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Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

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  • #16
    Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

    After a long periods of work I too can feel the strain in the hands and wrists. Since my studio/office was built without ergonomic considerations, using the work surfaces around the room require that your arms are not at rest but instead are being actively elevated by your shoulders. It was nice to have someone craft a computer room's surfaces, but the design was poor for long sessions at a box station.

    Although the discomfort isnt costant, I can clearly feel it's effects when playing guitar. After a half set of death metal tunes, I can begin feeling the burn. So I take regular breaks to abuse a stress ball, squeezy thing, that I got from a tradeshow. Stretching and massaging the hands/wrists really seems to help me manage the discomfort.

    I figure that I will need my hands to communicate, work, and create... and diminished use is a terribly frightening prospect.
    If a chicken and a half, can lay an egg and a half, in a day and a half... how long would it take a monkey, with a wooden leg, to kick the seeds out of a dill pickle?

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    • #17
      Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

      Originally posted by xor View Post
      Then you get Carpal Thumb and can' t text anymore :-).

      xor
      If it goes into your finger(s)/thumb(s) then it's called trigger finger/thumb. And you can still text, it just really hurts. Also, if anyone gets trigger finger I found it's best to go ahead and get the A-1 pulley release surgery.

      On a side note CTS and Trigger finger/thumb are related in a way, at least in how it affects a person and treatments that can be used.
      "It is difficult not to wonder whether that combination of elements which produces a machine for labor does not create also a soul of sorts, a dull resentful metallic will, which can rebel at times". Pearl S. Buck

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      • #18
        Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

        Originally posted by DJ Jackalope View Post
        So far its only when I sleep and really rarely when i'm mousing. (ha, is that a verb?) I know i tend to try and fold my wrists in when i'm sleeping (cuz face it, what do you do with your hands, they're in the way!) so i'm definitely taking that into consideration. Only- i notice that my left hand is much more tingly and that's the one i mouse with, hence the concern.
        Speaking as someone who has paid consistent attention to work environments, I'm going to offer some serious advice. I'm sorry I can't drop by physically, because I'm quite sure I could offer advice on simple things that would help.

        Look at the place where you work most. Are the edges of the desk/table where the computer is curved or sharp. 90 degree edges on anything you rest your wrists on are bad. If you can't do anything else, get a couple of mouse pads, and tape them over it. Those squishy gel-filled things that are meant to run the length of the keyboard are excellent. Buy two, and have them run the length of the desk.

        Where is your mouse? Is it to the approximate left of the keyboard, at the same height, or do you reach up, forward, over, or any combination of those? You should not have to stretch your arm forward, or up, when you move your hand from the keyboard to the mouse. You might consider a trackball as well, although not everyone can get used to them. If the place where your keyboard sits is not wide enough to move the mouse, move the keyboard to where the mouse is.

        Raise (or lower) your chair so that your hands comfortably rest, at a natural angle, with your arms able to rest on the arms of your chair. Don't have a chair with arms? Take one away from someone else who does.

        Find a friend who plays the piano, and who has had piano lessons as a child. Get them to help you hold your hands properly above the keyboard, such that you are letting your fingers do the work, and not placing unnatural strain upon your wrists.

        Is your keyboard elevated or flat? Those little feets are there for a reason. Use them.

        I'll probably think of more once I've had more coffee. It's early yet (for me, anyway).

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        • #19
          Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

          Another thing that has helped me tremendously with removing undue strain from my wrists was buying an Apple wired keyboard. One of those thin metallic ones. They don't require me to use a gel pad and feel more natural to type on, as sitting in my chair my hands are comfortable lying on the table in front of me, and are not up higher due to a gel pad.

          Also, since it is not a hard to push keyboard (think laptop), it is less straining to hit the keys.

