According to a report by the Orthopedic Center of Arlington, more than eight million individuals suffer from varying degrees of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) on a yearly basis. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tendons and ligaments surrounding the median nerve are inflamed.
This inflammation creates swelling in the area, and the median nerve gets pinched, leading to a “pins and needles” sensation in the fingers, wrists and even the whole arm. This causes a huge amount of pain and discomfort for millions of pencil pushers around the world; your startup company may not be immune to this.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
While the most common symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome would be numbness and tingling, another common indicator of CTS would be muscle weakness. Individuals affected by carpal tunnel syndrome often report clumsiness with holding small objects, turning door knobs, and other fine motor tasks.
Other patients with CTS report these symptoms accompanied by varying degrees of pain. Left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome could lead to permanent disability, as certain muscle groups in the hand will have atrophied or withered away.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually typified as a repetitive motion disorder or cumulative stress injury. This means that CTS occurs when the wrists or the ligaments involved are exposed to extensive amounts of exertion and are limited to very specific motions on a frequent basis; this is common in tasks that require the wrist to be bent for a long period of time. Jobs that are most at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome include those that do a lot of typing (a common feature among most startup tech companies).
Dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome.
There are a number of treatments available for CTS, like taking medications, wearing splints or braces, or even surgical procedures like open release surgery. In cases like these, it is recommended that individuals suffering from CTS seek workers’ compensation to recover lost wages due to the syndrome.
Most states usually cover repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome as a part of workers’ compensation. In Pennsylvania, CTS has long been included in the list of work-related injuries to allow its citizens to file for workers’ comp. There are many workers compensation lawyers in Bristol, PA that can provide professional legal assistance for persons who have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Preventing carpal tunnel syndrome.
There’s a reason why most CTS sufferers are employed in desk jobs. Researchers from Hong Kong report that using electronic devices like computers can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be costly as well; it’s better to try and avoid it entirely.
There are a number of things that startup tech companies can do to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from occurring among their workforce. Read on to find out how you can deal with carpal tunnel when it happens to your company:
Customer Relationship Management software.
As carpal tunnel syndrome is tied to repetitive motions like typing, automating smaller processes can help reduce the risk of CTS. Employing customer relationship management (CRM) software in your startup can help integrate multiple systems, eliminating the need to enter the same data on different sources. Using CRM software also cuts down on unnecessary work when it comes to creating reports, so daily, weekly, monthly and annual business reports require less legwork.
Voice over IP systems.
The downside to telephony systems is that call records and transcripts need to be created manually, putting employees at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. Most Voice over IP (VoIP) systems can help companies manage their communication networks (i.e. voice, fax, SMS, video and voice calls and conferencing) better through internet protocol. Through the digitization of the process, some VoIP systems can record and transcribe calls for users, eliminating the need for your startup to do it manually.
Ergonomic computer tools.
Most keyboards in the marketplace can put a lot of strain on the user’s wrists and fingers, putting them at a greater risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. Choosing the right ergonomic keyboard for your startup to use can go a long way in avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome and the costs that come along with it. Also consider getting a mouse pad with wrist rest for your employees as well; as the median nerve is located in the wrist area, more wrist support can help prevent CTS.
With the right mix of both hardware and software for your startup company to use, you can focus on doing your core business without having to worry about the ills of office work that is carpal tunnel syndrome.