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Possibly afflicted with a computer geek injury

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by Balzz, Mar 14, 2002.

  1. Balzz

    Balzz TRIBE Member

    I think my years of geekdom are finally catching up to me. I'm not sure but I could have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. About a week ago, I started getting dull aches in my wrists <insert masturbation joke> and they've progressed to a sharp pain this week. I went to open my car door today and I felt a searing pain shooting up my fingers. This can't be healthy...

    Has anyone had any experience with RSIs? I'm trying to find information from the web but there seems to be a lot of noise on this subject.
  2. rswbrixton

    rswbrixton TRIBE Member

    your hunch may be correct , im futched up in both wrists - have similiar symptoms ! will require surgery in my case but not till after hockey season !

    pain , as random as it can be, is sharp as hell !

    i cant count the number of times a cup or a mug has fallen from my hands - the grip just gives right out .
  3. headwinds

    headwinds TRIBE Promoter

    this type of pain happened to me about two weeks ago. I have since a bought gel pad for my mouse and will soon invest in a ergo keyboard. I was doing a lot of all night design work. Now, I limit my time on the keyboard. Also, learn as many short cuts as possible -- try not to mouse all over the place.

    Stretch your wrists periodically -- stand up --- go for a walk. I've been told by a kinesiologist that excersize is very important in this recovery process. I still get pains (I can feel it right now) but a lot less since I've started stretching and limiting my mousing action.

    Massage therapy is an option too...some companies pay for this.

    I have heard stories of some Silicon vallery burnouts who cannot no longer work because of RSI. Even one who cannt use his wrists and has his mother shave and bath him but that must be some other sickness.
  4. deep

    deep TRIBE Member

    hey dude -

    first find out what it is exactly that's going on. the nerves innervating the hand can get impinged between the two bones of your forearm. nerve impingement usually feels like a dull burning sensation however, not the sharp variety. check out a chiropractor to see if the bones are not properly aligned in that area. If structurally things are okay with your forearm bones then you can start worrying about RSI or soft tissue problems. but first I'd be sure about it.
  5. Balzz

    Balzz TRIBE Member

    Should I just see my regular doctor about this? Or are there specialists in this area?

    My mouse-use can't be the culprit - I'm usually on a laptop with a trackpoint and I also use a keyboard with a trackpoint with my machine at work too. I've been making a conscious effort to type with my wrists straight today and it's helped a little bit (memories of piano class when I was a wee lad).
  6. slar

    slar TRIBE Member

    I had a simular problem, but only in my right hand. I think it was mostly from shifting in my car (I used to drive a lot) and mouse work. I moved my mouse to the left, it got better (NOT healed though.) For a few months, it would still flare up. Later I drove less, and always kept the mouse on the left...

    Now it's all cleared up.

    But I was only the right wrist -- you are both hands. Maybe bad poster on the keyboard? Time to buy a natural keyboard for the old laptop?
  7. Balzz

    Balzz TRIBE Member

    Maybe it's a sign. Perhaps it's time to abandon this flashy computer geek dream life and settle down to a down-to-earth career racing Formula 1 cars. :D
  8. slar

    slar TRIBE Member

    Hmmm F1... no problems I can see there... cushy job, no injury, air-conditioned offices, no pressure. Great idea! :p
  9. deep

    deep TRIBE Member

    an ergonomist would be the best person to consult to see if the way you work could promote an injury. see a chiropractor about the bone thing, see a sports doc if the chiropractor can't find anything. sports docs tend to be more on the cutting edge of repetitive strain injuries / connective tissue injuries than your average general practitioner.

    i doubt it's your mouse - you have an intellimouse wireless explorer so between the shape of the mouse and the lack of tether it's not going to be forcing you into a damaging position. if anything probably the keyboard position. I'm not so sure the so called ergonomic keyboards are necessarily safer than all the other keyboards out there.

    since you're a geek it bears mentioning that there are many other styles of keyboards out there besides the standard configuration and the typical ergonomic keyboard that may be to your liking.

    but right now I'd be more inclined to think it's a nerve being impinged rather than an RSI. you would have noticed it over a long period of time otherwise. did you do anything to your hand or arm recently that might have knocked things out of whack? it happens more often than most people think, remember that the skeletal system is basically held together by soft tissue, which is in turn susceptible to imbalances and consequently things can get pulled out of place. I've blown out both hamstrings and torn a muscle in my lower back because of this fact. It's something that can happen no matter how well conditioned or flexible you are.

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