Carpal tunnel syndrome is very common if you regularly work with the computer due to poor wrist placement and misuse of the mouse and keyboard. How to prevent it easily? We explain it to you.
Today it is difficult not to find at least one computer (either desktop or laptop) in most businesses, which will obviously depend on their main activity. Thus, for example, while in a restaurant it is common to have a computer that is used to record what is ordered by each table and do the accounts, in an agency, depending on the number of advisors and administrative staff, the most common is to have more than one. And, although it is an essential element today, it is true that the misuse of the computer can lead to serious health problems, especially not only in the short term but also in the long term.
Back pain is in fact one of the most common problems, caused especially by sitting incorrectly in front of the computer screen, adopting a bad posture. The most normal thing is that at the beginning of the day we sit correctly, but then as the works hours go by we tend to change our position, literally letting ourselves fall on the chair. The most obvious solution is also the correct one: sit straight, with your back against the backrest and always avoid letting yourself fall on it.
But if there is a condition or disorder that is rarely taken into account and that can also cause us many problems in the future, it tends to arise as a result of a bad position of the wrist when using the mouse and the keyboard: the well-known such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome and what does it consist of?
The carpal tunnel consists of a kind of narrow passageway located at the base of the hand, where we find different ligaments, tendons, bones and the median nerve. In other words, it is a kind of corridor or channel located on the anterior face of the wrist, which is located between the annular carpal ligament and the wrist bones.
This nerve provides movement and sensation to the palm side of the hand, including the palmar side of the thumb, middle, index, and ring fingers, controlling sensation and impulses to some small muscles in the hand.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disease that causes damage to the median nerve, when this nerve becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist as a result of thickened irritated tendons or any other inflammation that narrows the tunnel.
What are your symptoms?
It is common for symptoms to start gradually. At first there is a burning, itchy numbness that is located in the palm of the hand and fingers, and also an uncomfortable tingling sensation which occurs very frequently. These symptoms usually appear in one or both hands at night, so that the person suffering from it may wake up with the need to move the wrist or hand.
Although the inflammation is not apparent to the naked eye, it is common for the fingers to feel swollen and useless. Precisely when the symptoms worsen, the tingling can be felt throughout the day, with a decrease in strength.
If I work with the computer, what can I do to avoid this syndrome?
Use pads when using mouse and keyboard
A bad position of the wrist when we use the mouse and the keyboard is a common cause of the appearance of carpal tunnel syndrome, especially when this bad position extends over time (for example because we work every day for long hours in front of the computer).
A simple, useful and economical solution is to use a correction pad that helps to rest the wrist when using the mouse and keyboard. They are usually ergonomic gel pads that have a specialized support for the correct support of the wrist. It is also essential to maintain a correct positioning of the wrist, always leaving it straight and never curving it.
Rest the wrist
If you work for many hours in front of the computer, it is evident that you make excessive use of the wrist, especially when moving it to type on the keyboard or to move around the screen with the mouse.
If so, it is advisable to take some breaks in order to relax the wrist and rest the hand. In addition, it is useful to get up from the chair and move around for a few minutes, stretching the body.
Do wrist exercises every so often
Wrist exercises are very useful to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and to relieve pain when we already have it. They are recommended to practice at the beginning of work, every 3 hours and at the end: place your hands together in front of your chest just below your chin; Slowly lower your hands towards your waist, keeping them close to your stomach (always with palms together), until you feel a moderate stretch under your forearms.
You must maintain this position for at least 30 seconds, repeating 3 to 9 times.