In today’s digital age, where desk jobs have become the norm, wrist pain has emerged as a common issue among office workers. Spending hours on end at a desk, typing away on a keyboard, or using a mouse can put significant strain on our wrists and lead to discomfort and even injury.
Thankfully, there are ergonomic solutions that can help alleviate wrist pain and promote a healthier work environment. Let’s explore some of them:
1. Optimize Your Workstation Setup
A proper workstation setup is crucial for reducing wrist pain. Here are a few key tips:
Chair and Desk Height
Ensure that your chair and desk are at the correct height. Your arms should be parallel to the floor, and your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle when typing or using the mouse.
Position your keyboard directly out front. Avoid angling it to one side, as this can strain your wrists. Consider using an ergonomic keyboard that promotes a more natural hand position.
Place your mouse within easy reach so you don’t have to stretch or strain to use it. Consider using a mouse pad with a wrist-rest for added support.
2. Use Proper Typing Techniques
The way you type can greatly impact the health of your wrists. Follow these guidelines to reduce the risk of wrist pain:
Maintain a Neutral Wrist Position
Keep your wrists straight and in a neutral position while typing. Avoid excessive bending or flexing of the wrists, as this can lead to strain.
Use a Light Touch
Don’t press down too hard on the keys. Instead, use a light touch and let the keyboard do the work. This can help minimize strain on the wrists and fingers.
3. Take Regular Breaks and Stretch
Sitting in the same position for extended periods can contribute to wrist pain. Incorporate regular breaks and stretches into your work routine:
Every 30 minutes, take a short break to stretch your wrists and hands. Stand up, shake out your hands, and gently rotate your wrists in both directions.
Perform simple stretches for your wrists throughout the day.
For example, extend your arm forward while keeping your palm facing down, then use your other hand to gently pull back on your fingers.
Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other hand.
4. Consider Ergonomic Tools
If you still experience wrist pain despite implementing ergonomic solutions, consider using ergonomic tools designed to reduce strain:
Invest in an ergonomic keyboard that is designed to promote a more natural hand and wrist position. These keyboards often have split or curved designs to alleviate strain.
Look into ergonomic mouse options that provide better support for your hand and reduce wrist movement. Vertical mice, for example, can help maintain a more neutral wrist position.
When to Visit an Orthopedic Surgeon for Wrist Pain
While implementing ergonomic solutions can often alleviate wrist pain, there are instances when it’s necessary to seek medical attention from an orthopedic doctor, specifically a hand surgeon.
Here are some signs that indicate it may be time to consult a professional:
Persistent or Intense Pain
It’s advisable to see a doctor if you experience persistent or intense wrist pain that doesn’t improve with:
- Ergonomic adjustments
- Over-the-counter pain medication
They can evaluate the severity of your condition and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Limited Range of Motion
You may have an underlying condition f you notice a significant decrease in your wrist’s range of motion, such as difficulty bending, flexing, or rotating it.
A hand surgeon can assess the cause of the restriction and provide suitable interventions.
Swelling or Inflammation
Swelling and inflammation around the wrist joint can be signs of an injury or inflammation-related condition like tendinitis or arthritis.
If these symptoms persist or worsen, it’s essential to consult a hand surgeon for an accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment plan.
Numbness or Tingling Sensations
Wrist pain accompanied by numbness, tingling, or a “pins and needles” sensation in the hand, fingers, or forearm may suggest nerve compression or carpal tunnel syndrome.
An orthopedic doctor can perform specific tests to diagnose the condition and guide you toward appropriate treatment options.
Previous Injuries or Trauma
If you have previously injured your wrist or have a history of trauma to the area, such as fractures or dislocations, it’s crucial to consult a hand surgeon for assessment and follow-up care.
Loss of Grip Strength
A noticeable loss of grip strength, difficulty holding objects, or clumsiness in the hand may indicate an underlying problem with the wrist or hand function.
A hand surgeon can conduct specialized tests to identify the cause and recommend suitable treatment options.
Treatment for Wrist Pain in Bismarck, ND
The Bone & Joint Center is a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of hand and wrist problems in North Dakota. Our orthopedic surgeons are fellowship-trained in hand surgery and will provide you with the highest quality wrist pain treatment in the region.
Whether it’s arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or a wrist injury, we are committed to your recovery and providing you with personalized care. To schedule an appointment with us, call our office today at (701) 946-7400 / (866) 900-8650 or use our online request form.