Typing and Carpal Tunnel [Video]
Ask the Expert: Hand Video Series
About the video: Will typing cause carpal tunnel?
Are you destined for carpal tunnel if you are typing all day? Hear from Summit Orthopedics’ hand specialists Edward Su, MD, LT Donovan, DO, and Paul Donahue, MD on what the most recent research has to say on the topic. It might just ease your fears.
Meet the Expert: Edward Su, M.D.
Dr. Su’s approach: “Driving, cooking, bathing, using tools, computers, and playing sports. We interact with the world largely through our hands, and I appreciate the importance of staying active and pain free.”
Dr. Su’s background: After completing his undergraduate studies at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Su moved to New York, New York, where he earned his Medical Degree at the New York School of Medicine, and later completed his Orthopedic Surgery residency at the Hospital for Joint Diseases. He also completed fellowship training for Hand and Upper Extremities at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.
Meet the Expert: LT Donovan, D.O.
Dr. Donovan’s approach: “My personal passions for baseball and cycling often give me unique insights about how to treat sports-related injuries.”
Dr. Donovan’s background: In Des Moines, Iowa, Dr. Donovan earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa and his medical degree at the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery. Following his residency at the Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, he completed fellowship training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Meet Paul Donahue, M.D.
Dr. Donahue’s approach: “It’s important to keep moving as much as your body will allow comfortably on a daily basis, be it walking, jogging, biking, swimming, or skiing, to maintain your weight and health.”
Dr. Donahue’s education: Dr. Donahue completed his undergraduate degree at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. After he obtained his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, he completed his residency at Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia. He later trained in the Hand Surgery fellowship program at the University of Louisville Hospitals in Louisville, KY
Additional resources for you
Visit our Hand & Wrist Care section where you’ll find more articles on hand health, information about common hand conditions and treatments, our hand & wrist video library, and more.
Edward Su, M.D.: A lot of patients will ask about keyboard use and computer use and carpal tunnel syndrome. Well, the reality is that carpal tunnel syndrome was around much longer before computers were invented. It’s a very, very common condition. People of all ages get it, in their 20s and 30s, and in their 80s and 90s. People get it who use computers, people get it who don’t use computers. People get it who do manual labor, people get it in their dominant hand and their non-dominant hand. It really has to do largely with just the patient’s anatomy.
LT Donovan, D.O.: Years ago, we always thought, if you had a problem that developed at work, or doing certain activities, that was probably the cause of it. Well, what we know nowadays is that typing or data input does not cause carpal tunnel. People can have numbness and tingling while they’re typing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it causes it.
Paul Donahue, M.D.: There have been a number of studies that have not shown a positive correlation between typing and carpal tunnel, but on the other hand, if you do have carpal tunnel, typing will certainly aggravate it. Any repetitive activity will aggravate carpal tunnel.
Most people know what carpal tunnel syndrome is, but its causes are widely misunderstood. Upper extremity surgeon Dr. Debra Parisi addresses misperceptions and explains how carpal tunnel is treated.
Ask the Expert: Hand Video Series
You reach out to grasp a doorknob, and feel a sudden pain at the base of your thumb. Could this be a symptom of thumb arthritis? Thumb arthritis is the most common form of osteoarthritis in the hand, and is caused when the cartilage in the thumb joint begins to erode.