As a writer and author, it’s trueI spend many long hours planted behind my computer, busily typing away, sometimes oblivious to that little voice in my head. You know the one? She is the one voicing her concern, reminding you that it IS time to take that so-called break, just to keep the circulation flowng and giving those worn out eyes a rest. She constantly seeks your attention, in order for you to give your body the attention it craves!
I have been guilty of ignoring her…but I always pay the price later. Sore aching muscles, a numb-bum, stiff neck, back-ache and on it goes. Right now, I am aware the laptop is way too low, and should be raised to meet my eyes. So what should I do?? Grab something to prop it up, I’ll try two phone books! WALLA!
There are other hazards associated with hours at a keyboard!
CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME! What IS carpal tunnel??? Let me share……….We will begin with the symptoms!
- Pain, numbness, burning and tingling of the hand, which persist and may interfere with your sleep
- Stiff, swollen wrist joints
- Loss of hand strength and dexterity
So who is at risk???
Carpal tunnel syndrome[cts] has become ojne of the most common job-related job disorders in Australia and New Zealand and is the hand problem that most often prompts people to see a doctor. It affects more than 42,000 Australians and New Zealanders, who develop it primarily from work or hobbies that entail repetitive motions. It is most likely to develop if the wrists are continually hyper-extended. Also known as repetitive stress injury [rsi], carpal tunnel syndrome affects keyboard operators, musicians, packers, newspaper reporters and many others. Pregnant women can develop the disorder because of increased fluid volume that causes tissues to swell.
Since falling down a flight of stairs back in March, I wound up with all sorts of wrist problems. The doctor who attended the injury sadly missed the original fracture, so it has healed on its own! So, i am cautious of the time spent using a keyboard and have ordered a calcium/magnesium mineral treatment! Apparently this will help my bone density, and at the age of 47, going through the phases of menopause, know this can only benefit my health.
There was a breakthrough with CTS….For a long while, those diagnosed with this problem [carpal tunnel syndrome] bascially suffered in silence or had to look for alternative jobs! Carpal tunnel syndrome was recognised as a serious occupational hazard! Employers-office management and factory owners alike, MUST conform to standards set by Occupational Health & Safety Standards to protect their workers from this injury. Are you protected at work? How much does your boss know about this disorder?
Ways to prevent it-
Iy you sit at a computer and type all day, check to make sure that your wrists are properly aligned, neither over-flexed nor over-extended. If your job involves repetitive movements, take frequent breaks and move about wherever possible. Examples:
- Stand up when talking on the phone
- stretch your arm, wrist, shoulder and neck muscles every hour by crossing your arms over your head and pulling on one elbow, then the other.
- With your hands folded in your lap, rotate your shoulders, then reverse the rotation
- Massage and stretch your fingers,bend wrists back and forth, clench and unclench fists periodically to prevent tissue swelling.
- When working at a computer, your wrists should be straight when you type; if they aren’t, buy wrist rests at any computer store an use them.
- Your posture should be such that you experience minimum stress on all your joints-the back should be straight with feet flat on the floor. If your chair lacks proper support, place a cushion or a rolled- up towel at the small of your back.