Ergonomics of a Blogging Enthusiast
Typing? Keyboarding? Really? This CAN be a source of pain. Indeed it most certainly can. AND the pain, tingling, and numbness can affect your every waking hour because you are still working, right? It is an unrelenting pain that makes it difficult to go to sleep and if you are able to go to sleep often interferes with getting a good night's rest because the pain wakes you up.
I hope you are seeing in this page that as we work in our lessons and write, write, and write more content for our blogs, that we need to be proactive and control the conditions that result in this kind of injury. To not do so, to just tolerate the pain will only make it worse and could mean surgery so that the unrelenting pain will subside. I don't want this for you and I'm sure you don't want it for yourself either.
The good news is that it is not difficult to correct our working environment with just a few adjustments to how you use your keyboard.
- Do NOT use the little lever feet to raise the keyboard. They will cause your wrist to not have a straight and level position to the keys.
- Keep your wrist straight; no angling up from the hand, bending at the wrist up to the forearm
- Do not rest your arms, elbows, or wrists onto hard surfaces of the desk, table, computer stand or chair
- Have your chair adjusted so you aren't raising your shoulders to lift your arms to reach the keyboard surface
- Purchase gel supports that you can rest your hand or wrist on while you are typing
- No reaching for the keyboard or the mouse, keep them close so that you can accomplish 90 degree angles when positioning yourself at the desk
Here is a report from the National Institute of Health (NIH) regarding several aspects of carpal tunnel syndrome. One of the salient points it makes is that we should take time away from the key board, taking a typing break, do stretch exercises, wear a wrist splint and use correct posture and wrist position. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/carpal_tunnel/detail_carpal_tunnel.htm
This same report also stated that:
... studies show that vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplements may ease the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Exercise - Stretching and strengthening exercises can be helpful in people whose symptoms have abated. These exercises may be supervised by a physical therapist, who is trained to use exercises to treat physical impairments, or an occupational therapist, who is trained in evaluating people with physical impairments and helping them build skills to improve their health and well-being. Alternative therapies - Acupuncture and chiropractic care have benefited some patients but their effectiveness remains unproved. An exception is yoga, which has been shown to reduce pain and improve grip strength among patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Remember that what you are trying to avoid or correct is the pressure on the median nerve. The yellow you see in this illustration is showing where the pain will be felt if this nerve is affected. The longer the nerve is compressed from the inflammation in the carpal tunnel from allot of typing, the greater the possibility for permanent nerve damage. We want to avoid this outcome, right?