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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Are you working to much with your computer?

CTS as Computer Related Health Hazards. Doing the same hand movements over and over can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

When blogging about this, I come to think that I'm a heavy user of computers. My work keeps me at the keyboard for hours. Need to think about not doing the same repetitive tasks continuously. It's good to have a rest. The ergonomics of our work environment is also an important issue.

Extensive and continuous use of computers, among others, can lead to following problems:
  1. Repetitive Strain Injuries
  2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  3. Eye Strains and Computer Vision Syndrome
  4. Internet Addiction
  5. Stress and Depression
  6. Radiation
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is defined as a Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) caused when the median nerve is pushed by the flexor tendons inside the tunnel made up of the wrist bones, or carpals.

Mediracer is a diagnostic tool for rapid detection of CTS. The development of the method started 20 years ago.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful disorder of the wrist and hand. The carpal tunnel is a narrow tunnel formed by the bones and other tissues of your wrist. This tunnel protects your median nerve.

The median nerve gives you feeling in your thumb, and index, middle and ring fingers. But when other tissues in the carpal tunnel, such as ligaments and tendons, get swollen or inflamed, they press against the median nerve. That pressure can make part of your hand hurt or feel numb.

Veijo Lesonen is a medical doctor specialized in neurophysiology. He has invented the patented Mediracer diagnostic tool.

What's your family doctor saying about CTS? Take a look>>

People at risk include people who use:
  1. computers,
  2. carpenters,
  3. grocery checkers,
  4. assembly-line workers,
  5. meat packers,
  6. musicians and mechanics.
  7. Hobbies such as gardening,
  8. needlework,
  9. golfing and
  10. canoing can sometimes bring on the symptoms.

HOW IS CTS CAUSED?

The forearm flexor tendons and a few nerves pass through a small tunnel formed by the wrist bones, or carpals, into the hand.

As you move you hands and fingers, the flexor tendons rub against the sides of the tunnel, sometimes causing them to swell and push the median nerve.

When the median nerve is pushed by the tendons, we feel pain.

SYMPTOMOS OF CTS
  • Pain that may run up the hand into the wrist and arm
  • Pain in your wrist, palm or forearm
  • Numbness sweeling and coldness in the hands
  • Tingling in your hand and fingers, especially the thumb and index and middle fingers
  • Loss of strength and/or joint movement
  • More numbness or pain at night than during the day
  • The pain may be so bad it wakes you up
  • You may shake or rub your hand to get relief
  • More pain when you use your hand or wrist more
  • Discomfort and stiffness in the hands, trouble gripping objects
  • The need to massage your hands, wrists and arms

REASONS FOR CTS
  • Stress will increase muscle tension causing pain
  • Long hours in the keyboard, especially those that type more than four hours
  • Lack of circulation in the muscles that prevents nutrients and oxygen to reach the tissues
  • Inadequate rest and breaks
  • Genetic predisposition due to the amount of lubrication of the flexor tendons that one receives and the tunnel's geometry
  • Other health problems like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Poor posture including the sitting, placement of hands on the keyboard and proper height of the keyboard
  • Poor diet (lack of vitamins)

CTS TREATMENT
  • Rest, rest and more rest
  • Use of a wrist brace or splint
  • Take medication like ibuprofen
  • Cut back on sugar, caffeine, alcohol and take vitamins
  • Keep hands warm, take breaks, exercise your hands and arms
  • Correct your typing and use your knowledge of ergonomics
  • Surgery should be your last retreat if everything else fails

Ergonomics, the "science of work," is a field of technology that considers human capabilities and limitations in the design of machines and objects that people use, the work processes that they must follow, and the environments in which they operate."

ERGONOMIC ADVICE
  • Use a chair that has full support of your back, is adjustable, and has a footrest and armrest
  • Place your feet firmly on the floor
  • Use an ergonomic keyboard that is angled or can split to enjoy a more natural typing position
  • Use a wrist rest that is comfortable
  • Place your hands straight when typing, the angle of your forearm and upper arm should be 90 degrees
  • Sit 24 to 28 inches away from your monitor
  • Place the monitor 15-30 degrees below your straight-ahead line of sight
  • Keep your body away from the sides and backs of monitors to reduce the exposure of radiation
  • Avoid glare on your monitor (do not have strong sources of light in your back) and use screens that minimize glare
  • Use the proper light in your work environment that is compatible with the monitor frequency
Writes "spiros" in powerpoint presentation: Reasons for CTS injury. Stress will increase muscle tension causing pain; Long hours in the keyboard, especially those that type more than four hours ...


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