June 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts June 2002 Current Issue
June 2002
Short Cuts:

Wrist Management

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 injury.

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 exacerbate symptoms.


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