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Monday, September 03, 2007

achy breaky wrists

I can't believe it is September already. Of course, I generally spend the last part of every month pounding the keyboard for my job, so it makes crocheting not necessarily a fun thing to do. (I type every day at work, it's just there are time constraints at the end of the month, so it makes the pace a little more hectic.)

So here's what I do when my achy breaky wrists get too achy breaky. I am not a doctor and I do not play one on tv, so you will want to consult a doctor to see if any of these methods could be helpful to you.

I try to give my hands some time off from the repetitive stress, but that's _boring_;) I do wear a glove on my right hand (they sell them at the Lion Yarn Brand* site http://pages.e-yarn.com/6030/PictPage/1922238685.html) and it tends to work fairly well. I broke my right wrist playing wiffle ball when I was a little girl, so I think I might have a touch of arthritis in it. I've never tried a full arm splint.

I don't have the typical carpal tunnel syndrome symptons, (see this site for more info http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/carpal_tunnel/detail_carpal_tunnel.htm)
as it is my wrist that aches much more than my hand aches. My left hand (I'm a righty) gets achy and I do have tendonitis in both arms, but it's nothing like the right wrist.

I did carefully crochet a wrist rest and filled it with those little beads that are used for certain types of toys. That seems to work fairly well - but it disappeared from my desk at work. That did not make me a happy camper. So instead of crocheting another one, I cheated and found an old "Beanie Baby" - it's a lamb - and use that for support while typing at work. It's not the best solution, but I'm still considering alternatives. Maybe I'll just fill a stocking with birdseed and leave it at work, presumably it won't walk off.

I also stop what I am doing to stretch out my fingers and hand. I have tried "shaking" my hand but that doesn't seem to have much effect on the achiness. I work for a long term care pharmacy, so sometimes we get freebies such as "stress reducers" (for me it should be a nice cup of decaf Irish Breakfast, perhaps a brownie or turnover - well, you get the picture;)) and I can squeeze them to my heart's content. Unfortunately, they generally don't make it thru the first day with me, they must make the "stress reducers" cheap or I just have too much stress;)
Some other companies, such as Afflac, give them away when the representatives make presentations at a work site. If you can't find a goodie like that at work, you can try this website:
I have a few things from them and they seem to work very well - when I remember to use them. It's recommended that after an hour of any sort of repetitive work, you take a break and use your hands in a different way. I try to remember to do this, but I'm not very good at it.

I have used the Clover soft touch hooks and they seem to work well. But I do like my Boyes, so I find myself going back to them all the time. I've tried the plastic grips that slip on the hooks and they seem to help with the smaller hooks. Thread work is difficult on my wrist.

I also use a hot pack or a cold pack on my wrist. This can be very helpful to block the pain quickly. I will also run hot water over my wrist for about 30 seconds if I'm at work and that works very fast. Sometimes I use ibuprofen or acetaminophen to ease the discomfort. Elevation of the arm is supposed to be helpful, but I never remember to do that.

Anyway, I hope this explains why I have been away and also what you might be able to do to relieve your own achy breaky hands.
It's time for the usual disclaimers:
* I do not get a kickback from any of the sites mentioned, but I would be happy to accept one.
Of course, I am not diagnosing any thing. You should check with your health care professional first before you try any of the suggestions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Vitamin B yet? I'm not sure if it works, but I'm currently experimenting with it. It appears to be working, but I'll need a lot more time to evaluate it.