Carpal Tunnel

Archived discussion from Toril-2.
Sarvis
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Carpal Tunnel

Postby Sarvis » Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:47 pm

I can't be the only mudder with constant wrist pain... how do you guys deal with it?

My chiropractor does an adjustment which used to help a lot, but now only helps a little because my wrist is so much worse... there's also some stretches a friend showed me, but I generally don't do them often enough to really help.

Anyone got some other advice?
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Postby sok » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:17 am

i use the other hand
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Postby Brandobaris » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:28 am

My advice is to take as many triggers and aliases as you can. Rig it so you can play your characters with as little typing as possible, and still be able to fully control them.

If you have health coverage/insurance, consider seeing a physical therapist. I just finished a 3 day a week 2 month session, which was paid for by Blue Shield. It seems to have helped some (though it's still an issue). My at-home excercises include using 3 and 5 lb weights, a huge rubber band thingie, and a band with two handles at the end. It's easy to do the excercises, and that equipment is pretty cheap (though it takes about 45 min each day).

Your desk, chair, and computer setup should be checked for ergonomics. The monitor should be high enough so the top of the screen is at eye level. Your posture should be good, I'm told (I don't do it)...you're supposed to be sitting up straight. Your chair is supposed to support your back. Your mouse is supposed to be at the same level as your keyboard, and I belive it should be such that when your fingers are on the keys, your arm is level. But it might be best to see a specialist about this. This is really important. My mouse has a button that when you click it, it acts as if it's holding down the button for you. This helps a lot in certain situations.

Frequent breaks are also important, for 5-10 min every hour. During this time, hand stretches should be done. The breaks are easy, but I've found it's easy to neglect doing the excercises... I've found that it's less of a strain to use the keyboard instead of the mouse, when possible (keyboard shortcuts, etc.)

Also, certain non-computer activities can have an effect. I've forgotten a lot of these tips (as it was a few years ago for this particular person), but for example, one suggestion was using an automatic stapler instead of a standard one; it is much less of a strain on your arm and wrist muscles. For me, scissors can be an issue.

I don't know how bad your problem is, but my own I know is something I'll be dealing with the rest of my life. Maybe you can fix it, for me, I don't think so, but there are a lot of things you can do to stop further damage, and make things easier on your body.

EDIT: You might also consider getting a diagnosis if you haven't already. There is also tendonitis, and repetetive strain injury. It might affect how you proceed, and explain how bad it is. Just having wrist pain doesn't automatically mean carpel tunnel. Maybe you've done this already, but if you haven't, it's something to think about.
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Postby Minofagal » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:53 am

or you could just quit mudding. but we all know that REALLY isn't an option, now is it?
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Postby Dalar » Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:22 am

type like you're suppose to, with your wrists elevated. i played MUD for 8 years and I was fine. especially after I used ergo
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Postby Gormal » Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:49 am

ergonomics are grand... take the crazy-sounding reccomendations seriously. Get a wrist pad for mouse and keyboard, make company pay for it; get a girl to jerk off for you, make phone sex line pay for it... etc.
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Postby kiryan » Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:00 am

when my wrists started hurting, I decided to eliminate as much typing as possible ie scripting... Some combination of scripting and cutting down mudding hours worked for me whenever i have a flare up of wrist pain... another thing I did was to stop POUNDING the keys, especially the enter key with your pinky. ergonomics didn't work for me at all.

When it comes down to it, if your working 8-12 hours a day on the computer then coming home and mudding for 4-8 hours a day and your wrists hurt... get a different job or find something else to do for fun. some of us can take the physical abuse associated with riding dirt bikes for fun, most of us can't. Not everyone's body is cut out for the same activities and hurting your body for entertainment just doesn't make sense.
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Postby Tasan » Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:17 am

kiryan wrote:hurting your body for entertainment just doesn't make sense.


Blasphemy!!!!
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Postby Disoputlip » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:35 pm

Use the mouse as little as possible. You can do almost everything with hotkeys.

This hint is mainly for when you don't mud. I doubt you use the mouse a lot when you mud exect for copy/paste and making maps.

(you should especially notice this if it is the hand you move the mouse you have problems with)
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Postby Latreg » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:07 pm

I have a "mouse" that is operated by rolling the ball with your thumb, it's off to the side, think it's logitec, anyway I really like it. also I have set up buttons in zmud to activate aliases and to turn folders on and off, less typing the better.
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Postby Duna » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:17 pm

Latreg wrote:I have a "mouse" that is operated by rolling the ball with your thumb, it's off to the side, think it's logitec, anyway I really like it. also I have set up buttons in zmud to activate aliases and to turn folders on and off, less typing the better.



