thumb. When the surrounding tissues become inflamed, the carpal tunnel becomes narrowed, putting pressure on the median nerve. Once this happens, the patient may experience several uncomfortable symptoms.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
Tips to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
In order to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, there are 3 steps you can take:
- Take breaks. If you type all day, it is important to take regular breaks. In general, you should rest your hands and wrists at least once every 10-15 minutes. Even just one minute of relaxation and stretching can help ease the tension in your muscles and ligaments and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Exercise your wrists. It is also important to exercise your wrists at least once every 20-60 minutes. One exercise involves extending your hands straight out in front of you as if you are pushing against a wall. Hold this position for 5 seconds, and repeat several times. Another exercise is to make both hands into tight fists in front of you, and stretch them downward. Hold this position for 5 seconds, and repeat several times. This will help keep the muscles and ligaments in your wrist supple and relaxed.
- Wear a wrist splint. Another way to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome is to wear a wrist brace on both hands. This will provide pressure and support to reduce the strain on your wrists. Wearing wrist braces at night while you sleep will also help keep your wrists in a neutral position. You may also use an ergonomic keyboard to support your wrists and arms while you type.
If You Have Suffered Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from Your Working Environment, We Are Here to Help.
For more than 30 years, the Law Offices of Wax & Wax has aggressively represented clients in workers’ comp cases. We have a thorough knowledge of state and federal laws, and will work tirelessly to build your case. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be debilitating, and may hinder you from working and doing the things you enjoy. Furthermore, it may require surgery and make it difficult to do simple tasks like opening doors and holding objects. We will fight on your behalf as you seek the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
Contact us today to request a free consultation. We offer services in Spanish for your convenience.