Richard Metzger blogs at Dangerous Minds. Follow him on Twitter.

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60 Responses to “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome exercises that really work”

  1. m2key says:

    Wrist curls – over and under – with weight – heavier for under and lighter for over, works very effectively for me to strengthen all the little muscles I use at the keyboard and anywhere else…

  2. Mike Mol says:

    @12 And above all, slouch!

  3. Anonymous says:

    There are different treatments like bracing and splinting. Both are effective treatments for the reduction of pain and symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome requires major lifestyle changes. A short-term remedy is localized steroid injections. Better to choose long term treatment option to get permanent relieve. Know more about bracing and splinting consult here Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Manhattan

  4. Snig says:

    This is part of my day job (I’m a chiro). Trying these in my mind, especially if it’s just mild soreness, is a generally good idea.
    Anything that’s getting worse, keeps you up at night,not getting better, see an MD, chiropractor or PT.
    Carpal tunnel refers to a problem with a specific zone of the wrist, tendinitis/tendinosis is related, as tendons are some of the major structures crowding the regions. You can have one without the other, but in my experience, they’re usually related. Swelling is not normal, get it checked out. Following trauma, you can also have avascular necrosis of the wrist (dead rotting bone), which requires surgery sooner rather than later, so if it’s not improving, seeing a doc is vital. A doc who sends you to surgery for CTS before seeing a PT or a chiro is likely not doing you a favor. Get a second opinion. If any stretches feel like they’re making anything worse, do them more gently. If they still feel like they’re making anything worse, discontinue. If it makes numbness worse, stop. If they send you for a nerve conduction study before a PT or a chiro, ask them why. (positive or negative results of this study, seeing a conservative therapist will often resolve the condition, so why do you need the thousand dollar painful test?)

    Sometimes telling people that you want to elongate the area rather than bend it over on yourself and compress it is helpful for doing the stretches. People’s flexibility varies greatly, so you may be in a more or less flexed position than this guy before you find the right stretch for you.

    Doing exercises that feel good for the wrist before and after exercise/computer use/gaming is often helpful. If you’re a heavy computer user, set a timer (schedule a meeting outlook, lotusnotes, etc) to remind you to stretch every hour or so.

    Having carpal tunnel syndrome as well as foot pain in both feet sometimes is a sign of diabetes, see an MD for that.

    I’m not your doctor. Go see one if you’ve got questions/problems. Most MD’s are nice people who want to help you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, for some reason I can’t log in right now (my employer’s web filter doesn’t like the login page). This is user “cryptique.”

    I wanted to echo the suggestion in #15 to get the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. The split reverse-slope design, which keeps the wrists elevated, is the best antidote I’ve found to the wrist pain I used to have from too much keyboard work. I switched to reverse-slope keyboards around ten years ago (on a predecessor of the Ergo 4000), and my wrists went from constant pain to no pain, and have stayed that way ever since. I now have these keyboards on all of the computers I use regularly, and they’ve really saved my wrists.

    It’s too bad that only Microsoft seems to make these, but they’re worth the money if you’re having wrist pain.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Both Carpal Tunnel and Tendonitis are inflammation syndromes due to overuse.

    Tendonitis (tenosynovitis) – tendons (link muscles to bone) are inflamed. [swelling is a sign]

    Carpal Tunnel- a nerve is compressed due to inlammation of ligaments (connects bone to bone). [numbness and tingling is a sign]

    One is more specific than the other. You can get tendonitis in any joint. Again, both occur when there is overuse like so many computer users tend to do.

    Stretching is not harmful as long as you don’t overdo it and stretch in both directions. Any part of your body (as you age your tendons and ligaments have less elasticity) can benefit from stretching.

    Other things that help : Do NOT over extend or flex. Switch up positions if you can and rest whenever possible. Steer away from awkward positions These are just a few hints. Consult a physician if you get NO relief or if you feel that your symptoms are worsening. Surgery should only be conducted when all else fails.

