strain injuries (RSI's) like carpal tunnel syndrome
(CTS) are costing consumers, private business and
insurance companies more than $100 billion in lost
revenue each year.
According to The Agency for Health
Care Policy and Research , " Musculoskeletal disorders
are the country's most costly category of workplace
injuries and illnesses. In addition to spending $20
billion annually on workers' compensation costs due
to RSIs (Like Carpal tunnel syndrome), the U.S. spends
another $100 billion on lost productivity, employee
turnover, and other indirect expenses.
The goal of every private business
and insurance company should be to cut costs, and
this goal can only be met when carpal tunnel syndrome
and other "tunnel syndrome" disorders are addressed
in a scope of "prevention" rather than after the
fact and have to address the injury through "rehabilitation" methods.
Rehabilitation costs to businesses and insurance
companies are much greater than costs associated
with prevention, and has an even higher toll on the
individual afflicted with the disorder (carpal tunnel)
in terms of both psychological and physical damages.
The key to cutting costs associated
with CTS and RSI's is "prevention", which can be
achieved through a variety of methods. By implementing
the methods listed below, overall costs can be reduced
dramatically and optimum health and productivity
of the individual can be maintained.
- Job Rotation: Individuals that
rotate tasks, including the amount of force they
utilize for each task and the amount of time each
task is performed reveals a great reduction in
the level of carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive
- Stretch / Exercise Breaks: Taking
a short break every 30-45 minutes is key to reducing
the onset of repetitive strain injuries like carpal
tunnel syndrome. The most important prevention
element on this list is to perform appropriate
exercises and stretches to improve circulation
and keep the muscles in tune and balanced. (For
a good list of stretches and exercises, speak to
the employee health director or to a certified
- Workstation: Operating in the
correct environment is "key" to reducing the possibility
of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Proper seating,
a good keyboard, computer screen, mouse, desk set-up,
positioning, etc. is critical to reducing the amount
of strain imposed on a daily basis.
- Tools: When using tools for
assembly and construction, you must be sure that
they are properly designed to fit you, not someone
To save as much money as possible
for everyone involved, it is wise to implement as
many of the elements listed above. By addressing
all angles conceivable, the chances of an injury
reduce dramatically and workers stay healthy. When
workers are healthy, productivity and output increase,
reducing healthcare costs and increasing the bottom
line for all. Stay Healthy!
Author: Mr. Anliker is a Therapist
and Inventor of Therapeutic Exercise Products that
are utilized by Corporations, Consumers and Medical
Facilities around the world for the prevention and
rehabilitation of repetitive strain injuries.