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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This is the most widely recognized medical diagnosis of repetitive strain injury. Sufferers often experience swelling of membrane linings and the surrounding tendons in the base of the palm of the hand. This inflammation compresses the nerve that supplies most of the feeling to the hand, causing numbness and aching in the inflamed area.

The symptoms include pain or numbness in the wrist, thumb and adjacent fingers, and loss of strength or dexterity in the hand, especially the thumb and index finger. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is waiting to strike all those who work or play hard. Long hours of repetitive wrist and arm strain can eventually lead to crippling pain, involving the median nerve, if it is not recognised early.

Musicians, athletes, assembly workers and all keyboard workers, including writers, are at risk.


  • Correct posture. Be sure to sit up and keep your elbow angle at about ninety degrees and level with the desk. This reduces the pressure on your palms.
  • Modify your position to remove the pain
  • Avoid hyper-extension and hyper-flexion of the wrists as both generate stress.
  • A change is as good as a rest. You do not have to stop work - just change the task you are doing to exercise different muscles. Exercise your legs or your jaw to give the arms a rest.
  • Relax. Check that you have not tensed your body as this can distort your position and tire the muscles.
  • Do not wait for the pain to go away on its own. Prevent chronic damage to the affected areas by taking immediate action if you identify any of the symptoms.
  • Talk to a doctor, physiotherapist or sports injury specialist. Don't forget that the pain might be an indication of some other condition.


Janice's story warns you not to ignore the signs


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