Re: Occupational hazard - carpal tunnel (longish)

Subject: Re: Occupational hazard - carpal tunnel (longish)
From: "Ivan Weiss" <ivan -dot- weiss -at- centurytel -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 18:51:37 -0800

To: TECHWR-L (techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com)
Subject: Re: Occupational hazard - carpal tunnel (longish)

In my long newspaper career, I have seen a lot of CTS, and have worked
alongside a lot of people who developed it. Posters to this list have
made many useful suggestions, including a lot of ergonomic fixes.

Ergonomic fixes are great, but it may be hard at first to find the one
that helps your particular situation the most. Everyone's physiology is
different. I'd see a specialist, pronto, and ask how you can pinpoint
exactly what is happening to *your* nerves and muscles.

And I have a tip for you. Above all, relax! Without exception, all the
people I have seen develop CTS were tense, mentally and physically, on
the job. They worried. They fretted. They locked themselves into tense
physical positions while at their terminals I would see them remain
frozen in these positions for 10-15 minutes at a time. This is bad. I
don't know why, but it is. If you can not relax while doing your job,
ergonomic aids may not help you. People have mentioned yoga. I'd make
this a top priority, if it will help you relax.

Always remember one of Satchel Paige's six rules for staying young:
"Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move." (For
those who don't know who Satchel Paige was, go to and
find out.)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is serious business. If it gets too bad, you
can't work. It's that simple. I have seen the careers of some highly
skilled, highly motivated people ruined by CTS.

The newspaper where I worked was slow to recognize this. Finally, our
union told them, "Look, either pay for training, support and ergonomics
now, or pay your lawyers later. What's it going to be?" To its credit,
the company took heed, and now supervisors are always nagging people to
stretch, get up and walk around, and use the small weights they have

But it's your life, and your career, and your responsibility to prevent
CTS before you have to cure it. So relax -- or else! (big smiley). Best
of luck.
Ivan Weiss
Vashon WA

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