RE: Carpal Tunnel Excuses

Subject: RE: Carpal Tunnel Excuses
From: "Martinek, Carla" <CMartinek -at- zebra -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 08:15:51 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-152696 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-152696 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com]On Behalf Of
written_by -at- juno -dot- com
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 6:09 AM
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Carpal Tunnel Excuses


So the question is this: is CTS a real problem or do people have other
problems and are using CTS as a convenient excuse? Was CTS a syndrome
developed at Harvard Law School or is it truly a legitimate issue?

Simple answer: Yes, it's a real problem.

CTS doesn't affect everyone who does repetitive motions. Why do some
2-pack-a-day smokers live to be 95, and others die of lung cancer at 30?
Too many factors in play to generalize, or be able to speculate why you
don't have it, but I do.

My mother has a matched set of scars on both wrists from surgery to help
alleviate the pain caused from 40 years of factory line repetitive work. I
have a mild case, caused by working in a leather tannery one summer, and
having to separate tangled and wet tanned pigskins. Think of a bunch of wet
chamois all tangled and knotted up in the washing machine, only on a much
larger scale. The only way to separate was to find one that looked mostly
free and start pulling. The first couple hundred weren't so bad....

But, if you know what actions to avoid and what to do when you start to
notice it flaring up, you can live with it and minimize the effects as I
have for 20 years. I make sure I'm as ergonomically adjusted as possible at
my workstation. I move my hands and wrists frequently, even if it's just
shaking them out for a few seconds to change their position and make sure
there's good blood flow. If it hurts when I do something, I do it in short
sessions. I use keyboard shortcuts whenever possible -- all of the tricks
that others have mentioned already.

Carla Martinek
cmartinek -at- zebra -dot- com

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