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Ergonomics Now - Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work
Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work

The majority of people in Australia use computers, whether at work or at home and as such, the percentage of people with hand, wrist and forearm pain and injuries is increasing. When you find yourself using a computer on a daily basis for long periods at a time, there is a risk that you may damage the tissues that you are using, which can result in various repetitive strain injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Injuries such as these can begin as numbness and pins and needles in the hand which may become more noticeable particularly at night when the hand is resting. You may start to feel darting, sharp pains in the wrist that come and go quite quickly. If ignored, the pain may then move to the forearm and shoulders.

   
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Carpal Tunnel Sydrome (CTS) is a painful hand disorder caused by pressure on the median nerve that runs through the wrist and into the hand. If left untreated and repetitive work continues, the inflammation can increase.

Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work
 
Cause of CTS

The most common cause of CTS and other Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) is the overuse of the mouse and/or keyboard through rapid or repetitive finger and wrist motions. When the injury is in the right hand, it is most often due to the repetitive use of the computer mouse.

   
Ensuring healthy workplace practices and desk setup are some of the important prevention methods

Healthy workplace practices

Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work Regular pauses and stretching exercises are the first step in the prevention of CTS.
To view a demonstration, click here.
   
Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work Schedule work plans to include frequent breaks where stretches to the arms, hands, wrists, shoulders and neck can be performed.
   
Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work Be creative in taking breaks - get a glass of water, do some filing, stand when making phone calls so that you let go of the mouse and keyboard.

 

RSIGuard Anti RSI Ergonomic Stretch Break Software

Resources

Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work RSIGuard is an award-winning desktop ergonomic software solution that reduces the impact of repetitive strain injuries (RSI) for office workers. Prompted stretch breaks with exercises appear on screen at desired intervals.
   
Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work The book Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome offers an extensive range of exercises to help strengthen hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders.
   
Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work Two mice that can help take pressure off the carpel tunnel are The Evoluent Vertical Mouse 3 and the 3M Ergonomic Mouse.

 
Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Healthy workplace setup and design

Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work Rearrange the workspace to keep all necessary items within easy reach.
   
Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work Keep benches at waist height to ensure shoulders are relaxed and arms can bend gently at the elbows when seated.
 
Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work Ensure that wrists are supported by a wrist support when using a keyboard so wrists are kept straight rather than angled constantly.
   
Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work Alter your desk chair height so your forearms and upper arms are at a right angle to each other, this creates less pressure on the muscles and tendons in the wrist.
   
The Evoluent Vertical Mouse 3 & The 3M Ergonomic Mouse
The Evoluent Vertical Mouse 3

The Evoluent Vertical Mouse 4
It has a patented shape that supports your hand in a relaxed handshake position, which is the best posture for your hand, wrist and forearm. It eliminates the arm twisting required by the ordinary computer mouse and reduces the pressure on the wrist to eradicate the risks that may cause CTS. 

The 3M Ergonomic Mouse

The 3M Ergonomic Mouse
The ergonomic design keeps the arm positioned in a natural, comfortable position. It is clinically proven to reduce muscle strain and discomfort associated with RSI. The hand stays in a natural sideways position and all movement comes from the arm, leaving the wrist immobile.

   
Treatment of CTS depends on what is believed to be causing it

Treatment of CTS varies but the following have been proven helpful

Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work Implement the healthy workplace practices and desk setup
Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work The first thing to do is to rest the wrist
Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work It is important to see your doctor if the pain doesn’t ease
Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work Acupuncture
Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work Myotherapy – deep tissue massage
Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries and Repetitious Computer Work Naturopathy (Natural anti-inflammatories) – herbal medicine, nutrition and diet advice
 
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