I actually had all of the symptoms you described about 5 years ago when I was editing a report of several hundred pages, single-handed (no pun intended). I lost the grip strength in my right hand for several months, and went to several different orthopedists, and finally to a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist (physiatrist).
The first orthopedist did not take my symptoms seriously and offered nothing. The second one misdiagnosed me and tentatively suggested surgery as a possible solution to my problem. The physiatrist finally gave me the treatment that made the difference. These three only agreed on one thing: it wasn't carpal tunnel syndrome. In fact, there is a book out there appropriately titled: It's Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome! RSI Theory & Therapy for Computer Professionals. Jack Bellis (Author), Suparna Damany (Author) It's basically a soft tissue injury that results from overuse, like tendinitis.
Once I got the right treatment, it took me about 6 months to recover. The physiatrist prescribed hot and cold water treatments for immediate pain control: soak the affected arm and hand in very hot water for two minutes, followed by soaking in very cold water for two minutes. Repeat, alternating hot and cold water for a total of 10-12 minutes. Then he prescribed several rounds of prolotherapy. For more on this, go to: www.treatingpain.com. Strengthening the upper body and maintaining good posture help too.
I benefited from all of the treatments. I also benefited greatly from an ergonomic evaluation of my work station. I learned the right way to sit and adjust my station, and I learned what to look for in office furniture. I got a new keyboard tray that elevates the mouse pad so I can keep my hands at a constant height and in a neutral position whether using the keys or a mouse. I also got a "natural" keyboard. While waiting for the pain relief to kick in, I began using the mouse in my left hand, and after about a month or so, I made the switch permanent to reduce the strain on my right hand.
Even though it has been 5 years, I still get the familiar tingling in my right hand if I try to use it without the proper equipment.
- 7/6/2010 7:52:17 PM