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Simple steps may reduce risk of carpal tunnel syndrome

Although many people in Denver may assume that an office job is the safest place to work, there are still many people every year who have to take time off of work, seek medical attention and, in some cases, may have to stop working entirely because of a repetitive stress condition that is affecting more and more people: carpal tunnel syndrome. As more positions become computer-heavy and require long hours of typing, it is only natural that more people will start to suffer pain, weakness or numbness in their hands and wrists. There are, however, some relatively simple steps to reducing the risk of the condition.

One of the biggest things people can do is to keep their wrists in a neutral position. Without some kind of pad or rest at the end of the keyboard, it is highly likely that an individual's wrists are bent while typing. A prolonged bent position may be detrimental to the health of your wrists.

It is also important to reduce your wrist movements. It is the overuse and improper use of your wrists and hands that contribute to the condition, so eliminating some movements may also help reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Finally, sitting up straight with your back along the back of your chair can go a long way to balancing the body and providing integral support to your upper body. By relaxing the shoulders, you also provide better support for your body.

While these modifications are simple and should be easy for most Colorado employees to implement, not everyone can. Some workplace situations do not have the latitude to make those changes or the employer refuses to do make them. Fortunately, however, for those employees who do develop repetitive stress conditions, they can apply for Colorado workers' compensation benefits.

Source: Journal Courier, "10 ways to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome," MaryJane Slaby, April 22, 2013

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