[linux-elitists] Carpal tunnel prevention and X

Matt Beland matt@rearviewmirror.org
Thu Dec 20 14:18:44 PST 2001

On Thu, Dec 20, 2001 at 01:49:38PM -0800, Seth David Schoen wrote:
> Matt Beland writes:
> > On Thu, Dec 20, 2001 at 11:46:47AM -0800, Seth David Schoen wrote:
> > > Don Marti writes:
> > > 
> > > > They say that improving your touch-typing skills is a good way to
> > > > prevent RSI.
> > > 
> > > Didn't work for me.
> > 
> > Didn't work for me either. 
> > 
> > However, regular visits to the chiropractor have done wonders - and my
> > MD is still insisting the only possible fix is surgery, despite the fact
> > that my wrists and hands no longer hurt, my grip is back to where it was
> > in high school, and I pass the RSI tests with flying colors.
> > 
> > How regular? Once per week for about six weeks until he (and I) were
> > satisfied with my progress, then about once a month or so unless I start
> > noticing a problem.
> I go to a chiropractor regularly, and it always helps, but only for
> about a week.  It's possible that I don't get better over the long
> term because I still don't exercise and still don't have very good
> posture.

Doubtful (as I slouch in my desk chair with my feet on the desk and the
keyboard in my lap). Perhaps I just lucked out. 

The treatment my chiropractor uses to correct the problems caused by RSI
is an adjustment to the hands themselves, one at the wrist and elbow
(both at the same time) and one at the shoulder. The effect is
immediate; in fact, it's how he originally convinced me to go see him
rather than just living with it - he adjusted my left arm sitting in a
set of bleachers, then told me if I wanted the same treatment on my
right arm I'd have to make an appointment. The hand adjustment feels
(for lack of a better term) like he's rolling my hand into a tube - the
long way, parallel to the fingers - and squeezing. Crunching is
involved. <G> The rest of the adjustments basically feel like he's
stretching the arm out, and his explanation is that it's reseating the

There's also a muscle treatment he does which we've started calling
"Chicken Taco". A menthol cream on the skin over the muscle, then he
kneads the muscle. It looks and feels like shredding chicken meat (hence
the name) and is really painful the first few times. (Really made me
question going back the first time, really. His explanation for it was
that the fibers in the muscle break all the time, and reheal at random -
some across the "grain" of the muscle, some with the grain.
The way he kneads it breaks the fibers which go against the grain but
leaves those which run the right way intact - so over repeated
treatments, more of the muscle fibers are lined up properly and the
muscle works more efficiently.

He's also had me doing an exercise to help with the shoulders - stand in
a corner, bend your elbows at 90 deg, and place the palms of your hands
one on each wall at shoulder height. (This position is slightly
uncomfortable, but shouldn't actually hurt.) Then lean into the corner
against your hands. I do that whenever I'm feeling the muscles in my
shoulder tighten up, and it works great.

I don't know; it worked perfectly for me. If that's the same as (or similar
to) the treatment your chiropractor is using, and it's not working, then
maybe I just got lucky. If not, see if your chiropractor can figure out
the treatments from my no doubt completely incorrect descriptions. Or if
you're in the Seattle area I can point you to my doc.

Matt Beland

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