Technology has made it easy to work, communicate and even get entertainment from our devices. You can hardly go a day without having to work from your computer or type from your phone. And while this has several benefits, there are some adverse consequences of typing from your computer or smartphone all day.
Many people complain of wrist pain after several hours of work, and this does not just apply to typists. Some of the risk factors of carpal tunnel include heavy lifting, excessive use of wrists, vibrations, and awkward postures. That said, it is first prudent to understand carpal tunnel and ways to prevent this condition.
Understanding carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is often associated with typists and people who stay glued to their computers for long periods of time. However, there are other causes, including trauma, pregnancy, vibration from construction equipment, or any other job that requires repetitive hand movements.
Any excessive pressure applied to your median nerve predisposes you to carpal tunnel syndrome. The median nerve passes from your arm and extends to the hand while passing through the carpal tunnel.
You are likely to experience pain in your wrists and a tingling sensation in your fingers when you get CTS. People also complain of a burning sensation and numbness on their hands. And if left unchecked, the pain may move up your arm too.
Carpal tunnel and other wrist injuries such as tennis elbow or other upper musculoskeletal problems will not go away unless you address the issue. You can seek medication or surgery after getting the condition, but minor lifestyle changes like getting an ergonomic keyboard can help you prevent it. Ergonomic keyboards are much more comfortable as they allow your wrists to rest in a neutral position.
Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
While carpal tunnel is a severe condition that will affect your hands, there are ways to prevent CTS. Using ergonomic accessories is an affordable and non-intrusive way to prevent and manage carpal tunnel.
Use an ergonomic keyboard.
Anyone who uses a keyboard for long periods should at least get an ergonomic keyboard. We manufacture our keyboards to split in the middle and adjust horizontally and vertically so that each user can type in a neutral position. Proper posture and ergonomic positioning means you will exert less pressure on the tendons and stop the usual strain on your arms.
With a good quality ergonomic keyboard, you reduce the chances of wrist extension and wrist flexion, as well as ulnar deviation and radial deviation. A split keyboard is also a great alternative when looking to prevent CTS.
Split keyboards allow you to place your hands in more natural positions. Having the right posture also means that your elbows are comfortably resting at your sides in a 90 degree position while typing. A split keyboard is also a good alternative to a laptop keyboard or tablet.
Ergonomic keyboards greatly reduce your chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. This is especially true when you spend countless hours using your computer’s keyboard every week. However, it is worth noting that these types of keyboards will not make you fully immune to CTS, and you may need other ergonomic accessories.
Invest in an ergonomic mouse
A traditional mouse does not have an ergonomic design. If you use such a mouse for long periods, the chances are that you will not be supporting your wrists properly in a neutral position and will expose yourself to carpal tunnel syndrome. This is why it is also a great idea to invest in an ergonomic mouse.
Choosing an ergonomic mouse does depend on user preference. We carry many different styles of ergonomic mice to make sure you can find one that works for you. We carry the 24 degree Comfort Mouse and FlexMouse, the 33 degree Newtral 3 Mouse, the 66 degree Semi-Vertical Mouse, the 90 degree Vertical Mice from Evoluent, as well as other styles in our catalog.
Users of tablets, smartphones, and even touch-screen monitors are also not safe from carpal tunnel syndrome. These devices are simple to use and eliminate the need for a mouse. However, they require a much higher activation force and present an increased risk of discomfort to your neck, back, and even shoulders. If you are using a tablet, you may try getting a stylus if you want a better alternative, as well as a laptop/tablet stand.
Get a laptop/tablet stand
It is also critical that you get a tablet/laptop stand to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Doing this improves your neck and back posture to ensure that you do not strain your muscles when working on your computer or devices. You can strain your eyes and neck by looking at a computer screen too low or too high for long periods of time.
Ideally, the top of your computer screen should be at eye level — try to keep your line of sight consistent with the URL bar in a browser window. A laptop/tablet stand or monitor arm is the best way to ensure you keep your devices at the proper height to avoid strain and fatigue on the eyes, neck, upper back, and shoulders when operating your computer. Investing in a quality laptop or tablet stand will also present other benefits such as increasing productivity and reducing eyestrains.
Find the perfect ergonomic keyboard today
Using ergonomic equipment is a great way to reduce the chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. If you spend several hours in front of your computer every day, then you should invest in an ergonomic keyboard. Goldtouch offers high quality ergonomic computer accessories to help you increase productivity while reducing the chances of getting carpal tunnel. Check out our assortment of ergonomic computer accessories and start to experience all the benefits of an ergonomic workstation.