Thursday, September 27, 2007

TECH EDGE: Using Technology to Combat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Action Online » Blog Archive » TECH EDGE: Using Technology to Combat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: "TECH EDGE: Using Technology to Combat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome By John M. Williams For 14 years, I have dealt with the severe pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a condition in which the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the narrow carpal tunnel in the wrist. Since the median nerve provides sensory and motor functions to the thumb and three middle fingers, many symptoms may result. When CTS in both of my hands is acting up, excruciating pain in the fingers, neck, back, and legs occur. Until a month ago, my CTS had not bothered me in years. Suddenly one morning, it arrived with a vengeance in both hands."

Helge: Collecting information about CTS...

John M. Williams writes, "How much of a vengeance? Well, I was unable to type. I could not hold a telephone long, and it was painful, at times, to push the numbers on the phone. My occupation as a writer was not the only aspect of my life affected. I could not use eating utensils. I could not tie my shoes. I could not use my electric lawnmower, electric hand hedge clippers and electric weed whacker. Driving was difficult. What could I do?"

By John M. Williams continues, "One option was to have the median nerve in each hand surgically cut. I decided against this because I don’t believe surgery is the answer to this problem. After seeing my doctor, I began attacking the problem technologically. I started looking at alternative keyboards such as touch pads, joysticks, foot controlled devices, speech recognition software and keyboards with large keys. I also regulated my typing to 15 minutes on, then 15 minutes off. An alarm tells me when to rest. While not typing, I either read or write. Productivity is important to me."

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