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Thread: Carpal Tunnel

  1. #1
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    Carpal Tunnel

    I'm just curious if you guys are experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of being on the computer for so many hours a day. I sadly admit that I feel that pain.

    From what I've read, the only way to cure it is to either take a really long break from the computer or get surgery

    If you have any tips on minimizing carpal tunnel syndrome and possibly curing it would you mind sharing? I know about the ergonomical keyboards and mice but is there anything else?

    I probably should see my doctor soon, my wrists are starting to get wierd.

  2. #2
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    I really highly recommend you do follow up with seeing your doctor. While I've had no symptoms, a friend of mine has and ended up needing to go the surgery route.

    As for tips, there was a good thread about this not to long ago here..http://webhostingtalk.com/showthread...=carpal+tunnel

  3. #3
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    I'm sorry, but I've never really believe in "captal tunnel syndrom". I've been using a computer for 15 years without any pain whatsoever from typing.

  4. #4
    i get sunburn from typin in the garden to much but ive never had a problem with cps. go see a doc if your getting pains
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    Rich

  5. #5
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    What is C.Tunnel supposed to feel like?

  6. #6
    Originally posted by IT Hosting
    What is C.Tunnel supposed to feel like?
    Pain.
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  7. #7
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    My fingers ache sometimes and then it goes away... I hope I don't have problems .. .

  8. #8
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    ive had it a little bit. it mainly is caused by your position If you have a crappy desk or how you sit has alot to do with it. Its a bit painful but when i get it i just walk away for 5 minutes come back and its fine
    -Robert Norton
    www.SophMedia.com

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by interactive
    i get it i just walk away for 5 minutes come back and its fine
    computer withdrawl syndrome?

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Gem Hexen
    What is C.Tunnel supposed to feel like?
    It feels like sand in the wrist and makes your wrist "pop" when you move it. Sometimes the fingers get a little numb, and you get tingling in your hand...

    CTS is when your nerve is pinched in the "carpal tunnel" (the membrane that covers the nerve that runs through the middle of your wrist to your fingers). There is surgury to fix the problem, but it can come back.

    Originally posted by Zutroy
    I'm sorry, but I've never really believe in "captal tunnel syndrom". I've been using a computer for 15 years without any pain whatsoever from typing.
    I guess you are one of the lucky ones that don't have it (not everyone gets it)... My mom has it and her wrists look huge from all the swelling. I thought it was one of those "mind over matter" deals till I started feeling it.


    Also, you don't have to use a computer to get it, but using the computer it generally shows up faster.
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  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Gem Hexen


    computer withdrawl syndrome?
    that too rofl...
    -Robert Norton
    www.SophMedia.com

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by interactive

    that too rofl...
    ROFL is an adjective? or only when spelled with lowercase letters?

  13. #13
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    My left knee is showing terrible signs of wear since I keep it tucked underneath of me 88% of the day.

    No carpal tunnel yet . . . although my mother had the surgery.
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  14. #14
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    I hope I don't have it. My wrists always crack when I move them back and forth so I don't know. I am going to go get checked soon so we will see.

  15. #15
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    I get pains in the wrist - every now and then it's so bad that I'm reduced to tears.

    I have a little support strap thing that I wear if it starts to pain. That combined with some paracetamol provides some relief.

    However, since I switched from a full size keyboard to a laptop keyboard - the symptoms have been significantly reduced. I guess the fact that I can access all the keys, mouse, etc. whilst moving my hands only slightly helps.

    I also had a ganglion on my left wrist - horrible looking things. The doctor said I can have surgery to remove it, but he added that unless it was too painful that it probably wouldn't be worth it. One day I woke up and it was gone - it went as fast as it came.

    --Shaun
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  16. #16
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    My wrists crack quite a bit and I find that if I twirl my wrists enough, it alleviates the pain temporarily. This is probably not too good as it might result in arthritis.

