Carpal tunnel anyone?

catkim(San Diego 10/24)November 17, 2006

Sudden onset, it seemed. Woke up in the middle of the night with hand so numb and cold that it hurt! Dr. says change workstation and sleep with a splint on wrist. I'm doing the computer mostly left-handed. But now 2 weeks later, even holding the phone, my hand goes numb.

What works/worked for you?

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Susan Serra

Tendonitis here...sudden big PAIN in my wrist and had to have a splint on for two weeks. It's weak, very weak and I get the pain every now and then, doesn't take much.

But, numbness, no numbness for me. It makes you realize how much you need your hand and fingers! I hope you get on the right path to recovery, has the dr. talked surgery?

good to see you!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 1:51PM
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Lisa_H(7)

I was having problems too. My doctor recommended the wrist brace at night. His theory is that those of us who sleep with our wrists curled added to the problem. I've had considerably less numbness during the day since I've been serious about wearing the brace at night. I have a bean bag thing too for my wrist when I'm using the mouse, but I've not been too good about using it.

My gardening, crocheting and computer hobbies don't give my hands a lot of rest!

Lisa

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 2:12PM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

I was lucky I guess. I had some nerve damage but had both my wrists done and had no problems since. Knock on wood!!

Carla

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 3:29PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I am right handed, but started off with the computer using the mouse left handed. I teach school, and that seemed more efficient for plugging in graded papers.

I use the type of mouse that is a ball, and the mouse is stationary.

I get hints of Carpal Tunnel, but my daughter had teh surgery, so I watch out.

Good luck. I hope you keep us updated on what the Dr. says.

Sammy

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 10:45PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

My condolences! My back issue [which is part repetitive stress-induced originally, part prior nerve disease] came on like a ton of bricks one night at work after just general backache at work for a year. 5 years later, it rules my life.

I know someone whose Carpal T ruined his hands, too.

SO... my inclinaion is to caution folks to REALLY watch the use/overuse at your stage now! That guy and I both tried to 'trooper' our way through and still do the repetitive work.

I SO regret I didn't take medical leave when the docs said I could worsen the damage. I needed the $ but now my medical expenses alone make that seem so dumb back then.

[off soapbox ;]

As we speak I somehow got some big-word tendonitis conditon that means that moving my thumb really hurts my left wrist, lol! I have no idea what stressed it. I'm in a thumb-wrist cast for 5 weeks now and counting... a bother but I CAN'T over-move it now.

Be careful and take care. It sucks what all we have to move to get things done, lol.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 4:13AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Check the height of your keyboard vs your wrists. Youre wrists should be above your keyboard, not reaching up to them. If you have to make your chair higher, and get a foot rest or else you could then mess up your back.

Get one of those gel wristbands that you can put in the freezer and wrap it around your wrist when it's sore, it helps.

Go to a chiropractor, they do the shoulder and wrist, it also helps.

Stop every 10 minutes and flex your hands.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 8:27PM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Cat, I got to the point where I had to wear wrist supports before the surgery. But honestly, the surgery was a breeze, one at Thanksgiving and the other at Christmas. I had a nerve test to determine the extent of damage before surgery.

Carla

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:40AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Thank you all for your input. Carla, my doctor has discussed surgery, but only if all else fails, but I am glad to hear it was a breeze, thanks. The pain is very low grade except when the fingers go completely numb. That sounds like a contradiction, to feel pain when numb, but it does hurt!!

It is interesting how suddenly certain things cause the numbness -- like holding a phone to my ear, combing out my hair after I wash it, using a blow dryer, applying makeup, holding the steering wheel for a long drive, things I've taken for granted. Then some things I think would bother me don't, like painting, playing the violin, gardening, chopping vegetables and cooking.

While trying to avoid the repetitive tasks I'm getting very good at doing some things left-handed.

So I've reset my chair higher, but I think I'll still need one of those wrist-rests to keep them higher, or get a pull-out under-desk tray so the keyboard is lower. I'll try the gel wristband, too, good suggestion!

Meredith, this is a minor irritation compared to your back problems, you have my complete sympathy. My mom has had serious back trouble for many years now, and it has really been hard for her. I have seen first hand how much that can change a person's life. This is nothing compared to back trouble!

Kim

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 12:18PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Kim, tell your mom I'm sorry - yeah, it affects so very much and that's frustrating!

It's strange but even if the pain of yours is'nt much the numbness is scary regarding nerve damage [as a very general statement]. So beware and listen to the doc and take it seriously [not that you wouldn't].

The 'trooper' mentality is so revered sometimes and that can be dangerous.

I know you love hiking, and the oxygen/blood flow may really help. I had to walk briskly for a bit every hour at work and still do depending on what positions I'm in and it's amazing but that helps A LOT for repetitive stress injuries.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 2:38AM
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peachiekean(z10A CA)

Yes, I've been there. The result of years of typing, computers, pruning, crocheting, etc. The numbness in my right hand would wake me during the nighttime hours with a burning sensation. It got to the point that it was numb all the time. I did see a hand specialist for a year of various treatment of splints, cortizone shots etc. before surgery was finally decided on and since that surgery and follow-up physical therapy, I'm fine. The left had now gives me trouble but I'm convinced it's not CTS but a problem with my left shoulder. If I stretch my left hand behind my waist, the numbness goes away fast. Seems to be a pinched nerve. I never get it to go numb when the doctor asked me to apply pressure to cause it is not in the wrist. Getting up and away from the computer is always good practice. And stretch those hands and forearms! Think I'll do that right now.
Take care,
Mary

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 6:55PM
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veilchen(5b southern Maine)

Catkim, the wrist rest will help a lot, or an ergonomic (split) keyboard. And wearing the wrist splint at night. I type a lot (transcriptionist) but the thing that exacerbates my CTS more than anything is gardening, esp. shoveling, using the trowel, and weeding.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 7:11AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Catkim, the splints worked good for me for a while. I now have cubital tunnel syndrome! Makes my fingers numb.

Carla

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 1:24PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

veilchen, I'm also a transcriber and the exact things that you say are worst for your wrists are also the worst for me. I have an ergonomic keyboard and can adjust the height of my keyboard, but in the final analysis I think it's just overuse. Our workload keeps getting heavier, and unfortunately I use my laptop at home a lot for recreation. My shoulders are a bit of a mess too and my upper arms are starting to hurt more and more. It just doesn't get better as you get older, does it? Everything was peachy-keen when I was 25!

Ingrid

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 1:30AM
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veilchen(5b southern Maine)

That's right, Ingrid!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 3:57PM
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jody(7b - NC)

Go out on the internet and look up the proper keyboard, mouse, monitor, height configurations and stick to those (that cured my first encounter with carpal tunnel).

My latest encounter has been more difficult, since I travel to customer's sites - I have no control over my physical surroundings. I used a brace during the day which is helpful. It is even more important to use it at night to imobilize the wrist - we do strange things to our wrists while we sleep. Ultimately the doctor gave me a prescription anti-inflamatory that was easier on my stomach and effective for 24 hours.

Unfortunately, the healing went only so far - I've got a permanent numb spot on my thumb, but at least my hand is now fully functional and I'm not in pain.

Took forever to get that much healing - about 9 weeks.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 4:07PM
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