[linux-elitists] Carpal tunnel prevention and X

Matt Beland matt@rearviewmirror.org
Thu Dec 27 09:37:03 PST 2001

Hash: SHA1

On Thursday 27 December 2001 12:53 am, Kevin A. Burton wrote:
> <snip>
> When did you start having problem.  I am 25 and have been using
> computers.. pretty much non-stop since about 12 (AKA 17 years).
> Every once and a while, at the end of the day, my wrists seam a little
> sore.
> Is this RSI???
> Anyway...

I started *noticing* a problem about 6 months ago. It actually started 
earlier than that, because when it was fixed I noticed that I had a much 
better grip than I had had in years.

For me, the symptoms were a weak grip - I kept dropping things even though I 
had it in my hand, pencils, books, dishes. I noticed some mild pain in my 
wrists and arms, but that was pretty rare. There were also times, 
particularly when I'd been typing more than normal, when my hands would be 
shaking and I wouldn't be able to do certain things - fine control of my 
fingers was gone. (As an example, I launch high powered rockets as a hobby - 
I would fine that I couldn't insert the igniters in the engines or assemble 
small parts.)

The tests the doctor and chiropractor both used are pretty simple, but will 
require help from someone else. Stand or sit facing the person helping you. 
Rotate your hand so the palm is up, and touch the tips of your thumb and 
little finger so they form a circle. Have the person helping you (GENTLY!) 
try to pull the fingers apart while you try to hold the tips together. For a 
"normal" or "good" result, they should be able to pull them apart a little 
bit, but only with considerable effort. (This is where the gently comes in - 
you don't want it to hurt or anything, just see how strong your grip is 
between those two fingers.) 

Do the same with your hand rotated palm-down. Do both hands. A "bad" result - 
and the result I had when I was first checked out - lets the person helping 
you pull the fingers apart very easily.

IANAD or Chiropractor, I don't play one on TV, trying to diagnose using these 
suggestions and tests is incredibly foolish and may lead to peeling paint, 
hair loss, horrible death and/or disfigurement, and a sudden urge to juggle 
live squid in a laundromat. Use at your own risk.

- -- 
Matt Beland
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