computer hand strain

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a complex condition characterized by symptoms such as numbness, burning, pain, tingling, or paralysis in the hands, wrists, and/or forearms.
Initially the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are relatively mild, and sufferers often report a strange sensation such as "crawling" or "tingling," especially at night. Aches and pains often cause night-time awakening and fatigue during the day.
As the condition worsens the symptoms become more intense and severe. If relief is not obtained one can have irreversible injury marked by atrophy of muscles in the hand and forearm, as well as a significant alteration of sensation. Severe cases can result in paralysis of the hands or arms.
Medical intervention after symptoms have appeared may include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, wrist braces, and, if necessary, surgery.

What Causes CTS? top

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be caused by anything that causes swelling, thickening or irritation of the synovial membranes covering the tendons in the carpal tunnel.

Some common causes are repetitive and forceful grasping with the hands; repetitive bending of the wrist; broken or dislocated bones in the wrist; arthritis, especially of the rheumatoid type.
A growing number of cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome related to constant typing at a computer keyboard are now being reported.

What is the Carpal Tunnel?top

The carpal tunnel is a space in the wrist through which pass nine tendons plus the median nerve – necessary for movement of the hand and arm.

The bottom and sides of this tunnel are formed by wrist bones, and the top is formed by a ligament called the flexor retinaculum. The tendons are covered with a lubricating membrane called synovium.
Under certain circumstances the tendons and synovium may enlarge and swell. This swelling can in turn cause the median nerve to become compressed. Compression of the median nerve may result in numbness, tingling in the hand, clumsiness or pain.
If the irritation and swelling continue symptoms may become more serious, eventually leading, in the worst cases, to paralysis of the hands and forearms.

An Escalating Problem top

To better understand the seriousness of RSI, RMS (Repetitive Movement Syndrome), MSD (Musculo-Skeletal Disorder), OOS (Occupational Overuse Syndrome), and CTS, consider the fact that between 1980 and 1990 the number of RSI cases jumped from 23,000 to 185,400. By 2000, this number had increased ten-fold, representing well over 25% of all work-related illnesses.

According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), more than two million U.S. workers suffer each year from musculoskeltal injuries at work, with one third of the cases being serious enough to require time off. The agency says female workers suffer disproportionately, accounting for seventy percent of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome cases, and 62% of the tendinitis cases. More and more professional men, such as architects, are complaining of the condition, due to regular use of the computer mouse.
At this time, RSI, RMS and CTS are the #1 cause of sick leave in the United States. Thousands of hours are wasted by enforced rest periods. Millions of dollars are lost to employers as keyboard operators sue for damage due to the problems in their wrists and hands.

Prevention is the Answer to RSItop

Alan Kogosowski brings an experienced concert pianist's understanding of the movements of the hand, wrist and arm to the practical needs of today's computer user in both home and business contexts. His expert analysis includes considerations of posture, as well as relaxation of the body through avoidance of unnecessary and uncomfortable movements.

A Well-Known Dangertop

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has long been the major enemy of concert pianists. It has also afflicted violinists as well as many in other professions closely associated with constant and repetitive use of the hands. A significant number of leading concert pianists in the US have become for all practical purposes paralyzed in one arm – most often the right – through the escalating effects of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

A Special Prevention top

Like all virtuosos, Alan Kogosowski has practised six to eight hours a day throughout his life. His highly specialized European training has ensured that the problems of RSI and CTS never occur.

Moreover, through the correct use of the hands, never forcing or straining any physical element in the process of negotiating the keyboard, he has found that it is possible to achieve an unusual level of relaxation.
The principles applied by Kogosowski in the playing the piano keyboard are applicable to the unforced manipulation of the computer keyboard. Kogosowski can show how to work at any keyboard without strain, and how to recognize the warning signs of RSI and CTS. Vigilance is important, for once the symptoms begin and go unchecked, the long term damage can be irreversible.
Kogosowski explains and demonstrates how to work at the keyboard without incurring any strain, how to know the warning signs and how to stop the problems of RSI and CTS from developing.