Are you feeling any pain, numbness, and tingling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the thumb side of the ring fingers. Are you a writer? Well then maybe you are experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome – writers curse. As those are the signs and symptoms.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Writers Curse
Why do I say that? Although carpal tunnel syndrome is also experienced by those doing mechanical jobs, people who are constantly in their computers, working, typing is mostly experiencing it. Most writers do.
According to WebMD, in carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve and several tendons run from your forearm to your hand through a small space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve controls movement and feeling in your thumb and first three fingers (not your little finger).
Making the same hand movement over and over or making the same wrist movement makes the carpal tunnel smaller and puts pressure on the median nerve.
You may experience these symptoms but it is still advisable to see a doctor for diagnosis.
The process of testing for carpal tunnel syndrome or CPS is not a fun test according to Dr. Rita Hancock, a board-certified Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation doctor with a sub-specialty board certification in Pain Medicine. She cited:
“In the first part of the electrodiagnostic study or EMG (main diagnostic test for CTS), I have to zap your nerves with electricity to see how well they conduct, and in the second part, I have to insert a fine wire through your skin and into your muscles to determine if the muscles are electrically unstable due to an underlying nerve problem.”
It doesn’t sound appealing at all.
What can you do to avoid it or at least lessen the pain if you start feeling the symptoms? What if you can’t help but make the same wrist and hand movement again and again as it is your bread and butter to write. If you’re like me who does not just write for a living but writes to live, how can this curse be avoided?
How to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Observe proper posture when working or typing on your computer. Although this is easier said than done, help yourself by abiding to this rule.
Make sure your chair and desk are of the proper heights wherein your shoulders are relaxed and your wrists aren’t bent or twisted for a long period of time.
Give yourself the gift of pause. I know you can write for hours especially if your creative juices are flowing. But give yourself a break. Stop writing for a few minutes or an hour to give not only your mind a time to relax, but your body as well.
Spend your break time away from the computer. Stand up. Stretch! Loosen up those tight muscles from hours of sitting down, bent over your keyboard. Of course don’t forget to stretch the part that does the most physical work—your hands, fingers, wrists, arms. Stretch it. Rotate your wrists. Shake your fingers.
If doing the same movement cannot be avoided, get yourself a wrist splint. You can wear the splint when sleeping. It helps keep your wrists from bending too much as you can’t control your movement when you’re asleep.
If writing is a source of income or an outlet for your soul, you can’t simply stop. Don’t let the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome hinder you. Take action in protecting the ‘tool’ you use in writing. Protect your hands and take extra care before the curse of CTS afflicts you.
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