Options for Someone With Carpal Tunnel

33 replies
Hey what's up. I've been dabbling in internet marketing since around Feb and used to be a memeber of WA until I couldn't afford it anymore because I lost my job. I made 3 article marketing campaigns which all failed due to various reasons but more importantly I learned from my mistakes.

Anyway, my new job has given me what my doc thinks is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome so any kind of marketing that requires extensive typing is out of the question for now.

Any suggestions on some other methods I could try? I've always wanted to do PPC but I just can't afford to fund a project like that right now cause I'm living pay check to pay check. Auto Blogging with the Twitter plugin seemed interesting but is it really viable?

I'm not looking to get rich here, just make an extra $500 or so a month to help pay the bills and maybe do some PPC.
#carpal #options #tunnel
  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    My humble suggestions: First, find a physiotherapist. Try bartering web services for treatment, if money is a problem. Second, get acupuncture treatment. Third, do lots of stretching when your muscles are warm (like in the shower).

    There are voice recognition programs out there to minimize how much you need to use mouse and keyboard, eg Dragon Naturally Speaking. There may be options with some functionality like this on your operating system.

    Project HERE.

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    • Profile picture of the author adamv
      Good advice Thunderbird. I would second that.

      I am also a huge fan of Dragon Naturally Speaking. It's a big time saver for writing but it can also be used to open and close files, navigate the web, etc. greatly reducing (not eliminating) the use of the mouse and keyboard.

      Get a professional voice over for your next audio or video project at an affordable price -- I will record 150 words of text for just $5.

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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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        • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
          Let's be objective here

          If you are the type who prefers invasive surgery with anesthesia (which could result in major surgical side effects) then surgery is the route that you should go.

          On the other hand if someone wants non-invasive treatment that is natural, extremely safe and effective, and is generally completely side-effect free then acupuncture is the way to go.

          Take a look at this May 2009 issue of the Clinical Journal of Pain synopsis on using acupuncture compared to pursuing allopathic treament.

          And surgery is NOT necessarily ultimately what a patient will opt for...

          Of course it is important to make adjustments to ones workplace and lifestyle without which acupuncture or surgery offers just a temporary solution.

          Originally Posted by alexa_s View Post

          Excuse a slight digression, but physio and acupuncture are long-winded, expensive and only temporising treatments for Carpal Tunnel, surely? Curative surgical correction performed under local anaesthetic by your GP takes less than 5 minutes? And in the long run, it's what will end up happening anyway, surely? :confused:

          Sympathies, and good wishes to you.
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          • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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            • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
              Alexa, I have treated or examined thousands of patients so I think that would suffice. I am board certified in Asian medicine

              Surgery of course only costs "a fraction" of other therapies thanks wholly to co-payments. What happens if one is uninsured like 50% of Americans?

              Of course one should be extremely careful of misdiagnosis in which case surgery would definitely NOT be advisable

              As far as the last word, it's the OP who gets that since it's his choice as to the what he ultimately decides to do after weighing out his treatment options

              Originally Posted by alexa_s View Post

              I can't - I have no medical training. Do you?

              Just an MD mother and a house-mate about to finish medical school, who both tell me that the proportion of people with genuine Carpal Tunnel who end up having "surgery" (it's hardly "invasive", I think!) is over 95%, that's it's curative, that it takes only 3 minutes, that it costs a fraction of what other "therapies" do, and all the rest of it. It's only loosening a bit of subcutaneous fascia that's too tight. Hardly an "operation". Of course, it requires being treated by someone with the letters "MD" after their name, and there are some people for whom that's something to be avoided if at all possible, regardless of inconvenience, expense or inevitable future outcome. In my opinion "invasive"/"non-invasive" is really very pejorative, prejudicial language to be using in this context! But you obviously have rather strong feelings on this subject, and my supply of second-hand information is now exhausted anyway, so I'm happy to let you have the last word.
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              • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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                • Profile picture of the author Vikuna2009+
                  Quote: "You need insurance for a 3-minute procedure to reduce the pressure of an over-tight band of fascia? Time for me to bow out of this conversation and leave it up to you experts, I think. Apologies for the disturbance/int, [end -quote]

                  Yes, you do and at the tune of your age. Old, older= more $. Even if you are employed, no guarantee for insurance. Pay your own, well if you can afford it. I can't because I'm in the $400 a month bracket with a 20% co-pay.

