Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Soft Relief Device for Typing Applications


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) affects roughly 3%-6% of the working population ages 18-64.  This affliction is caused by applying stress on the median nerve that is routed through the carpal tunnel while it is at a positive or negative angle, greater than 15 degrees in either direction, to the human wrist. The median nerve can become inflamed and swollen due to pressure from the palmar carpal ligament causing numbness, stiffness and in some cases severe pain. Tasks like typing can become nearly impossible when the median nerve is inflamed. A number of products on the market and research prototypes have been suggested that try to alleviate CTS strains, however, these designs are generally passive e.g. braces, splints, etc. Instead of actively trying to adjust the wrist angle, the general trend is to prop the wrist up with some sort of rigid ramp, similar to the bottom of a keyboard. The goal of this work is to design a wearable, soft-actuated, robotic sleeve that will dynamically adjust the position of the wrist in real-time to a neutral angle to prevent or release CTS strains.