Shareware Beach

Sunday, 12 August 2007

It’s Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Filed under: Ergonomics,Recommended Reading — Jan @ 17:19

It's Not Carpal Tunnel SyndromeIt’s Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by Suparna Damany and Jack Bellis is a must-read for anybody who spends more than a few hours a day. That’s probably everybody reading this geeky blog!

The title refers to the fact that Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) is often misdiagnosed as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). CTS occurs when a nerve that controls finger motion becomes trapped or restricted in its movement though your wrist. My 93-year-old grandmother who never touched a computer or typewriter in her whole life was treated for CTS over a decade ago. While it’s certainly possible for a PC junkie to suffer from CTS, it’s far more likely his wrist and nerve problems are a symptom of RSI rather than a direct problem in themselves.

Whenever your fingers hit the keyboard or your arm reaches for the mouse, you’re applying a small amount of stress to your upper limbs. If you do that for long hours throughout the years, those repeated tiny bits of stress can wear you out, resulting in a case of RSI.

This book explains the nerves and other body building blocks that suffer while you’re slaving away at the keyboard. The language used is very easy to read by any PC user. The few medical terms that are used are clearly explained.

The second half of the book explains what you can do to prevent and/or cure RSI. You won’t find any miracle potions or step by step guides with guaranteed results. Instead, based on the knowledge of how people get RSI in the first place, you’ll find plenty of tips and suggestions of changes you can make to your working habits and equipment, and how those will affect your body. Since everybody’s different, what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for somebody else. That’s what makes this book so useful: by learning about the innards of your upper limbs, you can make more educated choices, and ask more detailed questions when you seek medical advice.

The best time to read this book is when you don’t have any RSI symptoms yet. It’s your best bet of never getting any.

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