Almost everyone knows someone who is suffering from the symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), or at the least, has heard of the devastating effects that carpal tunnel inflicts upon hundreds of thousands, even millions, of American lives each year.

To date, carpal tunnel syndrome affects over 8 million Americans, and is costing the private business sector, government agencies and insurance companies more than 20 billion dollars annually in workers compensation alone. The overall cost of treating carpal tunnel and other repetitive strain injuries is between 60 and 90 billion annually when considering the cost of implementing ergonomic products, rehabilitation, physician visits, surgery, lost time from work, temporary help and job retraining.

Musculoskeletal disorders, including carpal tunnel syndrome, are among the most prevalent medical conditions in the US, affecting 7% of the population. Repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel and tendonitis account for 14% of physician visits and 19% of hospital stays. 62% of the persons with musculoskeletal disorders report some degree of limitation on activity, compared with 14% of the population at large, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

There is a solution to this pandemic of the 21st century, and that is to implement prevention methods to stop carpal tunnel syndrome before it starts. Carpal tunnel relief is achievable when the appropriate steps are taken. These measures include the following:

Ergonomic Products:

Help reduce overall stress to the carpal tunnel region.

Rest Breaks:

Allow muscles within and around the carpal tunnel to rest, reducing hypertonicity in the muscles.

Stretches:

Lengthen the flexor muscles inside and around the carpal tunnel; reducing compression of the underlying medium nerve and blood vessels.

Exercises:

Strengthen the underused extensor muscles which helps to counteract the compressive forces of the flexor muscles on the carpal tunnel.

Once preventative measures are implemented, carpal tunnel syndrome and its effects will be greatly reduced. Take the appropriate steps today to keep yourself healthy and carpal tunnel free. If your employer will not do it for you, do it yourself. Implement the steps listed above and you will keep yourself from becoming just another carpal tunnel statistic. It's your choice – your health is in your hands!