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Cumulative Trauma Disorder / Repetitive Stress Injuries

One of the most expensive and poorly treated conditions of the computer era is carpal tunnel syndrome. It has frequently been poorly diagnosed and the treatment of this common conditions costs business and industry thousands of dollars in lost work time and disability. It is most common among people who type on computer keyboards or who perform other repetitive tasks with their hands, arms, shoulders and neck. Current treatment methods often fail to bring long term results and sometimes results in worsening disability. Common treatments used for the condition are wrist splints, massage, injections into the area of pain and discomfort, medications, nutritional supplements, physical therapy, exercises including stretching and finally when all else fails, surgery. Recently, these arm conditions have more appropriately been reclassified as Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTD's).

Typical Symptoms

The typical CTD sufferer may note the following:

  • Arm/Hand/wrist pain.
  • Arm/Hand Numbness.
  • Raising the arm makes the hand go numb (Nerve root adhesion).
  • Numbness in the first finger and thumb (true carpal Tunnel).
  • Numbness in entire hand or finger tips (Nerve root adhesion).
  • Wrist pain/thumb pain.
  • Shoulder Pain.
  • Neck Pain
  • Stiffness in the hand or forearm.

Prevention – Best Form of Treatment

There are various forms of treatment of CTD, however prevention is the most effective. Surgery offers immediate short term relief however a couple of years later many patients have a return of symptoms.

Chiropractic adjustments and exercise keep the muscles and joints of the spine, neck, shoulders, and wrists moving and free of adhesions. When the joints and muscles of the body are moving properly, stress on these is reduced to a minimum, and the risk of developing CTD is dramatically reduced.

The best thing to do is to set up your work station to proper ergonomic standards and reduce the stress placed on your body during your work. Your chiropractor will be able to offer specific recommendations to help you reduce your risk of developing CTD.