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Old 08-25-2006, 10:23 AM
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Wrist Pain and Ergonomics

Here's my problem:

I’m have been having wrist pain (both wrists, right hand dominant) for more than a year and a half. I get a dull pain in my wrist whenever I write. This pain usually radiates to my forearm, but does not get more than four or five inches. Typically a dull pain in my elbow corresponds to my wrist pain. This pain only happens when I am writing by hand, playing the violin, and sitting down on my back with my elbow bent and arms extended upwards (reading at night). If I extend my elbow in the reading position my pain goes away. It usually is not very bad until I write for more than five minutes. The pain gets so strong that I physically have to stop writing. I stopped playing the violin for about six months. I have been to an orthopedist [many times], a rheumatologist, a geneticist, a neurologist twice, a wrist specialist at a wrist center, a chiropractor, and my local doctor. I have been tested for almost everything possible (MS, Marfan’s syndrome, Lyme disease, Fibromyalgia, etc.). I had a neck x-ray, spine x-ray, spine MRI, two EMGs and NCVs of arm. Everything came out normal. I have gone through five rounds of physical and occupational therapy at three different centers. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen, heat, cold, wrist and elbow braces – nothing works. My former occupational therapist (I do not go anymore) believed it was an entrapped, stretched, or twisted nerve in my elbow (ulnar), my orthopedist thinks it is chronic pain, and my pediatrician believes it is growing pain that not can be explained. I believe that it is some type of ulnar nerve problem. I have a pretty good basic understanding of the medical field (especially after seeing all of these doctors!), but obviously I am not a doctor. Does anyone have any ideas as to what is causing this pain and/or how to treat it?



Second question:

Some people have mentioned improving the ergonomics of my workstation. I am looking specifically at mice and keyboards. However, I do I have my wonderful Wacom tablet that I must keep. Any suggestions?
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Last edited by SN3; 08-25-2006 at 10:30 AM.
 

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Old 08-25-2006, 11:54 AM
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I've been seeing a physiotherapist and he said the most important thing is DOING the exercises. Building up the stamina in your forearm.

I had my university's ergonomist come in and look at my workstation. It cost $1000 (not my money) to repair it with an appropriate tray and chair. The angle of your arms and wrist while on the keyboard and mouse is crucial. This may be a start:
http://www.uwo.ca/humanresources/fac...fice/index.htm

I now use my mouse left-handed on this computer with ease, and have found my discomfort to have greatly decreased. Get up and walk around every 20 minutes (set a timer) while changing the position of your arms.

Definitely get an adujstable keyboard tray. I have a link somewhere on these forums for a high-end one.
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Old 08-25-2006, 11:55 AM
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Here some discussion:

http://www.v7n.com/forums/forum-lobb...ght=tendonitis

I'm just concerned because of my age. It's not severe, but it's early.
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:20 PM
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Here is a top view down photo. My problem is (1) my hands are pointed up to reach the keyboard, (2) my right hand ends up on the numerical entry side of the keyboard (even if I move my chair), and (3) reaching my tablet means I have to stretch a lot.
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Wrist Pain and Ergonomics-wkst.gif  
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Old 08-25-2006, 02:12 PM
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All problems.

Invest in something like this: http://www.safety.duke.edu/Ergonomic...na%20board.jpg
Or better. Might cost upwards of $150, but if it's for your health...

Google workplace ergonomics and see how many fixes you can make first for prevention. The work on curing through strengthening and breaking of bad habits.
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Old 08-25-2006, 02:23 PM
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I started to get this problem. A good mouse corrected instantly for me.
 
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Old 08-25-2006, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicgeek
All problems.

Invest in something like this: http://www.safety.duke.edu/Ergonomic...na%20board.jpg
Or better. Might cost upwards of $150, but if it's for your health...

Google workplace ergonomics and see how many fixes you can make first for prevention. The work on curing through strengthening and breaking of bad habits.
The only problems are (a) that won't fit under my desk and (b) I couldn't put my huge Wacom tablet on there
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Old 08-26-2006, 07:22 AM
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You need a whole new desk, chair, mouse, keyboard, etc. All of it has to go if you want to fix the problem.

