Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
I am the chief technical officer at InVision App, Inc - a prototyping and collaboration platform for designers, built by designers. I also rock out in JavaScript and ColdFusion 24x7.
Meanwhile on Twitter
Loading latest tweet...
Ben Nadel at the jQuery Conference 2011 (Cambridge, MA) with:

A New Wrist Pain

By Ben Nadel on

Around last December, I started to feel some pain in my lower, lateral palm, at the base of my thumb muscle. It wasn't very serious feeling and it would leave after I was done with my exercises. Over the last 8 months or so, it has come and gone with only a slight irritation. In retrospect, I should have probably looked into it, but I just blamed it on poor form and bad equipment.

Then out of no where, like three or four weeks ago, it flared up. Oddly enough, it became very painful after a weekend in which I didn't even work out. The only physical activity that I did was go swimming. I can't imagine that swimming is very hand-intensive, but it may just have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

After it flared up, I went to see my doctor (who specializes in sports medicine). My testimonial ruled out any acute trauma and the X-Rays ruled out any arthritic conditions. The Doctor theorized that I probably over-streched one of the ligaments in my wrist.

Usually, the body heals these kinds of problems, he told me; but, sometimes, the body just doesn't realize that something is wrong. He gave me some forearm exercises to do (flexion, extension, rotation) for the next few weeks. These are meant to strengthen the support muscles around the wrist while the wrist is getting some wrest.

I have been doing them but I am not sure if they are working. I did do a short back workout on Friday and it felt OK. My hand hurt a little bit, but I think not as much as it did like two weeks ago. So, that's a good sign. But, on the other hand (no pun intended), my hand hurts doing mundane things like brushing my teeth and moving things around my apartment.

Thank god I can still type without pain! I can only hope that my hours of typing each day are not complicating my maladies.

I am going back to the Doctor in two weeks to give him an update. If the pain doesn't seem to be getting better, we can take the treatment to the next level. One option that we have is that we can take a needle and stab my wrist ligament a bunch of times. Then, we can inject a sugar-water solution into the joint. I can only assume that that's more painful than it sounds :) Apparently, this is meant to irritate the area and signal to the body that something is wrong and that something is in need of repair.

This is known as Prolotherapy and was coined back to the 1940s. But, the idea of triggering a site-specific inflammation response dates back all the way to Socrates in Greece was known to inject a fire-hot poker into an athletes shoulder to relieve shoulder pain.

Apparently there is another, similar procedure known as Platelet Therapy. This is like Prolotherapy but uses the patient's own sterilized blood as the injection material. Both methodologies are intended to trigger the body's own inflammation response, thereby sending more flood to the damaged areas; but, the Platelet therapy has been shown by some studies to be more effective.

More than the hand pain itself, what I fear is depression. Historically, not being able to workout makes me depressed. Not only do I have to deal with the idea that my body is not working properly (not a new revelation at all), but I feel like one of my biggest joys has been stripped from me.

So right now, I'm just trying to rest, do my forearm exercises, and keep my spirits up.

Tweet This Fascinating post by @BenNadel - A New Wrist Pain Thanks my man — you rock the party that rocks the body!


Reader Comments

@Ben,

Before a series of painful injections, I would highly, highly recommend a good chiropractor. It has been my experience (and I've seen it work with a number of friends as well), that wrist issues are often the result of structural stuff or pinches further up. With me it's usually as my neck gets tight from hunching over the keyboard for too many months on end: as the neck begins to get a bit out of whack, the major muscles down into the shoulders get wonky (say, from having my hand out to the side away from my body holding a mouse all day long), after a while then the elbow gets tight, compensating for the limited motion that's now coming from the shoulder. At each stage, it's really just a slightly more limited motion, so the body doesn't necessarily scream PROBLEM, as your doc noted. Finally, after a bit, the tension in all those muscles and nerves is projected down into the wrist, where people complain or carpel-tunnel or other similar ailments.

