The growing internet, paperless offices and speedy communications – all have a flipside. And it is called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
If your typical day involves working a good few hours on the computer/ laptop, you are amongst the people at risk. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome starts with tingling or numbness in hand and wrist. And then progresses to a sharp piercing pain that shoots through the wrist and up the arm. If you feel that the fingers feel useless, or you feel a need to shake out the hand or a decreased grip strength or even loss of sensation between hot and cold, it is all the beginning of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This happens because of the compression of a key nerve in the wrist.
This can happen because of a combination of factors that increase pressure on the nerve, and not necessarily a problem with the nerve itself. Although the syndrome is very common and does seem to come about with excessive use of wrists in everyday profession, there is not too much research available to prove that repetitive and forceful movements of hand and wrist can cause the condition.
A trained physician can examine the hands, arms, shoulders and neck to determine of the patient shows such symptoms. Some electro diagnostic tests can then confirm if the person indeed suffers from the condition.
Treatment can and should begin as early as possible, under the guidance of a trained physician. Underlying causes are generally treated along with the condition. The affected hand and wrist are rested for at least 2 weeks to avoid any further injury. Alternate therapies like acupressure and reflexology have been quite successful in these conditions. If the situation gets worse and undetected for a long time, surgery might be necessary as well.
The best way to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is to stretch and strengthen the hand and wrist at regular intervals. Take regular breaks from your work if you need to be at the computer for long period of time. Remember to use correct posture and use ergonomically designed mouse pads to rest your wrists while working with the mouse.