According to recent studies, the answer to that question is yes! Before the onset of information technology, the injuries associated with carpal tunnel syndrome were the result of repetitive motion by manual laborers and factory workers. But in New Orleans orthopedic surgeons are finding a new source of the condition.
With technology taking over both our personal and work lives, we are spending more time using smart phones and computer keyboards. And this is causing a rise in the reports of carpal tunnel syndrome, currently being referred to as smartphone carpal tunnel or video thumb.
If your hand is telling your brain that your activities are causing pain, don’t ignore the warning, as the repercussions can be serious. Listen to your brain and adjust your activities accordingly.
Carpal tunnel syndrome typically occurs when a nerve that is located in your wrist gets crushed by the tendons surrounding it, causing inflammation. And that pain and irritation can spread to both your neck and your upper arm areas.
While some products are being touted as “ergonomically correct” decreasing the amount of repetitive motion you’re performing is the best defense. Your tendons aren’t meant to work repetitively more than 60 – 90 minutes in a row. Taking your hands off your computer keyboard even for a couple of minutes gives your tendons the break they need.
And text messages may seem harmless enough, but send 100 text messages a day – which the average teenager does – and you could end up with carpal tunnel syndrome, and an appointment with your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can also cause permanent nerve damage and arthritis, and raises the risk of thumb-joint replacements as the current generation of texting teens gets older.
So when should you see a doctor? If you are experiencing pain or numbness – which gets progressively worse – it’s time to make an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor. The course of treatment may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines;
- Physical therapy
- Ultrasound treatment;
- Electrical stimulation.
If these initial treatments don’t bring about the desired results, surgery may be required. There are minimally-invasive surgery options available that have a high success rate with little time needed for recovery.
The bottom line is that you need to let your brain listen to your hand. It’s important to get carpal tunnel syndrome taken care of as soon as possible by your New Orleans orthopedic surgeons.