I've had it bad enough that just lightly resting the base of my palm at the keyboard was painful and literally just one or two chiro adjustments, mostly at the neck and upper back, and the wrist pain disappeared.

Obviously, I'm not a doctor, but my experience with a (maybe) similar situation has been very successful (and pain-free!).

Hope that helps,
Jason

Reply to this Comment

@Jason,

You raise a very good point. I'd actually like to see a chiro and think about getting some acupuncture. My doctor friend tells me that there is zero medical evidence to support acupuncture, but on the flip side, I have heard many people say that acupuncture is amazing.

I have a number of ailments - knees, shoulder, wrist - that ideally I'd like fixed. I went to a chiropractor for my knees, but got very little out of it. But at the same time, I went to the sports doctor for my shoulder and knee, and I feel like I got very little out of that. So, its not like Western medicine is necessarily picking up the slack :)

Thanks for reminding me that there are other options to explore.

Reply to this Comment

Hey Ben,

I had a major ankle problem for quite a while and when I finally went to see my sports medicine doctor, after negative x-rays, he decided to inject a shot of cortisone directly into the area. He said that the x-ray doesn't show everything and he said that the cortisone can directly heal any inflammation that might be happening. Anyway, it worked. I'm pain free after about 3 days.

A similar thing was going on with my shoulders. I sustained pretty major trauma to both shoulders after being pushed to the ground while playing neighborhood tackle football. Anyway, shots of cortisone started to do the trick within a few days.

Something to consider anyway. Best of luck.

Reply to this Comment

Ben,

A few years ago I got a Dynaflex Powerball Gyroscope and that helped a lot with wrist and hand pain. I got it fearing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with all the repetitive typing and mouse movements.

I got mine from Think Geek and it was only $40 at the time. I just looked them up now and they're up to $60. I think they're available other places for less.

http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/6a4b/

Reply to this Comment

Ben - Chiropractors and acupuncturists are not medical Doctors and your previous experience with a chiropractic is indicative of the fact that Chiropractic medicine can really do very little for you beyond offering some subtle relief to back aliments (if you had any). And even for those you are better off going to a real doctor or a physical therapist. Go take a look at some of the "magic" that Chiropractors believe in. They are called Vertebral Subluxations. And using them they believe that they "fix" all of your problems, from depression to cancer.

Acupuncture is quackery, plain and simple. Don't waste your money. Also, do not fall prey to the logical fallacy of "argument from antiquity". Just because something is old, or has been used for thousands of years does not make it right or effective.

You Doctor is right. There is not medical evidence of acupuncture working for anything. This is not because the studies have not been done, it is because the studies do not show any positive results. What acupuncture studies DO show is that no two acupuncturists treat the same condition in the same way, and that even fake acupuncture will yield the same number of "cured" patients as "real" acupuncture. In other words, it is all in the heads of the patients.

Here are some links that I hope will help. I would recommend you still with scientific medicine. All of the others (Chiro, Homeopathic, Acupuncture, Colloidal therapy, Ionic cleansing, etc) are as effective as astrology.

http://www.quackwatch.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertebral_subluxation
http://www.theskepticsguide.org/

FWIW, this is in no way meant to be condescending toward you, Ben. I just don;t want to see you get caught up in junk science or junk medicine.

Reply to this Comment

Re: Acupuncture...

On one hand, I can embrace the point that there is no substantive proof acupuncture works. Western Medicine is based on scientific and peer review. Much diligence and effort is expended to ensure efficacy and predictability in outcomes.

On the other hand, 'Western Medicine' is the same group that advocated Leeches for whatever ails you, only a few short centuries ago. While Western Medicine is relatively advanced, it does have its shortcomings and mysteries. Much is unknown about the brain, nerves and other segments of the corporal body. Much less about soul, spirit, energy and other metaphysical elements.

I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about accupuncture, if you give it a try.