    Yes…I AM an M.D–oops.

  7. Anonymous says:

    hi, here is my experience.

    Wrist guards work — to stabilise, support and give a rest to your muscles while you are NOT typing. NIGHT TIME wrist guards were a godsend to me, when I started having major trouble. They`re bigger, longer and you wear them to sleep, and offered immediate relief of my accute symptoms.

    They did not solve the problem, but I could finally sleep a whole night without waking with dead hands or accute pains. CTS can also be caused by overuse beyond your computer — biking, working with tools, sports, music playing – all these add up.

    One must therefore look beyond the ‘keyboard’ as the only cause. Both my regular MD and specialist were idiots about my condition – their immediate reaction is : we will do 2 sessions of cortisone if that does not help, then let’s operate. Eh.No.Thanks.

    Neither had any notion of physical therapy beyond the knife or the shots, which turns out is common.

    On SOREHAND loads of people rave about Sharon Butler’s book mentioned before. I found it very useful.

    Sorehand is *the* listserv about, well, sore hands. And tools, therapies , counseling and tips, reports about new hardware and software.

    Sorehand FAQ: http://www.ucsf.edu/sorehand/
    Sorehand Archive: http://www.sorehand.org/

  8. Suburbancowboy says:

    Even though the pain from “Carpal Tunnel” is real, the cause most likely isn’t what you think it is from. Carpal Tunnel is similar to most chronic back pain, in that it is caused by your brain to distract you from emotional stress.

    I highly recommend reading The Mindbody Prescription by Dr.John Sarno. It will change the way you look at your body and how your mind is responsible for so much of what you would thing are physical problems.

    Isn’t it peculiar that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome didn’t exist until about the last 20 years or so? How come people using manual typewriters didn’t get it? Surely the repetitive stress from banging away on a manual typewriter wold be much greater than these nice little keyboards we have now. Prior to the 1950′s no one had chronic back pain, and I can guarantee you that in countries where no one has medical insurance, no one has Carpal Tunnel.

  9. mdubs says:

    These stretches are great, but it’s important for people with wrist pain to remember to stretch more than just their wrists. The nerves associated with carpal tunnel and other repetitive strain injuries travel all the way up the arms and into the neck. So having a lot of muscle tension in your neck and shoulders (which most people who spend a lot of time on the computer will) can be a huge contributor to the pain in your wrists. There is a good list of stretches for this on the carpal tunnel blog.

    http://carpaltunnelblog.blogspot.com/

  10. Snig says:

    All doctors are applied physicists at some level.

    I like people to see doctors, but sometimes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
    Stretching is a component of exercise, and like exercise it’s generally a healthy intervention.

    While I fine tune and monitor the stretches for people I see, “off the shelf” stretches work for a large percentage of the population. Before I was a chiro, I learned a lot of stretching from laymen in martial arts classes. With modifications and common sense, they still serve me and my patients well. I’ve also met otherwise decent docs who don’t know or do teaching stretching well, so it’s often helpful to supplement your knowledge elsewhere.

    I have this quote on my website:
    “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
    Mark Twain

    I like these guys for ergonomics and some decent stretching:
    http://www.healthycomputing.com

  11. Snig says:

    My comments in #30 were directed towards Nobody in #28, not myself in #25. Silly Snig.

  12. Snig says:

    If stretching were a medicine that could be patented and sold, there would be studies several orders of magnitude better that demonstrate it’s efficacy for many complaints, there’d be many magazine and TV ads and people would overall hurt less. I’ve had patients who’ve seen their primary, their orthopaedist, their neurologist, had the x-rays, MRI, and nerve conduction study done and sometimes even seen a chiro or a PT who’s only done passive treatments.
    “What stretches are you doing at home?”
    (Crickets)

    I wish this was a rare event. I wonder how many people have gone through to surgery without having tried stretching first.

