Monday, June 23, 2008

Carpal Tunnel Strategies

A while back a few of you asked what hints/suggestions I'd received to help me deal with the CTS during deadline. Here's what I found helpful.

Please note: I still haven't seen a doctor so I have no idea whether these are actually sound practices or not, but they helped me get through a grueling two weeks at the keyboard.

1. Ergo Keyboard - this was the item that improved my hands the most. A climber on a forum I belong to gave me this link. Hubby had it sent next day delivery and it wasn't quite immediate relief, but close enough. A couple other climbers recommended other keyboards but they were too expensive not knowing whether it would work or not.

2. Hand exercises - the same climber who gave me the link to the keyboard also said I should warm up for 5 minutes before long spells of typing using these. They really helped from the get go and have become part of my routine now.

3. Wrist braces - I wear them when I sleep and at the height of the pain was wearing them two hours on, one hour off. I have yet to get back to work on a new book but will use them as I type for part of the time until my hands have healed.

4. Redoing work area - I was writing in bed on my iBook or on the couch or wherever I could find quiet. Hubby set me up on a table with a chair at the correct height. This was the first thing we did and like the keyboard helped right away.

5. Limiting keyboard time - this was the hardest. I stopped blogging and doing whatever wasn't related to the book. Thanks to blogger scheduling, I had most of my Wedding Planner posts at least drafted so just had to finish those up. I'm still trying to limit my time since I still have lingering symptoms.

6. Massaging arms and hands - a writer had told me to look for any sore spots and rub them hard. I tried that, but then went a step further thanks to my oldest who decided to open her own "spa" called the Lava Sun Spa. She would come to me with her bucket of spa equipment and rub my arms and hands with lotion.

7. Limiting activities - I took a break from climbing. I didn't think I could safely belay a partner. Now I feel I can. Amy had asked how this was affecting my working out. I also cut back crossfit to twice a week and we only used PVC pipes, little to no weight. Funny, but these non-weight workouts really kicked my butt. I also had to drop out of boot camp which is starting tonight. My hands couldn't take it five nights in a row.

On Friday: 2 400m runs, 1 burpee to plank position (no push-up), 5 lunges down Martin Luther King Blvd during rush hour traffic and the broad jumps all the way back.

On Last Wednesday: 800m run with squats and good mornings, practice all lifts with pvc pipe. WOD: 3 rounds - run/sprint, 15 - 10# medicine ball wall toss

I can't remember my other workouts which is why I post them here so I can keep a record. Oh well!

If the symptoms don't go away completely, I will see a doctor. But so far, self-care has worked pretty well. And spending the weekend away at camp with no keyboards in sight was a big help. Plus I got tons of sleep and even managed to read most of a book I've been dying to read, Garden Spells. Only 80 more pages to go. I'm planning to finish it tonight!

How was your weekend?