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Biotech Editorial

Getting Treatment for Carpal Tunnel? 101

Posted by Cliff
from the this-is-what-they-call-healthcare? dept.
DeathGripOnMouse asks: "Let me set to stage. I am a 30 something network analyst. I have been electronics / computer industry for the better part of twenty years, most of that time spent behind a keyboard. Like my peers, I am concerned about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other injuries that seem to afflict IT professionals. Recently, I began to notice some tenderness in my mouse hand. Deciding that it was time to see a doctor, I asked around the office for a good doctor, as my primary doctor no longer accepts my insurance. At the recommendation of several of my co-workers I called the office of a doctor the next town over. I explained my problem and was told that because this "could" be a work related injury, I was not able to see the doctor until I completed the following. First, I needed permission from my supervisor to seek treatment for my problem, in writing no less! Second, I was told that my medical insurance may not cover the doctor's expenses and I needed permission from my employers HR department to start a workman's compensation claim. All this without even seeing me! I do not want to file a claim due to the stigma that it carries, and I feel that it may hinder my chances at landing another job. I haven't approached my HR department, but what if they refuse to allow me to file a claim? This whole situation just angers me to no end. Anyway, has anyone sought treatment for CTS or some other repeated stress injury? If so, what were your experiences?"
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Getting Treatment for Carpal Tunnel?

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  • by titaniam (635291) * <slashdot@drpa.us> on Monday April 19, 2004 @06:42PM (#8910229) Homepage Journal
    IANAD, but I suggest that you take up some hobbies that involve using your hands. Ride a bike, play some tennis, throw a frisbee, surf for pron. Do anything you can to stimulate your muscles in a way that doesn't involve clicking a mouse. While you're at it, get a laptop or some type of trackball or touchpad, so you can work half the time with a non-mouse pointer. I feel variety is the key to avoiding these types of maladies and I wish you luck. Take care of this problem using common-sense techniques like mentioned above, as going to the doctor for carpal-tunnel will likely not help at all. Dealing with HR and irrationalhealth care requirements will only lead you to a need for psyciatric treatment, it seems, and how will that look on your job application.
    • , surf for pron. Do anything you can to stimulate your muscles in a way that doesn't involve clicking a mouse

      But, to surf for pr0n requires a mouse..wait..oh you mean exercise the left hand...

    • I had carpal tunnel problems a few years ago (ended up in hospital. My problems were made worse because I'd had a broken right thumb in my teens that hadn't been set properly, so what helped me may not help everybody. This is what I found helped:
      1 Finger exercises (suggested by hospital doctor) - When I first had the problem, I couldn't actually complete a full set of these. They consist of different exercises, each repeated five times. Before starting, rest the elbow on a surface, holding the wrist a few i
    • I am not a doctor either, but I am someone who used to suffer with CTS and have since all but eliminated most of my problems. I have some disagreements with titaniam.

      Ride a bike, play some tennis

      Lots of bike riding can further [utahmountainbiking.com] aggrivate [trailrider.com] Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Tennis, on the otherhand, can cause it's own set of problems [medinfo.co.uk]. I am not a tennis player, but I am an advid biker, so I can only offer advice on biking. Biking gloves help mitigate the problem, but they do not eliminate it. Padding anywhere on

    • A bunch of posters pointed out just how bad my advice may be, and I do not disagree. The point about anti-inflamatory drugs made by mr. "Jerk City Troll" above is certainly valid, and my list of alternate activities can probably use some improvement. But I still think adding a variety of alternate excersise is the way to avoid carpal-tunnel, although in retrospect I agree it may tend to aggravate a pre-existing condition.

