Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Are you a Sufferer?

webmd_rf_photo_of_nerve_compression

For millions of people, working, playing and communicating on a computer keyboard is a daily reality. With this work comes a specific set of possibly painful symptoms – especially if you aren’t working in an comfortable position. Many times we hear of someone that is “suffering from Carpal Tunnel.”, and it is understood that this was because of ‘too much typing’, but how do you know if those wrist and hand aches and pains are due to this well-known complaint, and what can you do to ease the pain or stop getting it at all?

What is Carpal Tunnel syndrome?

The human hands and wrists have many nerves, joints, and muscles that allow them to turn and work in different positions. How do we know when we are performing actions that can cause something as serious as this?

What sets CTS apart from other, less serious, complaints is stress or damage to the Median Nerve. This runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, and becomes pressed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and, and controls impulses to some of the small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. The Carpal Tunnel is a narrow passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand, which houses the median nerve and tendons. It is stiff to offer support to the nerve and, when a sufferer’s median nerve swells, the tunnel narrows and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm.

How to tell if you have Carpal Tunnel syndrome?

Symptoms usually start gradually, with frequent burning, tingling, or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and the thumb and the index and middle fingers. Your fingers may feel useless and swollen, even though little or no swelling is apparent. These symptoms often first appear in one or both hands during the night, when your flexed wrists are relaxed.

As symptoms worsen, you may feel this tingling during the day. You may find it difficult to form a fist, grasp small objects, or perform other manual tasks. In chronic or untreated cases, people are unable to tell between hot and cold by touch.

How is Carpal Tunnel syndrome caused?

The condition is often the result of a number of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the Carpal Tunnel, rather than a problem with the nerve itself. You may have a Carpal Tunnel that is smaller than others. More common, though, is a trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling, such as sprain or fracture; work stress where repeated tasks in uncomfortable positions causes the nerve to rub on the interior wall of the tunnel. Writer’s cramp may also be brought on by repetitive activity, but this is not necessarily a CT injury.

Can Carpal Tunnel syndrome be prevented?

At the workplace, workers can do on-the-job conditioning, perform stretching exercises, take frequent rest breaks, and wear splints to keep wrists straight, but correct posture and wrist position is the most important. Ensuring that your wrists and palms maintain a natural position during working, and other typing, hours is the major proven way to ensure that you protect our wrists, so if you type for multiple hours, make sure that your wrists and hands are relaxed, supported and neutral.

 

The World’s Wackiest Computer Keyboards

If you have visited an office that in work in a specialized field, or have a friend whose home office is built around specific tasks such as coding, you may have gotten accustomed to seeing various different styles of keyboards with exciting and different-looking designs. If you have and think that you are missing something, here are a handful of recent keyboard designs that have come to the market and the reasons for their ‘Wacky Designs’.

 

Roll Up Keyboard

Roll up keyboard

Perhaps you are frustrated with inflexible keyboards? This fun, blue, flexible keyboard with the standard layout of 104 keys rolls-up for easy storage and portability. The manufacturer states that its dust and moisture proof, too.

Don’t get it confused with your Yoga Mat!

The Blank Keyboard

blank keyboard

Have you ever wanted to brag about your touch-typing skills? This is the ultimate bragger’s tool.

“I don’t need letters or numbers I know where everything is from memory!” Or perhaps it’s a test, or an office rookie hazing gag?

The Keyboard that isn’t there

Laser keyboard

This design features a laser tower projects a virtual keyboard on any surface, and reacts when you press a certain area of the light. I don’t think that working on a moving vehicle will be a popular choice with this keyboard.

 

The ‘Box’ Keyboard

Box keyboard

Although designed to ensure that those that work that numbers as well as alphabetic characters are always typing on a flat surface, doesn’t this look like a keyboard that 4 or 5 people can work on simultaneously – Kind of like Car-Pooling!

 

The Keyless Keyboard

keyless keyboard

 

A keyboard that looks like the front of your Mother’s stove! Slide the two dials into certain positions to trigger every keystroke you will need. We think it looks as if it belongs on the Navigation Bridge of a Starship.

The Wrist Keyboard

the wrist keyboard

Want to make a scene at the coffee shop while doing your Sunday coffee stop work? This will certainly turn heads. Of course you have to work out that arm before you can use it. It looks heavy to us!

 

The Tidy Typist

tidy typist keyboard

Now, this is something special: A felt ‘tablecloth’ that holds the keyboard, and then is decorated in a range of colors and designs. If Jane Austen were writing today, this would be her keyboard!

We wonder if it comes with the delightfully placed cup of tea.

 

We have had some fun in this post, with the very serious manufacturers of these specialist pieces of equipment. All of these designs are the results of long hours of research, testing, marketing and building. However, it is worth remembering that although there are lots of keyboards on the market to help you, not all will do the job for you.

Do your own research when looking for a Specialty keyboard. Think about its practicality and Functionality. It looks nice and thin, but does it do everything you need it to do?

It’s small and cute, but does that mean it is practical, and will it hurt you to use it?

It looks very fancy, but will it actually hurt your fingers, wrists, shoulders and back after a short while of using it?

When you do your keyboard shopping, ensure that you look for an ergonomic one first. Get one that is comfortable to use, and aids in a better posture. If you are comfortable first, the clever styles that you see could help you further in the particular job, but if you are comfortable for extended periods of time, the chances are you will become more productive.

An ergonomic design looks pretty cool, too!