    Another intervention that’s sometimes helpful for CTS or musculoskeletal issues in general, if you work for a large company. They’ll sometimes have a safety officer or nurse who’s trained in ergonomics. They can come and evaluate your workspace, see if things need changing or switching out. Alternatively, if you’re seeing a PT or chiro, have someone take a picture of you from a couple poses while you’re working at your workstation, and let them see if anything stands out as likely to lead to pain.

    I’m developing some soreness from standing on my soapbox. Gonna go stretch.

  13. Carrie says:

    @#18 SNIG Wow, thanks for the informative comment. I had problems with RSI years ago from doing data entry eight hours a day. Wish I had you as my medical advisor then.
    I happened to take a Tai Chi class for fun right after my RSI diagnosis. The instructor was giving us stretching exercises and I had trouble with one. I spoke to him after the class that day and he said to gently stretch the wrists -something the doctor never mentioned. It worked. My wrists were much improved!
    -Carrie

  14. cadkinst2 says:

    I would be interested in knowing whether the man on the video has been DIAGNOSED with carpel tunnel. I have, in both hands, and those exercises are basically what you do to get relief just naturally. I’ve tried them before to no avail. I had to go ahead and have the surgery.

  15. Anonymous says:

    MANY Tai Chi poses offer the same relief.

  16. Snig says:

    And #25 is directed to SuburbanCowboy in #22. We seem to be experiencing a temporal anomaly. I hope we don’t all start to get nosebleeds.

  17. Snig says:

    #19
    If Sarno’s book(s) helps you, more power to you and him. It’s probably worth the ten bucks to try. I’ve recommended his book to some people for whom his diagnosis fits, but with many grains of salt. Be aware others have read the book and still hurt. I’ve met people who were Sarno followers who hurt, but were convinced it was because they didn’t believe him enough. I know many people with chronic pain who believe it’s their own fault. This is not healthy, and unless you can erase all their pain, it’s not kind to suggest to them it’s their own fault. Chronic back pain is well documented pre-1950′s.

    Carpal tunnel was first mentioned in 1939. Manuals may have been better, as they required more dynamic motion and more force, whereas fewer muscles and a smaller range of motion is required to operate modern devices. Motion is life, stillness is death. For an analogy, try walking vigorously for ten minutes vs. raising yourself up and down in place just a tiny bit by only using your toe muscles for ten minutes. Which is harder and cramps your muscles more?

    I can guarantee that I live in a country where many people have no medical insurance, and still suffer from carpal tunnel.

    I’m glad you don’t have pain. Don’t assume you know what’s going on with anyone else.

  18. gATO says:

    Dammit, Takuan, that video @7 looks like something made by the DHARMA Initiative, heh…!

  19. Snig says:

    #21
    Thanks! I learned my favorite wrist stretches in aikido and similar ones later in Tai Chi. Doing them faithfully also gives the additional health benefit that an aikidoka/chin na player will have more difficulty slamming you into a wall than if you don’t do them. Or at least your wrists will hurt less while you’re being slammed.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hi all. I have been diagnosed with De-Quervian tenosynovitis recently, and i really have a bad swelling which hasent gone away for like 4 months now. I tried these excersises, and my hand feels better. Could anyone please tell me, that am i supposed to do these streches, even with the swelling on my hand, or am i supposed to wait till the swelling goes away, and then do the streches. I am afraid that doing the streches with swelling on might actually harm my tendons. Please suggest.

  21. irisclara says:

    Glad to see Ann Magnuson is still around and performing. I love her work in Bongwater. I hear about Kramer from time to time, but haven’t seen anything about Ann in years.

  22. Takuan says:

    really? To me, a home movie from the ancestor’s vault. Yamaguchi Gogen was contemporary with my teacher’s, teacher’s, teacher.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Not bad. I got one of those powerball handheld gyro thingies which helps a bit with the carpal tunnel, but these exercises are obviously free. Probably more effective too.

  24. nobody says:

    These are not proper treatments or even adequate diagnoses for carpal tunnel syndrome. How am I sure? Because I’m a medical student, because I’m trained in OMT, and because I explain myself so very clearly. David Kuckhermann, however, did not list his credentials.

