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wrist pain related to writing. Options
prolixitysquared
Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2009 7:24:58 PM

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Location: pennsylvania.
In the past year, I've started to experience soreness and pain in my left hand (I'm left-handed) and wrist after I spend a considerable amount of time writing with pen and paper. I think the problem may have stemmed from irritating muscles in my forearm after I went on a bicycle ride using a street bike instead of a mountain bike.

My chiropractor often tries to adjust my wrist and fingers, or the muscles and joints in them, when I discuss my sensations of pain in this region. He sometime tells me to ice the outer muscle on my forearm near my elbow when the pain is bad because I guess it kind of begins there, in a way ?

I know taking breaks from writing and massaging the area should help, but a lot of the time, writing is unavoidable because it's necessary for my job.

And maybe I'm holding too much tension in my hand and wrist, which I could try to work on with loosening my grip on a pen.

Any other suggestions or insight ?
grammargeek
Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2009 8:27:53 PM

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I'm not sure what's going on with your wrist, Prolixity, but I used to spend all day every day writing page after page in charts. No computers. After years of doing this, I ended up with carpal tunnel syndrome and a ganglion cyst just proximal to my wrist. Now I've got some pretty nasty arthritis in both hands, particularly thumbs.

You might want to read up on carpal tunnel and see if the symptom picture fits. Or who knows, maybe you've got good ol' writer's cramp.
Christine
Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2009 8:54:15 PM

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I would never trust a chiropractor.

I am carrying my heart~I am carrying my rhythm~I am carrying my prayers~But you can't kill my spirit~It's soaring and strong (Paula Cole's Me Lyrics)***We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We ARE spirtual beings having a human experience.(T.deChardin)***There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. (Albert Einstein)



pkeadle
Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:54:30 PM

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Joined: 7/30/2009
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Location: America
If the pain is in the actual wrist on the thumb side (radial side) it could be DeQuervains Tendinitis . I'm an Orthopaedic Nurse, and I saw a lot of it in my coworkers, before computer charting.

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00007

We had an anesthesiologist who actually had been trained in acupuncture, and he did my wrist about half dozen times (free no less) and it improved.

And I do trust my chiropractor-when he uses the activator-NEVER hands on and never on my neck.
Angel-Baby
Posted: Friday, September 11, 2009 12:08:47 AM

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Joined: 5/11/2009
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Location: Minnesota
Christine wrote:
I would never trust a chiropractor.


Why not? Chiropractors have just as many hours of study put into their education as MDs, sometimes more for certain subjects. There have been many times when my mother and sister have found things (tumors, broken bones, etc.) that conventional medical doctors have missed. There are good doctors and bad doctors in every field.

I am ambidextrous and have noticed that I also get pain in my left hand when writing. It is due to the way I have turned my hand in order to keep from smearing the ink/ lead as I write. I have found sometime just adjusting the paper helps. However, Prolixity, everything in the body is interconnected. It could be that the problem is originating in your shoulders, neck or elbow. Just because it doesn't ache there, doesn't mean it isn't out of joint. Pain is just a symptom, not the diagnosis.
Raparee
Posted: Friday, September 11, 2009 10:34:19 AM

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I would probably try a few different sorts of wrist braces (anything from a full-on brace to just a pressure bandage), depending on what's going on. Whenever I feel a muscle has been tweaked in some way, be it wrist, elbow, or knee, I will often use a pressure bandage to help alleviate the tension.

Beyond that, you might look into the alternative therapies. Accupuncture is very highly regarded and a lot of chiropractors can use ultrasound therapy to help heat the muscle and loosen it internally without causing damage (personally, I LOVE going to my chiro and wish I could afford the copays!). Even massage therapy could really help things and most malls have a kiosk where you can spend like $20 and have them work on just one area (cheaper than a copay and pretty effective, actually). :)

Just keep trying things until you find something that works. Good luck!


A closed mind is like a closed book - nothing can be gained if either remains closed.
RuthP
Posted: Friday, September 11, 2009 11:15:44 AM

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Proli, sorry you are having trouble; for what they are worth, my thoughts:

- It could be muscle tension, or tendonitis being exacerbated by muscle tension and loosening the grip on your pen might help. As a suggestion, find someone who can teach calligraphy to a "leftie." Far more than letter shape, calligraphy re-teaches how to hold a pen and move the fingers-hand-arm unit.

