Thursday, August 25, 2016

Wrist Braces

Capral tunnel brace
Have you noticed that there seems to be more people wearing braces on their wrists now?

I understand that wrist problems are on the rise and yes there are a lot of people that are suffering from the various different issues that can occur with the wrists or hands in general. I for one have already had two different surgeries because of an issue with my thumb tendon tunnel. I was one of those people that didn’t think anything like a wrist issue was going to impact me but I found out the hard way that it can.

For me, the first issue was with my right thumb and it was pretty painful and it got to the point that I couldn’t hold anything with my right hand because the pain was so bad. After a number of tests for what was thought to be carpal tunnel a specialist told me that no it wasn’t carpal tunnel but it was something called De quervain’s tenosynovitis and yes it is extremely painful. The worst test is what is referred to as the Finkelstein test and you bend your wrist thumb down towards your little finger. This is the test were I thought I was going to hit the specialist because it was so painful. The process I went through was to wear a special molded brace for four weeks to see if it would help reduce the pain. It didn’t so the next step was the corticosteroid injections into the area to see if that helped. The area is frozen and the injection is done and it is only after the freezing wears off that the pain really starts as the corticosteroid is absorbed into your body. I thought everything was going to be good after this but no it ended up I had to have surgery to open up the sheath to release the pressure. It was during this surgery that the specialist informed me that I have small tunnels so he figured he would see me again either for the left hand or for carpal tunnel surgery.

After having this first surgery I knew that I was going to have to be very careful with both of my hands to ensure that I didn’t have another surgery but it didn’t work. Even after being extremely careful and watching everything I ended up having the same surgery on the left hand. The process was a lot faster with the second hand because I knew what the pain was and was immediately referred back to the same specialist who did the same tests and injections with no improvement so once again it was surgery.

Now what this has shown me is that for some people no matter how they try to avoid the repetitive movements they may still have to deal with the surgery because of the tunnels that they have. I have really tried to be extremely careful with my wrists because no I do not want to have the carpal tunnel surgery on either of my hands. I have learned the warning signs that when my wrists start to bother me even the slightest bit I will change what I am doing and I will also wear the wrist braces that I have to ensure I give the wrists a chance to at least improve.

Yes, the repetitive motions such as typing in certain positions don’t help us when it comes to our wrists. I have found that I do change up how I do my typing to ensure that I am not always in the same position because I know that I am one of those that has to be extremely careful otherwise I will be in for another surgery on my wrists.

Wearing a brace when the pain is even very low can make the world of difference and it can mean that you could even avoid the surgery or the corticosteroid injections because they are painful. Knowing your own body and being able to be proactive is very important because it can make the world of difference. I have so far been able to avoid any of the other tendon tunnel surgeries that could happen. I know that in my wrists my tunnels are extremely small so even the slightest issue could result in surgery and I don’t want any more.

If you are experiencing pain in your wrists don’t be embarrassed to wear a brace because it can help. Also if you do have the pain look at what you are doing and see if you can either modify what you are doing or take a break from it. A hobby could be the cause of the pain so changing how you do it or taking a break can make a difference. I still modify all the difference activities that I do because like a lot of people I spend a great deal of time on the computer and I don’t want to be told that I need surgery because of how much typing I have done.

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