Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome {Using an Ergonomic Keyboard}

Friday, March 25, 2011

Do you feel soreness or numbness in your hands and wrists after or during at day at your computer? You may be agitating the sensitive carpal tunnel area in your wrist. Here are a few tips to improving your current discomfort and preventing any future injury.

  1. Ergonomic split keyboardMove your keyboard and mouse into optimum position. If you keyboard is too high or too low, it is difficult to keep your wrists and hands in a stress-free position. Start by installing a fully articulated, ergonomic keyboard tray to allow for easy, fast adjustment of your keyboard. Once on a keyboard tray, lower the keyboard to a few inches above your lap; your forearms should be parallel to your thighs when you are typing. Using a slight negative tilt away from your body will make it easier to keep your hands and wrists relaxed.
  2. Use good hand and wrist posture. First, your hands should lightly hover over the keys while you are typing, with your fingers loosely curved. Use a light touch when typing; there is no need to pound on your keys. Next, you should always keep your hands and wrists straight while typing; you should see a straight line starting at your elbow, running through your wrists and down your middle finger.  Lastly, make sure your wrists are always level or flat; never flex your wrists, or bent them upward or down. The goal is to keep your hands and wrists relaxed at all times. If you start to feel muscle tightness or pain, stop and re-evaluate your hand posture.
  3. Upgrade to an ergonomic keyboard. These specially designed keyboards are can help you maintain good hand and wrist posture. There are several different styles and sizes; try them out before deciding which would benefit you the most. The split keyboard is gently curved to follow and support the natural shape of your hands and wrists. The compact design of the mini keyboard pulls the keys are closer together, eliminating the straining that sometimes occurs when reaching for a key.
  4. Never stretch to press a key. Move your entire hand and arm to press hard-to-reach keys on your keyboard. Also, for a two-key combo, such as the Shift key (or Ctrl or Alt) with a letter, always use two hands. By stretching to reach keys or using one hand for two keys, you can quickly strain the tendons and muscles in your wrists and hands.
  5. Use your wrist rest correctly. Most do not know to use their wrist rest. The first thing to remember is that you never want to apply any pressure or weight directly on your wrist, or you can agitate the carpal tunnel area. Instead, when you take a break from typing, you can then rest the weight of your arms and hands on the ball of your hands.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a serious injury and can interfere with your daily life, especially at work. These simple tips can help prevent the muscle and tendon strain that leads to pain and injury. Install a easy-to-use keyboard tray to help you keep your arms at the optimum angle and your wrists from flexing while typing. Also, upgrade to an ergonomic keyboard to support your hands and wrists in the straight, level posture that allows them to relax. Even little changes in your posture and habits can make a huge impact on the health of your wrists and hands.

Posted in carpal tunnel syndrome , ergonomic keyboards , forearm pain , keyboard tray , mini keyboard , repetitive strain injury (RSI) , split keyboard , wrist pain , wrist rest | Make a Comment

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