Computers and Hands: Dispelling Common Myths

Have you heard that computer use causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

There is a near universal belief that technology gadgetry can cause all sorts of hand problems. Both the lay public and most healthcare providers believe such entities as “blackberry thumb” and “repetitive strain injury” actually exist and that common hand problems such as flexor tendonitis and basal joint arthritis of the thumb are caused by repetitive typing or using a mouse.

The most common myth is that carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is “a computer disease” and that using your hands for what is now an everyday function for many can cause physical harm. Nothing is further from the truth….

Not only are common conditions like CTS, trigger finger and tennis elbow NOT caused by so called “overuse” or “repetitive stress” but they are actually metabolic and hormonal related issues quite easy to treat — given the right diagnosis and the sufferer seeing the right type of specialist.

Furthermore, the rarely-discussed economic ramifications of this myth are staggering. CTS is now responsible for one-third of all money spent on workers compensation (rivaling low back pain) and more than two billion dollars yearly on a condition commonly seen in the general population, but particularly common in perimenopausal woman, diabetics and hypothyroid patients.

Also common in third trimester pregnancies, it is usually resolved after delivery and fluid retention diminishes. Unfortunately, work compensation

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