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Carpal Tunnel/Repetitive Strain Injury

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 


Looks like I have it, and it really sucks. I'm going to see a specialist next week for a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan. I've been wearing the brace 24-7 per Dr.'s orders for almost 3 weeks. It's gotten worse. Went back to see my regular doctor last Friday and that's when I got the referral.

So, if I'm on a LOT less than usual, that's why. Thankfully it's in my left wrist, so I can still use my mouse and lurk, just not post my epics at the moment. (Earl looks over at me and asks if I'm writing a book. )

I know I'm not the only one with this type of strain injury, especially on a board of computer users. What have your experiences been with diagnosis and treatment? What worked for you or didn't work for you?
post #2 of 13
ouch, i hope its a easy fix, until then type with one hand
post #3 of 13
I had quite a few students with carpel tunnel and my co-worker did too on my last job. Part of my job was to see how to accommodate their needs in relation to computer work, so I can help a bit there.

One very important thing is to rest your arms every so often. I'd say every 15 minutes or so, but your doctor will tell you better. There are even programs you can download to your PC to remind you to take a break and show you stretches to do and all kinds of stuff like that.

Another thing is to be sure you are sitting properly at your computer and using a good wrist rest, even for your mouse. I personally prefer the gel kind. I also had students who used these arm rests that clamped to the desk, and swiveled with their movement. Those helped more for shoulder injuries, but some carpal tunnel people liked them too.

I hope they can get you some relief. I know quite a few people had surgery and it did give them relief. Let us know what your doctor says!
post #4 of 13
I don't have any knowledge on that issue, but i did want to wish you good luck with your treatment! I hope they are able to come up with something that helps you and relieves the pain soon!
post #5 of 13
DH had tendonitis in both wrists/forearms a few months ago... from too much computer use. He used braces at night and when his wrists hurt, ice and heat, and anti inflammatories. When OTC ones didn't work the doctor wrote a prescription for celebrex (stronger, cox2 inhibitor).
Eventually he had to give up the cause of it, playing world of warcraft.

Had that not worked he would have likely had injections and psychical therapy. Risky, because they can also cause damage if a nerve is hit with the needle.

Have you tried a complete break from everything that you can? And do you have anything else that might make you prone to carpal tunnel?
post #6 of 13
I just had surgery 4 weeks ago, unfortunately the surgery didn't work , I have to go back and see where I go from here. I have been a one hand typer for a few months now
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the advice and well wishes so far.

We're working on doing better as far as my workstation at work goes. I'm getting an ergonimic keyboard, and I've raised my keyboard and mouse to a more natural position. I'll talk to my doctor about what else I can do here.

I have pretty much cut out everything I can, which basically means doing a lot of computer stuff at home. Unfortunately for my wrists, typing is a large part of my job, and I've been busier in recent months than ever. Probably what exacerbated the issue to come to the fore. And this couldn't have happened at a worse time of year - I have 2 of my 5 sick days left, and my vacation is pretty well depleted. I can't even take paid time off to rest my wrists, though I am wondering if the specialist is going to suggest that (my regular doctor did, but also said that she understands that people still need to make a living too).

My doctor actually did give me Celebrex too when I asked her to give me anything that would make it better because the OTC stuff wasn't touching it. I do think it's better with the Celebrex, but that is a relative term, you know?

Now I'm starting to feel the symptoms in my right wrist/hand too. This just started a couple days ago. Well, at least I already have the appointment with the specialist.
post #8 of 13
I had endoscopic surgery done on both my hands in January and while I got some relief, I didn't get complete relief. But the reason being is because I walk with crutches. They are the cause of my carpal tunnel to begin with, and they didn't help the healing process.

It got to the point where I couldn't work any more and I had to go on social security, although that was actually a good thing. I was miserable in my job anyway, so going on social security was actually a good thing for me mentally.

You may want to consider occupational therapy. I used to get weekly hand ultrasounds that worked, although temporarily. Daily exercises and stretches work as well.

I wrote an article on my experience for my website. It's a drumming website, but the article has more to do with my experience as a whole and only slight references to drumming. There are some tips and links in the article as well at the end.

www.handidrummed.com/articles/tv2ct_part1.php
post #9 of 13
I have severe carpal tunnel in both wrist and need surgery. The problem is I also have CMT which is similar to MS but it affects the nerves at the muscles. Since CMT can cause the exact pain as carpal tunnel and you can't fix CMT, surgery is out of the question.

Several friends have had the surgery and they are 100%. I wish I could have it done. Physical Therapy helps a little but if you can't give up what causes the pain than PT doesn't do any good.
post #10 of 13
I have carpal tunnel in my right wrist. Its from playing Alto Sax for 9 years... I had a bad outbreak of it a few years back and when I couldnt use my right wrist my left one started hurting from having to use it more. But I still havent given up sax, and it only hurts bad if I do a lot of typing or play for a long time. I hope you get good news from your doctor! Many vibes coming your way!
post #11 of 13
I have diagnosed carpal tunnel in right hand/wrist but probably both are affected.

I have a gel pad for my keyboard and a gel one for the mouse. Plus I don't have the keyboard propped up it lays flat.

What I do is rest my hands 5 minutes out of every hour I am on keyboard. I twirl my wrists around and bend then back and forth. Bending slowly and holding for a few seconds. I also wiggle my fingers alot. Clench and unclench the fingers too.

My pain goes in streaks-while weeding at my house or clients I modified my stance to put less stress on my hands/wrists.

Have you tried either heat or cold?????

Hope my ideas help.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks again. Gail, I have iced my wrist a couple of times at night and it does seem to help.

I know this is going to sound odd, but can you describe the pain? I've done some research on it and it's not entirely helpful because all it says is "pain in the wrist and hand". So I don't know if what I'm feeling is "normal" or not.

Sometimes it feels like someone is pounding a nail into the outside of my wrist, and then twirling it around to make the hole bigger. I also get intense burning in my index finger 3rd knuckle. Sometimes it feels like someone is yanking out the underside of my wrist. When it's at its worst, it feels like a grappling hook is digging into the back of my hand and ripping the tendons out.

Does this sound "normal" for RSI or CTS?
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
Thanks again. Gail, I have iced my wrist a couple of times at night and it does seem to help.

I know this is going to sound odd, but can you describe the pain? I've done some research on it and it's not entirely helpful because all it says is "pain in the wrist and hand". So I don't know if what I'm feeling is "normal" or not.

Sometimes it feels like someone is pounding a nail into the outside of my wrist, and then twirling it around to make the hole bigger. I also get intense burning in my index finger 3rd knuckle. Sometimes it feels like someone is yanking out the underside of my wrist. When it's at its worst, it feels like a grappling hook is digging into the back of my hand and ripping the tendons out.

Does this sound "normal" for RSI or CTS?
mine feels like my hand goes to sleep, then it is like pins and needles, I also get cramps in my thumb, and aching in my wrist, at night I get very sharp jabs in my wrist.
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