Typing at a Keyboard Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome(CTS), Right?

The American Academy of Neurology collaborated with the Mayo Clinic to study the relationship between keyboarding and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. They found no evidence that typing for even up to seven hours a day week after week will provoke the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

They looked at 257 computer typists in a controlled situation. Seventy-six of them, almost 29.5 percent, reported tingling in their fingers and hands. However, only 10.5 percent had symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Further testing of the median nerve found that only 3.5 percent actually had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Those few who did have CTS averaged 41.8 years of age and had spent an average of 8.7 years keyboarding about 6.6 hours typing daily. On the other hand, those without Carpal Tunnel Syndrome averaged 42.4 years of age and had spent 6.4 hours a day keyboarding for an average of 8.8 years.

Statistically, such small differences in the two categories prove nothing – and do not point to a trend. Thus, other factors have to be considered. That flies in the face of years of testimony by reputable doctors that almost any hand motion on the job leads to CTS.

As a result of such testimony, attorney Michael Rusin says many courts have been far too willing to rule that, since the employee had used his or her hands at work, any Carpal Tunnel Syndrome diagnosis must be job-related.

Before the Mayo Clinic study, says Rusin, no research was available to cast doubt on such beliefs. Rusin says he had wondered for years why physicians didn’t backing up their opinions with scientific data. Now, he says, the Mayo study provides needed evidence – and it reputes the longstanding assumptions.

Is Carpal tunnel Syndrome – CTS just too popular? Could it be that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is blamed far too often for a variety of ailments since it has received so much publicity – particularly related to large court settlements? Could workers on production lines be motivated by widespread reports of large cash payouts to CTS victims?

After all, a worker with sore wrists may have heard about a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms – CTS patient who allegedly received full disability approval from Social Security and cash from his or her employer. The worker grows envious of someone with similar symptoms who does not have to work, just stays at home and collects benefits.

For a worker in a dead-end position who hates his or her tedious and low-paying job, such a prospect can be enormously attractive. Such individuals have been known to pressure their physicians into misdiagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in hopes of winning a nice settlement.

Whether real or not, CTS issues annually cost American employers more than $20 billion in medical expenses and lost work time, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees most at risk are typists and production line workers.

Such injuries have leaped in cost from less than $5 million in the 1980s to more than $40 million – and they continue to climb.

One Response to “Typing at a Keyboard Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome(CTS), Right?”

  1. [...] Carpel tunnel Syndrome – CTS sufferers recommend applying a poultice of ground-up hot peppers, then tightly wrapping the [...]

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