With the advent of keyboards, tablets, and laptops as ordinary tools for both business and leisure, it is important to remember that excessive or improper use of these devices carries the risk of developing a number of orthopaedic injuries. One of the most common conditions we encounter in frequent electronic device and computer users is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Signs of carpal tunnel can include a pins-and-needles sensation, or overall discomfort through the hand, wrist, and/or forearm. Those who suffer from the condition often experience weakness in the wrist, and and fingers, or a lack of fine motor control in the affected area.
Pressure on the median nerve, which extends from the forearm to the hand, can result in these symptoms with repeated exposure. Repetitive hand and wrist movements, poor posture, or failure to take frequent breaks from the PC are common factors in developing the condition.
Some simple adjustments to wrist intensive activities can prevent the development of this condition. First, make sure to keep your hands light and relaxed when typing or using a pointing device. Avoid using your device at a height that causes your wrist to bend at an angle, and try to keep your wrist neutral with your hand and forearm. Ensure proper posture at your workstation, and take frequent breaks from the computer to stretch, move and restore flexibility to your hands and wrists.
Thankfully, carpal tunnel treatment is often simple and effective if the condition is diagnosed early. If you think you may be developing symptoms, it is important to see an orthopaedic professional as soon as possible, as permanent nerve and muscle damage can occur if carpal tunnel is left untreated.
What to do if You Encounter Symptoms
Only a medical professional can properly diagnose and treat this condition. Our team of providers at Hampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine will tailor an effective treatment plan for treating the symptoms and causes of your carpal tunnel syndrome, should you encounter the debilitating and frustrating symptoms of this increasingly common condition.