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Ergonomics guides: an ergonomics guide to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Armstrong TJ
Ergonomics guides. American Industrial Hygiene Association 1983 Jan; :1-9
This guide is concerned with carpal tunnel syndrome - what it is, what causes it, and what can be done about it. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disorder of the hand caused by injury of the median nerve inside the wrist. The median nerve is one of three major nerves of the upper extremity that contains motor, sensory, and autonomic fibers. Injury of the median nerve results in impaired or lost nervous function in the first three and one-half digits and the thenar eminance at the base of the thumb. Motor nerve impairment results in reduced muscle control and ultimately muscle atrophy; "thenar atrophy" is a common symptom in advanced cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. Sensory nerve impairment results in sensations of numbness, tingling, and pain, and in loss of sensory feedback from the hand, an important factor of the ability to grasp, hold and manipulate objects. Persons suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome often complain that they cannot tell hot from cold, that they do not feel they have much strength, and that they have trouble performing simple manipulations, such tasks as tying their shoes. The term "nocturnal numbness" is used to describe symptoms that often awaken people during bed rest. Autonomic nerve impairment often results in loss of sweat function; the areas of the hand innervated by the median nerve often are reported to be dry and shiny in persons suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. The moistness of the hand is an important factor of friction and affects the ability to grasp and manipulate objects. It is common to moisten a fingertip when turning the page of a book. Clumbsiness is a common symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. In summary, carpal tunnel syndrome is manifested as a specific pattern of neurological deficits that result in discomfort and impaired use of the hand.
Ergonomics; Carpal-tunnel-syndrome; Nerve-damage; Nerve-function; Neurological-system; Hand-injuries; Cumulative-trauma-disorders
Associate Professor, Department of Environmental and Industrial Health, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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Ergonomics guides
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Department of Environmental and Industrial Health, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division