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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome FAQ

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The nerves that run through your wrist into your fingers get trapped by the inflamed muscles around them. Symptoms include feeling "pins and needles", tingling, numbness, and even loss of sensation. CTS is often confused for a diffuse condition.

Typing posture, ergonomics, prevention, treatment
The most important element of both prevention and recovery is to reduce tension in the muscles and tendons. This requires learning how to relax. If you're under a load of stress, this is doubly important. Tune out the world and breath deep and regular. Relaxing should become a guiding principle in your work: every three minutes take a three second break.

Posture - some basic guidelines
  • Let your shoulders relax.
  • Let your elbows swing free.
  • Keep your wrists straight.
  • Pull your chin in to look down - don't flop your head forward.
  • Keep the hollow in the base of your spine.
  • Try leaning back in the chair.
  • Don't slouch or slump forward.
  • Alter your posture from time to time.
  • Every 20 minutes, get up and bend your spine backward.

Keyboard drawers, wrist supports, and keyboard replacements:
For some people, wrist supports seem to work wonders. If you drop your arms at your side and then lift your hands up at the elbow, you want your keyboard under your hands when your elbows are at about 90 degrees. Of course, you want to avoid pronation, wrist extension, and ulnar deviation at all costs. Wrist pads may help at this. You should get somebody else to come and look at how you work: how you sit, how you type, and how you relax.

Copyright - 1992-1995 Jonathan Bailin, Ph.D. <bailin@mizar.usc.edu>

Typing Injuries
From: Dan Wallach <dwallach@CS.Princeton.EDU>

This FAQ may be cited as:

* Wallach, Dan S. (1995) "Typing Injury FAQ: Answers To Frequently Asked Questions about Typing Injuries General info on injuries.

First, and foremost of importance: if you experience pain at all, then you absolutely need to go see a doctor. As soon as you possibly can. The difference of a day or two can mean the difference between a short recovery and a long, drawn-out ordeal. GO SEE A DOCTOR. Now, your garden-variety doctor may not necessarily be familiar with this sort of injury. Generally, any hospital with an occupational therapy clinic will offer specialists in these kinds of problems.


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