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  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

    Hi Folks,

    As common as carpal tunnel syndrome is, I expect there are some of you bothered by it. I've had it for a few years, and there have been times at night when it really got bad. But if I watch the type of work I'm doing, it isn't that bad. The wrist supports help, but if I do the wrong type of work (which I do on occasion) they don't help enough. What have you found to work for you? Graphic tablets? Other things?

    Ed

  • #2
    I thought I might have carpal tunnel except it was on the wrong side of the wrist and there was a definate hard lump at the joint. It was quite painful and made it difficult to use that hand. It seems to come and go with varying degrees of severity. Thank goodness its my left wrist and not my right. I recently had it examined by a doctor and it turned out to be something called a ganglieon cyst. It's a fluid build up from the wrist joint just under the base of the thumb. I gather that too can be caused when doing alot of repeditive work or when a sprain or injury to the wrist has occured. I have been lucky in not getting carpal tunnel. I know that can be quite painful and very serious leading to the loss of use of your hand even if left untreated.

    The intricate movements and workings of the hand are a marvel of creation and one not appreciated until the function is impaired.
    DJ

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    • #3
      I don't know if what I had was carpal tunnel or not, but my whole right side would ache something awful and most days I couldn't raise my right arm at the shoulder.

      What I did to relieve the pain in the short term was to learn to use my left hand for mousing and using the tablet - that seemed to give my right side a chance to rest and recuperate. I became so proficient with my left hand that going back to my right seemed unnatural.

      I also invested in a desk with a keyboard tray that has enough room for the mouse or tablet at the lower level.

      Finally, I got a good chair (mine is a Herman Miller Aeron).

      I don't think all my problems were associated with time spent at the computer (I was in a bad car accident and also had a serious fall), but time spent at the keyboard certainly aggravated the other problems.

      Since making the above changes, I can sit here for several hours a day and not feel any pain.

      I know that things like an Aeron chair are expensive, but I don't cringe when I have to shell out for a new computer, why scrimp on the equipment that goes with it and it's not likely that I'll need a new desk before I need a new computer.

      Margaret

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      • #4
        Sorry you suffered such a bad accident. The effects from something like that can be with you for a lifetime. Did you ever have your aching side checked out?

        You're right about how most of us will spend big bucks on the computer itself but not worry about the comfort and ease in using them.
        We spent a little more on the computer table design and the chair that we sit in which helps alot. My tablet and mouse are on a pull out tray but the keyboard (ergonomic style) is on the computer table just above them so it's not the best set up. I just haven't figured a way to incorporate all of them at the same level. I do think the ergonomic keyboard helps alot but they are so difficult to get used to and when you finally do, you can't go back to a straight one anymore.
        DJ

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        • #5
          I did have all my aches and pains checked out and had physio therapy, but until I did something about my comfort while working at the computer, nothing helped.

          A lot of the discomfort was caused by working with the mouse on top of the desk and having to extend my arm and shoulder to use it.

          I recommend to everyone that they learn to use their non-dominant hand for mousing. Sometimes it's the least expensive solution that provides the most benefit.

          Margaret

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          • #6
            Sorry to hear about your problems Margaret. I can't imagine trying to use the mouse with my left hand! That would be on the same degree of difficulty as learning Photoshop!! Using a computer doesn't bother me except if I've been doing other work that brings on the problem. Then just doing anything at all bothers me.

            Ed

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            • #7
              well knock on wood I haven't had carpal yet....keeping my fingers crossed it never appears.

              Just a tip for anyone who suffers from joint pain or inflamation or arthritis or anything like that, I've found a great little item called "Joint-Ritis"..... it comes in both the roll on form as well as a spray but I recommend the roll on.

              I have purchased it at wal mart stores and keep plenty on hand for hubby and myself as it really seems to help take the aches and pains away or at least make them tollerable.

              Here's the website where it can be ordered online I believe. http://www.jointritis.com

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              • #8
                I don't have carpel tunnel, but I do get a very numb hand if I spend too long mousing around. I keep a stress ball next to my computer and give it a good workout regularly.

                The key to avoiding repetitive stress is to provide a wide variety of motions.

                I also have a stress cow (came with a Gateway computer) but it's just too darn cute to squeeze, so it simply watches me from the top of my computer.
                Learn by teaching
                Take responsibility for learning

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                • #9
                  Doug
                  Sounds like you're pressing nerves.

                  That is such a bummer. If I knew I would get a cute cuddly cow buying a Gateway, I never would have wasted the money on a Dell. I think Dell should provide you with a Dave stress doll. Then I could punch that kid everytime I remember him saying "Dude, you're getting a Dell"
                  DJ

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                  • #10
                    I've bought 3 computers from Gateway, and only got the cow with one (not the latest one, either). But now the computers themselves have cowpatches on them (not as cute as it sounds).
                    Learn by teaching
                    Take responsibility for learning

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Doug,

                      Are you sure you don't have carpal tunnel syndrome? That's the way mine started several years ago. Later on, mine was so bad at night that I would wake up in the middle of the night, and come very close to crying (that would be the end of my sleep)! I asked our local quack if it could be carpal tunnel, and he said "No". After suffering with it for quite a while, I went to a neurologist, who did electrical shock tests on me. She told me that's what it was, and it was bad enough that I would probably need surgery, but I could try the wrist supports (both wrists). They really help me a lot, but I still have the problem after doing certain kinds of work.

                      Ed

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                      • #12
                        I've never been diagnosed...in fact it's never bothered me enough to think about being diagnosed. Prolonged mousing is the only thing that does it. I use raised pads for wrist support on both keyboard and mouse, just in case.
                        Learn by teaching
                        Take responsibility for learning

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Ed!!!

                          I've been a secretary since 1966. I've never had a problem with carpal tunnel syndrome.

                          I learned to type on the old manual typewriters. We were taught how to correctly position our hands and correct posture when keyboarding.

                          We were taught that the keyboard should be positioned very low, almost in your lap. Your hands, wrists and forearms should be in a parallel position above the keyboard and your fingers should curve downward to touch the keys. I try to use the same position with the mouse.

                          I really believe that the current problem with carpal tunnel is that people aren't positioning themselves correctly. I use a keyboard tray and have the mouse on the tray. I use the mouse with my right hand, even though I'm left-handed. Also I use a Wacom pen with my left hand for more detailed work. I keep that on my desk and haven't noticed a problem, since that's more like writing than keyboarding.

                          Sometimes, after working too long on projects, I will notice a numbness on my left side, but I'm sure that's from sitting incorrectly and not getting any exercise

                          Now, if I could only figure out how to get rid of the pain in my neck and shoulders

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well since I seem to be the only one that had surgery for carpal tunnel I thought I would reply.
                            If you ever get to the right point you will hurt so much you will be glad to have surgery.....mine was about 6 years ago....before I had a computer...it's an operation that is a little slice on the inner wrist ...surgeon goes in and clips a tendon that is collaping on a nerve (if I remember correctly}
                            tom c

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                            • #15
                              Lorraine - I used to get back, shoulder and neck pain almost everyday until I switched to a chair with more lower back support. I also started to take more frequent breaks at work. I would get up, stretch and maybe go get something to drink. When I am working at home, I usually try to take a break every few hours and shoot a basketball or chase the cat around. I hardly ever get back or neck pain anymore.

                              There is an interesting book I am reading called "Why Things Bite Back" by Edward Tenner. In one chapter, the author examines some of the medical problems, such as Carpal Tunnel, that the modern workplace has created. He has some pretty interesting ideas about how technology often solves one problem and inadvertently creates other, more chronic, ones.

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