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Repetitive stress injuries: tips for self-protection

Carpel tunnel is the popular name for it. The more formal name is repetitive stress injury. No matter what it's called, these types of injuries are frequent form of work injury.

In Maryland and across the country, such injuries are often the basis for workers' compensation claims.

Given the imporance of computer work for so many jobs, carpal tunnel is naturally associated with jobs that require large amounts of typing. But many other types of work can cause the wrist and nerve damage involved in carpal tunnel injuries.

For example, people who work as scanners in high-volume grocery stores may be at risk of repetitive stress damage. This is because such workers must constantly pick up items from conveyor belts and scan those items for purchase.

Of course, even in challenging work settings many workers seek to protect themselves against carpal tunnel injuries. One of the basics is trying to maintain good posture. If you are sitting at a compter workstation, make sure your spine is supported and seek to relax your shoulders. This is imporant not only because it helps your back, but because a straight spine helps to balance the upper part of the body.

Another thing to keep in mind is to minimize pressure on your wrists and upper arms where possible. This is why ergonomics experts advise computer workers to move the mouse in a ceratin way. Ideally, the mouse is best moved not merely by grabbing it with the fingers, but by using more of the worker's entire arm.

Please visit our page on workplace injuries.

Source: "10 ways to avoid carptal tunnel syndrome," jconline, 4-22-13

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