I agree that's an alarming title. Makes you believe that your keyboard is possessed and can do spooky things to you, especially around Halloween. But jokes apart, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is becoming the most common workplace injury and I hvae been personally been suffering from this for quite a few years.
Many people who have carpal tunnel syndrome have gradually increasing symptoms over time. The first symptoms of CTS may appear when sleeping and typically include numbness and paresthesia (a burning and tingling sensation) in the thumb, index, and middle fingers, although some patients may experience symptoms in the palm as well. These symptoms appear at night because people tend to bend their wrists when they sleep, which further compresses the carpal tunnel.
In early stages of CTS individuals often mistakenly blame the tingling and numbness on restricted blood circulation. They may also be at ease and accepting of the symptoms and believe their hands are simply “falling asleep”.
Occupational risk factors of repetitive tasks, force, posture, and vibration have been cited as major causes for CTS.
Thankfully, preventing CTS is not so hard. Here are a few pointers :
* Take frequent breaks from repetitive movement such as computer keyboard usage or use of browser-based games that encourage the user for excessive finger movement. Free software programs such as Workrave and Xwrits are available to remind users to take breaks and stretch their wrists.
* Reduce your force and relax your grip. Most people use more force than needed to perform many tasks involving the hands. If your work involves a cash register, for instance, hit the keys softly. For prolonged handwriting, use a big pen with an over-sized, soft grip adapter and free-flowing ink. This way you won't have to grip the pen tightly or press as hard on the paper.
* Watch your form. Avoid bending your wrist all the way up or down. A relaxed middle position is best. If you use a keyboard, keep it at elbow height or slightly lower.
* Improve your posture. Incorrect posture can cause your shoulders to roll forward. When your shoulders are in this position, your neck and shoulder muscles are shortened, compressing nerves in your neck. This can affect your wrists, fingers and hands.
* Keep your hands warm. You're more likely to develop hand pain and stiffness if you work in a cold environment. If you can't control the temperature at work, put on fingerless gloves that keep your hands and wrists warm.
* Take frequent breaks. Every 15 to 20 minutes give your hands and wrists a break by gently stretching and bending them. Alternate tasks when possible. If you use equipment that vibrates or that requires you to exert a great amount of force, taking breaks is even more important.
If you are already experiencing symptoms, this brace might come in handy.
Always remember Prevention is better than cure.