When Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Strikes! How To Avoid Wrist And Hand Injuries At Work
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a problem for many of us who spend all day performing repetitive actions with the hands, fingers and wrists. It is an injury to the nerve that leads to the hand, and causes pain and numbness in the wrist, hand and fingers.
Almost any line of work puts you at risk. While office work has often been blamed for this type of syndrome, any job with repetitive wrist movement is risky. This includes assembly line or factory work, skilled professions such as cook, carpenter or hairdresser, and any job using a cash register or computer.
Nearly everybody who works for a living is at risk, and getting this hand injury or problem can put you out of commission for a while. You want to stay healthy, fit and able to work, so here are some things you can do to avoid this problem.
Arrange Your Work Space For Maximum Comfort
If your computer is not arranged in a comfortable way, chances are good that you can feel it. Your wrists will let you know. Arrange your computer in a relaxed position, and make sure that as you sit and type, there is no tension in other parts of the body.
What causes strain on your nerves is repetitive motion and tension. If you work in a relaxed position, you will greatly reduce the risk. In particular, make sure your arms are not too widely spaced or too close to your body. Also, don't let your wrists rest on hard surfaces like your computer keyboard for too long.
Avoiding this syndrome is a great excuse for taking breaks! But it really works to prevent injury. It's the continuous nature of these repetitive tasks that leads to the condition. If you spend long hours in the same position performing the same work with your hands, you are at risk.
Just taking small breaks and stepping away from your work station will work wonders in reducing the risk.
Next Position, Please
As much as possible, change positions at work. If you are an assembly line or factory worker, try to get some variety into your physical routine. Watch out for unnatural bending of the arms and wrists as you work. Switch hands if possible when performing your work tasks.
This problem can strike anyone who works with their hands or performs repetitive motions, but at least reducing the risk can help. Make sure your workplace is relaxed, take lots of breaks to stretch, and mind how your body feels. Listen to your body, and let your wrists and hands tell you when they're getting strained.
by: Andrew Stratton