5

Many people now a days, use the computer a lot. A very lot.

I'm guessing it's normal to feel some slight discomfort, small pain regularly in your dominant hand, wrist, and/or underside of forearm if you use the computer for greater than 5 hours a day everyday?

Or is this a sign that you may be developing/have carpal tunnel syndrome?

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Slight discomfort or little pain is quite obvious when you use computers for more than 5 hrs a day, that too for many months/years.

But then, such situation is all set to bring in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. As a medical professional, I think the most important symptoms you should check/watch for include

tingling sensation and numbness (emptiness)

These are the symptoms that are alarming signs of CTS. At times, these are associated with weakness.

When to count it seriously?

I think the time is when it disturbs your routine works or wakes you up in the nights.

  • Tingling and numbness are a common symptom of a number of conditions including anxiety. How does this really answer the question? – anongoodnurse Apr 4 '15 at 2:10
2

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is compression of the median nerve.

You have several muscles that go through a band (tunnel) which your median nerve uses as well. For whatever reason, if for overuse causing inflammation, structural damage, etc, the median nerve gets compressed you will start to feel tingling sensations.

There are a few tests including Tinel's sign1, Phalens test2

Overuse can lead to pain as well. The solution here is simple, stop using it. Let it rest. Do activities with the hand that aren't repetitive motions.

1

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is very common disease and the prevalance of CTS has increased in modern times due to increased time spent on computer.

I should point out that CTS is NOT a dangerous disease. It may be life disturbing but it is very easy to manage operatively.

Most important symptoms associated to CTS include:

  • numbness and tingling in fingers 1-3, rarely 4 but NEVER finger 5
  • symptoms are most disturbing at night or at the time of awakening
  • clumsiness while opening a door with key or while holding a mug

Regardless of the reason for any hand or finger related symptoms, one could try to use a wrist brace at nights. If that helps, it is a very good indicator of stress or ergonomy related issue or CTS.

If any progression in the symptoms occur you should refer to your GP.

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