Reply to this Comment

Dan, those that advocated leeching were hardly practitioners of our Modern Western Medicine. The "Western Medicine" of today cannot be compared to what it was then. Additionally, those that did advocate leeching were likely doing it then for the same reasons then that some are advocating Acupuncture now. Because it was an ancient science, about which we know very little. Again that "Argument from antiquity" fallacy.

By Saying that Western medicine has the "shortcoming" that it does not know everything, somehow lends credibility to the argument for acupuncture is also a fallacy. In other words, by saying that we don't know it is NOT true, suggests that it might be true.

http://www.theskepticsguide.org/logicalfallacies.asp

Reply to this Comment

Not being able to keep up your workout routine sucks. I would have thought that swimming was a safe option for someone with a wrist injury: guess not.

I'm guessing you're not into running/jogging (which shouldn't require any wrist activity). Maybe cycling?

Reply to this Comment

Jason,

#1) Western Medicine is not all knowing. It isn't even close. Medicine is a continual refactoring of knowledge into improving care. It is certainly not a 'finish line' to cross. So my points are separate. While I might have been careless with my wording, I am not using one point to make the other. Western Medicine is good, in some areas and quite underdeveloped in others. It certainly isn't to be blindly trusted to the exception of all other ideas/practices.

#2) Acupuncture may or may not help certain conditions. Whether this is due to some mechanical activity, a spiritual activity or simply a placebonic effect on the recipient might be up for debate, but many people find acupuncture to be helpful in pain management.

In the case of Ben's wrist injury, Western Medicine has yet to provide a substantive answer that treats the condition. Apart from a slight dent in his wallet, what is the harm in having a few hundred needles stuck in ones skin?

Reply to this Comment

@Dan

1. We agree then. Western Medicine is not perfect, nor anywhere close. Thank you for clarifying your point.

2. I guess we'll agree to disagree on acupuncture. My opinion is that any relief from acupuncture is purely psychological on the part of the "patient", and that it has already been shown that, mechanically, it does nothing. Spiritually is another issue all together and is impossible to demonstrate scientifically, so I won't try to address it.

Dan, I hope you did not take any offense to my comments. I am a skeptic and i am skeptical of all of the pseudo-sciences. I, however, hold the utmost respect for you and your work, and I am looking forward to meeting you and hearing your presentation at bFlex/bFusion. Comments in forums can seem condescending or rude, so I want to let you know I only intended for healthy debate.

Reply to this Comment

@Jason,

While I am skeptical about such things, which is given by the fact that I have never tried it. BUT, at this point, I would settle for even a placebo affect :) I think we cannot discount the power of the mind the control the body. If the mind decides that something is working, and if that makes it work, then I am happy with that route.

I would probably sooner see an acupuncturist before I went to a chiro because I have tried a chiropractor before and failed to see results. At least with acupuncture, I don't have personal feelings just yet.

@Vince,

Hmm, that sounds good to me. I have had friends who have had shoulder problems as well and responded with positive results to cortisone.

@Brian,

I will look into one of those. They look cool :)

@Brian S.,

Unfortunately, running and cycling both hurt my knees. I have flat feet and apparently have poor shock absorption and poor alignment of my lower joints :( Working on fixing that problem too.

Reply to this Comment

@Ben, Placebo effect can be great. Perhaps some "low-cost" meditation would work too :)

I agree that mind-over-body is not to be underestimated. In fact, I am a wholehearted believer that negative thoughts and feelings can cause us physical pain, so there is no reason to believe that positive thoughts and feeling would not reverse that effect.

My issue with acupuncture, and other pseudo-science, is the expense. They want to rope you into repeated (physically ineffective) treatments. And while the psychological effects may be desirable, the way they make their money is through repeat sessions by preying on those effects and the gullibility of the masses, invalid and anecdotal evidence, and fallacious thinking.

Reply to this Comment

@Jason,

I appreciate your concern and feel much the same way. I know that after my chiropractic experiences, I felt like they were very expensive and yielded no results. I did, somewhat, feel duped :(

Reply to this Comment

@Ben: Yikes--two bum knees and one bum wrist don't leave you many options...except maybe one-armed push-ups.