      As for the AC who asked "are you really that dumb, or just being an asshole?" and

  • by Gary Destruction (683101) * on Monday April 19, 2004 @06:44PM (#8910265) Journal
    I've had very painful wrist problems before and my chiropractor said it was because of my neck being stiff. He said it was pinching the nerves which was causing my wrists to hurt. You can have symptoms of carpal tunnel and not even have the disorder. A chiropractor which who I'm assuming you saw is the best person to ask. Needless to say, I sleep on a contour pillow now and my wrists are better. I remember reading in my chiropractor's office that obesity, thyroid problems and diabetes can all contribute to carpal tunnel as well. So it might not be work related.
    • A chiropractor which who I'm assuming you saw is the best person to ask

      Or you could see a real physician. Be sceptical of chiropractic care [chirobase.org]. It's flimflammery.

      • Have you ever gone to a chiropractor? I've only been to the one my family has known, but I get the impression they practice a different style than most. Perhaps that is the difference. In any case, there does seem to be a huge number of people who think that chiropractors are like witch doctors or something. I don't understand it. At my last job there were a few people who had back troubles, neck problems, etc. As did I. I started going to the chiropractor (which, ironically, was like a mile from the
        • I also got a new bed/mattress on the recommendation of my chiropractor as well.

          This could be the sole source of most of your results. I had an expensive Serta matress and after 2 years, my back would hurt so bad in the morning I could hardly walk. One morning, I crawled over to my computer and ordered a bed from Abed [abed.com]. Best thing I ever did. Back pain was completely gone after a week, and two years later it hasn't returned.

          But, someone else mentioned that neck problems can cause pain in your wrists.
        • Because there's considerable proof that scientific-based medicine works, whereas there's very little that most forms of chiropractic medicine do much of anything that massage and physical therapy don't do. This is actually causing problems for Chiropractors because the physical therapists have figured out where some of the techniques can be applied and have been using them in a legitimate clinic where you won't be sold snake oil and given treatments that, at best, do nothing, and have been shown to cause s
      • Or you could see a real physician. Be sceptical of chiropractic care. It's flimflammery.

        I'm skeptical about chiropractors myself, but that post was pretty good advice.

        A lot of people get treatment for things like CTS or tendinitis etc, when those are just the symptoms of constricted or damaged nerves or other issues further 'upstream'. The treatment will work in the short term, but the cause hasn't been addressed and similar problems will crop up again later. Personally I have found that a combination

      • Well I'm not trying to give medical advice. I'm just going on my own experience. I thought I had carpal tunnel and it was a good thing that I got it checked out. Use your own discretion and do what you think is best.
  • by 7-Vodka (195504)
    1. Don't go to that doctor.
      It's complete bullshit that you have to do all this before seeing him. You don't know what's wrong and neither does he. You don't even know if anything is wrong. Besides which, fuck work! Your health is more important, you go see what's up, get it treated and only AFTER all this you figure out if it's a work injury or not etc etc.
    2. get some exercise. Gentle as you need it. In fact you need to make sure your lifestyle is up to scratch.

    Hope that helps. IANA*.

  • by mcelrath (8027) on Monday April 19, 2004 @06:51PM (#8910354) Homepage
    This is why health "insurance" is a joke. In the normal operation of the system, the natural drives are for the insurance company (employer, workman's comp insurer, etc) to give as few benefits as possible, while collecting as much money as possible.

    The system is not designed to give you easy access to health care. On the contrary, it is designed to make it as difficult as possible.

    -- Bob

    • Exactly!

      This is the first mistake, you asked for a specialist first. You always go to your general practice HMO and have them check you out, and have them refer you. Then your insurance company must allow you to visit a specialist.

      Insurance will deny you if you ask directly, most of the time. This is why if your doctor recommends an elected procedure is required, you can have your insurance company cover it.

      Its easier to pay for a quick docter's office visit, then paying full price for a specialist and
    • The system is not designed to give you easy access to health care. On the contrary, it is designed to make it as difficult as possible.

      On top of that, most techie-types are afraid (or too dim) to band together and leverage the power of their numbers. I will never figure out why we are so willing to be shoved around, mistreated and fired. Maybe we aspire to being Dilbert? Or have we been conditioned to run away at the mention of the word "union".