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          • #20
            Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

            The best advise I can give is to get a wrist brace from Walgreen's and wear it every night while you are sleeping.
            This was my doctors advise when I had the same problem. He said that people tend to curl up in the fetal position while sleeping and this cause the wrists to bend down for extended periods of time. This causes the tendons in the wrist to become inflamed which then puts pressure in the median nerve, thus causing numbness.

            In my experience, the numbness usually goes way after about a week. Hope this helps.

            Also, I would recommend you see a Doctor just to make sure it isn't something more serious .

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            • #21
              Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

              so, i have to ask... am i some sort of freak or something? because i've never felt the slightest pain in my wrists and (as many folk know) i'm not huge into taking a lot of care of myself. i sit at computers when working, i am on mine at home a good deal, i don't have a special chair or gel pad or wrist braces, etc. how come i've never had anything relating to carpal tunnel? i'm not saying that the discomfort that others feel is made up, but i will admit that there was a period in my life when i was younger that i thought people were blowing it out of proportion. (i used to feel that way about "migraine" headaches, too. i have either simply never felt pain on that level or i have some kind of freakish tolerance for it.)
              "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
              - Trent Reznor

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              • #22
                Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

                Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
                Speaking as someone who has paid consistent attention to work environments, I'm going to offer some serious advice. I'm sorry I can't drop by physically, because I'm quite sure I could offer advice on simple things that would help.
                .

                Whoa! AWESOME. Maybe we should make this post a *sticky*. Thank you for your time and someday, dang it, i will enter Coffee Wars.
                ======================================
                DJ Jackalope
                dopest dj in the galaxy. *mwah!*

                send in the drop bears!
                ======================================

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                • #23
                  Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

                  I think it has something to do with how you body is made. Just like some people can all the salt they want and have low blood pressure or eat lots of fatty foods and still have low cholesterol.

                  From my research, Carpal tunnel Syndrome comes from the tendons that control you finger become inflamed when they are rubbed together and begin to get larger. The tendons soon get to big for the carpal tunnel which puts pressure on the median nerve and thus the numbness. The carpal tunnel is a tube the holds the tendons and nerve in place though the wrist so the hand can move freely without the tendons popping everywhere. When the Carpal Tunnel surgery is performed, the carpal tunnel is cut open and then the wrist is set in a cast for about 2 week followed by about 4 more weeks of a wrist brace. The carpal tunnel then heals to a larger size than before and thus allows more inflammation before the nerve is pinched. The 2 to 6 weeks of wrist braces will also reduce the inflammation of the tendons. Thus, the larger carpal tunnel and reduced tendon inflammation is goal of the surgery (although it doesn't alway work).

                  Deviant,in your case, you may have a larger carpal tunnel or tendon that do inflame as much as others. Or you may just have a very ergonomic habits when using you computer.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

                    Hmm, maybe that's it. Of course, there's always the chance that some joker will chime in with a comment along the lines of "it's due to all the exercise that your wrists got when you were a teenager!!1!"

                    people were surprisingly slow on the draw on that one, i must say.
                    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                    - Trent Reznor

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                    • #25
                      Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

                      Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                      so, i have to ask... am i some sort of freak or something?
                      Well, yes. Yes you are. Sorry, couldn't help myself. :-D

                      Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                      ...because i've never felt the slightest pain in my wrists and (as many folk know) i'm not huge into taking a lot of care of myself. i sit at computers when working, i am on mine at home a good deal, i don't have a special chair or gel pad or wrist braces, etc. how come i've never had anything relating to carpal tunnel? i'm not saying that the discomfort that others feel is made up, but i will admit that there was a period in my life when i was younger that i thought people were blowing it out of proportion. (i used to feel that way about "migraine" headaches, too. i have either simply never felt pain on that level or i have some kind of freakish tolerance for it.)
                      Having suffered from migraines when I was younger, and having an otherwise very high tolerance for pain, I can assure you that it's real, and that the pain is incredible. Only a small segment of the population actually suffer from migraines, and it is more common with females than males. Wikipedia has the least biased article on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migraine

                      The fact that you haven't had carpal tunnel says certain things about your genetics, including the inherent strength of your wrists. It also suggests that you are in reasonably good shape. Perhaps you've played piano or some other keyboarding instrument (which would have encouraged a proper positioning of the hands). There's also luck (as in, count your blessings).

