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Beyond Ergonomics: 5 Things Every Computer Operator Should Know to Stop Their Carpal Tunnel Pain

April 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 195

You have designed your office to be ergonomically correct but the Carpal Tunnel pain still occurs. Every computer operator has virtually the same aches and pains. The sad part is that all these pains can be stopped by stretching properly. Most stretches are done incorrectly. Usually instructions guide you to hold the stretch for far too long. Forcing muscles to stretch will only cause them to shorten more.

Healthcare specialists may have told you that you need injections, braces, or even surgery. Nothing could be further from the truth! What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome- This is a very mysterious name, but it is a very simple ailment. The cause, we are told, is repetitive movement. But we need our jobs, now what? Well, the pain in the carpal tunnel in your wrists happens due to inflammation of the muscle tendons of the muscles running from your elbow to your fingers. This shows up as pain in your hands. There are 26 muscles in your forearms and hands to allow movement in your hands. By using your fingers to type, text, and even grip things you are fatiguing these muscles, causing them to fill up with lactic acid and inflame. Once they inflame, the tendons running through the carpal tunnel will press on the medial nerve that is also inside the carpal tunnel. Surgery and injections are only temporary fixes, as the inflammation will repeat when you go back to work. Braces will only atrophy your muscles making the problem worse over time. Here are the 5 steps to alleviate your pain.

Step 1- Massage your forearms to soften them up. Work from wrist to elbow. This may hurt, but you will not damage anything. Once they are soft, the inflammation will reduce and help stop the pain in your wrist. Ice will not reduce lactic acid inflammation. You must break it up by hand.

Step 2- Massage the webbing between your thumb and your index finger. For many of you, this may be hard. Your body should be soft everywhere. Yes, no matter if you are male or female. The hardness in the webbing of your hand reduces the movement in the joint at the base of your thumb. The pain in that joint is usually described as arthritis, when in fact it is usually a tight muscle.

Step 3- Stand next to a desk and place your hand palm down with your fingers pointing behind you. Keep your arm straight and lean into your hand. This will be uncomfortable at first, but it will get better. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then release and repeat 10 times. Do both hands, not just the one that hurts.

Step 4- Bend your elbow and form a light fist with your hand. Take your opposite hand and press down on your light fist. Hold for 2-3 seconds and repeat 10 times. You will feel discomfort, or pain, close to your elbow. It is a very different stretch from just bending your wrist. Try it and you will see understand the difference. Remember to do both hands.

Step 5- Stretch each of your fingers. Your fingers should be able to stretch to 90 degrees upwards and downwards. Down each stretch 2-3 seconds and repeat 10 times. You should also separate your fingers by stretching side to side. Your thumb should be stretched from the joint closest to your wrist. This will help stretch the webbing of your hand.

Incorporating these stretches into your daily lives will reduce your hand pain and even stop the pain. If you do not have hand pain, these stretches will prevent you from getting the pain. All of these stretches should be done 2-3 times per day, especially on days you are on the computer for long periods of time.

I personally do these stretches daily to prevent hand injuries. After 7 years of performing bodywork I do not have the hand pain that many therapists have. For some this pain ends their careers. For more information on these stretches and many other stretches, please visit my website at The Muscle Repair Shop. Butch Phelps is a licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer, and Certified in Active Isolated Stretching. Butch is an author and is available to speak at your events.

Butch Phelps is a Muscleologist. He is a licensed Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, and an Active Isolated Stretching therapist. Butch has authored, Massage Works- The Proof and has written many articles on muscle health. Butch teaches workshops and gives keynote addresses. He can be contacted at or 941-922-2929.

Source: EzineArticles
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