Can typing Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Have you every asked yourself, why Do my Hands Hurt From Typing?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a disorder that causes swelling and inflammation of the tissues surrounding the median nerve. So, what’s the link between typing and carpal tunnel syndrome? Can typing cause carpal tunnel syndrome?

It was previously believed that typing on a keyboard all day was the primary cause of CTS in office workers. Join us as we explore the connection between typing and CTS, including the risk factors and preventative measures that can help manage the condition.

Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

CTS is a condition that affects the hand, wrist, and arm, causing pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the fingers, wrist, and hand. Although the exact cause of CTS is unknown, several risk factors increase the likelihood of developing it.

These include:

  • Repetitive motion
  • Wrist injury
  • Overuse of the wrist or hand
  • Genetic factors
  • A dislocation or fracture
  • Incorrect positioning of hands and wrists
  • Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis

If you are concerned about the risk factors associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important to seek the advice of a professional who can provide a proper diagnosis. Diagnosis is usually made through a physical examination and diagnostic tests. Understanding the risk factors and seeking prompt medical attention can help manage carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

Does Typing Really Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

So, can typing cause carpal tunnel syndrome? Contrary to popular belief, spending hours at a computer keyboard is not often a direct cause of CTS. However, individuals who type more than 28 hours weekly are more likely to get CTS. Repetitive typing puts a strain on the wrist and hand and might contribute to the development of CTS.

Even though typing and excessive hand use can hurt or make you uncomfortable, typing is a passive repetitive action and cannot substantially contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. CTS is typically caused by compression of the median nerve brought about by aggressive, repetitive hand motion. Typing can cause carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms to flare up. Typing can strain the wrist and increase the risk of developing CTS symptoms, but it isn’t the sole cause of the condition.

Although typing has been closely associated with CTS, it is not the underlying cause. Typing is a passive repetitive activity. Carpal tunnel syndrome is brought on by aggressive, repetitive action. The chance of developing CTS may increase if you work certain jobs. These include:

  • Assembly workers
  • Working in a kitchen
  • Meat, poultry, and fish market workers
  • Needlepoint
  • Construction work
  • Automotive work
  • Working with tools or machinery
  • Playing certain sports
  • Any job that involves repetitive use of high-level hand-arm vibrations

Computer-Related Pain May Be Something Else

In addition to typing, other factors such as physical conditions, bad posture, and an improperly designed workspace can also cause pain when using a computer. If you work with your computer a lot and suffer from hand and arm pain, don’t assume that carpal tunnel syndrome is the cause of the pain you’re experiencing. Seek medical attention to determine the true source of the pain.

Is the Mouse More Dangerous Than the Keyboard?

Using a mouse or a keyboard can both cause computer-related pain. However, those using a mouse more frequently and for extended periods are more likely to develop CTS. Using a mouse that is too small can force the wrist to bend at an awkward angle, thus putting a strain on the wrist and hand, leading to CTS.

Image Credit: Clari Massimiliano / Shutterstock

How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Some of the measures that you can take to decrease your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Reducing Your Force and Relaxing Your Grip

It is important to avoid gripping tools too tightly for prolonged periods to reduce your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Instead, try to grip everyday tools more loosely. This will help reduce the force your hands and wrists exert, which can prevent strain and tension from building up over time.

  • Taking Frequent Breaks

An effective way to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome is to take frequent breaks. Try to take a break every 20 to 30 minutes to give your wrists a rest, improve circulation, and reduce muscle tension. During these breaks, stretch your hands and wrists or simply take a quick walk around the office to promote blood flow throughout your body.

  • Watching Your Form

Another important step you can take to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome is to watch your form. Avoid bending your wrist up or down when using a keyboard or mouse. Instead, keep the keyboard at or just below elbow height to maintain a neutral wrist position. Additionally, avoid resting your wrists on the edge of your desk, as this can cause unnecessary strain and tension.

  • Improving Your Posture

Maintaining good posture is crucial for preventing carpal tunnel syndrome. Don't roll your shoulders forward, as this can cause tension and strain in your neck, shoulders, and wrists. Instead, sit up straight and ensure that you are using your hands and wrists to minimize strain and tension.

  • Changing Your Computer Mouse

If you spend a lot of time using a computer mouse, switching to an ergonomic design may be beneficial. Using a mousepad with wrist support or an ergonomically designed mouse can help decrease your risk of developing CTS. These devices are designed to reduce strain on your wrists and promote a neutral wrist position, which can help prevent the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Discover How Ovation Hand Institute Can Help You Manage Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Are you suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome? Contact us at Ovation to discover how we can help you manage CTS. Most patients at Ovation Hand Institute return to work in 1-2 days thanks to our minimally invasive technique that doesn't require a surgical incision. The treatment has shown consistently positive results in more than 2,000 cases, demonstrating its great efficacy.

Book a consultation with us today.

Featured Image: GBJSTOCK / Shutterstock