Health Concerns

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Lifestyle Considerations

Exercise

General aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, and bicycling may be useful for reducing CTS symptoms. A study of 30 adults with CTS found that participation in a supervised aerobic exercise program for 10 months reduced pain, tightness, and improved fine motor skills (Nathan 2001). In one preliminary trial, yoga was found to relieve some CTS signs and symptoms more effectively than splinting (Garfinkel 1998).

Improved Ergonomics

Better workplace ergonomics may help reduce or relieve some of the mechanical factors that precipitate occupationally-induced CTS. In jobs involving excessive wrist bending and hand-arm vibration, efforts to reduce CTS risk include proper posture; proper training to ensure that optimal workplace ergonomics are applied; an introduction period during which new employees can acclimate to job tasks; proper tool size and power relative to the worker using the equipment; regular breaks and changes in types of hand movements to reduce repetitive trauma; ergonomically optimized tool design that reduces force exerted on the wrist; and tool vibration dampening techniques (Palmer 2011).

Despite a number of studies that have attempted to identify a causative role of excessive computer usage in CTS, computer keyboard use has not been confirmed as an etiologic factor. Nevertheless, some researchers advise that when using computer keyboards, hands should be placed in a “neutral position” in which the wrist is extended (bent backward) no more than 20o (Rempel 2008; Keir 2007).