Apr 042011

Carpal tunnel syndrome.

How do I know? Within the past few weeks I was experiencing pain in my shoulder radiating down my arm and eventually reaching my wrist and hand. One day, after providing online support for one of my ACT! database clients for several hours, the pain in my wrist was to the point that I knew a trip to my physical therapist was in order.

Over the years I have known many people who have had carpal tunnel syndrome, but I didn’t think it would ever happen to me! While working with clients, I work on several styles of keyboards and mice. Do you have a prevention program at your business? The cost in loss of man hours can be very high, not taking into account the inconvenience of one of your key employees going to therapy several times a week or even worse, having surgery!

My physical therapy office suggested that I see their occupational therapist for my first visit. They said that patients are arriving in large numbers with the same problem and much worse. What is surprising to them is that the patients are younger and younger each year. The results were that I was diagnosed with “pre carpal tunnel”. Good news for me, but incredibly humbling. One of the things that I learned was that this comes from cumulative behavior.

My occupation as an ACT! Consultant and Trainer depends on my ability to use a computer! In order to ensure that my “pre carpal tunnel” condition does not progress into full blown carpal tunnel syndrome I have been very motivated to follow my therapist’s directions.

First – Performing several exercises diligently several times every day.

Second – I am visiting the therapist twice a week.

The third has been the most difficult. I needed to limit my time on the computer during my healing process. Just take a minute and think of all of the tasks that you perform on your computer or cell phone every day. E-mail, tweeting, texting, job responsibilities etc. This was actually an eye opening experience for me.

Fourth – Purchasing an ergonomic keyboard and mouse. As I examined the documentation on correct computer posture, I also found that an under the desk keyboard tray was in order.

Click here to find exercises to help protect you and your employees.

These have been my experiences and are in no way meant to be seen as a doctor or therapists diagnosis.