Karpaltunnelsyndrom

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a Repetitive Strain Injury affecting the wrist. The carpal bones are your wrist bones. Tendons for your hand pass through a narrow tunnel between these bones, but the Median Nerve also uses this tunnel. If the tendons become irritated and swell, the nerve is pinched, leading to loss of dexterity.

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Symptoms

  • Pain in the wrist or forearm.
  • Numbness of thumb, index or middle fingers.
  • Difficulty holding small objects.

Causes

  • Repetitive movement.
  • Strain on the wrist.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Anything that limits blood flow to the hand.

Case Examples

Several players from the World Rankings have been forced to retire with CTS. Dan Cerveny (former WR2) switched to NF style and eventually retired after damaging his fingers. Marc Schouten (former WR4) also retired with severe CTS. Damien Moore (former WR2) has mild CTS but can still play. Several other players have been affected.

Cure

There is no simple cure. In extreme cases surgery is used to relieve pressure on the nerve. If swelling is the problem, a splint is worn or a local steroid injection given. Several treatments exist for people with diabetes and arthritis.

You can minimise damage by stretching the wrist. Keep your fingers straight and press your hand backwards until you feel the stretch. Hold for several seconds and repeat. You should stretch several times a day.

Prevention

The best cure is prevention. Avoid anything that impedes blood flow or tightens your wrist. (Do not rest your wrist on a cold desk, do not tense your shoulder). Use a mouse that is large enough for your hand and has easily pressed buttons. Take breaks when you play and increase blood flow by exercising during your breaks.

Never rest your weight on the wrist. The weight of your arm should hang from your shoulder and your wrist should be lower than your elbow. If you find this uncomfortable, rest your elbow on the arm of your chair or buy a soft support for your wrist.

Finally, everything in Minesweeper eventually comes down to luck!

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