    • Health Insurance doesn't suck, if its paid for by the govenment. Here in Canada we enjoy free healthcare, if you go to see your doctor about it your insurance company will never know, and you wont have to pay. You also aren't stuck going to certain doctors, there's only one insurance company.
      • "Free" Health Insurance sucks even worse than regular Health Insurance because hypochondriacs drive the cost up for everyone else. Private industries realize this and have things like co-pay and deductibles to compensate, but it still falls somewhat short. Health insurance should be exactly what it sounds like, insurance against something dramatic. IMHO, health insurance with a yearly deductible less than $10K should probably not even exist.
  • I too am in the I/T field, and have noticed some tenderness in my mouse hand off and on for the past several years. I don't really want the surgery. I have found that wearing a wrist brace off and on as needed (mostly off), and using a ergo-mouse pad and ergo keyboard have helped significantly, if not all but made it go away. Just my experience anyways.
  • First off, your employer has workers comp insurance. They pay a regular premium for exactly this reason -- make their premium worth it.

    Second, the hoops are there to stop fraud. Yes, it's frustrating. But it's there because enough jackasses said that they were really sick and milked the system for a ton of money when in reality they weren't. So now the employer wants the option to send you to one of their doctors that they trust rather than your default doctor. Once their doc blesses it, you'll be back to
  • Massage is often overlooked as an option for many types of ailments like this. Many back, headache, and repeditive motion injuries like carpal tunnel can be cured with a few visits to a well trained massage therapist. If you work in front of a computer all day, you will have problems that massage can make a real difference with.

    I can't say I was any type of beliver in this until I felt and saw the work done myself. While there is a new-agie mystique to some of it, massage has a grounded scientific basi

    • Massage is often overlooked as an option for many types of ailments like this.

      Blatant plug for what will soon be my new profession - you might also consider Asian Bodywork Therapy [aobta.org] (acupressure, shiatsu, etcetera). Or acupuncture. (You don't have to beleive that ki/qi/ch'i is an "electromagnetic field" to benefit from or practice these arts; IMHO qi is energy as is "I feel full of energy today!", not as in kilowatt-hours.)

      While there is a new-agie mystique to some of it, massage has a grounded scienti

  • I went in to the doctor several years ago after my dad got some treatment for hurting wrists. It didn't require anything like this. Just a normal appointment. And all the doctor did was give me a shot of something in my wrists (which was scary... big long needle... yikes). Anyway, it took like 5 minutes. It worked amazingly well, too. No idea what it was though, sorry. That was quite a few years ago now and I was still in high school at the time. My wrists have been quite happy since then. Occasi
  • Just a few words (Score:5, Informative)

    by spineboy (22918) on Monday April 19, 2004 @07:07PM (#8910536) Journal
    Well, I am an orthopaedic surgeon, and it sounds like you're having insurance problems, as well as some other issues. First of all do you have an HMO? - If you do get rid of it and get a PPO - costs more, but any doctor will take it. Second of all if you're just having some tenderness in your mouse hand, it may just be tendonitis - an overuse injury which is best treated by rest, NSAIDS(ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.) and improving your ergonomics.

    Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is usually characterized by numbness/pain of the thumb, index, middle and the thumb-half of your ring finger. People often report waking up inthe night to "shake out" their sleepy hand, they also may report pain radiating from their hand to their elbow/shoulder. Risk factors include; being a diabetic, pregnant and thyroid problems. Computer keyboarding has NOT, I repeat, NOT been shown or linked to cause CTS. I know that this goes against what most of you have heard, but there are million of people using keyboards, and there are certainly not anywhere near that many people with CTS.

    You need to see a hand surgeon - preferably an orthopaedic trained one. Just a small warning - workers compensation patients have an interesting stigma - they typically do worse than non-workers comp patients in all aspects of medicine, for many diferent reasons, i.e. secondary gain, etc.

