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Causes of Computer-Related Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Posted May 22 2009 11:56pm 1 Comment

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the inflammatory disorder that is caused due to repetitive stress, physical injury or any other condition that causes the tissues around the median nerve to inflated. The carpal tunnel is a small canal or tunnel runs from the forearm through the wrist. Bones form three walls of the tunnel, which are bridged by strong, broad ligament.The median nerve passes through this tunnel, which actually supplies feeling to the thumb, index, and ring fingers, the nine tendons that flex the fingers and also provides function for the thenar muscles, which are actually the muscles at the base of the thumb.

When the protective lining of the tendons within the carpal tunnel become inflamed and swell or when the ligament that forms the roof becomes thicker and broader leads to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The result is compression on median nerve fibers due to the swollen tendons and thickened ligaments; there will be slow down in the transmission of the nerve signals through this carpal tunnel. This ultimately results in pain, numbness, and tingling sensation in the wrist, hand, and fingers.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is also categorized as Cumulative Trauma Disorder, overuse syndromes, chronic upper limb pain syndrome, or repetitive motion disorders which are all associated generally with repetitive and forceful use of the hands that damages the muscles and bones. Many believe that constant repetitive use of the hand and poor computer set-up are the primary causes the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Read more on the causes and symptoms of computer-related carpal tunnel syndrome.
The drastic increase in computer-related carpal tunnel syndrome injuries is due to computer mouse use is largely due to the problem that the generic, computer mouse that ships with most computers does not properly fit the computer users hand! Hence, this generic computer mouse results in excessive fatigue, pain and pressure within the carpal tunnel and thus contributes to injuries that range from calloused hands and wrists, to carpal tunnel syndrome, and other cumulative trauma disorders
In fact, recent studies by Tech Dyne, International, Inc concluded that the use of a generic, poor-fitting computer mouse for a single four-hour period caused a loss of strength in the hand in arm of up to 60% and caused the muscles being used in these repetitive operations to get overused, causing inflammation and injury. This is considered the number one ergonomic risk factor for developing computer-related carpal tunnel syndrome.

Shape: the shape of an ordinary or generic computer mouse that does not correctly fit the user's hand, requires the user to grip and hold, which over an extended period will cause tendon and muscle fatigue in the hand, wrist and even the elbow and arm.

Overall size: the size of the computer mouse does not properly fit the size of the individual’s hand. This means there is not enough support for the hand, having optimal support and comfort is required to minimize fatigue with computer mouse operations. Individuals with smaller hands should use smaller mice. On the contrary, individuals with larger hands should use larger mice. Read more about Computer Mouse designs, including the Contour Perfit computer mouse that comes in multiple sizes for left and right hand users.

Right and left hand compatibility - the computer mouse is not compatible with the user’s dominant hand. The computer mouse should be compatible with the dominant hand of the computer user, left-handed computer mouse users should use an ergonomic computer mouse designed for the left hand.
Wrist Position: An ordinary, generic horizontal computer mouse requires your forearm to twist away from its natural position, this causes more strain on your carpal tunnel, wrist tendons and ligaments. Read more about how the Evoluent Vertical Mouse eliminates arm twisting. The Evoluent Vertical Mouse supports your hand in a fully upright handshake position that eliminates the forearm twisting required by ordinary mice.
Motion: The side-to-side swaying and/or back and forth motion of a generic, ordinary computer mouse used to propel the cursor around the screen has been linked to several injuries, including tendonitis and friction burns from contact with the desk surface or mouse pad (make sure you use a gel-padded mouse pad wrist rest!!!!) Contour RollerMouse Station and RollerMouse PRO offer incredible solutions.
Comments (1)
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What a well written article!  I have been interested in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - and more particularly, natural cures for carpal tunnel syndrome. This arose from the problems my wife had when she suffered from the malady after a fall on the ice - or rather, when she was coming off the ice after skating with the children. A mat, had become a sheet of ice and she slipped... no fracture that they could detect but they put her wrist in plaster none-the-less! Well that was just the start. She had test after test - multiple X-rays - nerve conductivity tests and finally, they convinced her to have the operation. She is fine now, thank God, but those years of numbness in her arm that kept her awake at night, the pain and the tiredness that resulted... She also had a strange thing happen to her index finger - it would go white as if the blood supply had failed and only massage and gentle warming seemed to restore the circulation. I just with that I had known about the alternative treatments/cures that are available now! I was so inspired that I decided to put up a website about it: - what else?
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