                  Let's say I accidentially cut off my left thumb on the circular saw (that actually happened to my ex-husband some 15 years ago and he had what he thought, FULL coverage through work).

                  Well, of course it did not work out that way, they kept hammering him with things that was NOT included in the 100% FULL COVERAGE and ended up ruining his credit.

                  On top of that, since trying to attatch the cut off thumb, hours and hours of delicate surgery, infections, swellings, a 24/7 nurse to watch him (because he lost about 50% of his blood), the cost of importing sterile leaches.

                  They were smart suckers, did not want to stay on the wound (am I hi-jacking now :confused:, did not mean to) and they were way back then $5 a piece.

                  He could not work for 4 months, driving me crazy (and himself too, lol). End result, it rotted off, had to go back for more surgery, take flesh from thigh, more flesh from under-arm, several more month with no work abilities and to this day (to make an even longer story short), looks like a dead, shriveled up blue and black peach and if the temperature goes below 70F, hurts like hell.

                  MODS: If I strayed too far off topic, feel free to delete my response.

                  Maybe I should move to England, lol.
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                • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
                  I didn't need to

                  4 years of full-time acupuncture school including 3 1/2 years of internships and clinical assistantships after college is enough!

                  Originally Posted by alexa_s View Post

                  Cool, I see. You didn't go to medical school, though?
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                  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
                    Originally Posted by Justin Mandel View Post

                    I didn't need to

                    4 years of full-time acupuncture school including 3 1/2 years of internships and clinical assistantships after college is enough!
                    Yes...but...4 years of Acupuncture school is hardly medical school is it. I definitely have Carpal Tunnel - went through the horrible electric current test to my fingers to prove it. But I won't be treating it with needles and electric current procedures thanks very much. I've had expensive acupuncture in the past to treat a sinus problem and found it a total waste of time and money. I spent hundreds of dollars on sessions with a Chinese acupuncturist and absolutely nothing changed. Until I went to an ear/nose/throat specialist who found the problem in five seconds - a deviated septum - which surgery fixed. So I don't trust acupunturists as far as I can prick 'em.
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          • Profile picture of the author fireproof
            I would agree a friend of mine in the uk has just had surgery for this problem and He is now as right as rain.
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        • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
          Originally Posted by alexa_s View Post

          Excuse a slight digression, but physio and acupuncture are long-winded, expensive and only temporising treatments for Carpal Tunnel, surely?

          Sympathies, and good wishes to you.
          That is how I cured my carpal tunnel (and it was diagnosed as such by medical doctors). It wasn't expensive (but I live in Canada). Surgery is sometimes necessary, but often avoidable, and certainly more extreme than first trying to let the body try to heal itself first.

          Project HERE.

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  • Profile picture of the author Shana_Adam
    Dragon naturally speaking is amazing. Its accuracy is nothing short of brilliant.

    Its such a thrill to see the paragraphs appear like magic. I think there is an offer for $50 on the forum for DNS.

    You can get great ideas from magazines for articles. Also creating articles that appear in high profile magazines could give your efforts that extra boost.

    The only other thing I would suggest is - proof reading copy, I dont know how much proof readers charge.

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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    Why not try to do something about the carpal tunnel?

    Matt Furey has a course which has had some very good reviews.
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    • Profile picture of the author smogharp
      I would highly recommend reading this book: "It's Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome! RSI Theory & Therapy for Computer Professionals"
      ... and finding a physical therapist willing to work with you on implementing its recommendations.

      I did this around a decade ago, and I saw substantial improvement in my symptoms.

