Re: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Subject: Re: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
From: Mercedes Abels <maa5906 -at- GRIFFON -dot- MWSC -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 07:36:03 -0600


Having had the surgery once, and all the attendant physical thereapy
required by my employer, I have become a mini expert on the subject of
carpal tunnel. I have worked in a factory for 18 years, doing assembly
work. Carpal tunnel is a repetitive motion trauma. Exercising the wrist
isn't the cure, though it is thought to have some small measure of
preventitive merit. The problem stems mostly from the small area in the
wrist through which all the tendons, blood vessels and nerve must go to
make the hand work. Repetitive motion of the hand, wrist and arm can
cause the tendons to swell, cutting off the supply of blood to the hand
and placing pressure on the nerves. This can cause a lot of pain.
Keyboarding is one of the primary causes of CTS, but the main reason
people get it is that their particular physiological makeup causes the
problem. I've seen both males and females suffer from this on the
assembly line, but you are right, it seems to bother women more often
than men.

The best prevention is to vary work tasks. Try not to type for more than
1 hour at a time. Most of us should be able to vary our work load so that
constant typing is not necessary. We also went to some short wrist
flexing, finger stretchin exercises at work. These can be done before the
work day starts and routinely through out the day. Be sure to use proper
positioning of the hand while typing---keep those wrists up. This is not
a fun thing to deal with, my fingers felt like they were on fire, it
would wake me up, and the "cure" wasn't much fun either. I have a scae
across my palm to my wrist and a hard spot int he wrist itself where the
Dr cut the tendon bundling all this stuff together in the wrist. (That's
how they relieve the pressure.)

I just remember to constantly vary my work, do the small exercises and
use correct posture while typing---oh, and I quit the factory this
year---to finish school and do technical writing! :)

Marci Abels

On Tue, 13 Feb 1996, Garret Romaine wrote:

> Colleen Dancer was talking about mouse vs. keyboard issues, and brought in
> the argument about carpal tunnel syndrome.
> wondering if men use their hands more, when not keyboarding, in pursuit of
> such things as baseball, football, basketball... do these sports serve to
> strengthen the wrist? If you do a lot of basketball dribbling, you really
> work out your arms and wrists. Ditto for shooting free throws.
> So I'm wondering if one of the keys to beating carpal tunnel syndrome, which
> seems to afflict a lot of tech writers, is to use those wrists and
> strengthen them? I'm just tossing this out, trying not to add clutter to the
> list, but since CTS is a career threatening problem, I thought I'd see if
> anyone else had a thought or two. Eric, if this gets off-topic and we start
> delving into sheathed tendons and actuarial tables, I apologize in advance.

> Garret Romaine
> gromaine -at- radisys -dot- com
> - "Endeavor to persevere"

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