Monday, February 09, 2009

Health Tips for February 9

Health Tip: Relief From Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The result may be pain, weakness or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm.

Some patients are born with an unusually narrow carpal tunnel, which means they're at higher risk. Other contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist, an overactive pituitary gland, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, work stress or repeated use of vibrating hand tools.

Anti-inflammatory drugs can ease the pain and swelling, while stretching and strengthening exercises can be helpful in people whose symptoms have abated. Surgery may be necessary if symptoms last for six months.

Health Tip: Sit Properly at the Computer

Stretching your neck and working your wrists at a computer for hours at a time can strain much of the body.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these suggestions to help reduce computer pain and discomfort:

  • Sit up straight, with your ears lined up with the top of your shoulders, and your shoulders lined up with the hips.
  • Relax your upper arms, and hold them close to your body. Keep your hands and wrists straight in front of your arms.
  • Keep your hands and fingers relaxed when typing or clicking on the mouse.
  • Take regular breaks and relax your hands and fingers.
  • Give your eyes a rest and look away from the computer every so often. Also, try to position your screen to reflect the least glare.
  • Place your computer monitor about an arm's length in front of you, and right at eye level so you don't have to look up or down to view the monitor.

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