Carpal tunnel… is there a light at the end?

As a writer, I’ve used every excuse not to write:

“I can’t think of any ideas.”—This even has an official name, writer’s block.

“My kids are too noisy.”

“I’m too busy.”

“My computer is having problems.”

“I have to check facebook first.”

Many of these are preventable; however, especially one can threaten a writer’s livelihood.

I have struggled with carpel tunnel since college. Typing, playing piano, writing notes, lifting weights, and every other daily activity can damage the hands and lead to the inability to do anything without pain. Here are some tips that have helped me deal with carpel tunnel.

File:Carpal tunnel splint.jpg

BE CAREFUL OF REPEATED ACTIONS

During my last vacation, I stopped exercising, typing, and playing the piano. But my carpel tunnel got worse.

Why? Because I spent most of my time reading (flipping pages) and using a kindle (tapping the screen). As simple as those actions were, they were harder on my hands than any of the so-thought problematic activities.

 

KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU DO

It’s so easy to spend hours on videogames, facebook, and other keyboard-related activities. Set a timer.http://danielfbowman.webs.com/apps/blog/show/20966222-taking-a-well-deserved-vacation

 

GET AN ERGONOMIC KEYBOARD

An ergonomic keyboard keeps your hands in a natural position. Regular keyboards make you bend your wrists, and laptop keyboards are worse.

One warning here, however. It takes time for you to learn how to type with your hands apart, especially if you tend to type wrongly by having one hand do more than its share of the letters.

 

WEAR WRIST SPLINTS, BUT NOT ALL THE TIME

The important part with wrist splints is to use them some of them time, especially when sleeping or engaged in a strenuous action. I often use them at night (definitely an acquired habit—it took me several months before I stopped throwing them off!) or when I’m typing for over an hour. They don’t work well for playing piano, though, because I have to turn my hands too much.

If you do wear them during the day, limit the use, as it can actually make that area weaker.

If you need an excuse to not use your hands, though, put them on. Some people will feel sorry for you and give you a bit of sympathy, while others will avoid making you work as hard. – Take advantage of this!

 

THE BEST ADVICE? STOP

Before you begin hurting, stop.

Even if you’re almost done, stop.

Even if it’s the deadline, stop.

Break apart the project into 15 or 30 minute segments. It’s a pain in the butt, but this is far better than a pain in the hands that doesn’t go away.

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