Carpal Tunnel Syndrome/RSI

Subject: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome/RSI
From: "Molly Bowling" <mbowling -at- statsoft -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 02 Nov 2000 11:05:56 -0600

I tried to respond directly to the original poster, but their mailbox was full. Five years ago, I was severely injured with keyboard-related tenosynivits, and was on disability for several months, unable to even dress myself. Here are my initial suggestions:

1) Do NOT take painkillers. The painkillers just allow you to hurt yourself worse. IT IS NOT WORTH IT. If you need to take a few weeks off of work, do. I worked through the pain, and was nearly crippled as a result. Investigate speech-recognition software if you must continue to work. I built an entire web page by voice. For those who rely on speech recognition, you may want to pay a few visits to a speech therapist. It is very possible to overuse and strain your voice.

2) Have you had one of those electrical conduction tests? I was mis-diagnosed two times; turned out I had teninitis/tenosynivitis. One vital question - do your hands hurt when you sleep? If they don't, than most likely it's not CTS.

3) Look at your posture. Stretch. Do you have a comfortable chair to work in? I spent $750, out of pocket, for the chair I use at work. It was the best investment I made, because the chairs the company provides us simply didn't fit me.

4) Read, read, read. I really recommend taking a look at the book Pain Free by Pete Egoscue. My shoulders are impinged, because my hips are out of alignment. If I don't use my shoulders, then my forearms and wrists take up the slack. Another book I found helpful was Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Deborah Quilter also has some very good books out.

5) Massage is very helpful for me. I'm sure mileage may vary, though.

Feel free to ask any questions off-list, no matter how minor. I didn't have a good support system when I got hurt, and the recovery was very hard. If you can get a handle on things early, though, it can be controlled. I'm a marvelous example - my occupational therapist honestly thought I'd never type again. I'm having a minor flare-up right now, but I know what to do to take care of myself (though it's taken years to figure out!).


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