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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve disorder of the wrist and hand. It can cause pain, numbness and tingling. It’s caused by doing repetitive hand motions, such as typing.
Medical transcriptionists are especially at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome due to the amount of typing they do.
Although, there is no way of avoiding typing if you’re a transcriptionist there are a few things you can do to alleviate or avoid carpal tunnel altogether.
1. Set up a comfortable work area. Make sure you have plenty of room to use the mouse comfortably and position your keyboard to elbow level.
2. Keep your wrists and hands parallel to the floor as you type. Do not rest your wrists on the keyboard unless it has a specifically designed wrist rest on it (these let you rest your wrist while keeping them straight).
3. Stretch your hands and arms before and after typing. Make a tight fist with your hand, hold for a few seconds then slowly release. This will help alleviate any tension in the hands and wrists.
4. Take breaks while working. Ideally, you should get up every hour to stretch and relax your body. Shake your hands and open and close your wrist to help relieve tension.
5. Sit up straight in your chair when working. Overall good posture will give you good hand position.
6. Wear a wrist band to help avoid the problem. This will give your wrists and hands extra support.
If you follow these tips early you may avoid carpal tunnel syndrome altogether since there may be damage being done before you actually feel any symptoms. And If you already suffer from carpal tunnel, following these tips should help alleviate the problem.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include tingling/numbness in the hands, a burning sensation in the fingers, and/or sharp pains from the wrist shooting up the arm.
If you do have any symptoms of carpal tunnel, you should see your physician right away.