If you work in an office job, repetitive hand and wrist movements involved in various tasks, such as typing, can make you susceptible to wrist pain. While wrist pain can interfere with your ability to perform your responsibilities comfortably, it can also affect your productivity. In 2017, carpal tunnel syndrome, a common source of wrist pain, was the third most common reason for lost days due to illnesses and injuries.
Office workers typically develop wrist pain after performing repetitive movements day after day in ergonomically incorrect environments. As experts in diagnosing and treating wrist pain, the orthopedic surgeons at Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, help patients reduce discomfort and restore function lost to wrist problems.
While we take pride in providing effective treatment for wrist pain, we’re also dedicated to helping our patients develop healthy workplace habits, so they can prevent wrist pain before it occurs. Read on to find out our recommendations for combatting this condition in an office job.
Maintain a correct posture while typing
Establishing a correct posture includes several considerations. The following specifications can help you maintain a correct posture while typing on a computer:
- Keep the height of your elbows at the same height as your keyboard
- Place your keyboard directly in front of you
- Position your keyboard so you can keep your elbows at 90 degrees and close to your body, and position your forearms so they’re parallel to the floor
- Place your mouse in a position that allows you to relax your shoulders and keep your wrist in a neutral position
- Instead of hunching forward, sit with your back straight and feet flat on the floor
- Unlock the backrest on your chair to promote movement
Avoid injury from repetition and overuse
While working on your computer, take frequent breaks. Get up and move around at least every 60 minutes. The movement will encourage circulation, and it may even help boost your productivity, because you’ll return to your desk refreshed. If you can’t step away from your desk, pause between assignments and turn your hands over, allowing your knuckles to rest on the table in a new position periodically.
While performing tasks, try to mix up your patterns so the same hand isn’t always performing the same movements. Between tasks, squeeze a rubber stress ball to keep your muscles moving in a different way.
Exercise your fingers and wrists
You can perform simple stretching exercises to help keep your wrists limber and flexible. For your wrists, try gently moving them up and down. And for your fingers and thumbs, try making a fist and then stretching out your fingers and thumbs. Repeat these stretches throughout the day, especially if your activities are very repetitive.
Wear wrist braces to control movement
Wearing wrist braces or splints can help keep your wrists in neutral positions, so they don’t move too far in one direction. Wearing them can also be valuable at bedtime, since you have no control over your wrist movements when you sleep. If you get wrist braces, make sure they fit properly to get the appropriate support.
Get medical treatment for symptoms
If you have pain or other symptoms in your wrists, fingers, or hands that lasts more than a couple weeks, get medical attention. Wrist pain from carpal tunnel syndrome can worsen and result in permanent nerve damage if left untreated. Our orthopedic surgeons provide a wide range of treatments, including surgery, that can alleviate pain and restore movement no matter what type of wrist pain you have.
Wrist pain that includes the following symptoms may benefit from medical treatment:
- Pain, tingling, or numbness that worsens at night
- Redness or swelling around the wrist
- Trouble gripping objects or making a fist
- Wrist movement accompanied by a clicking sound
- Inability to perform simple hand movements
To learn more about preventing wrist pain or to get treatment, book an appointment online or over the phone with Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic today.