    The first technique shown here is a test designed to exacerbate symptoms of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. The tendon “up here” which he couldn’t name is that of the abductor pollicis longus muscle.

    The other techniques demonstrated will stretch your various tendons and make the muscles of your upper extremity relax and you’ll feel generally nice, but none of them apply direct force to the only major structure relevant to carpal tunnel syndrome. This is the palmar aponeurosis, which is the thick, splint-like band of ligament that reinforces the palmar arch. You’ll find it just between those two muscular pads on your palm, known as the thenar and hypothenar eminences.

    When surgery is done on carpal tunnel syndrome, the palmar aponeurosis is cut to relieve pressure. Short of surgery, the physical therapist will hold the palm in both hands, rubbing the thenar and hypothenar eminences in a “shiatsu” style while driving them apart from each other.

    You’ll find this to be the only technique that is effective against carpal tunnel. Common causes are repetitive ulnar deviation (bending toward your little finger) against resistance from factory work, sewing, or, say…scooping hard ice cream. During pregnancy, a woman can take on water and demonstrate transient (not permanent) carpal tunnel syndrome. Despite common belief, typing is not considered a major cause of carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Two tests you can do in your home are known as Tinel’s Sign and Phalen’s sign. Why not look them up online?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinel%27s_sign

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalen_sign

  25. FLG says:

    “If you can consult with a physicist, of course that’s the best way to do it.” I have a physicist on speed dial for all my medical problems :D

    Sorry, just had to point out the little mispronunciation. But that was a great video. Very helpful. I felt the stretch straight away in my right wrist.

  26. simonbarsinister says:

    I followed his advice.
    I did the exercises and I consulted a physicist.

    My wrists feel better, and now I know that the universe is mostly made of dark matter.

    Thanks David Kuckhermann!

  27. karpov says:

    i had tendonitis in my mouse hand and the exercises i was shown by my physical therapist were functionally identical to these.

    You can do the 3rd exercise without a wall by putting your palms together in front of you in a “prayer” pose.

    Another thing that has helped me a lot is the 3M Renaissance Mouse, which looks like a joystick. I’ve been using them for 10 years, they’re great.

  28. Roast Beef says:

    Wow, this thread got heavy fast!

    These are good stretches. This fellow is clearly not claiming to be a doctor, nor is he diagnosing anything. His “prescription” is a skillshare–a skill with which anyone who has practiced dance or a martial art will already be familiar. Stretching is old-fashioned. It requires no cutting or drug use. It can ameliorate some problems before they start.* It is appropriate for most bodies–if you have osteo in your wrists, then lay off these, but they look ok for most folks. I don’t see why this is controversial. Good biomechanics may prolong your keyboarding career without medical intervention (or Asimos that read your brainwords). No need for fancy toys if you just use what you got in a smart way.

    *Yes, overstretching is bad for you, but most people will never have that problem. Particularly most people who sit at a keyboard all day. Especially if they are male (sorry, fellas, it is a thing that you males to be more hypomobile). Based on non-sciency anecdotal observation, I will hazard a guess that most of BB’s denizens could stretch more.

    -roast beef is a former migraine sufferer who now stretches.

  29. hankchapot says:

    I had carpel tunnel surgery in 1982 after an acute event brought on by intense pick and shovel work. It worked so well that now my current problems, from shoveling shit for the University of California; sore thumbs, elbows and wrists, continue, while my thumbs, fore & middle fingers remain okay. The surgery seems to have liberated the median nerve from swelling pressure. My ring and little fingers go to sleep at night while the ones previously released stay awake.

    The miracle of modern surgery, but I trust surgeons less as I age.

    Hank Chapot, UC Berkeley gardener

  30. Enoch_Root says:

    I am just curious…

    did you and your wife have carpal tunnel syndrome and it was alleviated? or did your wrists just feel better in general?

