Microsoft Offers RSI Prevention Tips

An April 2007 article in Microsoft Home Magazine, Protect Your Wrists from Typing, promises to help you “learn to identify the signs of carpal tunnel syndrome from frequent computer use”.

The article relates the story of Joanne Bernard, who was “diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome caused by extensive computer use”, and goes on to discuss the physiology and symptoms of CTS, as well as treatment options and improvements to patients workstation ergonomics that can reduce pain.

Although the article is new, it doesn’t discuss recent findings that carpal tunnel syndrome is not caused by overuse of the hands. The article implies that Bernard’s computer use actually caused her CTS, whereas the new research claims that CTS is caused not by overuse, but by the patient’s own genetics, over which they have no control.

So while the article may not be completely accurate, it does offer good advice for preventing repetitive strain injury (RSI), which is caused by overuse. The tips are pretty standard, but bear repeating:

  • improve your workstation ergonomics
  • improve your posture
  • stretch your neck, hands and wrists
  • take frequent breaks
  • exercise to stay fit

Randy Rasa

Randy is an engineer/programmer/web designer who has suffered from repetitive strain injury off and on for over a decade.

One Comment:

  1. This is bull – carpel tunnel is from computer work, or any other overuse activity. You ever hear of people getting this back in the day before computers? Rarely….

    This is just some Doctor trying to let the work comp insurance companies off the hook. Genetics may have something to do with it, but I would hardly say a person without CTS would get it if they didn’t do any repetitive work. Also, CTS is very rare and almost always mis-diagnosed.

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