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Ergonomic Controls Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

By December 10, 2015 January 27th, 2020 No Comments

Constant numbness in the hands, sharp shooting pains in the wrist and up arms, loss of grip strength or even the ability to maintain a grip on objects, loss of feeling in fingers — the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are frightening and the pain is great enough to wake you up at night. Left untreated, the condition is debilitating and can cause permanent damage to your hands.

Because of the serious and debilitating repercussions of carpal tunnel syndrome DJ Products designs all of its material handling equipment with ergonomic controls, handles and handholds. Our goal is to provide ergonomically-designed material handling equipment that protects the health and safety of workers by eliminating the potential for debilitating musculoskeletal injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful, progressive condition caused when the median nerve, the key nerve in the wrist, is continuously compressed by swollen tissue. The median nerve controls sensations and impulses to the muscles on the palm side of the hand, thumb and all of the fingers except the pinkie. The median nerve runs from the forearm into the hand through a narrow bony passage at the wrist called the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel also houses tendons that allow the wrist and hand to move. When repetitive motion activities or repeated stress from pushing and pulling heavy carts irritates wrist tendons, they swell, pressing on the median nerve. The result is numbness, weakness and pain that radiates from the fingertips up the arm.

When workers continue to perform daily tasks that irritate wrist tendons, pressure on the median nerve becomes constant, eventually causing permanent damage. Without nerve support, the individual gradually loses fine motor and may even lose gross motor control of his hands and fingers. He may lose the ability to sense hot and cold. Muscles at the base of the thumb atrophy, and hands can become deformed. Left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause life-altering disability.

Repetitive motion activities on the job and strain from pushing and pulling heavy equipment are the leading causes of carpal tunnel syndrome in the U.S. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, in a 1998 study 3 out of every 10,000 U.S. workers were affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. On average, each worker missed 10 days of work and incurred medical bills of $30,000. Treatment of chronic cases requires surgery and an average 6 to 8 weeks for recovery. Utilizing equipment with ergonomically-designed controls and handles can effectively eliminate the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

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