Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts June 2002
Short Cuts:HEALTH BEAT
Carpal tunnel syndrome is more than just a slap on the wrist.
It’s a painful, chronic condition that sidelined an estimated
27,700 American workers in 2000 alone, according to the U.S.
Department of Labor. Serious cases led to an average of 27 days of
missed work, the highest rate of absenteeism for any work-related
Carpal tunnel occurs when tissue in the wrist swells from
repetitive hand movements, putting pressure on a major nerve and
causing numbness, tingling and pain. Activities as benign as typing
can, if performed improperly, lead to the disorder.
Prevention is the best medicine, say experts, and proper
arm/wrist alignment is crucial. Frequent typists should consider
using a neoprene wrist support; the chair and/or keyboard should be
adjusted so that the typist can keep her elbows tucked into sides,
with arms extended straight ahead to reach the keys. For more good
advice, check out www.osha.gov/SLTC/computerwork stations_ecat.
If you think you already have the syndrome, get to a doctor.
Treatment might include wrist splints, anti-inflammatory drugs and
physical therapy, in addition to avoiding activities that
• MARTHA COOKE
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