- Your symptoms do sound a lot like tendonitis or possibly carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a neuropathy. Emedicine carpal tunnel, Emedicine tendonitis, Emedicine tendonitis, sports medicine This site (Emedicine) is a very good resource. Do note the links within Emedicine that are listed on the first page. This particular page is in the orthopedic surgery section, so the authors will have a surgery slant and you would probably prefer to start elsewhere. I think you can access any of the Emedicine links without registering; you may need to register for the Medscape links. I've been registered for both for at least a decade and have never traced any spam to either site.

- Ice and over the counter anti-inflammatory medications are often very effective and a very mild treatment to try. Ice is properly used by icing for 20-30 minutes, then at least 20-30 minutes of no ice. You can try taking an anti-inflammatory such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen (but not acetaminophen (Tylenol) which is a pain-reliever not an anti-inflammatory), prophylactically, before you start having pain. Ice before activity; medicate 30 to 60 minutes before activity and again after activity, but follow the package directions on the timing of the "after" dose. You can try this for a week, but if you still have pain at that point, it's time to see someone before permanent damage is done.
pkeadle
Posted: Friday, September 11, 2009 11:03:12 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/30/2009
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Location: America
Raparee wrote:
I would probably try a few different sorts of wrist braces (anything from a full-on brace to just a pressure bandage), depending on what's going on. Whenever I feel a muscle has been tweaked in some way, be it wrist, elbow, or knee, I will often use a pressure bandage to help alleviate the tension.

Beyond that, you might look into the alternative therapies. Accupuncture is very highly regarded and a lot of chiropractors can use ultrasound therapy to help heat the muscle and loosen it internally without causing damage (personally, I LOVE going to my chiro and wish I could afford the copays!). Even massage therapy could really help things and most malls have a kiosk where you can spend like $20 and have them work on just one area (cheaper than a copay and pretty effective, actually). :)

Just keep trying things until you find something that works. Good luck!


You are quite correct. I C E + Ice compression and elevation. I don't think I'd go to a random kiosk though. I recently discovered that SAM's Clubs (Walmart chain) has tooth whitening kiosks, staffed by non professionals, AKA people off the street. I think I'd start with a professional if you are looking to have therapy of any kind.
Kat
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 2:56:17 PM
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Joined: 5/19/2009
Posts: 879
Neurons: 3,389

I have the same exact symptoms.
It became necessary for me to wear brace while I sleep.
What you have may be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Carpal tunnel syndrome
________________________________________
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on a nerve (the median nerve) in the wrist. The symptoms include tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain felt in the fingers, thumb, hand, and sometimes into the forearm.
Conditions that may contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome include pregnancy, hypothyroidism, diabetes, arthritis, and obesity. Improper or prolonged use of the hands or wrist can also put pressure on the median nerve by causing swelling or thickening of tissues close to or within the carpal tunnel. Prior wrist injuries (especially fractures) make a person more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
Both work and recreational activities can cause carpal tunnel syndrome if done over a long period of time. Some of these activities include:
• Typing, data entry, use of a computer mouse, or bar code scanning.
• Use of tools, especially those that vibrate (such as sanders).
• Prolonged knitting or needlework.
• Prolonged twisting of the wrist.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can often be treated by avoiding activities that irritate the wrist, applying ice, wearing a night splint, and taking anti-inflammatory medications. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco may help. Strengthening the arms and shoulders and increasing vitamin B6 intake may also help. In some cases, surgery may be helpful.
Credits
________________________________________
Author Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Patrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedics
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Pichora, MD, FRCSC - Orthopedic Surgery
Last Updated October 29, 2008
Raparee
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 3:28:28 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/17/2009
Posts: 1,231
Neurons: 18,102
pkeadle wrote:
Raparee wrote:
I would probably try a few different sorts of wrist braces (anything from a full-on brace to just a pressure bandage), depending on what's going on. Whenever I feel a muscle has been tweaked in some way, be it wrist, elbow, or knee, I will often use a pressure bandage to help alleviate the tension.

Beyond that, you might look into the alternative therapies. Accupuncture is very highly regarded and a lot of chiropractors can use ultrasound therapy to help heat the muscle and loosen it internally without causing damage (personally, I LOVE going to my chiro and wish I could afford the copays!). Even massage therapy could really help things and most malls have a kiosk where you can spend like $20 and have them work on just one area (cheaper than a copay and pretty effective, actually). :)

Just keep trying things until you find something that works. Good luck!


You are quite correct. I C E + Ice compression and elevation. I don't think I'd go to a random kiosk though. I recently discovered that SAM's Clubs (Walmart chain) has tooth whitening kiosks, staffed by non professionals, AKA people off the street. I think I'd start with a professional if you are looking to have therapy of any kind.

