Time for understanding

by on Feb.13, 2010, under News

Anyone that’s been paying attention will have realised I have a bit of an RSI problem probably caused by too much computer, but no one seems to have any understanding of it, so I thought I’d try explain it.

The cause? That’s lost in the mists of time, I think it was probably triggered by helping to lift a heavy sofa, as I probably didn’t have hold of it very well, but it could already have been building up then anyway.

So what’s the cure? It seems to be rest, ibuprofen and some specific exercises, my Dr mentioned surgery too last time I was there.

And what can aggravate the problem? Pretty much everything! Or some days that’s how it feels, if an activity uses my hands there’s a good chance it wont be helping.

Heres a small list of everyday things that either hurt instantly or will after a while

  • Typing (if I’m not careful writing this will hurt)
  • using a mouse – its uncomfortable as soon as I try to use one, pain wont be far behind
  • writing – using my graphics tablet might be better for me than a mouse but its not a cure
  • picking things up
  • getting dressed
  • eating – both with or without cutlery
  • using my phone
  • using a tv remote
  • holding a book
  • driving
  • holding a wii controller
  • lifting a glass to drink
  • opening bottles
  • opening cans
  • Some part of snowboarding, probably ratcheting my bindings and boots, or maybe its just from carrying my board
  • fastening laces
  • carrying things
  • sleeping wrong – s lying wring will do more damage than is healed over night

That’s just a list of things that seem to have caused pains and then only the ones I could think of.

Primarily the problem is in my right wrist but that’s mostly because I’m right handed, my left is actually not fine I can’t just switch to it, partly because it really is an effort to use the wrong hand for some tasks but mostly because it’ll then have the same problems because its both wrists that hurt at times.

In the time I’ve been suffering I’ve discovered a variety of pain, all in my wrists, arms or even back (thanks to the physio!), from the sharp stabbing pains on the under side of my wrist, aches on the top, burning on the inside nearer my elbow, sharp pains shooting the whole length of my forearm.

Pain killers are great, I take them all day so I can work,  but they only hide the problem while they’re effective and they’re not a cure, the damage is still being done I just can’t feel it for a while. Imaging taking pain killers so you can put your hands in a fire, you mightn’t feal it, but your still going to have pretty crispy hands and it’ll hurt like hell later when they wear off.

As for how it works, all the tendons and nerves are packed together in the wrist, if one gets inflamed for whatever reason its swells, putting pressure on the others and causing them to rub more and get inflamed and swell making the problem worse, once the damage is done you do far more damage by continuing because of that.

So if you’re wondering why I’m lacking motivation, avoiding driving, trying to avoid the computer, or any activity that might possibly hurt, its all because I know it will hurt and being in pain isn’t fun, it really is quite hard to find the motivation to do something you know will leave you in pain with no gain from it. Hurting myself falling over snowboarding is just part of it, the snowboarding is fun and enjoyable and well worth a little suffering afterwards, but to spend time doing something that really hurts and is limiting my ability to continue and also limiting my entertainment options due to the pain levels, that’s really not fun.

If you haven’t worked it out, it really does suck, reading and tv are fine pass-times, but they’re not interactive and I want to shoot aliens not watch someone else do it, but if I spend too much time playing then I can’t work and then I still can’t (shouldn’t) play, or if I drive too far, or do too much work at work, you get the picture…

Oh on the plus there’s been a study that showed playing video games distracts from painful things, which explains how I can actually play games and not be in pain, but will be in pain within minutes of starting work, just a shame I’ll suffer for it anyway.

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