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Re: overuse injuries (4 messages) ERCELAA@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu 18 Mar 1998 17:20 UTC

4 messages:


Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 07:34:59 -0700
From: Cory Meyer <cmeyer@BIBLIO.UNM.EDU>
Subject: Re: overuse injuries (Isabel Brackbill)

Here at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Library we have
been battling the same kind of problem.  Having an ergonomically correct
workstation does not mean the person stationed there is using it correctly.
Sometimes we find people hunched over or even lounging in their chairs....

Our problem however is our student shelvers....we have found that we can't have
them scheduled for shelving more than two hours at a time.  Usually we have
them break to do a myriad of other tasks which use different motions than
shelving.  This has helped.  We have also invested in simple wrist supports and
while they won't solve the problem they are certainly a visual reminder to the
students to hold the books with two hands instead of one.

I know from my own experience that when I start feeling a strain in my wrists,
elbows or shoulders, I stop what I am doing and go do something else for a
bit....God knows there is enough to do!

> Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 14:37:18 -0700
> From: ibrackbill@LANL.GOV
> Subject: overuse injuries
> We are plagued with overuse injuries to our library staff (carpal tunnel
> syndrome, tendonitis). This is especially prevalent with the staff in the
> serials section, where journal check-in and binding are done, as well as
> with the catalogers who spend long hours keyboarding and handling books.
> I would like to know if this is a problem in other libraries and what
> solutions have been taken to avoid this. Having an ergonomically correct
> work station has not prevented these injuries at our library. Are there any
> libraries out there that have successfully addressed these problems?
> Isabel Brackbill
> Serials Cataloger
> Research Library
> Los Alamos National Laboratory
> Los Alamos New Mexico

Cory Anne Johnstone Meyer
Head, Serials/Government Documents      (505) 272-8824
University of New Mexico
Health Sciences Center Library
Albuquerque, NM  87131-5686


Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 09:55:31 -0500
From: Anna Schein <U5135@WVNVM.WVNET.EDU>
Subject: Re: overuse injuries (Isabel Brackbill)

Overuse injuries are also a problem in our library (West Virginia University),
especially in the serials and cataloging departments.  In addition to carpal
tunnel and tendonitis, we have employees with cubital tunnel and spine
problems as well.  As you say, ergonomically correct workstations will not
prevent these injuries.  Many staff are wearing wrist braces and fingerless
spandex gloves which help, but again, do not cure.  The only preventive
measure I've found is to
reduce the amount of repititive tasks each staff member is required to do
each day.  It work in my department (Serials) because each person works a
number of hours at the information services desk and has a variety of other
duties in addition to check-in and keyboarding.  I also would be very
interested to hear reponses from others.

Anna Schein
Head, Serials Department
WVU Libraries


Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 08:50:57 -0800
From: Karen Anspach <kanspach@EOSINTL.COM>
Subject: Re: overuse injuries (Isabel Brackbill)

This is a story of my personal experience only.  It may be of interest to
some of you out there battling the carpal tunnel problem.

I had surgery on my right wrist for severe carpal tunnel, went through
rehabilitation and made sure my work environment (one of heavy computer
usage) was ergonomically correct.  Unfortunately, within two years my left
wrist was reaching the level of symptoms of the other wrist, and symptoms
were returning to the right wrist.  According to the orthopedic surgeon all
he could do would be to operate on the left wrist, not a pleasant prospect
under any circumstances but less so given the success of the previous
operation.  Nothing further could be done for the right wrist.

A colleague of mine visiting her chiropractor (who specializes in
nutritional therapies) noticed a flyer about his treating carpal tunnel. I
had been pretty much a traditional medicine person and somewhat skeptical
about chiropractic, but I set up an appointment.  This was covered by my
workman's compensation since the orthopod approved it (it certainly cost
less than the surgery!)

This was about three years ago.  I am now symptom free, as long as I follow
his advice!
To make a long story short; he says most sufferers of carpal tunnel are
people with a  problem handling sugar and refined carbohydrates.  These
people are attracted  to sweets, pastas, etc. an easy habit in our fast
paced world and with today's diet.  His recommended diet to get my body
back in balance eliminated all sugars (including fruit) and refined grains
(whole wheat pastas and breads only).  I followed this strictly for about a
year - the hardest thing for a chocoholic but hey - I was facing loss of
use of my hands (and my career!)  And of course visits to the chiropractor
- frequently at first, less so as I improved.  At this point my body is
back in balance and I have learned my boundaries.  Yes, I can eat fruit and
occasional sweets again, but I'm always aware. If I slack off, symptoms
return in about two weeks to remind me.

Karen  Anspach
Senior Systems Analyst
EOS International, Inc.
5838 Edison Place
Carlsbad, CA 92008
1-760-8440 (FAX)


Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 08:54:39 -0600
From: Kathy Stewart <kstewart@ADMIN.OGI.EDU>
Subject: Re: overuse injuries (Isabel Brackbill)

About a year ago several of us were complaining about similar maladies.  We
had someone come over to analyze how we do our work.  In my case she was
able to cut out one of the times when I was picking up the serials.  (I do
the check-in among other things)  Just doing this has helped tremendously.
Whenever I do have a problem I go back over my day and realize that it is
because I am using a gripping action too much.  I try to keep this to a
minimum.  She also recommended taking aspirin or Tylenol right away to keep
any swelling down.  Hope this helps.


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Kathleen L. Stewart                   
Oregon Graduate Institute of                    phone: (503) 690-1061
Science and Technology                          fax: (503) 690-1029
PO Box 91000
Portland, Or. 97291-1000
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