    So go see a hand surgeon in person who knows the facts and don't listen too much to your co-workers (they didn't go to bus driving school - so they don't get to drive the bus). If your hand surgeon does indicate surgery for you, he really should send you for an electromyelogram (EMG) to first to rule out any other causes for your hand problems. EMG's check the nerves in your hand and make sure that the problem is in your wrist, and not in your elbow/shoulder or neck. EMGs hurt like hell (you get shocked with needles in various places), but it's definetely worth it.

    • by Henry V .009 (518000) on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:08PM (#8911829) Journal
      You're in the wrong forum, spineboy. This is "Ask Slashdot," not "Ask a Freaking Expert." If he had wanted expert advice, he would have gone elsewhere. Post again when you have some groundless conjecture or a conspiracy theory to share.
    • Re:Just a few words (Score:4, Informative)

      by austad (22163) on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:16PM (#8911904) Homepage
      EMGs hurt like hell

      My doctor scheduled me for an EMG because I had numbness in my arm. I didn't really know what it was. So you can imagine the horror on my face when the nurse is pulling out these 4 inch long needles. I asked her, "what the hell are those for?" And she's like "Oh. The doctor didn't explain? You aren't going to like this."

      So the first part of the test, they put electrodes up by my elbow, and then stuck these little thumb tack size needles with wires into that tendon that you can see if you put your palm face down and lift your thumb. They then proceeded to send jolts of electricity directly through the nerves. Then they flipped my arm over and stuck the needles into my wrist and did it some more. Needless to say, it was not fun, but it was the best part.

      The second part of the exam involved taking these 4 inch long needles, and sticking them all the way into my bicep, tricep, and the top and bottom of my forearm. They did them one at a time, and once it was all the way in, they had me flex and measured the electrical activity. The tricep and bicep did not hurt that badly, but the pain in the forearm was almost unbearable, the needle hurt going in, sitting there, and being pulled back out. Remember, no local anethetic.

      In any case, they were checking for muscle and nerve damage, and there was none. Turns out I had pinched nerves in my neck that were causing it. But that visit to the doc definitely sucked.
    • You need to see a hand surgeon - preferably an orthopaedic trained one.

      When all you have is a scalpel, everything looks like surgery. Don't turn to a practitioner who's going to be biased to that course until you've exhausted all other alternatives. The failure rate for CTS surgery is over 50%.

      See your regular doctor (who will, as the parent notes, probably prescribe NSAIDs). See a bodyworker. See an acupuncturist. See a herbalist. Hell, see a shaman. Then, if all else fails, see a surgeon.

    • Computer keyboarding has NOT, I repeat, NOT been shown or linked to cause CTS. I know that this goes against what most of you have heard, but there are million of people using keyboards, and there are certainly not anywhere near that many people with CTS.

      Could you point to a specific source for this? I'm not saying that you're wrong, but I'm not sure that I buy this argument, and of course I can't really confirm that you're the expert that you claim to be.

      I've always heard that _excessive_ keyboard use
  • As the byline says, if this is what they call healthcare, you'd be better off seeking treatment elsewhere [slashdot.org]. Take a holiday, a flight and get your body fixed. Then you can consider suing your employer or HMO.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I used to have a pain in my right wrist, and it always startes acting up when I was using a mouse. That was 7 years ago. Since then I've been using a trackball, and no more pain or stiffness. I've never had any problem with the keyboard. And most of the people I know who complain about wrist pain usually use a mouse with the wrist in question.
  • by NanoGator (522640) on Monday April 19, 2004 @07:10PM (#8910584) Homepage Journal
    Sorry to hear that you've had such trouble. I worked for a small company and had RSI related problems for a while. Basically I just went to my primary care physician, paid the $10 copay, and was treated. Essentially, he gave me some advice to relieve it, and it worked. I didn't need to file a claim or anything, nor was I out more than the occasional $10 co-pay. Per chance, is this an option for you? Why can't ya just see your doc?