  31. Teller says:

    Am a squash junkie. Already use the 3rd exercise but appreciate knowing zee other two.

  32. PixelFish says:

    Something my physical therapist told me is: If it increases the pain AFTER, stop doing that stretch. If it increases during, but you feel better afterwards, then it’s probably okay to keep doing it. However, except for my maintainence stretches, she doesn’t keep me doing stretches if there’s no result.

    (A good PT should help a great deal, but your doc may want to advise you of multiple options.)

  33. Takuan says:

    might I offer the humble suggestion for cube farm workers? Every two hours of keyboard/monitor drudgery to be punctuated by full on melee?

  34. EtanSivad says:

    Thanks for the exercises.

    The one thing that I’ve done that’s really helped my Carpal tunnel is switching to Dvorak.

    http://dvzine.org/

    I spend 10 hours a day typing and I used to get really bad pain in my wrists.
    I type about the same speed as qwerty (~60wpm), but without the pain in my wrists.

  35. Wooster says:

    Over a couple of years of over-work and under-exercise, I got all the diagnoses: carpal tunnel, bursitis, tennis elbow, tendonitis. It was most definitely not all in my mind.
    My physiatrist sent me to physical therapy, with a certified hand therapist. I did what she told me, and got better. I’ve fallen off the wagon lately, and am starting to have some pain, and these stretches seem helpful to me. Of course, vigorous exercise to get the blood moving and build muscle in the arms helps, too.
    I’m not a fan of the big ergonomic keyboards, as they force you to use the mouse further away from your body. At home I use the tiny wireless Apple keyboard that doesn’t have a number pad on the right.

  36. Takuan says:

    thanks! it seems a useful series. I’m all for as many tools as possible in the box. Here’s a wrist exercise that gives good results if kept up for several decades at least.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qF5tAq-UGw&feature=related

  37. kpkpkp says:

    Carpool Tuna Syndrome?
    huh huh, huh huh, huh huh….

  38. Anonymous says:

    My twin brother had “carpal tunnel” syndrome for years. Saw specialists, paid for treatmeant, drugs, etc. Then he read a book called “The Mindbody Prescription”, which explains that carpal tunnel is one of many “syndromes” which are not caused by any physical ailment, but your mind. Hard stuff to believe, I’ll be the first to admit it.

    But he got better. 100% better, when nothing else would help.

    Let me clarify as well, that he was a pretty bad case. If he even started to type, his arms would hurt, wrists would hurt. Same thing with a mouse, a game controller, a guitar. He was miserable and now he’s completely changed. He now continues to do web design and game testing for a living.

    Now I’m not here to promote the book or anything, but if you have bad carpal tunnel, it’s worth a read, I guarantee it.

  39. SilverBack says:

    These are great! I tried them just now and immediately I felt my right hand feel alot more relaxed. Definitely going to keep this bookmarked.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Suburbancowboy: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is documented medically from the time of the ancient egyptians. They called it “scribe’s wrist”. RSI in general is abundantly documented for the last thousand years or so, medieval manuscripts and arabic medical treatises cover it thoroughly.

    We just started caring about it in the last 20 years or so. Before that, management just said “you’re broken, to the poorhouse with you and starve” and hired their next victim.

  41. Snig says:

    #25
    Yeah, diagnosis and patient management was easier for me too back when I was a student and had only met a few patients. When someone says they have CTS, they mean “I have wrist/hand/forearm pain that may be tenosynovitis of any of a dozen muscles and/or tunnel of guyon syndrome and/or Dequervain’s syndrome or a carpal joint restriction or referred pain from my elbow or shoulder or even a cervical disc or a combination of these and something else”. Stretching is usually benign and usually helpful. If you only help folks with a textbook definition of CTS you’ll find yourself less useful. Learn some more OMT, there are some that directly address CTS and these complaints. Having worked with PTs, I know that they have additional tricks that help CTS directly as well as associated complaints. Come back and post in ten years and we’ll cheerfully make fun of our younger greener selves. Studies of orthopaedic tests generally show they’ve many limitations, and do not allow you to definitively diagnose.

