Get Relief from…Carpal Tunnel, Tendonitis, Repetitive Stress Injury, Tennis Elbow with these simple Tips and Tools.
Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) cost US employers over a billion dollars a year.
RSI has many symptoms – swelling, numbness or pins and needles in hands and tingling are the most common. In addition to wrists, tingling can spread to neck, shoulder, hands, elbows and back.
If you have been diagnosed with RSI, the first thing you should do is rest the affected limb. Your physician may recommend anti-inflammatory medicines, massage and physical therapy. Usually the discomfort brought on by a particular task lessens or goes away when you are not doing the activity that causes it.
In addition to the Repetitive movements that cause friction wear damage in tissues, it is the lack of mobility that is the main cause of pain and suffering.
Sustained postures keep the blood supply away from certain tissues, which reduce the rate of repairs of these areas. As the tendons, ligaments and muscles become less and less flexible because of these held postures, the blood flow becomes even more constricted. This behavior also leads to tingling in the nerves, numbness and eventually nerve damage.
7 Tips to Prevent Wrist Pain related to Computer use.
- Set up your work station properly. Keep your wrists in neutral position – don’t bend them or down. Don’t use wrist rests while typing. You can use wrist rests or armrests while taking a break. Use a light touch when you type. We tend to bang the keyboard at times, which is not a good practice in the long run.
- Your elbows should be at an angle 90 degrees or greater. This can be achieved by adjusting the height of the chair. Your forearms should be about parallel to the floor. Make sure your shoulders are not raised.
- Take regular breaks. Just gently grab your left wrist with your right hand and raise your hands above. Repeat this 10 times. This is a good stretch that gets the circulation going in the upper body. You can do twists on each side while seated as if you were when you are driving and have to look back. Another good one is doing circles with your hips.
- Keep your wrist, arm, and fingers strong. Keep a list of stretches handy. See the various tools available at www.Ergo21.com/products_wrist.php Wrist Wand is a good tool to have. This unique stretch using the WristWand® as directed, helps protect and relieve these painful disorders by stretching key muscle groups of the hands, wrists, forearms and upper arms. The small amount spent in prevention can save thousands in costly medical interventions and lost work.
- The Monitor should be right in front of you. If you put the monitor off center, then you will get neck and shoulder pain. You can invest in a swivel arm if you want to get the monitor out of the way when not needed. Larger monitors are easy on the eyes but make sure to sit further back. Your eyes should level a few inches below the top of the monitor with your chin in level with the middle. You can adjust the height of the chair to achieve this. (If this causes your wrists to be not in neutral position, then look for adjustable height keyboard trays.)
Adjust the brightness of the monitor with the lighting around you. Uneven brightness can cause headache. Experiment with different positions preferably with the windows behind the monitor. Clean the screen regularly of dust.
- If you see that you have pain in only one hand, then the mouse is the most likely culprit. Place the mouse as close to the keyboard as possible. Your shoulder can tire easily if you place the mouse on the desk. This can cause neck and shoulder pain. Make sure you spend a little time adjusting the speed of the mouse so that you don’t have to keep overusing it. Go to a computer store and try a variety of these and see which one is the least bothersome. Try to use keyboard shortcuts as much as possible. Don’t use pressure on the mouse as this causes undue stress on your fingers. Be aware of any pain when your hand is hovering on the mouse and relax. Keep a sticky note in front with this line “Use mouse with a gentle touch”. Keep the wrists in neutral position.
- Do this simple breathing technique to get the tension out and get the energy flowing. Take a deep gentle slow breath to a count of 4 or 5 and say this in your mind “Sensitive to the whole body I breathe in… Sensitive to the whole body I breathe out” Each time you do this, become aware of any pain or blocked energy at any point. If at a particular spot you feel tightness, like in the wrists, let go of this tension and visualize the energy flowing as you gently breathe out saying… “Sensitive to the whole body I breathe out.” Do this as many times it takes to get the whole body relaxed.
Most people have poor stretching and warm up habits before jumping into the activities that cause RSI. Orthopedic specialists at UT Southwestern Medical Center recommend you maintain the strength and flexibility in your upper and lower arms to avoid elbow injuries. Proper warm-up, stretching and exercise done with weights can help you relieve many of the problems associated with RSI.
You can look on the internet for Wrist Exercises or your doctor can give you a list of exercises depending on your condition.
Always consult with your medical doctor for advice with serious conditions.