Understanding Carpal Tunnel in Order to Avoid It
May 11, 2017
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes tingling, weakness, numbness, and other problems in the hands. This condition is exacerbated by repetitive hand motions and can be debilitating, as some workers can’t return to work for long periods of time due to carpal tunnel syndrome. Prevention steps that can be taken by business owners include consideration of ergonomics, and you can contact Douron for an ergonomic assessment.
Preventative Ergonomic Steps
The workstation must be set up in a way to reduce wrist strain and prevent carpal tunnel. Such steps include the following considerations:
- The top of the monitor should be at eye level.
- Using headsets to avoid the ear-to-shoulder position when talking on phones.
- Wrist pads to keep wrists in a neutral position.
- Adjusting armrests so elbows are close to the body and bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Chairs that adjust so the height allows feet to rest on the floor.
- Taking little breaks every 10-15 minutes.
- Stretching every 20-60 minutes.
Identifying Carpal Tunnel
Many times, carpal tunnel will first be felt in the thumbs. It then progresses to the first three fingers. It is important to discuss this with your doctor to ensure it is not another illness. If it is carpal tunnel, talk with your doctor to identify if it’s stemming from an underlying illness, such as hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes.
Managing Carpal Tunnel
Once carpal tunnel has been identified, there are a number of ways to manage the pain. When typing, wrists should be held a little higher than the hands. A wrist pad can be used to help keep the wrists in a neutral position. Switch hands whenever possible while performing repetitive hand motions, as this may also help manage the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Stop performing any activities that cause pain if possible.
Douron is here to help with all of your ergonomic needs. Schedule a consultation today, and do everything you can to help employees avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. Even initial symptoms may trigger a workers’ comp claim. Contact us to schedule an appointment with an office design specialist who can assess your ergonomic design needs.