I do believe that is called a trackball hon... I have one made by microsoft, I'll never own a mouse again :) in fact I haven't for a good 5 years...
Trackballs are nice in that you just rest your hand on them and only yer thumb moves any...
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Postby Minofagal » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:48 pm

Duna wrote:
Latreg wrote:I have a "mouse" that is operated by rolling the ball with your thumb, it's off to the side, think it's logitec, anyway I really like it. also I have set up buttons in zmud to activate aliases and to turn folders on and off, less typing the better.



I do believe that is called a trackball hon... I have one made by microsoft, I'll never own a mouse again :) in fact I haven't for a good 5 years...
Trackballs are nice in that you just rest your hand on them and only yer thumb moves any...


the one i use, uses my index or middle fingers to move the ball and my thumb operates left and right click, leaving my pinky and ring finger to use 2 'option' buttons. heaven!
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:30 pm

Brandobaris wrote:If you have health coverage/insurance, consider seeing a physical therapist. I just finished a 3 day a week 2 month session, which was paid for by Blue Shield. It seems to have helped some (though it's still an issue). My at-home excercises include using 3 and 5 lb weights, a huge rubber band thingie, and a band with two handles at the end. It's easy to do the excercises, and that equipment is pretty cheap (though it takes about 45 min each day).


You're making this sound worse than I thought... :(

Your desk, chair, and computer setup should be checked for ergonomics. The monitor should be high enough so the top of the screen is at eye level. Your posture should be good, I'm told (I don't do it)...you're supposed to be sitting up straight. Your chair is supposed to support your back. Your mouse is supposed to be at the same level as your keyboard, and I belive it should be such that when your fingers are on the keys, your arm is level. But it might be best to see a specialist about this. This is really important. My mouse has a button that when you click it, it acts as if it's holding down the button for you. This helps a lot in certain situations.


I know the ergonomics thing, and my monitor at work is actually set up high... the problem is I can't make myself sit up so I end up with my neck craned up at a wierd angle to look at it.

Frequent breaks are also important, for 5-10 min every hour.


Heh, not sure I can get away with that...

Also, certain non-computer activities


There are non-computer activities?

EDIT: You might also consider getting a diagnosis if you haven't already. There is also tendonitis, and repetetive strain injury. It might affect how you proceed, and explain how bad it is. Just having wrist pain doesn't automatically mean carpel tunnel. Maybe you've done this already, but if you haven't, it's something to think about.


Yeah, doctor time I guess... especially considering the shoulderblade pain and lower back pain. :(



<b>Latreg</b>

Well, part of my problem is my thumb which gets a little sore and has started twitching involuntarily... wouldn't using just my thumb for the mouse exacerbate that?



<b>Disoputlip</b>

I try to do as much as possible with keyboard commands, but a lot of the applications we use at work don't allow for that unfortunately.



Do those ergonomic keyboards actually help? I can't type for crap on them, but it might be worth learning how...
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Postby Minofagal » Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:57 pm

Latreg

Well, part of my problem is my thumb which gets a little sore and has started twitching involuntarily... wouldn't using just my thumb for the mouse exacerbate that?


see my post above
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Postby Lilira » Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:40 pm

Sarvis wrote:Do those ergonomic keyboards actually help? I can't type for crap on them, but it might be worth learning how...


I know when I have to work on my husband's computer (who has a regular keyboard) for any length of time I'm usually in agony since I've been typing on the ergonomic keyboard for years now. I had several cysts removed from my left wrist (80-something little ones instead of one great big one) so I try and take care of them.

Most places of employment shouldn't yell too loudly at the breaks if you are actively stretching your hands and wrists or getting up to grab a drink/washroom.. its either that or workman's comp/leave of absence.

Usually when mine start hurting I massage them for a bit then go back to work.

Nothing medically proven here, just my own experience. :-)
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Postby Dalar » Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:50 pm

yes ergonomic keyboards help. when you use a regular keyboard your wrists are always going inward, which over time hurt imo.
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Postby Latreg » Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:03 pm

http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/produ ... tegoryid=6

I have the 2nd one down and I love it, you can adjust the sensetivity and really don't have to move you thumb much at all, I think staples has them also, might wanna just try one out and see how it feels.
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Postby Brandobaris » Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:19 am

Sarvis wrote:
Frequent breaks are also important, for 5-10 min every hour.