      (EDIT: I can't link, this forum has really annoying rules).
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      • Profile picture of the author Jillian Slack
        Dragon Naturally Speaking is amazing. I type 98 wpm with 97% accuracy, and sometimes I just need a break.

        Definitely try acupuncture, though.

        I go in and have it done once a week and the advantages to my health have been many. Plus it forces me to relax while I'm stuck in the dark for 30 minutes. At first, my mind used to race about all the things I needed to be doing other than lying there, and my muscles would tense up. Takes a couple of minutes to relax but then it's great.
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      • Profile picture of the author Vikuna2009+
        I have carpal tunnel myself since forever. Surgery procedures as of today might positively have changed. Back in the days, after surgery, you could NOT use your wrists for 6 weeks and I surely could not afford to 'just sit there' for that time period.

        What I did is I got wrist braces. A contraption with velcro straps and a metal 'spoon' inside the cotton fabric brace, to keep your wrist straight. My carpal was so bad, I wore those braces (both hands) 24/7/365 and slightly more.

        I bought different color cotton socks, cut off the toe part and slipped them over the braces to match my outfit and I always wore long sleeved tops.

        Then I learned about vitamin B6 and started taking that and it helped alot but took a few weeks before seeing any changes, consistency is the key.

        I have learned what I can and can not do. Surgery is still not an alternative for somebody who has to support myself and nobody else to rely on. If I take breaks, not over-do it and go light, I have no pain, just a 'feeling' which I have learned to live with.

        I see a lot of grocery cashiers wearing braces, bottom line, anything REPETITIVE will getcha'.

        Seriously, google vitamin B6 and make your own opinion weather it is worth to try, you'll be glad you did, lol .
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  • Profile picture of the author watershawl
    Use workforce multipliers like Ping.FM which will broadcast your message out so that you don't have to do as much repetitive work. For the input, I'll second the Dragon Naturally Speaking, but just positioning your body ergonomically as much as possible at all times should help. Be conscious of what your body is telling you at all times.
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  • Profile picture of the author acedalright
    I have Carpal tunnel and I ice pack my arm/wrist daily and stretch and hot pack it.

    This discussion seems a bit like a big long ad for dragon naturally speaking, which i think I'M going to have to check out.

    I'd love to just speak my articles out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christie Love
    When I felt numbness, tingling, and pain in my right hand, from typing, I saw my chiropractor. He found the cause of the pain was coming from my neck. After a few tugs and cracks, here and there, I'm as good as new. I haven't seen a chiropractor in over a year and I'm still pain free.

    If you can, visiting a chiropractor is well worth the effort. But, I must warn you, not all practitioners are created equal, so do your research first.
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  • Profile picture of the author rlscott2
    I read an article by alternative health care writer Virginia Hopkins, where she said a vitamin B-6 deficiency can cause or aggravate Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. Research has demonstrated that an intake of yellow dye no. 5 (a common food coloring) can deplete your body's stores of B-6. Try avoiding Dye No.5 and take a B6 supplement. You might not need surgery.
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    • Profile picture of the author James Vang
      Thanks for the advice. I'm getting workman's comp so I don't have to pay anything as long as I'm seeing the doc that they tell me to go to. Right now he's given me two wrist braces and some pain meds. He wants to do a nerve study but has to clear it with the insurance company. Acupuncture and chiropractic sounds interesting but I doubt I could afford it right now, I may check out the B-6 thing though.

      As for Dragon Naturally speaking, I bought version 10 a while back and had problems installing it on my PC even after consulting several forums on the net about it. Also customer service costs $$$ so I hate Nuance with a passion. I'm reluctant to buy another product from them.
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    • Profile picture of the author GeorgettaSterling
      Originally Posted by rlscott2 View Post

      I read an article by alternative health care writer Virginia Hopkins, where she said a vitamin B-6 deficiency can cause or aggravate Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. Research has demonstrated that an intake of yellow dye no. 5 (a common food coloring) can deplete your body's stores of B-6. Try avoiding Dye No.5 and take a B6 supplement. You might not need surgery.
      I was about to type the very same thing (well, almost). The B6/Yellow Dye #5 thing is very commonly accepted in the natural health movement, but it has also been tested in a conventional medical study in Britain (darn it if I can find the link right now...I just read about the study a week ago).

