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[IPk] Re: Carpal tunnel syndrome

Hello all
On 20/09/03, Lesley Jordan speculated:

LJ> Anyone else suffered from the above? 
 LJ> I reckon I've got it. Both wrists ache from time to time. When I hold the
 LJ> telephone handset I have to keep swapping or my thumb and first two fingers
 LJ> go numb. When I'm reading emails and holding the mouse, my thumb and first
LJ> two fingers tingle.  I have to keep putting my arm down by my side and 
 LJ> giving it a shake. I get similar symptoms at odd times throughout the day,
LJ> but it usually comes and goes quite quickly. 
 LJ> Does anyone (Abi?) know what steps I can take to stop it getting any worse?

I don't suffer, but I was a Trade Union representative for 18 years in the UK
Civil Service representing office workers (including typists) predominantly,
the vast majority of whom were regularly using a keyboard of some description.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is just one of a number of ULDs (upper limb disorders -
previously referred to as RSI) which are general caused by repetative movement
over a small area (such as keyboard usage).

If left untreated, these disorders can develop in to a debilitating condition.

To stop things getting worse, take frequent breaks from any repetitive actions
(such as typing, knitting etc.) and seem the advice of your doctor as soon as
possible.  It's been 3 years since I last did any representation, so I'm not
sure of the current state of play as for as treatment/cure goes, but certainly
then the emphasis was always on stopping things getting worse rather than cure,
simply because no permanent cure was available, especially if things were
allowed to progress.

The good news is that, the nature and frequency of your symptons would suggest
that you haven't developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and in this case, prevention
is certainly better than comlacency.

Othe things to check are the ergonomics of your work area, and your posture.
Ensure that you are seated correctly, at the correct height for your desk,
check your hand and wrist positions when using your computer (especially with
keyboard, you should keep your wrists elevated rather than resting them on the
desk), feet on the floor etc. There are probably a plethora of web sites
available to describe how to correctly set yourself for your computer. This can
help considerably when avoiding ULDs. 


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