This is the third in a three-part blog series about the health-related issues faced in the court reporting and legal services industry.
Court reporters are not the only people who have problems with carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. Many busy professionals spend a lot of time driving in the car. Attorneys, for example, spend much time in their vehicles going to and from home, the office and the courthouse. Many people use poor posture when they are driving and aggravate carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, arthritis and back problems.
Here are some tips on how to reduce back, arm and hand pain, as well as numbness and tingling that can plague those who do a lot of daily driving.
Do not over-grip the steering wheel. Relax your hold. Make the steering wheel bigger with a thick steering wheel cover to enlarge your grip.
Rather than curling your hand around your cell phone, use hands-free technology, such as a speaker or headset to communicate.
Align your mirrors properly. Do not crane your neck to see out of your back window. Adjust the side- and rearview mirrors.
Put your seat in the right position by moving it forward or backward so that you can comfortably reach the pedals, steering wheel and gear shifter. Some seats are adjustable, moving up and down as well. Use a back support cushion or find a car with adjustable seatbacks that fill in at the natural curve of the back.
In chilly weather, start your car at least 10 minutes before you leave the house. This will warm up your car’s interior while you wait inside your home. Cold environments slow the blood circulation in the body. It exacerbates pain of arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other medical conditions.
Secure all beverages in a cup holder. Use a cup adapter to fill in extra space around it to prevent spills and burns while stopping or turning.
Those driving a standard shift car might consider using a bigger shifter handle to enlarge their grip. Use one with an extension to make it taller, if necessary.
Use a keyless entry with your vehicle to reduce gripping and twisting motions with your keys. A remote access key will also prevent fumbling and distractions when arriving at your car. This could prevent tripping, dropping things and the resulting bending and twisting injuries to the back, legs and shoulders.