Heh, not sure I can get away with that...

Now I'm getting all worked up. If you're in pain from using their equipment, and nothing is being done about it, THEY are the ones getting away with something. If you are in pain and need breaks, ask for them, and if they make a stink, just say the magical word, "osha". Speaking of which, tomorrow (friday), you should call osha and explain your situation, and ask what you are entitled to by law. Their phone number for workplace safety and health related questions is 1-800-321-OSHA. Their web site is www.osha.gov, but deffinetly call them to chat with someone.

BTW, I can't tell you what you're entitled to by law, but another thing to keep in mind is that if breaks are a problem, you can ask to do other things (that are easy on your body). That way you are still working but your arms and wrists are getting a break from the computer use.
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Postby Ambar » Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:28 am

why hasnt teyaha posted yet

*sigh*
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Postby Sarvis » Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:59 am

Brandobaris wrote:BTW, I can't tell you what you're entitled to by law, but another thing to keep in mind is that if breaks are a problem, you can ask to do other things (that are easy on your body). That way you are still working but your arms and wrists are getting a break from the computer use.



Oh GOD no! Being able to write code all day is about the only thing that makes this job bearable...
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Postby Birile » Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:38 pm

Yes, ergonomic keyboards work--I used to have a job where I was literally typing all day. The pain was unbearable after a couple of months. We switched to ergonomic keyboards and within a week I didn't have any pain whatsoever. These keyboards work because they keep your wrists at a natural angle and they also force you to keep those wrists elevated to type.

Try to keep your wrists from resting on any surfaces while you type or use a mouse, if necessary get a keyboard pad and a mousepad with a wrist-rest if you find you can't break the habit--the pads force your wrists to stay at a more natural angle.

Monitors should never be set up high--that'll just give you neck and back pain from keeping your head at that angle all day.

Comfortable chair, at a level where your knees go out straight in front of you, not angled up or down, feet placed firmly on the ground.

Desk height so your arms are straight in front of you or at a slight downward angle.

Any common-sense manager will understand the need for breaks to rest your wrists or stretch your back--a good manager knows the alternatives are worse for a company's bottom line than allowing an employee to maintain the health of his/her body with small, frequent breaks.

I would suggest to make the slight adjustments in your computer habits that I and the others have mentioned. The alternatives are rather drastic--physical therapy or even surgery. Not really all that pleasant...
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Postby Llaaldara » Wed Jul 26, 2006 12:13 am

Ergo's feel funny at first, but within minutes you get used to it. They really do work.
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Postby daggaz » Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:53 am

Talk to your doctor immediately.

Carpal tunnel can be quite serious, often requiring surgery which doesn't do much more than alleviate the symptoms -its rarely a cure.

To make matters worse, the longer people just take the pain, the more damage they are doing to their nerves. So if you have mild numbness, tingling sensations in your fingertips, soreness, aching/cramping in your wrists, or worst of all, the sensation of painful electric shocks shooting through your hands occassionaly, GO now to see your doctor.
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Postby grundar » Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:37 pm

i used to get sore wrists from mudding all weekend long after working as a data capture jackass 10 hrs every week... started getting that involuntary twitching in thumbs.. on pinky fingers and pretty much everywhere.. i checked with my doc he said it was a general vitamin deficiency.. told me to take my smoke breaks out in the sun and stuff like that..
also told me not to cross my legs under the seat and other stuff cause that fucks up your position and your spine.. leading you to type with your wrists at a weird angle..

so i did all that crap.. now my wrists are fine.. they only get a lil sore after i abuse them *cough*never doing tia without vacation days after*cough*

hope that helps some.. but what you should really do is speak up.. most companies will give you a hand when you ask for it.why? because you can sue them for carpal tunnel since it is a work related injury
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Postby Yarash » Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:21 am

daggaz wrote:To make matters worse, the longer people just take the pain, the more damage they are doing to their nerves. So if you have mild numbness, tingling sensations in your fingertips, soreness, aching/cramping in your wrists, or worst of all, the sensation of painful electric shocks shooting through your hands occassionaly, GO now to see your doctor.

I've read this as well. The damage to your nerves can be permanent if not addressed promptly.

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