    I'll share with you what he told me. Problem number was was that I was holding my elbos off the desk. My shoulders bore the brunt of the work there, and it was causing my neck some serious troubles. My hands also hurt, but I don't remember that we addressed that specifically. In the efforts to keep my muscles from having to hold my arms up, the hand discomfort went away as well.

    Well poo I don't know that it's that useful to you. I think my problem has largely gone away, but who knows if it'll come back from the contsant click click of my mouse. I'm just hoping my suggestion to see your doc without making it a "my company hurt me!" claim is useful to you.
    • Some doctors will pretty much refuse to see any work-related injuries. I believe this is due to concern about getting caught up in nasty lawsuits between an employee and the employer whose work environment may or may not have caused the problem.

      Furthermore, your average primary care physician may not have the most relevant experience with RSI and may not be up on the latest research.

      That's why they funnel you to the worker's comp system. Besides, if the injury was caused by work it SHOULD be paid for by t
  • See a doctor (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mcb123 (647791)
    First things first, find a doctor that accepts your insurance and make an appointment. Worst comes to worst, you can always worry about the HR aspects of it later.
  • by psyconaut (228947) on Monday April 19, 2004 @07:19PM (#8910672)
    In late 2002. This is how I did it:

    - Went to see my General Practioner
    - He referred me to the neurology department at a local hospital
    - They ran an EMG test
    - I saw neurologist for results

    Easy. Never a problem with forms or my employer.

    Oooooh....sorry....I live in Canada. Damn our Socialist tendancies and universal healthcare!!

    -psy
    • How to get open heart surgery in canada if you are

      A) not wealthy

      1. Go to doctor
      2. Doctor prescribes open heart surgery
      3. Get on waiting list for open heart surgery
      4. ...
      5. die of a heart attack.
      B) wealthy
      1. Go to doctor
      2. Doctor prescribes open heart surgery
      3. Travel to Minnesota
      4. Obtain open heart surgery
      5. Pay for it out of your own pocket
      6. Return to Canada
      Yeah, growing up in Minneapolis did wonders toward making me a staunch opponent of socialized healthcare.
  • Go back to your own doctor (if you trust him), pay cash and get an honest opinion. Also, start using your left hand for the mouse.

  • When I eventually saw a wrist consultant at my hospital I was told "it's nothing, it will sort itself out".

    This despite occasional pins and needles in my face and complete loss of strength in my hand (I would sometimes have to drop things like books and cups).

    He was right in that the excruciating pain went away but I still suffer from wrist pain over 10 years later.

    They gave me some cortisone injections but the response of UK medical staff has been rather underwhelming.

    It *was* useful when I was unemplo
  • Several approaches (Score:2, Interesting)

    by furry_marmot (515771)
    <rant_of_a_corporate_burnout_with_rsi>

    First, if you have a little pain or tingling after a long session of work, get some *real* excercise and if the discomfort goes away, keep doing it. Squeeze balls help, as do lifting weights, but be careful. You can actually sprain your wrist or hand if you got a case of tendonitis, so don't give in to the urge to think yourself macho. What you want to do is understand that Repetitive Stress injuries come from doing the same thing constantly: sitting in a rig

  • After being a complete computerholic for a while (not to mention the evenings of keyboard games like tetris, pacman, racing games, etc.), I began to have pain in my forehand and wrist, especially the righ hand.
    I thought about going to doctor but after doing thorough research on web, I decided to try these first:
    (1) Buy Gel Pads for keyboard and mouse for every computer I use.
    (2) Reduce the frequency of keyboard/mouse use (I quit playing computer games, can you believe that). Give short breaks to forearm whe
    • I thought I'd contribute my experiences as well. I had wrist problems about 10-12 years ago. To combat them, I tried the following:
      • Wrist excercises. The ones that worked for me were to position my upper arms horizontal to the ground, position my forearms upwards, and then to rotate my wrists propeller-like, getting as much extension in them as possible. Do 100 revolutions in each hand. I got this tip from a Kaiser Permanente commercial -- best medical help I ever got from them.
      • Take breaks. I was w
  • There are a lot of types of RSI, and you should get it checked out in any case.