  42. Blackbeltbty says:

    No, Im not an M.D., percusionist, or any of that stuff…..I did the stretches as recommended by my neurologist and they worked, so thanks for the nerve to even go as far as recording this video with all the negative input and yes,Yoga does help as well, but I had to take a break from Yoga while getting better from carpal tunnel syndrome and the stretches are the reason why I was able to continue with my Yoga practice. Peace and Blessings.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Please don’t do stretches from a video you see on the internet, or in general, get medical advice from YouTube. Consult a medical professional. Most likely, in this case, a physical therapist. I have tendinitis in both my elbows, and the stretches he showed don’t really do much. I can see how you could easily hurt yourself by doing the wrong stretches or using the wrong techniques.

  44. Jazzhigh says:

    @7 Takuan. If you need exercises to prepare for a hand to hand fight with a tiger…you have much bigger problems than carpal tunnel!

  45. jonom says:

    I found the Chinese exercise balls (Baoding Balls) to be a great help when I was having RSS wrist problems.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baoding_Balls

  46. jjj says:

    I’m trying to avoid surgery for carpal tunnel in both hands & will try it, WTF.
    I play bass at a certain level of competency & just worry that I wouldn’t be able to move my big old mitts the same after surgery. It’s one of those great joys you don’t get enough of in life, so no, don’t want to mess with it.
    In my case, I worked in construction during high school & college & spent decades punching down wires, etc. for the phone company, so I don’t think it’s a result of my brain signals or stress.
    My 93 year-old neighbor had his hands done in the 1970′s, nasty scars, he owned a diesel truck repair business, so it did exist some time ago, maybe just not diagnosed as much. I think it’s the repetitive,jarring motions that got me & that old guy.
    As for chiropractors, I’m skeptical & have talked about it with a friend who’s one. We call him Back-Quack Jack.
    I don’t experience any pain, just occassional swelling by my thumb/palm.
    Another factor is that in the near future I think my healthcare coverage ( that I gave the best years of my life to earn )will be taken away, so that may push me to do it anyways.

  47. dpg says:

    I don’t know about my tendons but I feel a heck of a lot more relaxed just listening to all of those lovely birds chirping in the background. I could watch it again just for that.

  48. Anonymous says:

    great video

  49. Anonymous says:

    A programmer, I started getting carpal tunnel symptoms many years ago.

    What saved me: yoga and regular stretches.

    What would have doomed me: relying on standard RSI remedies, like gel pads, wrist restraints, etc.

    Keep your wrists from resting on any surface. It creates pressure that hurts. That pressure didn’t exist in the era of manual typewriters because one needed the height to generate the needed strike pressure.

    Learn to drop your shoulder blades.

  50. TNick says:

    I want to agree with MDUBS, but I want to add something crucial. It is not only the NERVES that are run up the arms and into the neck, but the entire muscle balance of your body that comes into play. Similar to what they talk about on this carpal tunnel exercises site. It talks about how over time, your muscles become imbalanced if you have posture problems. Instead of working together, they begin to work against each other because your spine is not properly aligned.

    One way to tell if your muscles are imbalanced is by looking in the mirror and looking at your shoulders and hips, are they completely even? or is one of them higher than the other. If they are, this is likely one of the causes of your carpal tunnel. Correcting the muscle imbalances in your back will cause your carpal tunnel to disappear, because when these muscles are pulling against each other out of balance, it creates tremendous strain on your upper back, shoulder, and upper arms. This tension travels all the way down to your wrist and fingers, causing many carpal tunnel symptoms. In fact, if you don’t correct these imbalances, and opt for surgery or something, the pain will only continue, because the source of the problem wasn’t fixed.

  51. Snig says:

    #28
    If you’re skeptical of chiros, try a decent PT. Quality and competency vary for both PT’s and chiros. You should know within 3-4 weeks if it’s helpful, hopefully sooner. Get some help from your healthcare before it goes away.

