2013-02-20

Back in the saddle

While my carpal tunnel syndrome pain has subsided, I am tentatively typing more again. However I am also trying to use more voice entry, such as in writing this article.

This is not my first run in with this particular ailment, and it probably won't be my last. I know it is caused by typing a lot, and unless I learn a completely new trade, there is little chance that I will stop using computers as much as I do today.

For those of you interested how I treat my tendonitis and carpal tunnel pain, I wish to share my treatment strategies.
  1. First, rest, rest, rest. 
  2. Second, reduce typing to a minimum, or completely eliminate it, at least for a week. My Android devices have been very helpful in allowing me to stay up to date on my email, by dictating my responses. There are probably other voice entry solutions on the market, but considering that I carry my phone everywhere, this seems like the most effective option, since it would always be at my fingertips (pun intended). 
  3. Third, ice. Lots of ice. Every night, for three weeks, I would empty the ice bucket from my refrigerator's ice maker into a large kitchen pail, and fill it with cold water, enough to submerge my forearms all the way to my elbows. I would then dunk my forearms into the ice water for as long as I can stand stand, repeatedly. I can usually keep them in cold water for about 30 seconds, before it gets too intense. Your mileage may vary, just pay attention to not get frostbite. I usually would alternate my 30 seconds of icing with about 5 minutes of light massage, all the while watching some TV series or a movie to keep me entertained and distracted. 
  4. Finally, massage. It is very effective to have a professional massage your forearms to help relieve chronic tension, and restore healing blood flow.

This is pretty much it. While I am quite determined not to have another episode for a while, I really am glad that I have found ways to control the pain and restore my hand and arm function relatively quickly, when push comes to shove.

I hope you find this post helpful. What other methods do you use? Have I missed anything? Share it in the comments!