Carpal tunnel syndrome

According to some medical professionals it isn’t a question of IF, but rather of WHEN carpal tunnel syndrome will affect you.

Most people I know, including my senior citizen parents, spend at least some time of each day on the computer. Most people use a mouse regularly. And most people I know type with both hands correctly positioned on the keyboard.

But many people use laptops. Which means that often, or even most of the time, their seating position isn’t exactly ergonomically correct.

brace

photo source: medsupports.com

I for example am currently sitting in a chair that is way too low for the dining table, typing with my fingers, correctly positioned, on a tiny laptop. My back is slouched, and my wrists are crooked. My right hand and wrist is in a brace. I use the mouse with my left hand, even though I am NOT left handed. The pain I feel when clicking with my index finger of my right hand travels right up my arm all the way to my neck.

But I can’t help myself…

My husband just suffered through this same thing a little while ago. He, however, has been working on the computer on average 10-14 hours per day for the duration of an entire semester. When he started complaining of pain in his wrist, he googled it, and went to the doctor. Then, he put his hand in a brace, bought an ergonomically correct keyboard and mouse for the downstairs desktop computer, and switched the mouse on the laptop to the other hand. He also started bathing his entire right arm in a sink full of ice water every 12 minutes every night for a week. He also had a couple of massage appointments. And he’s all better now.

I too spend time on the computer. But it’s sporatic. A few minutes here, ten minutes there, thirty minutes if I can get some uninterrupted time…I manage the household money, I blog, I email, and I play with flickr and picnik.

But I am NOT on the computer for hours on end. Which is why it’s strange that I feel this pain. A pain that will just not go away.

The first time I felt pain in that wrist wasn’t even while on the computer. Rather, I felt it while pushing the kids in the swing at the local playground. And it was downhill from that day forward.

A week has gone by and I’m feeling only slightly better. Pain relief medication helps mask some of the pain, but doesn’t completely erase it. Stretching exercises are helping to keep my upper body muscles loose, and less time on the computer hasn’t hurt.

I am feeling kind of disabled though. Many things are falling down in the meantime. I’m behind on the gardening, the clipping of a bush and tree, and other related household tasks.

Perhaps it’s time to get an appointment at the doctors. Or maybe with a massage therapist.

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2 thoughts on “Carpal tunnel syndrome

  1. Pingback: What is social media? « Javaline

  2. Laptops are a killer! This is how I developed wrist problems, and I was typing relatively little. The flat keyboard makes for a terrible wrist position, and having it on too small a table doesn’t help. If you’re starting to have problems, you should make sure you have an ergonomic work station before doing anything else. You can read more about carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist RSI’s on my blog, http://carpaltunnelblog.blogspot.com/.

    good luck!

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