Does Technology harm your hands? Common myths regarding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Alejandro Badia, MD, FACS
It is a common misconception that using a computer causes carpal tunnel syndrome. In fact, there is a near universal belief that technology gadgets can cause all sorts of hand problems. Both the lay public and most healthcare providers believe that entities such as “blackberry thumb” and “Nintendonitis” truly exist and that common hand problems such as flexor tendonitis and basal joint arthritis of the thumb are caused by repetitive typing or using a mouse. The most common myth remains that carpal tunnel syndrome is “that computer disease” and that using your hands for what is now an everyday function for many people can cause physical harm. Nothing is further from the truth.
Not only are common conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger and tennis elbow NOT caused by so called “overuse” or “repetitive stress” but they are actually metabolic and hormonal related issues that are actually quite easy to treat; given the right diagnosis is made and the sufferer is seeing the right type of specialist. Furthermore, the rarely discussed economic ramifications of this are staggering. CTS is now responsible for 1/3 of all money spent on workers compensation, rivaling low back pain, and more than 2 billion dollars is spent a year on a condition commonly seen in the general population...