Saturday, September 1, 2012

How I beat wrist pain

Back around 2000 I got a copy of Starcraft and began playing it quite heavily, not very well, now that I come to think of it since I only finished the first scenario, but in prolonged sessions nonetheless. This is when I began to notice numbness on my wrist and hand during and after play, which began to grow as time went by. I won't go into the gory details of how much this distressed me since that's over and you're not really interested in that. Fixing my problem took me many years and trips to many blind alleys. Following is what helped me and what didn't. First, though, the usual disclaimer that you should not take the following as medical advice and if you are in need, you should consult your specialist.

What didn't help me:

  • Switching doctors and anti-inflammatory drugs
    • too much is likely to become deleterious

  • Switching hands
    • worked for a while, but then both hands began to hurt

  • Splints
    • I found that these only add to the pressure and after a couple of weeks they get grimy

  • the 3M vertical mouse
    • good concept though

  • the P5 glove
    • this one worked almost well, but before long my arm tired of holding it up and moving it around

What did help me:

  • Voice-recognition
    • granted is slow and a bit expensive but now I can go hours on end

  • a touchpad
    • I noticed that I could hold pain at bay much longer while using one of these. I got one that plugs into a USB port for alternative input (easycat from adesso)

  • Macros (I reviewed Quickmacros a couple of weeks ago)
    • crushed repetitive tasks

  • scheduling tasks
    • following a schedule and sticking to it reduced the chances of overdoing anything

  • foregoing games
    • this was the toughest one. After some years I did play Doom3, but only just one hour on weekends. Took me a year to finish it . Nowadays I could play regularly, but just choose not to

What I didn't get to try:

  • The smartnav hardware which tracks head movements
    • I may yet get one of these, but I suspect that I would get the sore neck from using it

  • Other stuff from
    • this may be the place to go for your assistive technology requirements. Has lots stuff, tried none of them except the voice-recognition. Many of the offerings here feel very expensive, but one of those may be just the solution for someone with a special problem

What could help:

The John Sarno and Fred Amir books that I'll  mention in an upcoming post on overercoming back pain. Any of these two could be your permanent cure.


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