With all my hand/wrist/elbow problems I figured I could share a few things that I’ve done to help minimize pain.
Some of these things I wish I thought of before. I have no doubt I wouldn’t have ended up with a problem so quickly if I had been mindful. So, perhaps reading this will help you to avoid some issues as well.
- This is the ultimate one. POSTURE! Seriously, good posture will help your shoulders, your back, AND your arms/hands as you type. I’m certain that I am in this boat because I had terrible posture while typing on my bed for hours on end. Practice it as much as possible. I’m still reminding myself!
- Make sure your hands and elbows are level with your keyboard, or that your elbows are higher than your hands.
- A paraffin wax machine works great for immediate relief. My friend was a sign language interpreter and she had one for those long days translating. She let me borrow hers and it is wonderful. You dip your hands in the warm wax and it hardens when you take your hands out. Then leave it on for a few minutes as the heat calms your aches. This was a lifesaver.
- Keep your hands laid out flat as you sleep. No curling or tucking them under your chin. I’ve learned to sleep on my back for this and there was a definite difference for me.
- Massage therapist. This one gets pricey and I didn’t do it for long. But a good neck, shoulder and hand massage is wonderful. Only down side for me was I thought I could take on the world and so needed to resist the temptation of using my hands after.
- Yoga. Not the ones where you put pressure on your hands. Instead I do positions that help straighten the back, stretch the neck/back/arms. It’s been very helpful and I find that I am more mindful of my posture throughout the day if I do it in the morning.
- Do hand stretches!
These things have been extremely helpful to me in managing my carpal tunnel.*
Also, as a resource, here are a couple items my husband looked into getting for me. We would have gone this route if the specialist hadn’t discovered so quickly what was really going on with my hands.
One is Voicecode.io. I’ve seen it in action and it’s impressive. We would have totally spent the $300 to get it. It’s basically a speak to text software that is very responsive. Way better than the one on my phone I use to text, that’s for sure.
Second, to go along with that, we looked at a foot mouse. These were interesting to research. I never considered that something like this existed until my husband brought it up.
There was no way I was going to go on much longer without getting my writing work done. I’m glad we didn’t have to go this route, but I’m also glad these are options out there.
*I am not a medical professional so if you have any symptoms or concerns make sure to check with your doctor.
Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash