Useful Information: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Surprise, surprise, customers of Das Keyboard spend a lot of time typing! I thought it would be helpful to share some information about symptoms of Carpal Tunnel to help our customers and readers to know what to look for to hopefully avoid an problems.

Now, we make no medical claims about the benefits of using Das Keyboard, but we’ve heard from time to time that the tactile experience of Das Keyboard has helped several customers with finger pain or potential Carpal Tunnel.

“I just have to say thanks to Das Keyboard for making such a wonderful piece of equipment. I’ve had it for little under a month now, and it’s almost completely rid me of the finger pain I used to get with my old keyboard. I type anywhere from 10,000 to over 40,000 characters a day, so going from a $10 keyboard to a $130 keyboard with very nice switches and a firm feel to them really does make a difference to me.”

Nevertheless, misuse of any keyboard may cause problems, here are some general symptoms to be aware of and watchful.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
By Mayo Clinic staff

Carpal tunnel syndrome typically starts gradually with a vague aching in your wrist that can extend to your hand or forearm. Other common carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include:

  • Tingling or numbness in your fingers or hand, especially your thumb and index, middle or ring fingers, but not your little finger. This sensation often occurs while holding a steering wheel, phone or newspaper or upon awakening. Many people “shake out” their hands to try to relieve their symptoms. As the disorder progresses, the numb feeling may become constant.
  • Pain radiating or extending from your wrist up your arm to your shoulder or down into your palm or fingers, especially after forceful or repetitive use. This usually occurs on the palm side of your forearm.
  • A sense of weakness in your hands and a tendency to drop objects.

When to see a doctor
If you have persistent signs and symptoms that might be due to carpal tunnel syndrome that interfere with your normal activities — including sleep — see your doctor. If you leave the condition untreated, nerve and muscle damage can occur.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
By Mayo Clinic staff

The cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve is a mixed nerve, meaning it has a sensory function and also provides nerve signals to move your muscles (motor function). The median nerve provides sensation to your thumb, index finger, middle finger and the middle-finger side of the ring finger.

Pressure on the nerve can stem from anything that reduces the space for it in the carpal tunnel. Possible causes include:

  • Other health conditions. Some examples include rheumatoid arthritis, certain hormonal disorders — such as diabetes, thyroid disorders and menopause — fluid retention due to pregnancy, or deposits of amyloid, an abnormal protein produced by cells in your bone marrow.
  • Repetitive use or injury. Repetitive flexing and extending of the tendons in the hands and wrists, particularly when done forcefully and for prolonged periods without rest, also can increase pressure within the carpal tunnel. Injury to your wrist can cause swelling that exerts pressure on the median nerve.
  • Physical characteristics. It may be that your carpal tunnel is more narrow than average.

You can also view more information about Risk Factors and Tests and Diagnosis.

So what is your experience? Do you know someone with Carpal Tunnel? Do you have pains that interfere with typing? Have any techniques helped? Have you seen any change (good or bad) if you started using a Das Keyboard?