I’ve recently been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands

Question: I’ve recently been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands and am trying to find out as much as I can about it, in particular the long term effects and how to stop permanent damage I’m a bit of an interloper here as in my case it isn’t r.s.i., it’s caused by rheumatoid arthritis just to add to the fun!But as it’s also caused by r.s.i.

I was hoping somebody might know something about the condition. I use my hands a lot at work, lifting fairly heavy items.On the one hand I don’t think that this does them much good, but then hopefully it will help stop the muscles wasting away. They ache whether they are still or are working; keeping them moving does tend to help with the stiffness. Does anyone know any exercises that would be helpful or have any useful advise in particular any magic cures!

Answer: As a fellow sufferer of RSI – especially CTS, I have found mild relief from desisting from using my right hand in which I suffer numbness, tingling and pain (also pain in arm and shoulder) too frequently. I am an IT teacher, as you will imagine I have spent thousands of hours on a keyboard – I am sorry to say that I can no longer do so. It has taken 3 months for my problem to gradually improve – by minimalising use. My difficulty now is resisting getting back into old habits.

As you will see on other postings the Alexander Technique is highly recommended for aiding and abetting relief. I am sorry to say that in all the research I have done on CTS there seems to be no magic cure – it all points to the necessitation of surgery as a cure. This is something I am trying to hold at bay for as long as possible, the RSI Association can send you information on RSI problems and there are many books on the subject.

The book I have is called simply “RSI” and the Work Related Upper Limb Disorders by Dr P. V. A. MacLoughlin – this is a very informative book, published by Peterborough Press, ISBN 0-9535070-0-9. There are many websites which will provide you with insight into CTS – try visiting this one:-
http://www.axappphealthcare.co.uk/
.

I am currently researching material to start a local RSI Awareness and Support Group, my own specialty field being RSI in computer use and children – by no means is it limited to computer use and I am very keen to keep in touch with anyone who is suffering from RSI work related problems with a view to employers and educators training people in on the theme of “Prevention is better than cure”.


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