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Your Carpal Tunnel
by: Dr. Boogie

Workplace accidents are at an all-time high. A decade ago, you would expect to shear off a toe or two while working at a warehouse or a shipyard, but with modern society's increasing need for cubicle-packing office stiffs, the threat of injury has shifted from one type of lowly peon to another. Theirs, however, is far more sinister a threat than boiling lead or a falling piano. An office worker can expect to meet his maker through a pot of coffee to the face, a disgruntled coworker, or worst of all, wrist injury!!!

It creeps up on you ever so slowly. One minute, you're plunking away at your keyboard trying to bang out that spreadsheet before the end of the say; the next, you're rolling around on the floor screaming because it feels like the devil has stabbed you in the wrist with his flaming pencil of the damned. That is why those clever dogs in HR have come up with a system of liability-minimizing safety precautions that we call "ergonomics".

I don't need to tell you that it's important to protect your wrist. It's nearly impossible to dunk a basketball without one. The problem is that the wrist is an unbelievably complex apparatus filled with tiny bones and nerves. In many ways, it serves as the final frontier; less is known about the human wrist than deep space, or even the depths of the ocean. What we do know, however, is how you can minimize the chances of having your wrists snap right off of your forearms by the time you're old enough to realize your life is half-over.

Wrist injuries are caused by repetitive motions, which can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, much in the same way that repetitive actions can lead to carpal tunnel boredom. Any sort of gripping motion can cause it, such as using a television remote or arm wrestling. If you're a professional arm wrestler who enjoys watching news stories about past exploits, and even if you're not, you should consider undertaking some of the following actions to prevent injury:

Exercise


When you're not on the job, make it a point to wear wrist weights all the time. Doing so will strengthen your wrists and make those repetitive injuries seem effortless. If you can't afford store-bought wrist weights, or if your wrist is in too much pain to open the door of your local sporting goods store, you can make your own wrist weights by attaching some string to a suitable surrogate, such as a coconut, or a gallon of milk. If your wrist isn't supple enough for you to tie the string, just use a stapler.

Holistic medicine

Consider wearing a pair of magnetic bracelets. These will help attract and remove lead particles introduced into the body by way of the company drinking fountains. Be mindful of the strength of your bracelet, however. A harddrive that has been accidentally erased can lead to a lot of hair-pulling, and that can lead to further injury if you haven't stretched properly beforehand.

Take breaks

Make sure to take frequent breaks when you're on the job. Whenever stressful wrist activities loom on the horizon, be prepared to take short breaks every few minutes to relax your muscles and allow your wrist bones to recombobulate themselves. Some employers may not appreciate such breaks, but if your boss should complain to you about your working two minutes to every three that you spend on break, just show him how flexible and supple your wrist is compared to his, and ask him if he can put a price on a wrist like yours.

Ergonomic mousepads

These days, ergonomic mousepads are starting to show up more often in the workplace. The main difference between an ergonomic mousepad and an ordinary one is that the ergonomic variety have a cushion where your wrist wrests, I mean rests. Make sure that the pad itself doesn't have an odd smell before using it. Repeatedly smelling your wrist can lead to nasal tunnel syndrome.

Ergonomic keyboards

Coupled with your ergonomic mousepad should be an ergonomic keyboard. The difference between regular and ergonomic keyboards is that ergonomic ones typically have the keys arranged in a "V" shape. A similar design principle can be seen in music, as guitarists with sore wrists will often switch to flying V guitars, and wear V-neck undershirts. It's a very ergonomic letter.

Above all else, you should be aware of your wrists at all times. If you start to feel a soreness in your wrists, and that soreness starts to creep up into your hands and down your fingers, and then back down into your forearms and anaclnasbd...

*Dr. Boogie was unable to finish this article because he wrote it without taking a break and, subsequently, his biceps rolled up like window shades.*


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