Thursday, November 15, 2007

Your work and ergonomics to avoid CTS

When I started to write about carpal tunnel syndrome, I also realized that I've to take care about the ergonomics of my office environment. Writing a lot during the day is a risk factor. Please, take care.
  • I didn't think a barber is really doing so much during a work day.
Do you use a computer in your work or at home? Are you a hair stylist, cashier, or bookkeeper? Do you use your hands a lot in your occupation?

These are the warning signs of carpal-tunnel syndrome:
  • wrist or hand pain
  • burning sensation
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • loss of grip strength
  • discomfort that interrupts sleep
The muscles that make your fingers work are in your forearms and pass through a ligamentous band around your wrist. This band gets stretched out of shape and inflamed. When this occurs, you have what is known as carpal-tunnel syndrome.
Your fingers could be lifting three to six tons a day!
Many people, who use their hands repeatedly, yet with very little exertion throughout the day, get carpal-tunnel syndrome and do not understand why. It feels like I use so little effort; why does my wrist hurt so much?
  • Take a break!
Most people do not realize that typing or cutting hair is so strenuous. A computer only needs two to three ounces of pressure to make a key respond. If you are typing only 50 words per minute, that is 250 key strokes per minute, 15,000 per hour.
  • Counting the hours: It can go up to 8 hours a day.
Multiply this times two-to-three ounces, and you have 30,000-to-45,000 ounces or 1,875-to-2,812 pounds per hour. When you multiply this times three-to-four hours a day, it means that your fingers are lifting three-to-six tons per day.
  • Small things multiplied makes big numbers.
Day after day of doing this puts a tremendous amount of stress on your fingers and wrists. This applies to anyone who consistently uses their hands such as hair stylists who use scissors (they also get low back pain from standing all day); bookkeepers who use calculators; and cashiers who use cash registers, etc.

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