    However, if it hurts while or immediately after working, it may be tendonitis rather than carpal. Carpal is more tingling and numbness than pain in the early stages.

    The good news: If it's tendonitis, it can be cured with an anti-inflammatory drug like cortezone (sp?) and some changes in how you use your hands. Very minor, very effective -- and the over-the-counter wrist braces another poster mentioned work wonders.

  • I saw a doctor for the same reason some years ago.

    First, they sent me to a neurologist, who electrocuted various parts of my arms and hands to check the stimulii. Since I felt the full extent of the pain of being shocked over and over everything checked out OK. He said it was probably a case of tendonitis, which is fairly common, probably more common than carpal tunnel.

    Also, someone mentioned the thing that if you hunch forward too much that you could be pinching nerves in your neck that are causing the
  • I'm currently undergoing treatment for RSI of the wrists/fingers. I have similar experience (20 yrs at the keyboard) and like you I was concerned about the stigma so I am paying for treatment myself. I have found Oesteopath's to be far more knowledgeable about this than your local doctor. A good article I found is here http://www.rsiprogram.com/articles%5CLeadArticle. h tm An oesteopath will most likely tell you that you are pinching nerves in your forearm and neck/shoulder area. I've had treatment for a
  • by DynaSoar (714234) * on Monday April 19, 2004 @07:43PM (#8910923) Journal
    ...and make no mistake, I not only work in a health care setting, and have a master's in healtcare administration, and also have more than one disability myself...

    "I do not want to file a claim due to the stigma that it carries"

    FUCK stigma, FUCK any whining from HR, FUCK any future possible employers who might look disfavorably, FUCK any insurance company that tries to disallow a charge.

    Take care of YOURSELF. Get yourself evaluated and treated. By allowing yourself to be bullied by adminimonsters you only increase your chances of ending up with something worse than you have now and letting them off the hook.

    Shit rolls down hill. If at any point someone tries to cause you grief, start a few steps above them in the food chain and file a complaint that's tough enough to make their boss's boss cringe, such as an ADA (Americans With Disabilities) suit, and make sure it's publicised. Discrimination of this sort is illegal. That means (1) they'll try to get away with it only if you let them think they can and (2) it can cost them far more money and other problems if you stick it to them for trying to stick it to you. Make them aware you're aware of these things.

    The best defense is the BEST offense. If you don't do it, nobody is going to do it for you. They'll be more than happy to rip off your health instead.

    It's your HANDS, man. Even if they all got away with their BS, it's not worth your hands.

    That being said, consider a thumbwheel mouse. I have a maximal case of carpal because the bones of my right wrist have been replaced with a bar of titanium, and the surgeries really screwed up the tendons etc. I replaced my mouse with a thumbwheel and have had no problems since. Well, none attributable to repetative stress.
  • So I was biking home from work one day - and the whole side of my hand went numb. I grabbed my manager and asked what to do (since it might affect work etc.)

    Being the good manager that he was - he recommended that I see the company nurse that deals with such things daily as opposed to your doctor that sees them once in a while (think about it). The nurse looked me over and said - yes I was showing classic signs.

    Step one - see an eronomist
    Step two - see if that helps
    Step three - well it did help - so

  • oh man! you mean to tell me I've been avoiding carpool tunnels, and staying in the heavier traffic for no reason?
  • by Jahf (21968)
    Unfortunately you are stuck in that stupid catch-22 of the doctor not wanting to treat you without permission because if he -does- diagnose as a WC claim your insurance will refuse to pay for the diagnostic visit. My doctors have been the same way for years and after I had back surgery for a congenital problem my insurance company -still- paid a 3rd party not once but twice to make sure they were not paying for a WC or auto-related claim. Yet in the end my doctors and health insurance both are of high quali
  • I went through the entire RSI evaluation, sterioid shots, surgery thing.