      Yellow Dye #5 supposedly also increases inflammation responses (it is an inflammatory, as opposed to an anti-inflammatory like aspirin) which further aggravates the pain and problems associated with CTS. Just look at all the food you are eating, and see if it is in any of that (it is VERY common). Don't eat that stuff - you don't need prepackaged junk food anyway.

      Be a little cautious about supplementing with B6 - there are some significant side effects of getting too much, like the temporary deadening of certain nerves. You can get a blood test to determine your B6 level/status. An "overdose" supplementation might be around 500-1000 mg/day for a significant period of time. A typical supplement dosage of 50-100 mg/day for an adult is considered perfectly safe. If you are concerned, get pills in smaller dosages (like 10 or 25 mg) and then start slowly, gradually increasing up to the 100 mg range, spread out during the day.

      The secretary at my last job went this route, as opposed to surgery, and found relief within a month or so. That is just anecdotal evidence, not scientific, but since the drawbacks are essentially zero and B6 supplements are SO cheap and readily available, there is no good reason NOT to moderately bump up your vitamin B6 intake and avoid yellow dye #5...then see how you are doing in a few weeks or a month.

      Regards, Georgetta
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  • Profile picture of the author wildbird
    I'm with Alexa. I dealt with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome for 16 years, both hands. Tried acupuncture, supplements, and chiropractor. Had surgery (11 minutes per hand) about a year ago. Why I waited so long I don't know.
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      that it takes only 3 minutes, that it costs a fraction of what other "therapies" do, and all the rest of it. It's only loosening a bit of subcutaneous fascia that's too tight. Hardly an "operation".
      Surgery is never something to be taken - or recommended - lightly.

      My next door neighbor had surgery in both wrists for carpal tunnel. She was not allowed to drive for a week afterwards, and one of the surgery wounds got seriously infected.

      I'm glad to hear that the other people in this thread had no complications, but in my opinion it's very smart to explore non-surgical options first.

      Marcia Yudkin
      Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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      • I too have carpal tunnel and surgery was recommended. But surgery does not always help and does not work for everyone.

        I am treating mine naturally. Vitamin B6 really does help. Also wear wrist braces, at least at night.

        For me mousing does more damage than typing. So I have a variety of eronomic mice. The best IMHO is the Evoluent Vertical Mouse. Instead of holding your hand palm down you hold it sideways in more of a handshake position.

        Linda Buquet :: Google+ Local Specialist and Google Top Contributor
        ADVANCED Google+ Local Training :: Also offering White Label Local SEO
        Latest Google Local News, Tips & Tricks

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  • Profile picture of the author allthesp
    I would say that the best option for you would be:


    Seriously. Get Dragon Naturally Speaking and do articles all day, and have programs distributing your content while you do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author jendoe
    Please, please, please - get a second (and third if you need to!) opinion about the carpal tunnel. I had a doc (about a year and a half ago) who told me I had carpal tunnel, and *thankfully* had a PT who was able to tell me that NOPE, it wasn't that AT ALL. (I then found a really awesome chiropractor who deals with this all the time, and am pretty much fine now other than occasional twinges due to too much computer/piano time and bad posture... I still slouch too much !)

    It matters - apparently quite a few people end up having the surgery when it's not needed, and within a month or two are back in pain afterwards. On top of that, the surgery weakens the structure of your hand and can make you more susceptible to problems in the future

    Ohhhhh and definitely find a really good massage therapist. Look into someone who knows about trigger points and fascia. My first couple appointments were not fun (I came out bruised!) but it made a huge difference in recovery for me.