Well, I wouldn't exactly go to those types of kiosks - I've seen them too and they scare me. ;) But the massage kiosks are generally pretty good, oddly enough. They take basic hygenic actions (if you're unsure, watch them while they work and between clients) and everyone I've known who has used them has had very good results. And I wouldn't go to an accupuncture kiosk either - if I want that, I'm going to a proper office.

And yes, ICE IS NICE! I remember having to do two very large, multi-tier cakes overnight and couldn't make a fist the following morning. I had my arms up to the elbows in the kitchen sink full of cold water, then tried to keep them elevated and wrapped a bit the rest of the day. But I've found if my lower back aches or sciatica is flaring, I do far better with heat.


A closed mind is like a closed book - nothing can be gained if either remains closed.
prolixitysquared
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 10:28:46 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 1,036
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Location: pennsylvania.
Kat wrote:

I have the same exact symptoms.
It became necessary for me to wear brace while I sleep.
What you have may be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Oh goodness ! I had considered carpal tunnel syndrome, but I was hoping that maybe somehow I was an exception to having it yet since I'm still in my early twenties. Maybe not ! That's no good if so.
Kat
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 10:38:02 PM
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Oh, please be assured the brace works wonders and it
is not necessary to wear it every night. Also, I
have arthritis in both hands so that, unfortunately
adds more "ache" to the Carpal Tunnel. I still write
in long hand, type, stir, bake, clean and cook. It
doesn't slow me down much.
prolixitysquared
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2009 7:12:44 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 1,036
Neurons: 3,101
Location: pennsylvania.
Kat wrote:
Oh, please be assured the brace works wonders and it
is not necessary to wear it every night. Also, I
have arthritis in both hands so that, unfortunately
adds more "ache" to the Carpal Tunnel. I still write
in long hand, type, stir, bake, clean and cook. It
doesn't slow me down much.


Where do you buy this brace ? Does it have a specific name ?

I do knit semi-often, and my fingers do tend to cramp up after some time. I forgot to note that earlier after I read your second to last post.
Angel-Baby
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2009 4:13:04 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/11/2009
Posts: 78
Neurons: 243
Location: Minnesota
prolixitysquared wrote:
Kat wrote:
Oh, please be assured the brace works wonders and it
is not necessary to wear it every night. Also, I
have arthritis in both hands so that, unfortunately
adds more "ache" to the Carpal Tunnel. I still write
in long hand, type, stir, bake, clean and cook. It
doesn't slow me down much.


Where do you buy this brace ? Does it have a specific name ?

I do knit semi-often, and my fingers do tend to cramp up after some time. I forgot to note that earlier after I read your second to last post.


I use "Hand-Aids Support Gloves". They are a thin, fingerless, nylon (spandex? lycra?) glove that cover from the base of my fingers to 1.5 to 2 inches past my wrist. They come in multiple sizes, though I can only comment on the small size. I use them when knitting, cross-stitching and I haven't had problems (when crafting) with my hands since I started using them. I've seen them at most craft shops.
fred
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2009 8:48:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2009
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Location: United States


"Supposin' I was to go to work and learn how to... to read writin'. Well, how'd I know that the feller that... that wrote the writin' was a writin' the writin' right? See it could be that he wrote the writin' all wrong. Here I'd be just a readin' wrong writin', don't ya see? You probably been doin' it your whole life, just a readin' wrong writin' and not even knowin‘ it." Festus
Kat
Posted: Saturday, September 19, 2009 8:13:45 AM
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Joined: 5/19/2009
Posts: 879
Neurons: 3,389
prolixitysquared wrote:
Kat wrote:
Oh, please be assured the brace works wonders and it
is not necessary to wear it every night. Also, I
have arthritis in both hands so that, unfortunately
adds more "ache" to the Carpal Tunnel. I still write
in long hand, type, stir, bake, clean and cook. It
doesn't slow me down much.


Where do you buy this brace ? Does it have a specific name ?

I do knit semi-often, and my fingers do tend to cramp up after some time. I forgot to note that earlier after I read your second to last post.




