This guest post comes from Martha Deland discussing an important issue that affects many of us who deal with chronic pain conditions and do desk work. Thanks Martha for this educational post.
Back and Hand Support for Computer Working Mommies
Guest Blogger Martha Deland
There’s nothing in the world as beautiful, as magical, as emotional as seeing a double line on a home pregnancy test. If you’ve dreamed of being pregnant, like I did for several years, the news is absolutely overwhelming. I had an unbelievable healthy pregnancy. I never quite felt as energetic and full of life as I did when I was carrying my little bundle of joy. I didn’t suffer from headaches or nausea or any of the typical pregnancy symptoms one experiences. I had occasional back pain and a lot of that was due to my posture at work. I am a writer therefore I spend quite a lot of hours of the day at my computer. I bought myself a posture chair to give me the adequate back support I needed. That seemed to help. I also thought that it was due to weight gain because of the pregnancy.
I had a C-section and recuperated immediately. About 15 days later I was already jogging. It was just miraculous. But then I started experiencing something completely different from what I was accustomed to due to my kind of work. I started feeling numbness in my wrists and in my arms. The feeling was as if my hands had fallen asleep and followed by a tickling sensation. It was like ants were walking all over my hands, arms and wrists. Sometimes it felt like my fingers had frostbite because they were so insensitive. It started slowly. Cramping, burning sensation and then it would intensity to the point that I couldn’t even use a can opener. Objects would fall out of my hands and even holding my daughter’s bottle was a challenge. I started researching and all the signs led to one possible diagnosis: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I was afraid because I thought the situation would only get worse and my ability to care for my child and work as a writer would diminish.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve located at our wrists, has pressure. We feel sensation in our thumbs, index, middle and half of the ring finger because of the median nerve. Fluid retention which is normal in pregnancy, increases the pressure and compresses the median nerve. Dealing with a newborn, Carpal Tunnel, and my work as a writer was a great challenge for me. I had first time mommy block, my hands were blocked and I had writer’s block. They all caused frustration. So I had to find answers quickly to deal with everything that surrounded me because it was like a domino effect. The first thing I did was treat Carpal Tunnel. I went to the doctor and he suggested some easy tips and exercises to improve my back support and the numbness in my hands. The ergonomic seat I had purchased during my pregnancy would help with my posture, now I needed something for my wrists. I started wearing wrist and hand braces while I worked on the computer. I took occasional 15 minute breaks and used that time to stretch my hands back. I would use my right hand to stretch my fingers backwards on my left hand the most I could stand. And I’d do the same with the other hand. I’d also stretch out my back and rotate my neck from side to side. This definitely took off a lot of pressure on my shoulders.
I have also changed my sleeping habits.I sleep with wrist braces because the neutral positioning of the wrist allows the carpal tunnel to widen and takes pressure off of it. I also take Yoga to find serenity in my thoughts and peace within. This helps me find balance to take care of all I have in my life. My beautiful family and my writing. Even though I don’t suffer from numbness as often as I did after I gave birth, sometimes I still get a tinkling sensation in my hands. I recommend for all who are experiencing these symptoms to get help before the pain intensifies. It may not be necessary to take medication or get operated. Perhaps with just a little time investment and proper posture this disease can go away.
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