Reduce the risk of carpal tunnel

Doctor examining patients hand

The majority of Australians now use computers, whether at home or at work, causing an increase in the percentage of people with hand, wrist and forearm injuries.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a painful hand disorder caused by pressure on the median nerve that runs through the wrist and into the hand. If left untreated and repetitive work continues, the inflammation can increase.

Upper limb injuries are often caused by:

  • repetitive motions (such as packing or sorting)
  • static postures or sustained exertions (such as gripping or manipulating a hand tool that is too big)
  • compression or contact stress (caused by hard or sharp edges)
  • awkward postures
  • prolonged duration and frequency of work.

Workers can reduce the risk of CTS using the following healthy workplace practices:

  • regular pauses and stretching exercises
  • schedule work plans to include frequent breaks to stretch arms, hands, wrists, shoulders and neck
  • be creative in taking breaks, eg. get a glass of water, do some filing or stand when making phone calls to let go of the mouse and keyboard.

Research has also indicated that ergonomic training and workstation adjustment (such as a new chair or arm supports), along with early identification of risk can assist in reducing the occurrence of CTS and other upper limb injuries.

Find out more about injury prevention.

Last updated
23 January 2017