I need a new setup as well, but my work doesn't care if it causes me pain.
 
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Old 08-26-2006, 07:45 AM
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Yup, that desk looks like asking for trouble. How can you even type using that keyboard. No wrist support. Do you just hang your hands over it?

As Julie said, you need a completely new desk and the chair too. The armrests look like it overrides any attempts at decent arms and wrists position. Too close to (what I think is) the keyboard drawer.

Now, there is the tablet; unless you get some kind of custom desk to allow for all your input devices to be in close proximity to one another and at the same level, there are no miracles. You're bound to require more horizontal space and thus reach will always be an issue.
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Old 08-26-2006, 11:07 AM
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I had a similar problem awhile back.
The pain got so bad I couldn't do anything with my right arm/hand for days at a time.

Did the doctor deal, etc etc.

I figured on my own it was all about how I used my mouse.

Here's what worked for me:

One or two weeks of no activity with that arm.
Took Aleeve for a couple weeks. I hate the stuff, but in this case I made an exception.
Used a mouse pad that raised my wrist for awhile.
Make sure that my arm is all the way on the table up to my elbow. My elbow rests on the table/desk when I mouse.
At the slightest hint of fatigue with my right arm I either stop or switch to my left hand for awhile.

I took about 1 year to heal and I still have fair-ups.
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleFella
Yup, that desk looks like asking for trouble. How can you even type using that keyboard. No wrist support. Do you just hang your hands over it?
Yes, that is exactly what I do.


Quote:
Originally Posted by littleFella
As Julie said, you need a completely new desk and the chair too. The armrests look like it overrides any attempts at decent arms and wrists position. Too close to (what I think is) the keyboard drawer.
Completely new desk and chair!!! There is no way that is going to happen. If I were to get a new chair and desk, what features should I look for?


Quote:
Originally Posted by littleFella
Now, there is the tablet; unless you get some kind of custom desk to allow for all your input devices to be in close proximity to one another and at the same level, there are no miracles. You're bound to require more horizontal space and thus reach will always be an issue.
I've been using the pen for everything and put my mouse away.
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Old 08-26-2006, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SN3
Yes, that is exactly what I do.




Completely new desk and chair!!! There is no way that is going to happen. If I were to get a new chair and desk, what features should I look for?




I've been using the pen for everything and put my mouse away.
Well if you really want to solve the problem, it is going to be expensive. There's no way around that really.
 
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Old 08-27-2006, 01:58 PM
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What should I get if I were to upgrade.
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Old 08-28-2006, 12:27 PM
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Herman miller Aeron chair. (Ebay $500 not fully-loaded)

Logitech MX-1000 mouse.

The desk doesn't matter. Just make sure it's not too HIGH!
 
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Old 08-28-2006, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SN3
Completely new desk and chair!!! There is no way that is going to happen. If I were to get a new chair and desk, what features should I look for?
I'm not an ergonomics specialist and I never used the tablet so I wouldn't even know where to start. The only experience I have is when I was after a car accident (broken neck) the insurance company sent some ergonomics people and they set me up. The stuff was very expensive but helped me a lot, and of course money was no object to me .

Funny thing though, after I fully recovered I felt very uncomfortable with the ergonomic furniture. Right now my computer furniture consists of the carpet and coffee table. Other than some moderate pain in you know where, I have no issues.

As Julie said, no way to go around the cost. Calculate the cost of your pain killers and see how long before you actually start saving if you get good furniture.
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Old 08-28-2006, 12:59 PM
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Exercise as someone mentioned earlier is what you need, as well as regular breaks. I get a similar problem and i go throw a basketball when they start hurting just to limber up a bit.
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Old 08-29-2006, 03:30 PM
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I've been using a program that requires me to take thirty second breaks every half hour. I also made a custom monisot raiser and got the Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000. Now my wrist is no longer pointed upwards.
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Old 08-29-2006, 03:32 PM
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Excellent. Now just work on a strengthening regimen.
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Old 09-02-2006, 06:08 AM
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I've git the same problem but people keep telling me it's cuase I'm on the comp all the time.
 
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Old 09-02-2006, 06:09 AM
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Got, not git, sorry didn't catch that the first time, glasses missing.
 
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