@Jason: The problem with ascribing any and all relief supposedly gained from acupuncture to a placebo effect is that acupuncture seems to provide relief to animals as well as humans: try convincing a dog that getting stuck with needles is good for him. :)

A few of our dogs have received acupuncture as treatment for spinal and joint pain (sometimes accompanied by standard medication, sometimes not). My wife is the chief observer/caretaker of our hounds, and based on her observations she felt that the acupuncture did help.

I am not certain enough about the technique to claim that it is an effective therapeutic technique, but it is certainly not a complete sham like astrology.

Reply to this Comment

@Ben,

And therein lies the problem ... for every person that feels 'duped', I'll bet you'll find 5-10 that swear by whatever 'method' is being touted as the 'cure'.

Hope you find something that works for you.

Reply to this Comment

@Brian, Interesting story, and a little funny. Dog Acupuncture is funny to picture. Next they'll be sending dogs to psychiatrists.... oh wait.

While I am sure your wife a reliable source, anecdotal evidence carries little weight in scientific reasoning. Additionally, this could be a case of observer bias is an "experiment".

I feel the need to state, since I am opposing almost everyone, that I am not trying to be a jerk, I am only trying to point out that, scientifically speaking, the pseudo-sciences are weak in real evidence and have done very little over the years to true demonstrate their efficacy. Hence the moniker "Pseudo-science".

Reply to this Comment

@Brian S.,

That's pretty cool!

@Steve,

I know exactly what you are saying. You see that all the time in the fitness industry also. People swear by exercises, machines, proteins... etc. etc., all to have someone else say that stuff is a load of crap.

But thanks, I will keep looking - I am always optimistic :)

Reply to this Comment

@Jason,

Definitely not coming across as a "Jerk." As far as I see it, you are just trying to help me make the most informed decision that I can.

Reply to this Comment

@Ben - One thing I forgot to mention during all of my "soapboxing" :) The doctor that you went to... was he/she a Orthopedic Surgeon with a Hands/Wrist specialist? If they have not even tried cortisone injections yet, then I doubt it.

I would ask for a referral to an Ortho Surgeon with a hand specialty.

I speak somewhat from experience. I had Carpal Tunnel release surgery on both of my hands in 1999/2000. It wasn't until I met with an Ortho surgeon that the diagnoses could be made properly. After the surgery my hands were great!

Since then I have developed different (unrelated) issues with my hands, but I ave been recently tested and there is no sign of the Carpal Tunnel coming back.

Reply to this Comment

@Jason: I don't think you're being a jerk either. I think the point I'm trying to make is that there is a difference between a technique that current medical technology cannot completely prove or disprove at this point (acupuncture), and a belief that ascribes power over people's lives to inanimate objects like stars (astrology). The first merits skepticism and further study, the latter merits ridicule and condemnation when used as a means of swindling people.

Reply to this Comment

dog... i got the same shizzz... same spots... base of thumbs, and for me, my right wrist more than my left (mouse wrist) and my first mri is tomorrow morning... im stressed out mainly cause "this is what I/we do" we code... and to maybe not be able to... is VERY SCARY.

the only thing ive found that works for me is "Vicoprofen" my doc refuses to let me start there, says a cocktail of celebrex and darvocet for immediate pain should work...

anyone else try this? i dont believe in nsaids, at all... so im quite skeptical... i just want it to go away and be able to work... honestly...

Reply to this Comment

@Brian, You're right. I should not have compared Acupuncture to Astrology. Not a good comparison.

I was simple trying to state that I think acupuncture is as effective at treating maladies as Astrology is at predicting how my day is going to go. Which, outside of placebo effect/psychological is nil.

The major problem I have with Acupuncture and other junk science like it, is that it is touted as an effective treatment when there is no good evidence that it is. People die every year from refusing traditional medicine over "magical" cures from acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, and countless other junk treatments.