    Just some ideas, good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author laynee
    Carpal tunnel surgery, at least in Canada, is surgery, and usually done under general anaesthetic, which comes with its own risks. It's definitely not a 3-minute procedure, and if you have both hands affected, you'll often only get one done at a time, so you still have some function with your other hand. There's a recovery time in the order of weeks, if all goes well. Not to say that surgery isn't sometimes needed, but there's a reason why surgery is at the end of a list of other options. In any case, the WF is a great place for IM advice, but I'd take medical advice with a large grain of salt. Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
      Originally Posted by laynee View Post

      <snip> In any case, the WF is a great place for IM advice, but I'd take medical advice with a large grain of salt. Good luck.
      I'd have to agree with that (my advice included), except for the actual health practioner(s) in this thread. Just like you probably wouldn't ask a physicist for advice on how to sing a RAP song.

      That said, I didn't realize that acupuncture and Chinese medicine was still scoffed at by Western medical establishments anymore. They even offer acupuncture in the Mayo health clinic. When I lived in China, I met several Western medical doctors from top institutions who'd gone China to study acupuncture. I even sometimes interpreted for them (though certainly not on medical matters).

      Project HERE.

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      • Profile picture of the author brunski57
        One easy option... is to test your PH. Sometimes CT may be cause or exasperated by lack of minerals.

        Get a PH tape (approx $12) . Test your first urine in the morning when you wake up.

        Need a reading of 6.2 to 7.0 any higher or lower means you are TOO Acid.

        If that is the case PM me and I'll tell you what to do next.

        I am not a doctor... but I did sleep at the Holiday Inn last nite
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  • Profile picture of the author TLCarroll
    Speaking both as a carpal tunnel sufferer and a career nurse (nearly 30 years), surgery is surgery. Here in the US surgery requires either cash payment or insurance payment. Surgery should never be taken lightly.

    In addition, surgery does not work for everyone. I have had patients who have had numerous carpal tunnel surgeries with little or no relief and remain in constant pain. But I have also had patients who have had excellent results from surgery.

    Personally, I have tried wrist braces and chiropractics with fairly decent short term results. I am numb in both hands up to mid forearm and although the strength in my grip has improved, it tends to get worse with typing and fine motor skill work like certain intricate patient care and especially charting. UGH

    My carpal tunnel prompted my initial desire to retire from nursing after my last kids finish college in a coupla more years. The pain can be unbearable, but I'm more concerned about the boredom. Plus, I enjoy my patients, but I have to work all that out in my own mind. LOL

    Several people have mentioned Dragon Naturally speaking and outsourcing articles. I have found both to be excellent solutions so far.

    Keep looking for the magic combination that works for you.
    The Revolution is in progress since Spring of 2007!
    "I only want to do it once, by myself, for free and never touch it again...EVER...then I'll retire."

    Watch this sig for updates!
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  • Profile picture of the author seriousmny
    I had carpal tunnel and epicondylitis (aka tennis elbow) from being a transcriptionist. I had to take off from work but it was considered an L&I situation. It was not bad enough per my doctor for surgery but it hurt like heck and I could not work and needed something done. Every time I tapped the keyboard, it felt like needles were being shoved under my nail beds and my elbow had shooting pains going through. My work hours were cut. I am a single parent and just could not afford to be out of commission that long. I went the physical therapy route for 6 months and it did not work.

    What finally worked was a massage therapist. She found that my pain was coming from a nerve junction under my arm at a trigger point and she focused on that area. I was also given door jam exercises to do. Go to the site called ergocise.com. Click on view ergocises. There are numerous exercises you can do to save your hands. I recommend you see a massage therapist who specifically specializes in trigger point therapy and tell them what your issue is so they can find where the pain is coming from. I went back to work without having any type of invasive procedure done.

    Whenever I get those twinges, I go back to my exercises and have my daughter massage me out in those areas. Dragon Naturally speaking is also a wonderful program to have. It will do the work your fingers can't do and save you some keystrokes. Use it while you recuperate and then get massages as needed to stay healthy. I have also had other transcriptionists swear by B6 although I have not taken any. I just may add that to my medication regimen for maintenance. I hope you feel better. Take this very seriously. Get to a massage therapist and do those exercises online.
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