Could My Desk Job Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Whether you are still working from home or have returned to the office, many spend long hours working at a computer each day. The repetitive typing motion might leave you with pain or discomfort in your fingers, hands, and wrists. Many patients who come to OALI with these symptoms automatically associate their pain with the possibility of carpal tunnel syndrome.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that impacts the median nerve, a major sensory nerve that supplies sensation to the palm side of your hand. The median nerve also controls some muscle functions. Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when this nerve is compressed due to swelling or inflammation in the carpal tunnel—the narrow space at the base of your hand.

Those living with carpal tunnel syndrome often report a tingling sensation in their arms, wrists, or hands. If left untreated, the condition can cause muscle weakness and motor impairment in the hands and fingers. Surgical repair is often the best treatment for managing late-stage carpal tunnel syndrome.

Office Jobs and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

While there is no direct correlation between keyboard use and a carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis, the condition is connected to repetitive motions. Typing and using a mouse can put constant strain on the tendons and muscles in your wrists. But other factors, such as poor posture, can also lead to irritation in the carpal tunnel.

But there are many ways you can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, even if you are seated at a desk or computer most of the working day. The right desk chair and wrist cushioning pads can add to a well-designed ergonomic workstation. Proper desk posture can help eliminate unnecessary pressure on the wrists and other parts of the body. Maintaining flexibility and proper stretching is also helpful for maintaining your wrist and hand health. Pause throughout the day to stretch your hands. An easy exercise is moving the wrists in small circles counterclockwise and then clockwise—maybe 30 seconds in each direction.

But is wrist, hand, and arm pain are impacting your work day, it is always recommended to speak with your provider at Orthopedic Associates of Long Island. Schedule an appointment at one of our eight Long Island locations by calling 631-689-6698 or visiting us online at We are here to help you feel your best at the office and wherever life might take you.

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