    The thing that worked best for me is "contrast baths". You set up two tubs of water, one hot, one cold. (Not too hot or too cold).

    You then stick your hands in the cold water for a minute, and then switch to the warm water for a minute. You switch back and forth 10 times (for 11 minutes) starting and ending in the cold tub. It helps to have a count-down timer.

    Works like a charm.
  • Go through the trouble. Also note that it'll be real easy to get a more egronomic chair/keyboard/etc. if the doc says you need it.

    Don't screw around with your hands. If you catch things early, you'll need to do splints, advil, exercises, and maybe "physical therapy" or whatnot, make a few minor changes (like working the wrists and arms out) and go on with life. Let it fester and get worse, you'll need to find something that doesn't involve your hands and/or get surgery that can only help so much.

    You ma
  • Your company HAS to pay for it, if it is work related, if it is not work related your insurance company pays. Go to a doctor and tell them to find out which, and what is wrong, and a reasonable cause. (Likely work, but it could be tennis or something else you do on your own time...)

    If it is work, turn it into work and ask how to handle it. Most small companies prefer to pay small bills themselves to keep their claims and payments down. Nothing wrong with that, so long as the bill is paid. (Larger

  • I was developing tendonitis in my wrists, and I went to a chiropractor. He totally relieved the pressure in my wrists by adjusting them and helped me heal most the problems I was having. I can now self adjust. I also got a stationary mouse and split keyboard. I am now in control of the pain.
  • (Randomly throwing in the WebMD section on CTS [webmd.com])

    I learned some exercises to open up the carpal tunnel. Now, IANAD and cannot verify their effectiveness, but they Work For Me(TM). Unfortunately, it's kind of hard to explain it in words. The site I learned it from had pictures. Much easier.
  • IANAMD but I had success by going to bed wearing a heavy winter glove. It would keep my hand warm and stretched. After a while the pain went away.
  • Yoga! Do some yoga each day, you won't have trouble anymore.
  • Forum: http://www.repetitive-strain.com
    Types: http://www.chicagolegalnet.com/rsi.htm

    Personally I've used a computer a heck of a lot and I only got pain when I combined it with:

    - playing guitar
    - doing a very repetitive manual labour "I press a button" job

    The pain would strike randomly and it felt like being electricuted on the arm. That pain travelled up the arm and trankfully stopped at the shoulder. Wasn't intensely painful but more of a shock, could cause a crash if you drive.

    The only was to stop
  • I have a very similar problem. I went to the best neurologist in the area and he prescribed good stuff, but when I had exhausted the drugs, it came back. I switched to a trackball, which "deletes" movement of the wrist, and the pain went away. The first time I switched jobs after the switch to a trackball, I tried using the supplied mouse. The wrist pain started again. Getting my employer to spring for a trackball (~$49 - ~$89 US) was a no-go so I just went a bought my own. I use a trackball at work and at
  • First of all, I can't say anything about the insurance side, and such, since that is all rather different in my part of the world.

    Last year, I finally had to admit that I was having too many pain problems in my arms. Both the company doctor and my "own" gp came to the same diagnosis: CTS in my right wrist and bursitis in my left shoulder.

    First thing the company doctor had me do, was take rest - staying at home. While that helped for short terms, it also meant that I got less resistance against pain, meani

  • I had a similar problem a few years ago. While I do suggest you see a specialist, I can also point to what I tried some time ago.

    Getting frustrated with my mouse hand hurting all the time, I spent a, hour or two writing a quick program that would listen to my joystick port (I had a Gravis gamepad connected) and translate that into mouse movements (I was using Win98 at the time).

    Suddenly I could use my left thumb to move the cursor, and I would use my right thumb to click (I mapped the other buttons by h
  • ... and it helps (though it perhaps diminishes the degree of call it "slashbotness" for short one is in).

    It is just important IMHO that you do not emphasize on 'The Form' but more on "body awareness" (following Patrick Kelly [baoidao.free.fr] perhaps).

