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How to treat your wrist pain now that you are sitting on your computer for longer periods of time.

In March 2020, our lives changed drastically. We went into a lock down due to COVID-19. In my household, I was still going out since I am an essential worker. However, my wife had to stay home and work from home. That forced her to use her laptop all day. A change she was not prepared for. Her posture in her desk was affected greatly and her wrist started hurting. Let's take a look at why that is.

Take a picture of yourself or imagine this: you looking down into your laptop screen, maybe from your lap on a couch or a desk, and the keyboard is smaller than a regular desktop if you have a small laptop. This increases your neck, thoracic and lumbar flexion, throws your head forward, brings your shoulder forward and in, and your wrists will be in flexion. You may get all of these compensations or just some, which may help determine what the source of your problem is if you develop one.

The first fix we had to do is to give her a good ergonomic set up. We got elevated screen mounts where we placed the laptop on one, and a monitor on the other, we got her a keyboard and a mouse. All with support. Yes, and a good ergonomic chair. This addressed the source of her issues. The source of her pain was her wrists. So we got her wrist braces for her to sleep with to allow her to heal when she sleeps and avoid further aggravation of her wrists irritation. For my wife, that was her fix. However, for other people it may be more difficult to resolve.

Let’s imagine you already have tight pectoral muscles or a neck. You may end up with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome causing you to impinge your brachial plexus or a bundle of nerves that go down to your arm. It can also affect all of the muscles of your neck or the cervical spine itself which can cause headaches, TMJ, neck pain, or nerve impingement causing pain locally and/or your arms/shoulders.

In a few words, protect your ergonomics (posture while using your workstation or performing your job). And if you already have pre-existing conditions, address them to avoid further injury due to prolonged postural positions at your job.

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