Re: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome . . . what we did

Subject: Re: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome . . . what we did
From: Jason Questor <jason -at- MAILGATE -dot- ICSCA -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 11:49:00 -0500

In the summer of 1994 my department went on a writing binge. We had to
produce a large number of hefty publications within a 3 month period.
The net of this was approximately 6 hours per day solid typing. The
result was that I did a major number on my hands, wrists, arms,
shoulders, neck, eyes, you name it. Exercise breaks every half hour,
weekly chiropractic and massage therapy helped stave off the RSI beast
for a while, but by July I couldn't lift my briefcase, much less my kids.
So I went for neurological testing.

I was lucky. No permanent damage. The doctor explained that there were
no magic bullet solutions and that surgery, though drastic, only helped
*sometimes*(!) Here's what I did, to good results.

1. Microsoft Natural Keyboard
Here's a testimonial for you. I love this thing. It splits the keyset
into two parts, angled away from each other at the bottom. The keys sit
on opposite slopes of a shallow "hill". The result is that your hands
reach for the keys in a natural straight from the arm fashion. Put your
hands on your keys. See how you have to bend your wrists out and
sideways? Well, the outside of my wrists was ground zero for my injury.
Even now, if I sit at a "normal" keyboard for 10 minutes, the pain
starts to come back. The Natural keyboard eliminates this bending of the
wrist. It is now standard equipment in my department.

2. Up Your Monitor
We put our monitors on pedestals -- literally. Instead of looking way
down on them (which eventually makes you carry your head like a lantern)
we look at them at slightly below eye level. My chiropractor is pleased,
my neck is delighted.

3. Back supports
I use an Obus form support on my chair. We are investigating Obus
chairs.

4. Lower Your Mouse
So that your hand is below elbow level when you use it. Can't do it?
Raise your chair and put your feet on a foot rest. Also, get a good
mouse that fits your hand. Most of the generic ones force you to clench
your fingers into a semi-claw. Not good. We use the Microsoft
ergonomic.

Because of lawsuits, just about everybody who publishes software or makes
hardware is now including an ergonomics supplement. These are good.
Read 'em.

Jason Questor
jasonq -at- icsca -dot- com


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