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After 20 years of helping people to use their computers more effectively, SmartNav has now come to the end of life as a product.
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome FAQ

How SmartNav Can Help
You Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Why Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is important to you
Steps and Tips to help Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Warnings and Precautions

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

"That equates to 27 tons being pushed by the fingers' muscles and tendons each day..."

Many occupations today have evolved to the point where job specialization requires the same hand and wrist motions to be repeated endlessly throughout the workday. Evidence of such specialization can be seen in many occupations including; dentists, cashiers, clerks, assembly line workers, secretaries, computer operators, and more. Our workforce is predominately made up of jobs that require employees to spend hours each day overusing the same muscles and tendons, with no thought to the long term consequences. Though good news is here, the NaturalPoint SmartNav hands free mouse is going to change everything you know about ergonomic mice and carpal tunnel prevention.

Letís use the example of a typist, who works at sixty words-per-minute, that typist depresses the keys 18,000 times in one hour. Each press of the finger requires about eight ounces of pressure effort. In just one day those fingers have pressed the equivalent of 54,000 pounds. That equates to twenty-seven tons being pushed by the fingers' muscles and tendons each day, almost all of which can be avoided by the use of a SmartNav hands free mouse!

This strain of repeated movement and pressure overworks muscles in the hands, fingers, and arms and causes the nine tendons in the narrow carpal tunnel to become irritated, inflamed, and swollen. This leaves the swollen flexor tendons inside the tunnel with nowhere to expand, so they expand into each other and the adjacent median nerve. The final result of this swelling is additional pressure in the tunnel and, of course, on the median nerves itself. All of this damage leading to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be prevented with the use of a SmartNav hands free ergonomic mouse.

As pressure increases in the tunnel due to tight muscles and inflamed tendons, the blood-carrying structures collapse, leading to hypoxia, edema, and fibrosis of the nerve. The end result is a nerve that does not receive nutrition, so it will not properly conduct synaptic impulses and cannot heal. This is the condition that causes the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, such as pain, burning, tingling, numbness, and loss of strength and motor function.

Why Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is important to you

"...women are twice as likely to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as men..."
There are many reasons why Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is important to you, because there are a myriad of different implications for both managers and employees. While Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects both sexes, women are twice as likely to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as men, with it being especially common among women between the ages of 30 and 60. While women account for about 45% of all workers, they experience nearly two thirds of all work related Repetitive Strain Injuries. Even if you are not in a Ďat riskí category then you may still manage people who are, and as a manger it is important to know that according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), repetitive strain injuries are the nation's most common and costly occupational health problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of American workers, and costing more than $20 billion a year in workers compensation.

A NaturalPoint SmartNav starts at $399.00; a small price to pay when you consider Carpal Tunnel Syndrome results in the highest number of days lost among all work related injuries. Almost half of reported carpal tunnel cases result in 31 days or more of work loss according National Center for Health Statistics.

Steps and Tips to help Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

While surgery and conservative measures have both proven to be fairly effective in treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There is no better substitute than taking the necessary steps to help prevent this painful and debilitating syndrome from ever occurring. Early signs of Carpal tunnel syndrome are a tingling or numbness in the hands, sharp pains shooting from the wrist up the arm, or a burning sensation in the fingers.

There are several steps one could take to decrease the probability of being stricken with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome;
"...use the SmartNav as a substitute when you feel the need to take a break from the keyboard or mouse."

Eliminate the need to use your hands for basic computer tasks with a SmartNAV, or use the SmartNav as a substitute when you feel the need to take a break from the keyboard or mouse. The SmartNav makes an excellent cursor control alternative and works very well as it is a truly ergonomic solution and offers the potential to end wrist strain, by eliminating the need for a mouse. It's the best solution available for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, Tendonitis, Repetitive Strain Injury, and other wrist strain related problems.

Here is a hint: Purchase a SmartNav from and begin setting up your work space with adjustable screens, keyboards and work surfaces to eliminate extra strain to the wrists and hands. Position your keyboard so that it is at elbow level. Your forearms, wrists and hands should be in a straight line parallel to the floor as you type.

Here is a hint: Use of specifically designed splints that maintain the wrist and hand in a proper position during work activities has been consistently recommended by physicians and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome sufferers alike. Wearing a wrist brace or splint, if you are doing repetitive work such as typing, writing or operating a cash register, will provide extra support to the wrist and hand. This will help to maintain the wrist in a neutral position and avoid excess flexion and extension while preventing excess thumb and pinky finger opposition. Controlling these two motions will help avoid unnecessary pressure on the median nerve and prevent overuse of the wrist and finger flexor tendons thus reducing the risk of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Though donít forget your goal is to strengthen, not support. A supportive brace can weaken the muscles surrounding the wrist and add to the problem.

This FAQ has outlined the main cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, namely repeated stressful motion - which the SmartNav completely bypasses, while still offering all of the interface options you need for your desktop PC. The SmartNav offers you the highest level of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome relief possible. You can utilize hot keys or plug a click switch or a footswitch directly into the side of the SmartNav for even more clicking options. The SmartNav was designed to complement the natural head motion you already perform when looking around, moving your head less than a quarter inch easily maneuvers the cursor across your entire screen. Once you learn the keyboard shortcuts in programs like Microsoft Word, Explorer, etc. you wonít ever have to use a normal mouse again.
"The SmartNav offers you the highest level of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome relief possible."

Here is a hint: Remember to bring two short ACE wrist wraps to work and donít forget to make sure they are snug (but not tight) and start just below the thumb knuckles. Also, use a wrist pad with your keyboard. A wrist pad is a cushioned support that rests under your wrists, runs the length of your keyboard and takes the stress off your wrists by raising them to the level of the keyboard.

Here is a hint: Exercise before and after work. Try the following: Stand and extend both arms out from your chest with palms facing out and fingers pointing up. Hold for a count of five. Straighten your wrists and relax fingers, then make a tight fist with each hand. Bend your wrists down and count to five. Repeat these stretches ten times for each session. It also helps to take short breaks every hour at work. During your break, stand up, breathe in slowly and deeply, allow your arms to hang loosely, and shake for a couple of seconds. This will prevent buildup of muscle tension.

Beyond securing ergonomic devices such as the SmartNAV, one needs to pay careful attention to the way their workspace is arranged and to the postures one assumes during work activities. It is important that the workspace is ergonomically appropriate, meaning that objects should be positioned in such a way that there is no need for excessive reaching. Wrist support is also key and is of major concern when performing data entry or typing.

Here is a hint: Break up repetitive types of work with other duties throughout the day so your hands and eyes get a break.

Warnings and Precautions

As mentioned before, early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome are a tingling or numbness in the hands, sharp pains shooting from the wrist up the arm, or a burning sensation in the fingers. This FAQ is by no means all inclusive and you should consult a doctor immediately if you think you have carpal tunnel syndrome. It is much easier to treat if detected early on.

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