I know I’ve talked about this before, but I’m jumping in again after
reading Richard’s e-mail about RSI and carpal tunnel being often caused by
putting hands from hot to cold water.
I am not a doctor, so I can’t claim to know everything about it, but I
have it, as do 3 of my co-workers. I don’t know about the hot and cold
water, but I do know the main cause of carpal tunnel is a repetitive
motion such as typing, mousing, even too much needlepoint! RSI can lead to
carpal tunnel if not treated. Surgery is NOT the only treatment, nor is it
a viable one for most of us. If anyone is worried about having carpal
tunnel, please see your doctor immediately, it can be reversible, or you
can stop it from getting worse, if discovered in the early stages.
My case was discovered early due to the prodding of a
co-worker who had it and went through surgery becuase she waited to long
to get treatment. She made me see my doctor when I complained about hand
pain. She said the surgery took months to recover from and she still
suffers some pain and numbness.
The symptoms include, pain in the forarms or the hands, stiffness, and
numbness. Numbness is the worst symptom, and if you have it, please, i
beg you to see your doctor.
I was very lucky to catch mine before I needed surgery. Still, it took
months to get my hands back to a workable state. I was off work for 2
weeks, doctors orders (“or else it will get worse and you will need
surgery”), I was not allowed to do anything repetitive as in typing,
mousing, wirewrap, knotting pearls, or any detail work which would hold
the hands in a way allowing for a small range of movement. In fact, my
wrists were in braces for a majority of that time, taking them off every
hour to move my hands around. I also had to take anti-inflammatories for
two weeks and I still have to take them on occasion, after heavy typing or
I still wear wrist braces to bed, every night.
These are not the store bought ones, they are from my doctor and have much
more support than the ones I orginally had from sav-on (They resemble the
wrist braces worn for rollerblading). These hold your wrists in the most
natural position for the entire time you sleep which relieves any tension
in the wrist. One night of sleeping with your wrist bent incorrectly
equals 10 hours of incorrect typing!! I also do exercises prescribed by my
doctor, and my workstation is now ergomically correct as to keep the
pressure off my wrists and forearms.
If you think you might have carpal tunnel, please see your doctor.
My friend went through the surgery, and has told me that it’s terrible.
You can help it if found early enough.
I know I sound like i’m obsessed with this, but the pain I had was
terrible and I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through it.
Hope this helps.
Assistant to the Director
Annenberg School for Communication
School of Communication
3502 Watt Way ASC304 F
LA, CA 90089-0281