Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common painful work-related conditions that can affect office workers.
The debilitating disorder can cause hand and wrist pain, numbness, and tingling in the fingers and palm.
Often, carpal tunnel office workers are unable to pick up objects or complete their tasks, and maybe have to take a leave of work.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve is compressed as it travels through a narrow passageway in the wrist called the carpal tunnel.
The median nerve is one of the major nerves of the upper extremities. It runs from the neck all the way down to your hands.
The debilitating condition can be brought about by a myriad of causes. Medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and other conditions that cause swelling or fluid build-up can put pressure on the median nerve.
For office workers, one of the most common reasons is extending the wrists forward or backward too much.
Also, repetitive motions, such as when using a keyboard, mouse, and other office-related handheld devices, can cause irritation and compression of the median nerve.
For some patients, the symptoms, especially the hand pain, can be so extreme they are unable to hold something as simple as a coffee cup.
If left untreated, the muscles at the base of the thumb can deteriorate.
How Common Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Among Office Workers?
According to the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, more than 5 million U.S. adults are at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome from work-related conditions.
The established occupational factors for carpal tunnel include repetitive flexing and extension of the wrist, forceful grip and use of handheld vibratory tools.
The overall prevalence of workers with carpal tunnel was 8 percent with a higher incidence among females (4.5%) than males (1.9%). Workers aged 45-64 years old (4.7%) are more likely to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, compared to age groups of 18- to 29-year-olds (0.9%) and 30- to 44-year-olds (3.0%).
Among the carpal tunnel cases related to specific jobs, 24 percent were attributed to the manufacturing industry, 12.5 percent to the health care and social assistance, and 10.6 percent to the retail trade.
Among the occupational categories, 2.52 percent of cases were from the production industry, 1.66 percent from office and administrative support, and 1.53 percent from personal care and service workers.
How Can Workers Manage Carpal Tunnel Hand Pain Symptoms?
In the latest video from CarpalAID’s resident chiropractor, Dr. Dan Winkels, DC, discusses tips that help relieve work-related carpal tunnel hand pain. In addition, there are methods to reduce your risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome.
Note: The following is not medical advice. You should consult a licensed health care practitioner or doctor to find out if you have carpal tunnel syndrome and what steps you should take to relieve your hand and wrist pain.
Wear A Wrist Brace
Repetitive strain or movements of your wrist can most likely worsen your symptoms. A wrist brace or wrist splint can keep your hands, and especially your wrist, in a straight, neutral position. A brace can decrease the pressure on the carpal tunnel area and helps reduce the symptoms of CTS.
The downside to wrist braces is that they are uncomfortable and impede work tasks. In addition, once you take the brace off, your hand pain will return.
Use Ergonomic Tools At Work
If your job entails using a keyboard from 9 o’clock in the morning until 5 o’clock in the afternoon, it would be best to use ergonomic tools to reduce the strain on your hands and wrist. Using ergonomic tools can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
With the use of an ergonomic keyboard, you can keep your wrists and hands in a neutral position while you working. Your wrist position should be straight, not bent while typing.
Pace Your Activities
It’s important to take frequent breaks as well to rest your arms and hands. You can also do a few stretching exercises to help reduce the pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. Also, be sure to overextend your hands and wrists.
Improve Your Posture
Correct your posture by sitting straight and keeping your shoulders back. If you are working on a computer chair, make sure to adjust it to keep your elbows at a 90º angle. Also, keep your computer monitor at eye level and are positioned in front of you.
CarpalAID® is a revolutionary hand patch that relieves carpal tunnel syndrome hand pain. It releases the pressure on the median nerve, thus relieving symptoms of hand or wrist pain.
It is the simplest and most effective hand pain reliever. Send us a message if you would like to learn more about CarpalAID®.