  52. Michael says:

    See, if stretches help best before the pain starts, that’s why you need a physicist.

    You people need to be helped to everything.

  53. Anonymous says:

    I did the same thing as another poster here mentioned (EtanSivad), I switched to the Dvorak keyboard layout, that coupled with using Natural or curved keyboards have eliminated 90% of my issues with wrist pain.

  54. jjj says:

    #29 – Thanks for the good advice, therapy is definitely an option that should be checked out. Frankly, I didn’t even think about it. Doctors are so quick to send you all over for testing. The MRI had me laying on my stomach for 20 minutes, arms outstretched like Superman, most uncomfortable.

  55. oddible says:

    A book that has many great exercises and which helped me and several associates is Sharon Butler’s Conquering Carpal Tunnel (and other RSIs). While the exercises are fantastic and address several different modalities, the first chapter on HOW TO STRETCH was probably the most significant.

    Agree with #12. Resolving carpal tunnel and rsi involves changing habits and not looking for easy solutions like wrist wraps which I see so many people wearing (which can exacerbate the problem in many cases). Having severe RSI and carpal tunnel for over 2 years I have to say that the best solutions for me were Yoga and Tai Chi – resolving stress and becoming more in tune with my body. Taking regular breaks, alternating the types of computer mice I used, sitting in appropriate positions for typing, and doing LOTS of stretching and stress relieving body work.

    My issues are now mostly resolved and I continue to work the majority of the day (and night) on the computer as well as play the piano.

    Don’t do the surgery – if you don’t change your habits you’ll be back in the same condition before too long.

  56. dead_elvis says:

    I have to agree with Anonymous, especially as carpal tunnel and tendonitis are two very different problems.

    I don’t entirely place my trust in doctors (the standard treatment for tendonitis in a lot of doctor’s offices is *still* a cortisone shot, even though it’s long been proven that it’s not an inflammatory condition), but I think a combination of information from many different places need to be taken into consideration. There’s a lot of good information on the internet about this stuff, but there’s also a lot of nonsense. Just like every other topic. So get a lot of sources, use your own brain and experience, and set your bullshit detector to high.

  57. Takuan says:

    so many sufferers. Clearly, we must make it a priority to get better interfaces than keyboards.
    eg:

    http://www.pinktentacle.com/2009/03/asimo-robot-controlled-by-human-thought-video/

  58. Xenu says:

    I’ve been a software developer for more than a decade. What I find is the worst is the keyboards that tilt upwards. This is pretty much suicide for wrists, and many people have their keyboards configured this way. Most keyboards have hinges on the bottom for this.

    Microsoft now has a split keyboard that tilts slightly downward; this is by far the most ergonomic keyboard I’ve used (Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.) I’m not a fan of Microsoft products, but this keyboard is a real wrist-saver.

    Also I’ve started experimenting with vertical-axis mice, specially the Evoluent-brand mice. I have not used this long enough to make a recommendation, but it’s well made and probably worth investigating if you have wrist problems.

  59. remmelt says:

    Not to say that the pain isn’t real, but it sure seems like less people are getting RSI than when it first “came out,” so to speak. (Wait, will he go there? Yes, he will!) It almost seems like it’s a fad ailment, like AD(H)D.

    Anyway, I used to use a computer even more than I do now. Morning blogs, daytime computer science studying, afternoon programming, evening gaming and night you-know-what. This added up to 12 hours a day at the very least. Add the kitchen chair, the low desk, the CRT monitor 30 cm from my eyeballs, the crazy positions I used to sit in for hours on end.
    Yet, no RSI. Sure, after a while all my joints would go sore from sitting and my wrist would ache a little but 15 minutes of walking around in my apartment would cure that.
    The only times I got serious hurts, concrete shoulders, burning wrists and watering eyes was when I was stressed about something. School tests, money troubles, stuff like that. Solve the problem and the pain would go away, without any changes in my behavior.

    Anecdotal evidence ftw!