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Carpal tunnel syndrome

Concerned about developing repetitive strain injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? If your job means that you spend long hours in the same position performing repetitive physical activities, you may be at risk.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where a nerve in the wrist, called the Median nerve, becomes compressed and leads to pain, numbness and tingling or burning sensations in the hand and fingers. Though the concrete causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are not known, there was a significant rise in the rate of occurance in the 1990's which coincided with a large increase in the number of people employed doing office jobs.

Luckily, there are several things you can do to avoid contracting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in the first place.

Firstly, if you work at a computer for long hours, make sure that your desk chair is the right height for you. If it is, when you place your hands on the computer keyboard they should be at roughly and 90 degree angle. If you are having to reach up or down in a significant way, you could be at risk for repetitive strain injury. The next thing to consider is having a wrist rest just in front of the keyboard that your wrists and forearms can rest on, leaving your arms and hands free from tension as you type.

At regular intervals, stop typing for a few minutes and gently roll your wrists and stretch out your arms, shoulders and hands to release tension. And lastly, try to manage your stress effectively. This is often easier said than done, but it's important as a link has been found between high stress levels and repetitive strain injuries.

If you do think you are contracting a RSI, speak to your company Ergonomics department immediately or contact your doctor. Most cases of RSI can be improved by temporarily wearing braces on the affected area, and doing a course of physiotherapy.



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