Carpal tunnel syndrome working on the computer: the correct hand position for prevention and relief


What to do if carpal tunnel syndrome limits your ability to work? In most cases the cause remains unclear. Pain, tingling and numbness in the fingers and thumb may occur. Diagnosis is based on physical examination and, if necessary, nerve function studies or occasionally magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound. Symptoms can usually be treated with painkillers, splints, corticosteroid injections, or surgery. (See also Overview of Hand Disorders).

carpal tunnel syndrome work healing treatment symptoms curpal
Hand training at work. Focused concentrated young woman using fitness equipment at workplace, female office worker exercising with silicone grip ring to strengthen fingers, hands, wrists and forearms

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage through which nerves and tendons pass to the wrist, formed by adjacent tendons, ligaments and bones. The median nerve is located on the inner wrist and runs through the carpal tunnel. It is responsible for the sensations in the thumb, index finger, middle finger and the thumb side of the ring finger.

Carpal tunnel syndrome mainly affects women between the ages of 30 and 50 and can affect one or both hands.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Work – Causes

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression (entrapment) of the median nerve due to swelling of the tissue around or in the carpal tunnel or by connective tissue strands that form on the inner wrist. Pregnant women, diabetics, people with hypothyroidism, certain forms of amyloidosis, rheumatoid arthritis and people who perform vigorous movements with extended wrists as part of their job are at increased risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. Prolonged exposure to vibration or repetitive work involving strong wrist movements, such as the use of certain power tools, have also been linked to carpal tunnel syndrome. In most cases, however, the causes remain unclear.

The correct keyboard posture

Incorrect posture at the computer keyboard can cause or worsen carpal tunnel syndrome. To avoid injury, the wrist should be kept straight so that the line from the hand over the joint to the forearm is straight. The keyboard should be low enough so that the hand is lower than the elbow. A pad can support the wrist.

carpal tunnel syndrome healing treatment symptoms curpal
Carpal tunnel syndrome working on the computer: the correct hand position for prevention and relief

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes unusual sensations, numbness, tingling and pain in the first three fingers and the fourth finger on the thumb side. It can affect the entire hand and occasionally cause pain and tingling in the forearm.

Those affected are sometimes awakened at night by pain, numbness and tingling in the hand. These symptoms can be relieved by shaking hands.

Over time, little-used muscles on the side of the thumb can become weaker and atrophy.

Diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Physical examination
  • Sometimes nerve conduction studies
  • Occasionally imaging procedures

Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually diagnosed by examining the hand and wrist. Additional tests such as nerve conduction studies or advanced imaging such as MRI or ultrasound may be performed, especially if surgery is being considered.

Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome

  • rails
  • curpal
  • Treatment of the underlying disease
  • Sometimes corticosteroid injections
  • Occasional operations

Relief can be achieved by avoiding excessive strain on the wrist or pressure on the median nerve and by correctly positioning the computer keyboard. Wrist splints to keep the wrist in a neutral position (especially at night) and mild painkillers may also help.

Wrist splints can relieve the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome by keeping the wrist in a neutral position.

Treating underlying conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or hypothyroidism can occasionally relieve symptoms.

In cases of severe pain or numbness, or when muscle weakness or atrophy is severe, surgery may be used to relieve pressure on the median nerve. This loosens the connective tissue strands that press on the median nerve.

If carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed, it is important to act quickly and take appropriate measures to treat the symptoms. Symptoms can vary from patient to patient and range from pain in the fingers to numbness in the wrist and hand. The carpal compression test can play an important role in diagnosing the syndrome because it can identify possible narrowing or irritation by applying pressure to the nerve in the carpal tunnel.


1. German Medical Journal –

2. –


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