Friday, March 20, 2015

The hazards of the office

Women are three times more likely to suffer from suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and wrist injuries than men, according to the National Women’s Health Information Center. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the name for a group of problems including numbness, pain, tingling, swelling and loss of strength in the wrist and hand. It is often the result of swelling inside the carpal tunnel, which places too much pressure on the median nerve.

Here are some tips from The American Physical Therapy Association to help women avoid getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

1.      If you’re typing, only move your fingers and keep your wrists straight. Consider using a keyboard pad to rest your wrists during breaks.
2.      When typing, maintain good posture to reduce strain. Make sure your spine is flush with the back of the chair, your shoulders are relaxed and feet are flat on the floor.
3.      Make sure your computer monitor is at eye level so you don’t have to bend your neck.
4.      At home, take frequent breaks from activities that require repetitive motion. For example, if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen slicing and dicing, be aware that all that cutting can put a lot of strain on the wrist.
5.      Consider using a wrist brace at night or when playing sports to keep the wrist in a neutral position and allow it to rest.

However, if Carpal Tunnel Syndrome does develop it can be treated, often without surgery. One popular therapy is to use a brace that immobilizes the wrist to relieve pressure on the median nerve.  But not all supports are made to fit a woman’s body.  Wellgate for Women designs its products specifically to fit the size and proportions of women’s bodies.  Wellgate’s Slimfit Wrist Support uses memory foam and soft fabrics to provide comfort day or night, which is important as orthopedists often recommend wearing a brace to bed to help speed recovery.

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