    CC.
  • Carpal Tunnel is a warning - if you are not careful, not only does it get worse, you get other bad things happening too.

    I spent some quality time ignoring the CTS symptoms I was having and continued to pretend that all was ok. One morning (about 5.5 years ago) I woke up with a start because I thought my arms were on fire. A quick visual check ruled that out, but the sensation persisted. I made an appointment to see my GP and he quickly (thankfully) sent me on to a specialist instead of trying to fool abo
  • Look at Mouse Mitts [mousemitts.com].

    When I was at the point where just looking at somebody using a mouse made me cringe, I found these. The "Keyboarder" model solved my problem and I was pain free while using them. After 12-18 months I didn't need them anymore. Granted, I didn't have legit full blown CTS, but I had serious pain when typing and mousing.

    I found the "softsplits" too tight and hard to type in.

    Read the testimonials on their site... worst case, try em out and return em. Only cost is the shipping - the

  • I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that Bush rolled back [aflcio.org] ergonomic safety regulations and trivialized the nature of RSI.

    It used to be possible to get your employeer to repair poor ergonomic conditions by law. It used to be easier to get compensiation and medical costs covered for these types of injuries. No longer [aflcio.org]. Thanks George [commondreams.org]!

  • I know this doesn't refer directly to your question (experiences in getting treatment), but I HIGHLY recommend you go to your local bookstore (several Borders in town had it) and at least look over "Repetitive Strain Injury: A Computer User's Guide", by Emil Pascarelli, MD.

    I found a few references to it online as a good resource and it has been to me. I've been suffering from another form of RSI (they're all detailed in the book) for a number of years, and this is the first thing that is really helping me
  • At the ripe old age of 18 I lost my arms (well, the majority of use, at least). Took a year and a half to get properly diagnosed (three EMGs and an MRI; three neurologists, two orthopedic surgeons, a rheumetologist, two GPs, two physical therapists, a hand therapist, and a chiropractor). What is it? Bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, bilateral cubital tunnel syndrome, and a half-dozen tendinitises (to name a few; I don't think they even have names for some of the others). I've been through every traditional
  • Nobody suggested this already?! Consult a good workers' compensation attorney.

    The workers' comp system is there for people who have work-related injuries, including repetitive stress injuries. Nearly all injured workers are eligible, including undocumented immigrants, people who work "off the books," and, in many cases, even so-called "independent contractors."

    Carpal tunnel and other RSIs can cause permanent disabililty (can affect your abililty to earn a livelihood) and they can get worse if not treate
  • http://www.nolo.com/lawcenter/ency/article.cfm/Ob j ectID/858B36BB-80C1-457B-9965650A58176C14/catID/0A 323459-4B09-4D32-BB8CD8E6058BE1CF

    I'm approaching 55, can't feel my fingertips very well, drop things a lot -- had the surgery too late and it failed to help.

    1993, got checked and told 'Tendinitis'; 1999, when it came back, was told 'you gave up your right to further treatment'. Saw an attorney who said 'how can they tell you it's the "same" problem without your seeing a doctor? Different things can cau
  • CTS is caused by pressure(sustained/continuous) on the median nerve at the wrist, among other causes. If you go to a physician, s/he'll probably give you a corticosteroid, and refer you to physical therapy; there they may give you ultrasound therapy(effects are similar to corticosteroids) and they'll tell you the following; (1)Take breaks at work. Set an alarm to ring every 45 minutes, take five minutes off to exercise your wrist; flex it, extend it(start with a quarter range flexion, progress to full range
  • Contents:
    1. holistic diagnosis
    2. doctors and money
    3. rest
    4. posture
    5. warm muscles, then stretch

    1. Don't spend too much time trying to narrow the cause of wrist problems (like CTS ) down to one specific thing. Instead, make a list of activities that either a) require small movements of hand and wrist or b) cause your forearm or wrist to contract or be tight. This is your list of dangerous activities. Now, just because you do some things, like type, use mouse, foosball, video games - doesn't mean that yo

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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