    Icing my wrists use to work for me but has no effect anymore

  17. #17
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    Carpal Tunnel or any other form of Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) isn't a joke and it doesn't go away. Whether you have problems with it or not depends on how your nerves and bones and muscles join together. It's very individual.
    It can become so painful that not only can't you work, but you can't even do normal everyday things. My hands once got so bad when i was working at a newspaper that I had to drive home in second gear one night. My hand was frozen and I couldn't grip the gearshift. I've had pain so bad that I couldn't pick up a kitten I had just adopted.
    The worst is the numbness, which indicates nerve damage. It's usually associated with carpal tunnel and indicates compression on the nerves that run through a small "hole" in the wrist.
    The numbness feels like your hands are asleep. For months. You can't pick up a glass or anything because you can't "feel" it. There's no feedback from the nerves in your hand. Drives me nuts.
    Nerves don't regenerate. If you've got numbness, see a doctor.
    There are lots of different RSI. My biggest problem is DeQuarvain's Syndrome which is inflamation of the tendon that runs down the side of the index finger. My finger and thumb will freeze after 15 minutes with a mouse. It's mainly caused by the side to side movement of the hand from the keyboard to the mouse. This is a very stressful movement for the wrist.
    There's no cure, swelling is reduced by cortisone injections into the inflamed tendon and steroids. Makes it livable.
    I've relieved most of the problem by switching to a trackball which I keep at the base of my keyboard -- Microsoft Natural. My wrist doesn't have to bend at all to get to it.
    Working at home I have enforced "cat"breaks -- rarely work for long stretches without somebody wanting something and jumping up on the keyboard to get it.
    One thing that really does help, although it doesn't seem like it would, is sleeping in wrist braces. Get the ones they sell at the supermarket or walmart that are left/right and have metal brace in them. Wear them to sleep. It really makes a difference. I also use them on long drives.
    I've never found a brace that does any good when I'm working at the computer.
    Take something like Aleve every day. It takes a week or so for it to make a difference.
    Make sure you don't wear anything on your wrists or arms that rest on the desk and could compress nerves: watches, bracelets, etc.
    RSI is so individual that you've really got to pay attention to your body and respond to hurts. I've been to various doctors at various jobs and they admit they don't really have any sure fixes. It's all trial and error but they do come up with things that work and they can help the pain. And physical therapists can help you work without pain.
    Treatment is usually covered under Workmen's Comp in the US if you work for at a place that is required to have it.
    Please don't ignore it or tough it out. It won't go away. It won't stop unles you do something.
    Laura K.
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  18. #18
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    I had a problem for a while a couple of years ago with my wrist hurting so bad from the computer that I couldn't sleep. I finally found out that it was one of those gel-wrist supports on my mouse pad. After I stopped using it, the pain started to go away - very slowly. Took a couple of months to finally be normal.
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  19. #19
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    Thanks madmouser, I appreciate your thoughtful response.

    Just one thing about the use of pain relievers such as Aleve. Wouldn't the use of these just disguise the pain and possibly make the problem worse since you don't feel the pain?
    Last edited by JonL; 10-14-2002 at 05:21 PM.

  20. #20
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    Several years ago I had a problem with carpal tunnel. It was pain in my wrists, but also in my elbows - the entire nerve was being rubbed raw. At the worst point, I could only avoid the pain by keeping my arms straight at my sides and not lifting anything heavier than a housekey.

    Luckily I did not need surgery. I stopped using the keyboard for two weeks and wore wrist braces for a month after that, and took breaks frequently when I did resume keyboarding. (Recommended is 10 minutes' rest - taking your hands off the keyboard, not just "not typing" - for every 50 you are on the computer.)

    In 1995 I found and started using the Kinesis Ergo keyboard. The pads of your hands rest on padded foam, and your fingers drop down into wells to reach the keys. The keyboards look weird, but they really work. Once I got past the three-week "getting used to " process, I found that I could keyboard longer and not only have no wrist pain or arm tiredness, but I had less tension in my neck and upper back. Wonderful keyboard!

    They are costly - USD$250 per - and sometimes difficult to find. But they are so very worth it...far superior to the Microsoft Naturals, which force my wrists to turn in an unnatural fashion.

    http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/essential.htm

    They look very funky, but they do work wonders. I originally found a "refurbished" one at the local Fry's. I have used the same one daily for just over seven years now, and never had problems with it. They fit on most slide-under keyboard trays with no problems. I did end up buying two, so that I would have one to take to contract positions - no way a company was going to pay $250 for a keyboard for a consultant, and I really didn't want to do that pain-thing again - and I have never regretted the investment.

    (I don't work for the company. I just remember the pain. Ow-atch.)

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by JonL
    Thanks madmouser, I appreciate your thoughtful response.

    Just one thing about the use of pain relievers such as Aleve. Wouldn't the use of these just disguise the pain and possibly make the problem worse since you don't feel the pain?
    Aleve is an nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. And yes, any pain relief will mask the pain.

    However, the key isn't to just take pain relievers, but also to give your tissues a break. A real break, too: cold turkey for a few days at least (longer if you possibly can), and a very mild return to full workload after that. And treat the cause, not just the symptom. Try different chairs, different keyboards, different work configurations until you find one that works best for you and gives you muscle relief.

    Another note on Aleve: it makes your kidneys work a LOT, so don't take it for longer than seven days or you might damage your kidneys. I think most of the NSAIDs actually carry that caution.

  22. #22
    I love my split keyboard and my wrist pad. Those combined with my ergonomic chair have mitigated my repetitive stress injury.
    Colin

  23. #23
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    i love my keg fridge in the garage. helps me cope with everything else
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  24. #24
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    Originally posted by skelley1
    i love my keg fridge in the garage. helps me cope with everything else
    ROFL

    That would also help with that pain-masking bit ;->

  25. #25
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    Originally posted by JonL
    Thanks madmouser, I appreciate your thoughtful response.

