Just in North America alone, over 260,000 Carpal Tunnel Release operations are performed each year, and over 47% of these cases are reported as being work-related!
The costs due to CTS are substantial – both for the patient and for the employer.
When does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occur?
The increased use of computers, and their accompanying flat, light-touch keyboards that allow for high-speed typing, have resulted in an epidemic of injuries to the hands, arms, shoulders, and neck. The increased use of pointing devices like the computer mouse and trackball (which require repeated subtle movements) add to these injuries.
The thousands of repeated keystrokes and long periods of clutching and dragging with the mouse causes chronic irritation to soft-tissue (nerves, muscles, ligaments, fascia, and tendons). This irritation creates friction and pressure, which eventually leads to small tears within the soft-tissue. These in turn cause inflammation, decreased circulation, and swelling (edema).
CTS injuries are aggravated by:
Poor posture and body positions.
Poor ergonomics (positioning of the chair, mouse, monitor, keyboard, assembly line, and so on).
Decreased strength due to poor conditioning or injury.
Insufficient relaxation/rest time away from the stresses that cause the problem.
Excessive force that is required to perform an action.
All these factors place unnecessary, repeated stress upon all the soft-tissues of the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, and hands.