Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can you get arthritis from computer use?"
I have to type on a computer and click a mouse for like 8 hours every day. Will this eventually give me arthritis? I've only been doing it for like 6 months but I am really freaked out. I don't want to end up in constant pain just because of some job.
"Wear and tear" arthritis is very common as we age. It is one of the most common reasons that middle aged and elderly people seek help from their doctors, in fact. However, wear and tear arthritis is more related to genetics and, in some cases, to very heavy physical labor or sports injuries. It is unlikely to develop from light activities, such as working at a computer all day long. This is not to say, however, that there are not some risks from working at a computer all day long. In particular, tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome are two forms of over use injury that are common in computer users. Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons in the wrist, causing pain with bending the wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an inflammation of the nerve in the wrist, causes numbness and tingling, and sometimes pain, in the fingers of the hand. To prevent these conditions, it is important to take frequent breaks during the day. It is also helpful to use an ergonomic keyboard and to sit with good posture while working. If you develop any concerning symptoms at all, you should see your primary care doctor right away for help.
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