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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: What it is and How to Prevent it

Explained.

Credit: Pixabay

Technology is such an integral part of modern life with a huge chunk of time spent each day using devices such as phones, tablets, and laptops. Rather than being a supplementary activity, being online has now become the primary way many people conduct their lives. From online banking to internet shopping, through to catching up with friends via Zoom, technology has entered every aspect of life. As wireless technology expands across new areas, the use of technology can be increased further. Figures suggest that many people spend a whole quarter of their day on their devices – which is a lot of time spent scrolling their screen, not including time spent using a computer for work.

There is no doubt that technology is super convenient, and it is hard to imagine life without it. However, there are some disadvantages to living your life online. One common issue that can be caused by increased use of technology is carpal tunnel syndrome. Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that carpal tunnel syndrome and other musculoskeletal disorders account for 33% of cases of worker injury and illness.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a musculoskeletal disorder that affects the median nerve located within the carpal tunnel. The median nerve runs along the forearm and into the palm. When the median nerve is compressed at the wrist, it can become entrapped; this is when carpal tunnel syndrome occurs. 

What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

People with carpal tunnel syndrome experience symptoms in their hands and fingers, such as tingling, loss of feeling, and weakness. These symptoms can make performing everyday tasks more difficult such as writing or holding a phone.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is vital to consult your doctor to get a correct diagnosis.

How to Help Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

While not every case of carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented, there are steps that you can take to reduce the likelihood of developing it. Some groups of people are more at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome than others. People that have diabetes, arthritis, or thyroid disease may be at an increased risk, along with pregnant women. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often seen as a condition that develops in the workplace. It is believed that performing repetitive tasks may contribute to the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome. Therefore, people that work in a job that requires them to complete the same movements over and over, such as workers on an assembly line and office workers using a computer all day.

There are a couple of ways that you can help reduce your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Firstly, using ergonomic equipment in the office can help to take the pressure off your median nerve to prevent it from becoming compressed. Looking for the best ergonomic mice and keyboards could help. As well as using ergonomic equipment, it is useful to take regular breaks to ease the pressure on your nerve.

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