I acquired my brace from an orthopedic specialist I worked for
a few years ago. I'm sure you can buy one from any large pharmacy
chain, but you can also purchase one from Amazon.
McDavid Carpal Tunnel Wrist Support
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Price: $18.99
I unsuccessfully tried to cut and paste a picture
of it. I'm not terribly computer savvy. Sorry.
Good luck...I know the aggrevation of that pain.


grammargeek
Posted: Saturday, September 19, 2009 4:25:34 PM

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Joined: 3/21/2009
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Location: Arizona, U.S.
Prolixity, I looked up the McDavid Carpal Tunnel Wrist Support that Kat uses and likes. I can't tell from the description and photo if it is essentially the same type that I use or not; it seems much the same.

The brand I have is FORMFIT. I looked it up, but it doesn't show photos taken from different angles, either. The thing I wanted to point out is that it keeps the wrist in an extended (cocked up) position. My doctors said that feature is important because it helps keep pressure of the median nerve. Wrist flexion puts more pressure on the nerve and leads to exacerbation of carpal tunnel syndrome. That's one of the main reasons why these types of braces are recommended for wearing during sleep, as I understand it. I was hoping I'd also be able to use mine when doing things like typing on my computer keyboard, but it is too limiting for that to work very well for me, though it is not impossible.

Although this is not the brand I have, the link below shows a brace that is almost exactly like mine. Note the bottom photo showing how the "palmar stay" holds the desired wrist position in place. (The photo shows a right hand brace, but they are available for lefties, too.)

http://bracesupport.com/brdprem.htm
prolixitysquared
Posted: Saturday, September 19, 2009 11:16:40 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 1,036
Neurons: 3,101
Location: pennsylvania.
Kat wrote:


I acquired my brace from an orthopedic specialist I worked for
a few years ago. I'm sure you can buy one from any large pharmacy
chain, but you can also purchase one from Amazon.
McDavid Carpal Tunnel Wrist Support
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Price: $18.99
I unsuccessfully tried to cut and paste a picture
of it. I'm not terribly computer savvy. Sorry.
Good luck...I know the aggravation of that pain.


I will definitely check this out ! The idea of my wrist not hurting, or hurting less, is so darn enticing ! Thank you for your efforts.
prolixitysquared
Posted: Saturday, September 19, 2009 11:18:05 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 1,036
Neurons: 3,101
Location: pennsylvania.
grammargeek wrote:
Prolixity, I looked up the McDavid Carpal Tunnel Wrist Support that Kat uses and likes. I can't tell from the description and photo if it is essentially the same type that I use or not; it seems much the same.

The brand I have is FORMFIT. I looked it up, but it doesn't show photos taken from different angles, either. The thing I wanted to point out is that it keeps the wrist in an extended (cocked up) position. My doctors said that feature is important because it helps keep pressure of the median nerve. Wrist flexion puts more pressure on the nerve and leads to exacerbation of carpal tunnel syndrome. That's one of the main reasons why these types of braces are recommended for wearing during sleep, as I understand it. I was hoping I'd also be able to use mine when doing things like typing on my computer keyboard, but it is too limiting for that to work very well for me, though it is not impossible.

Although this is not the brand I have, the link below shows a brace that is almost exactly like mine. Note the bottom photo showing how the "palmar stay" holds the desired wrist position in place. (The photo shows a right hand brace, but they are available for lefties, too.)

http://bracesupport.com/brdprem.htm


Thank you, gg, also. I do appreciate you going out of your way to find out more information for me. I will check these out. As I told Kat, I am so enthused by the idea of a wrist that doesn't feel so much heated pain in it.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, January 21, 2016 12:10:55 AM

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Not only SPAM, but a drug-pusher too!


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, February 01, 2016 11:17:00 AM

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Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
That last comment was not related to prolixitysquared's post.

The link to an online unlicensed drug company has been removed.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
PureBlueLight
Posted: Thursday, February 04, 2016 11:16:57 AM

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Joined: 12/29/2015
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Location: Portimão, Faro, Portugal
When i have wrist pain, is almost always from weightlifting, and it lasts for a few weeks.
My suggestion is, try to go around the pain, or learn how to write with your right hand.
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, February 04, 2016 8:45:27 PM

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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Pure Blue Light,

This is an old thread and some of those involved are long gone. However, I am sure there are lots of people who could benefit from seeing this discussion.

Wrist pain often starts in the neck. Check your posture. It's all connected.

Chiropractors in the US study 4500 hours of anatomy and physiology and have been known to help CTS just by adjusting the neck. Unfortunately, sometimes patterns are set and unless the muscles are retrained and we remember to watch our posture, adjustments do not always hold. And weight training can strain the neck too, as you well know.

Ever watch somebody texting on their phone and wonder how many pounds of pressure they are putting on their neck holding their head up and forward at that angle?

The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human. A Huxley
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