Repetitive Strain Injury Prevention

Repetitive Strain Injury-Prevent Musculoskeletal Injury/Disorder

Frequent use of the typical computer mouse can lead to discomfort, and in more severe cases, long-term damage that may well prove to be permanent. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is known to be an unfortunate side effect caused by using a computer mouse for long periods at a time. Using a mouse pad or wrist support can dramatically reduce the risks of RSI and other comfort related issues.

Computer Mouse Use

If you consider how you probably hold your mouse regularly, the chances are that, like most people, you rest your wrist

Mouse

Pixabay-Open-clipart-vector

on the leading edge of the desk. This is often a sharp angular corner and digs into the soft fleshy underside of your wrist. This bottom part of your wrist is where nerves and some very vital arteries and veins run. These all run quite close to the skin, and so by digging a corner of a desk into this area of your wrist, often for hours at a time, it is not surprising that damage can take place.

Symptoms From Overuse Of Computer Mouse

To begin with, you may simply notice pain, discomfort, numbness and twinges. You may even see some rubbing where you rest the ball of your wrist on the desk, and drag it around. This can also become quite sore. If you do not treat this, by reducing the amount of time you use your mouse, or purchasing a wrist support, then the chances are that eventually, the damage will become permanent. This can result in complete loss of feeling in the hand – and that is not good news.

Recommended Items To Prevent  Musculoskeletal Wrist Injury

A gel support is simply a contoured piece that is filled with a special gel which feels cool to the touch. It is malleable, adjusting to the shape of your wrist, and does not restrict the movement or normal use of your mouse at all. But by lifting your wrist up from the table, you avoid having the edge of your desk digging into your wrist. A gel support protects all those important nerves and veins in your wrist, prolonging your hand’s health.

The same thing happens with keyboards. Repetitive strain can be compensated in part by allowing your wrists to rest in a more natural and protected position. If you do a good deal of typing, then your wrists may both rest on the edge of the desk, meaning that potential damage could affect both hands. In this case, it is important to purchase an extended wrist support which accommodates both hands, lifting them off the desk, and into a position of comfort and safety.

For mice, many gel supports are built into a mouse pad, meaning that the wrist support is a raised section of a standard mouse pad. This reduces the chance of supports and pads colliding and becoming too large and inconvenient to have on your desk. If you use optical mice, a mouse mat is not as necessary, but if you use a mechanical mouse, then a combined pad and support is an excellent solution.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the leading causes of lost work and lost productivity at the office, and is a booming

Wrist Brace

Mueller Fitted Wrist Brace Green Line Number 86271 – Right Fitted Wrist Brace

specialty when it comes to physical therapy. As the number of professionals who have to spend their entire day working at a keyboard increases, this boom in physical therapy cases is sadly unexpected.

Simple Procedures To Assist In Prevention Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If it hurts, stop. This means that if your dominant wrist is the one that’s injured, avoid using it for routine tasks. These include pouring water, holding soda, or turning a doorknob. What you want to do is reduce the usage level without giving up productive time at work. You want to take pressure off the swollen wrist, and nerve sheaths.

Recommendations

If you work a lot of computers, adjust your desk chair so that your keyboard is at the same height as your elbows while you sit. You should get an ergonomically friendly keyboard, too, so that you can work rapidly with minimal movement of wrists and minimal stretching of the digits.

Your wrists, hands, and forearms should all be aligned and parallel to the floor when you are typing. Get a wrist pad so that your wrists aren’t hanging just hanging in the air, forcing you to put pressure on the median nerve by holding up your wrists. The wrist pad lets you rest your wrists while you work.

About every hour or so, give yourself a few minutes break (make sure your manager understands why you have to do

Cup of water brake

Pixabay Take a brake.
Cup of water by Unsplash

this). Get up from your task and just walk about and maybe shake out your injured wrist. This helps prevent you from pushing yourself too hard and possibly causing more harm to your wrist.

You should also massage your wrist and hand. You should do this at lunch time, at home, and whenever you get a chance. Massage helps with blood circulation, which can contribute to healing the swollen joints and tissues that are putting the pressure on the median nerve.

Recommended Actions

At night when you sleep, you should try wearing a splint of some kind to prevent any wrist movement that could cause more irritation or inflammation. Do this for up to two weeks and see what your results are. Some people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) find it helpful to hang their hand over the edge of the bed while they sleep. This can relieve pressure. At home when you are awake, use something like Icy Hot on the injured wrist, or just use alternating applications of heat and cold.

These work-related preventive measures work well for some people, but there are other things that you can try. Specially developed CTS exercises are non-invasive and drug-free. They don’t involve immobilization. They are designed to be used to strengthen the hand and wrist so that CTS symptoms fade-away and future possibilities of getting carpal tunnel syndrome are prevented. It is likely that these will be even more effective for you.

This post was constructed with the assistance from:
Victor Epand
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for computer parts and suits & ties. Shop here to find mouse mats, wrist supports, formal suits & ties, and computer parts in Canada.
Tom Nicholson;
Tom Nicholson has been teaching those who suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome find natural, effective methods of treatment for years. Let him show you some simple and easy carpal tunnel exercises that can ease your uncomfortable symptoms. Learn what so many people have already learned – treatment doesn’t have to be invasive or costly to work!

Lisa

lisa@injuryanprevention.com