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Long Drives, Mobile Use Can Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Posted Jul 21 2008 10:13am

Researchers at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas have found that hours in the car can cause carpal tunnel syndrome and that the risk increases if the motorist talks on cell phone while driving.

“Repeated, prolonged gripping of anything-whether it’s a steering wheel or a tool-can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome,” said Jennifer Valle, occupational therapist and certified hand therapist, Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas.

“There are activities you can do and modifications you can make to help alleviate the risk of developing carpal tunnel,” she added.

Following are some tips to ease the problem:

- Switch the hand you drive with-periodically using your left, then your right.

- Keep your hand in line with your elbow and your wrist straight.

“If you imagine the steering wheel as a clock, the best position to put your wrist in would actually be at three o’clock and nine o’clock,” Valle said.

According to experts, most people who have already developed carpal tunnel symptoms can reverse them by making simple changes.

“A lot of times patients will come back and say ‘I’m having fewer symptoms,’ and that the activity modifications are working,” Valle said.

Drivers also increase their risk of carpal tunnel-they talk on their cell phone while driving-holding it with their wrist bent.

Experts suggest that one must use an earpiece or headset to overcome this problem.

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