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Sharp pain in side of hand - RSI ?

(9 Posts)
hub2dee Tue 16-May-06 09:50:37


Just wondering if anyones knows whether RSI (specifically from keyboard use) can cause pain in the side of the hand (as opposed to the carpal tunnels in the wrist IYSWIM)... I'm getting mad pain occasionally when pushing the buggy, digging with a spade, or sometimes for apparently no reason at all... need to completely remove pressure from the hand and massage / yelp... (I yelp silently, I'm the strong silent type).

I'm on a laptop a lot of the day (it's an Apple Powerbook), and the wrist-rest area occupies the front half of the base IYSWIM - the keyboard area is fairly far back, so the palms / sides of the hands do tend to rest somewhat flat and extended rather than flopping elegantly in space (is that what they should do ???)...
I am wondering whether this might be causing / aggravating the situation... might need to move to a desktop or buy a keyboard, or maybe leave MN, LOL...

Any input appreciated.

chapsmum Tue 16-May-06 10:12:17

have you been biking??
you can pinch the ulnar nerve on the handle bars (pram bars etc)
If you have been biking consider getting some different grips and perhaps some specialized body geometry gloves, ( look it up on wiggle and you'll see what I'm talking about)
Otherwise how the hell are you??

hub2dee Tue 16-May-06 10:34:26

Hi cm, erm... no biking.

Have been gardening (digging large holes) and going to Weight Watchers though if that saves my soul...

(But will consider the grips and gloves you mention !).

Otherwise I am most fine though my lower back is crapped out and this hand thing is a bit weird. Ironically, as a dog, I am quite magnificent. LOL.

chapsmum Tue 16-May-06 10:38:45

its your digging tecnique hubsame injury different cause!! try wearing the gloves for gardening.

WigWamBam Tue 16-May-06 10:58:57

Yes, it can. I've had RSI for the past 12 years so unfortunately know quite a bit about it.

Poor hand positioning at a laptop, poor desk layout, or bad posture are all equally (if not more) to blame for RSI than overuse. Pain when doing other thins apart from typing is typical.

I'm going to sound like a bit of an over-reacting drama queen now but this is serious - you don't want a small problem now to end up being something that cripples you. And it can. Change to a desk-top, or at least get a full-sixed keyboard. Try not to rest you hands on anything when you type; wrist-rests aren't always the best thing for someone with RSI as they don't encourage the best positioning for typing. Take regular breaks from typing - if you're on the keyboard for most of the day, make sure that for ten minutes every hour you're doing someting else, and every two hours walk away from the keyboard completely.

You can get wrist splints with a metal insert at the front and velcro straps - if you see a physio these are what they recommend, and they can be useful insomuch as they stop you from doing most things so force you to rest! You can buy them from most chemists, but you might have to ask as they're not always on display.

Please take this seriously, it's not nice.

hub2dee Tue 16-May-06 12:05:06

MN is like having 17 mothers, LOL.

OK, I will find some nice gardening gloves. I don't have any and am always getting my hands cut and filthy, so I will do that and try and find some nice padding, but I do like to feel the soil / plants etc. so just know I will rip them off at the earlies opportunity.

Thanks for your post, wwb. Erm... does RSI go away / diminish v. significantly if you stop doing the things that caused it ? How come yours is ongoing ?

I will deffo go an buy a bluetooth keyboard. Apple make a nice one, and I will reluctantly consider a non-laptop as my primary computer too.... hmmm (goes off to surf)...

I've had a quick google of the wrist splint thingies... they look like they'd be on and off all day as I'd get peeved with them, but will maybe go and try one for a while. Do you wear one (and if so do you put it on and off during the day or try and wear it more or less full time ?)...

hub2dee Tue 16-May-06 12:18:49

toadie - don't all these wrist supports compress the area I'm trying to 'create expansion' / improve blood flow in though ???

This seems like quite an interesting approach to the problem though... d'ya reckon it's pants ?

WigWamBam Tue 16-May-06 12:39:44

Number 1082 on your link is the one I'm referring to. It doesn't compress - it's rigid so it rests the hand and stops you from doing what you shouldn't do. I used them at the start, they stopped me doing things at a time when they told me that if I rested my hands, I'd be fine within a few weeks. I don't use them anymore because my hands are bad with or without them, but at the start they were useful. After a while though you get to the stage where you have to start getting on with things, you learn different ways of doing things, and the splints are a barrier to that. Before I got used to doing things differently to minimise the pain, they reminded me to be careful with things, and stopped me doing (some of!) the things that were hurting. I might have one knocking about somewhere you could try if you wanted to - short-term they might help.

I have no idea why mine's never gone away. There's been some improvement in that because I don't sit and type all day I'm not aggravating things that way, but even so I'm still limited in what I can do. I can't carry shopping, I can't use the iron or the Hoover (and no, it's not just an excuse!), I can't write for more than 20 minutes without being in agonising pain, I can't lift a full saucepan of water, blah blah blah. And the whole thing could have been prevented if my workstation hadn't been cobbled together in the smallest space possible, and if my manager had been in possession of the smallest amount of common sense. Which is why I say that if you think it could be RSI you need to take it seriously. I am always in pain - sometimes just my wrists, often my whole arm, elbow and shoulder. Believe me, this is not something you need!

My other problem is that no-one really knows how to treat RSI - my GP is useless, and the physios and rheumatologists haven't been able to treat it either. Apparently if I can find a specialist then my GP will refer me ... yeah, right.

I don't have carpal tunnel as part of my RSI, but would probably try something like your second link if I did - you get to the stage where you will try anything ... you wouldn't believe some of the stuff I've tried!

I'd see the GP with it though if I were you - get it diagnosed by someone who can see it!

hub2dee Wed 17-May-06 10:16:46

Don't worry, toadie, I'll track one down locally.

The hand is starting to hurt when lifting dd off the changer, so I think I need to make some changes PDQ ! I will set up an appointment with the GP too...

Your condition, frankly, sounds pretty nasty. It's so frustrating when there are dozens of simple, little things you want to do (in the garden, in the house, or with the kids) and you can't...

Anyway, thanks for the insight. I will try and get this sorted with a multi-pronged attack !

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