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How To Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome With Ergonomics?

15 March 2024

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that is caused when there is compression on the median nerve. The median nerve is a nerve that runs all the way from the forearm to the hand. It provides sensation and feeling to the palm, the thumb, and the fingers of the hand except for the little finger. Narrowing of the canal of the median nerve or any irritation caused to the median nerve can result in compression of the median nerve causing carpal tunnel syndrome.



What Are Its Causes?

The cause of carpal tunel syundrom as mentioned above is compression to the median nerve. There are direct causes such as trauma to the hand or wrist caused by injury which can result in narrowing of the median nerve canal or there can be other rsik factors. The following risk factors can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome:

Gender

Carpal tunnel syndrome has been seen to be more prevalent in females than males. This is possible because the carpal tunnels or the nerve canals are narrower in women than in men.

Obesity

Obesity has been seen to be associated with a higher occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome

Medications

Certain drugs have been shown to increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, specifically a drug used to treat breast cancer in women

Anatomic Factors

Naturally, smaller carpal tunnels increase the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. The risk also increases in those who are suffering from arthritis, fractures, and wrist dislocations. All these conditions can put excessive pressure on the median nerve causing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Occupational Factors

One of the most common and biggest causes of carpal tunnel syndrome occurs in people working desk jobs at the office. Office goers spend up to eight hours every day sitting on a desk, typing on a keyboard, or clicking on a mouse. It has been seen that the use of the mouse is a bigger risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome than using the keyboard.

Other occupations which involve driving, knitting, sanding, and others that require you to perform repetitive hand movements have also been seen to increase risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome

What Are Its Symptoms?

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are the following:

Numbness and Tingling

Numbness and tingling sensation are felt on the affected arm and hand, which feels like an electric shock. This sensation travels from the wrist up to the arm. It may even wake you up from your sleep. people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome are often seen ‘shaking their hands out to regain sensation and relieve themselves of the tingling sensation.

Weakness

Weakness may be felt in the affected hand, and it may cause you to drop objects that you are holding or not be able to grasp or hold on to objects. This is because the median nerve is also responsible for controlling the pinching muscles that are required to hold and grasp objects.



How Can It Be Prevented?

When you start experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, you should first visit a profesiioanl, get a diagnosis and try to determine the cause. The progression of carpal tunnel syndrome can be limited and controlled once its cause is known. If it is caused by arthritis or a joint condition that results in swelling and inflammation of the joints, then arthritis would have to be treated. Treating arthritis would help manage the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Those suffering from carpal tunnel due to obesity must control their weight, adopt a healthier lifestyle, and try to lose weight.

Those who are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of the their posture at work or the position of their keyboard and mouse should immediately take steps to correct this problem. Ergonomics in the workplace refers to working in the optimum conditions that align with the body to achieve the best possible results. This means that the least amount of strain should be put on the wrist and arm to prevent compression of the median nerve.

Ergonomic furniture aims to improve work posture and puts minimal stress and strain on the body when performing routine office tasks.



Ergonomic Office Chair

An ergonomic office chair encourages and supports the body in the ideal sitting posture to reduce the occurrence and risk of back and spinal problems. It also assists the body in sitting in the ideal position so that the work desk and monitor screen can be placed at the perfect position and height to reduce any strain on the body and eyes. FlexiSpot has fantastic office chair options that you can invest in your workplace.

The ideal ergonomic office chair has the following features that help improve and maintain the ideal sitting posture:

The seat pan should be wide enough to support the hip and thighs comfortably while sitting

The seat should be adjustable in height. It should be able to rise up and lower down so that the legs are never hanging above the ground and the feet are planted flat and firm on the ground

The chair should have a good lumbar support to suppir the spine to prevent misalignment of the spine as well as prevent back pain

There should be adequate back rests supporting the back

The chair should have arms rests that allow the arms to rest at right angles to the body. Arms rests should also have an option to be removable and allow the arms to rest on the office desk which should be at the correct height

The chair should have a movable and swivel option to allow the user to reach different areas of the desk without having to get up from the chair

Footrests and headrests can be included for added comfort on the chair so that the user can put their feet up and relax.



The Best Ergonomic Office Desk

The best ergonomic work desk is designed to adjust to the ideal height. The best height to position a work desk is one that places the monitor or screen at eye level so that the head does not have to be bent too low or extended upwards. The screen should be at eye level to reduce head, neck, and eye strain and stiffness.

The ideal office desk is wide and long enough to place all the necessary equipment and essentials for the user without things getting cramped up. There should be enough space on the desk, and it should be made with good quality, durable material. It should be easy to clean and made with good quality material to last a long time.

The keyboard and mouse should be placed at the appropriate height and distance from the body so there is no need to hyperextend the arm or elbow, as this may cause compression of the median nerve. FlexiSpot has the best ergonomic office desk options and all other office furniture and equipment to minimize discomfort and health issues and increase performance and quality at work.

Other Tips To Reduce Risk Of Wrist Pain And Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Take frequent breaks in between work and do some wrist stretches and exercises to reduce the risk of wrist fatigue and injury

Make sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle and routine. This includes maintaining a healthy diet and weight as well as spending some time every day esxcersizing

Address and manage your stress levels

Keep yourself hydrated and make sure to take frequent water breaks while at work

Take frequent walks around the office and chat with colleagues. This helps to prevent ‘burnout’ from staring at the screen all day long

Take steps to improve your posture and invest in good quality ergonomic furniture in the work place to boost productivity in the work place as well as increase energy levels and improve the overall work environment

The Final Word

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition that is commonly seen in the workplace who frequently use the keyboard and the mouse. This puts pressure on the median nerve causing it to become compressed, resulting in carpal tunnel symptoms. Ergonomics in the workplace can significantly help reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome and help manage symptoms and stop disease progression in those suffering from it. FlexiSpot has the best ergonomic office furniture, ideal for improving health conditions at work and boosting performance and productivity in the workplace.