The CarpalAID Blog

Carpal Tunnel In the Corporate Workplace

Carpal Tunnel results from repetitive motion, like grasping tools, scanning groceries, and typing. CTS affect about 8 million Americans each year and many of these cases occur in the workplace. Carpal tunnel is the most common syndrome of nerve compression of the upper extremity. The disorder affects 2% of the general population and 8% of the working population who use repetitive motions of their hands and wrists daily. Carpal tunnel still results in the highest number of days lost in the corporate workplace of all other work related injuries.  About 50% of all carpal tunnel cases result in 31 days or more of work loss.

The U.S Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted a survey and reports that repetitive strain injuries are the country’s most costly and most common occupational health problem, which affects hundreds of thousands of American workers, and which costs an estimated $20 billion per year in workers compensation. On average about 260,000 carpal tunnel operations are performed each year with 47% of these operations being work related.

Many office corporate workers are diagnosed with CTS every year due to excessive motion and hyperextension that wears down and compresses the median nerve which is located in the carpal tunnel. Here are some tips to manage your CTS in the corporate workplace:

1. Improve Your Work Setting

Proper posture and alignment is crucial for a healthy body and skeleton. Align your keyboard and chair properly to maximize good posture and to make sure you are not over extending your wrist. Your chair should be high and your keyboard less inclines and below your elbows.

2. Keep Healthy weight and blood pressure:

Do not binge eat, smoke, drink, or other excessive habits. Doing this will help reduce the compression of the root canal over time and keeping your blood pressure reduced and avoiding the risk of diabetes that also contributes to CTS. Do not eat fast food at the workplace because it’s convenient. It is not healthy; you should pack a healthy lunch and avoid friend foods.

3. Take Breaks and Practice good posture

If you are over stressed it will increase the compression of your nerves and speed up CTS. Take breaks often and relax your shoulders all while practicing good posture. This will help the brachial plexus functioning and healthy from where it begins in the wrist.

4. Practice Your Grip

When you are holding items, don’t just use your fingers use your entire hand. A lot of muscles that support your wrist can become weak over time if not used. It is important to keep your wrists strong. Squeeze balls are great in the workplace to strengthen your grip.

5. Rest

In many cases simply resting will ease carpal tunnel pain. Avoid doing the repetitive tasks that irritate or worsen your CTS symptoms. Take breaks in between tasks. If you work at a computer all day, stand up and move away from the computer. Don’t play video games during your breaks because it is the same.

 

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