                      Really, not a lot of people get RSI, but it's not a bad idea to try and avoid it, especially when the lifestyle changes are small.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

                        Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
                        Perhaps you've played piano or some other keyboarding instrument
                        piano and violin for years when i was growing up, actually. i'm out of the habit with each for a while now, but i had never considered that it could factor in like that. i also have been shooting regularly since i was very young, usually with large caliber hardware. maybe that (plus all my self-pollution) has been a factor in the development of these strong wrists.

                        all in all, blessings are being counted here.
                        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                        - Trent Reznor

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

                          I am with Deviant. I spend hours and hours a day on the keyboards and have not had any of the symptoms. I played piano as a child but only about six months worth of lessons. I learned to type in the military on a "communication" typewriter (all upper case letters). And typed on teletypewriters for 20 plus years on activity duty with the Navy. So other than having thick wrist to begin with, or at least that what I have been told, I can't think of anything that I do differently from others.
                          DaKahuna
                          ___________________
                          Will Hack for Bandwidth

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                          • #28
                            Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

                            I've been getting pains recently as well. I just broke down yesterday and bought a Logitech Wave. I'm feeling a slight pain in my wrists, normally on the underside, or vein ridden side... whatever you want to call it. I need to invest in an ergonomic mousepad myself. I looked at that Dynaflex Gyro, but other than using that for exercise, what does everyone recommend for the best types of stretches and wrist exercise?

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                            • #29
                              Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

                              I've een eyeing ergonomic keyboards off and on for a while, but I've never been convinced if it would be worth the investment or if it's just a ploy to sell more pricey boards. Have people here had success with them or noticed an actual difference in how they feel after usingt one?

                              Most of my typing is either on Das Keyboard that I plug into my laptop or a Saitek II for gaming, and they seem to work pretty well.

                              I do notice that I tend to rest the outer corner of my wristbone on my keyboard/tray as I type, though, which is probably horrible.

                              >> Jackalope:
                              I've actually found much the same numbness sometime with how I tend to sleep with my hands drawn up like that. Sometimes I find I can wrap my arms around a pillow and keep them somewhat less cramped that way. I think it is different at least partially from CTS, though, as the pangs I've noticed from typing/mousing stress are definitely more pain/spasm and less numb. I used to get really bad wrist cramps until I finally broke down and coughed up for the one solitary left-hand-biased mouse I was able to find. I forget the exact model, but it's a surprisingly shiny Logitech. Also the beanbag wrist rest helps me greatly. I used to wear a fairly wide canvas-and-grommets wrist cuff, and found that even gave me a good bit of support and less-stress during National Novel Writing Month a couple years back. One of the best things I've found, though, is just simply remembering not to rest my wrists on the sharp edge of the desk.

                              P.s. Wrist/hand massages are pure win. Happy to offer them if needed.
                              " 'Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation' yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation."
                              - Willard Orman Van Quine

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                              • #30
                                Re: Carpal Tunnel....ideas?

                                When I was undergoing treatment for RST, I wound up using a combination of wrist braces, taking fifteen minute breaks from typing every hour or so, and taking aspirin for the anti-inflammatory effects. My physician also recommended using a hot paraffin wax bath (link SFW) every evening to help with circulation in my hands as well as to help take the swelling down. Ultimately, I don't think that it was any one measure that helped, but all of them used on a daily basis for as long as it took. What I can recommend is taking periodic breaks from the keyboard, and giving your hands at least two or three hours every night of rest to give the inflammation a chance to subside.
                                The Doctor [412/724/301/703/415]
                                I reserve the right to change my mind upon getting new data.

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