    Just one thing about the use of pain relievers such as Aleve. Wouldn't the use of these just disguise the pain and possibly make the problem worse since you don't feel the pain?
    The main reason for taking Aleve is that it helps to reduce the inflammation/swelling which is the source of pain in some types of RSI; the tendons/sheaths get inflamed and swollen and cause pain when they move.
    I've been taking Aleve on a daily basis for years, dating back to when it was only available as a prescription. It's much safer than steroids which are used for the same reason: to reduce swelling and inflammation.
    The most important thing is to see a doctor -- one with experience in treating RSI --- and find out more about what's going on. Then you can work on the treatment.
    Just don't expect a quick fix. It can be very frustrating to deal with because improvement seems to come in such tiny steps and the problem intrudes on every aspect of daily life.
    Laura K.
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    graphic design for grownups

  26. #26
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    Originally posted by skelley1
    i love my keg fridge in the garage. helps me cope with everything else
    I've found strawberry daquiris to be an excellent muscle relaxer for backache and tight muscles. I think the vitamin C in the strawberries is the key ingredient.
    Laura K.
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  27. #27
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    GRRR.. I was popping my wrist as I clicked "View new topics" and saw this thread.

    Carpal tunnel is real and it doesn't so much hurt in it's early stages, as it is annoying. Sometimes my hands (mostly my right) go completely numb or my wrists feel bare (like sand) against my desk. Gel pads don't work, either does the Microsoft Ergronomic Mouse (the big one).

    I usually just take a break, slow down and sit up straight and it goes away..
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  28. #28
    I had what I believed to be the beginnings of it a few years back. A typical day for me is about 12 hours a day on the computer and I had a ****ty desk and no wristpad on the keyboard or mouse. It started to manifest itself as numbness and tingling in my hands and fingers. It almost felt like someone cut the circulation off from my wrists down.

    I noticed it for the first time when I was playing basketball. I used to play 4 or 5 nights out of the week and it became a real problem. I had the office manager here grab me an ergonomic mousepad and wristpad for the keyboard and the feeling gradually went away. Looking at some of the posts here, it seems like I may be in the minority with that solution, but it definitely can't hurt. I'd at least give the pads a shot.
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  29. #29
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    Actually, Jason, that's what worked for me: changing the equipment I was using. I did wear wrist braces for a while, and adjusted my habits a little bit - problem solved ;->

  30. #30
    Btw- Living_Media: I'm in your corner with NSAIDs and other stuff like that. That stuff just can't be relied on routinely to provide relief as it will just damage your organs over time.

    I was involved in a nasty accident when I was 19 where a drunk driver was going 75 Mph and t-boned myself and some buddies. Among all kinds of other fun injuries, I broke both legs in a couple of different places and ended up with steel rods in them. The everyday pain from arthritis now (I'm 30) is unbelievable, but it got to a point where my doctor said "Look man, you're 29 years old and we're doing liver damage tests on you every 3 months- you can't keep using Aleve, Vioxx, and all of this other stuff; it's going to ruin you eventually".

    Point is, aspirin and the like will only make things worse in the long run if used daily for anyone with chronic pain.
    Last edited by App-Jason; 10-15-2002 at 02:30 PM.
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  31. #31
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    I used to be in medical research and development, and am still deal daily with medical labs. #1 abused drug = Acetaminophen (tylenol). People die from it. They thing because it's over the counter it's safe. Not when you don't follow instructions. Aspirin is another VERY abused drug.

    I have "severe arthritis" (that's the diagnosis) myself - knees, ankles, and elbows. Old inguries, and repetitive motion related. I also show an increasing stage of CTS. I used to not believe in CTS. That changed the first time I dropped a glass not being able to hold it.

    Aleve is a godsend for me. So is Naproxen and Arthrotec. I used to be on Ansaid (ANSAID = A Non Steroidal Anti-Inflamitory Drug), the prescription forerunner to Aleve. Yes, these can all do damage. You need to be careful with them. Follow the instructions, and let your physician know your taking them! Especially if you're taking them routinely. The nurse will ask you about the medicines your taking usually - tell her. And also discuss it with your doctor just in case he misses it going over the chart. MDs are very rushed these days with "managed" care. Your healthcare is your responsibility.

    If it were not for these drugs, there would be days I could not function. Like the past week. The cool weather change - another thing I used to not believe. But I can now tell when the weather changes by how well I move first thing in the morning.
    Last edited by Lagniappe-labgeek; 10-15-2002 at 03:59 PM.
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  32. #32
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    labsgeek, I realize you said Aleve can be abused but does it someone do less damange to your liver than Tylenol and Advil?

    Why is it that you choose Aleve over the other two?

  33. #33
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    Originally posted by JonL
    labsgeek, I realize you said Aleve can be abused but does it someone do less damange to your liver than Tylenol and Advil?

    Why is it that you choose Aleve over the other two?
    Tylenol doesn't have the anti-inflammatory ingredients that Aleve does. Aleve actually helps heal the problem, not just mask the pain. It's a NSAID -- Nonsteroid Anti-inflammatory Drug.
    http://www.nsaid.net/
    If you can tolerate aspirin, that's one of the best to take and cheapest.
    If the NSAID's don't work, you get bumped up to the steroids -- cortisone, prednisone, etc. I hate those. Nasty side effects.
    Laura K.
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