Working a job that consists primarily of being on a computer increases your chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel is a serious condition that causes tingling, numbness, and pain, and once you get it, you will need to treat it. Because carpal tunnel is caused by repetitious movement of the wrists and hands, you can take steps to prevent it from happening to you, and here are two important things you should do.
Redesign Your Work Area
Your employer probably knows about carpal tunnel, but he or she may forget to think about preventing it. If you develop carpal tunnel from your job, you might be able to collect workers’ compensation, or you might be able to sue your employer.
You may want to present a request to your boss asking to have your work station redesigned. You can explain that you do not want to develop this condition because it would impair your job performance and your life, and this might convince your boss to follow through with this.
When you redesign your work station, you must think in terms of ergonomics. Ergonomics is a common word used to describe office settings, and it refers to purchasing the right types of furniture and equipment to support the body’s needs. It also refers to setting up the furniture and equipment to meet a certain person’s individual needs.
This often involves:
•Placing the computer monitor at eye level
•Setting up the keyboard so that a person’s arms and wrists are in a natural, relaxed position
•Choosing a chair that offers the right type of back support
With a redesigned work station, you will avoid placing too much stress on your arms, wrists, and hands, and this could prevent you from developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Take Frequent Breaks
An ergonomic work station will help you improve your posture, which is helpful for preventing carpal tunnel, but it is still important to take breaks often. Carpal tunnel develops when you overuse your wrists and hands, but if you take breaks often, you will give your hands time to rest and heal.
When you take a break, you should get up and walk around, and you should also exercise your hands. There are many types of easy exercises you can do, and any type that stretches your hands will help. One idea is to stand up and place your arms in front of you. As you do this, open and close your hands, and repeat several times.
By redesigning your desk and taking frequent breaks, you may lower your risks of developing carpal tunnel. If you are already experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel, you should seek help from a doctor—such as one from Kleiser Therapy—soon to find out what treatment options are available.