Modern medicine goes through years of scientific testing, documentation, and trials before it is truly shown to have efficacy and can be said to be a treatment; and even then, sometimes they are wrong. Modern medicine is not perfect, but it beats the pants off of pseudo-science.

Reply to this Comment

In all fairness here, quite a few chiropractors have got their degrees from osteopathic medical schools. Yes, there are plenty of quacks out there, but that's true on the MD side, as well. Not so sure that there is basis for likening chiropracty to witch doctors or whatnot, but your opinion is your own, of course. Certainly it's a not a cure-all for everything, as some would claim, but it is equally true that MDs cannot cure everything either.

-jfish

Reply to this Comment

jfish, Your right. A Doctor of Osteopathy is a real doctor. Though I have never met one that calls himself/herself a chiropractor.

My wife saw a D.O. who did some great adjustments for her. And that is what they do. Adjustments for back and neck pain. They are not trying to cure ear infections, or depression, or heart trouble with adjustments.

Also, there certainly are chiropractors out there that ONLY do adjustments and are not into the whole 'Vertebral Subluxation" magic, but they are still not real doctors (Unless, as you say they are D.O.s). But most chiropractors, regardless of their belief in Subluxations only went to Chiropractor school, which is not medical school. And I will take a D.O. over a Chiro any day.

Reply to this Comment

@Jason,

Given the emphasis being put on science, it's worth noting that medicine is pretty far from an exact science. Granted, it mops the floor with astrology, but even doctors admit (often after a case gone bad) that medicine is as much art as science (and they're not referring to plastic surgery). When George Carlin says "they don't know what they're doing, it's all guess work in a white coat", it's clearly a gross exaggeration, but there's some truth to the statement. Especially when it comes to treating diseases, modern medicine still has a lot to discover, and I for one think that alternative medicine has something to offer. When it comes to problems with external causes (fractures, burns, gunshot wounds, etc.), I'm a lot less skeptical and I'd trust an orthopedic surgeon with my life whereas I don't trust general practicioners with the simplest of things.

Reply to this Comment

@Jason -- whoa, acupuncture is junk science? Acupuncture has been practiced in the East for thousands of years to great success. It's really our own narrow-mindedness in the West that keeps us from taking advantage of alternative solutions.

I had a personal experience with acupuncture that really turned me around. Several years back, I had gotten into the bad habit of clenching my jaw in an odd way while I worked. One day my jaw nearly locked shut and eating was extremely painful. The condition is called "TMJ".

The Western medicine approach to this problem is generally to perform an operation in which the jaw muscle is severed. Not wanting to go down that road necessarily, I went to a friend who had recently finished up their Chinese Medicine training program for acupuncture treatment.

After the first treatment, the pain subsided substantially and I was able to eat without much discomfort. After the second treatment, I was 100% cured. It was nothing short of miraculous. Apparently some people suffer for years with TMJ because the Western approaches to treatment are so inadequate.

So, @Ben, I say go for it if you want to give acupuncture a try. No guarantees but it's at least worth a shot.

Reply to this Comment

@Tony,

OH man, that sucks. But I know what you mean about this being scary. Typing is what we do. Typing is basically our *product*. Please keep us informed as to how it goes. I am sure your experience can help me as well as anyone else who might read this one day.

@Jason,

I went to a chiropracter who was alllll about the "Vertical Subluxation". He did think that was the end all be all of existence. As far as he was concerned, all problems were rooted in the spine. This was when I went for my knee pain. I kept telling him that I had previously gotten fantastic results from "Active Release Techniques." And yet, he kept refusing to even listen to me. He ignored that and kept pushing the subluxation... so, yeah, I had a bad experience with that.

@Josh,

I just read an article about TMJ and how it can lead to all kinds of neck, upper back, and even shoulder pain. And, from a fitness standpoint, TMJ can even lead to large gains in strength.

Reply to this Comment

@Josh,

That last line was meant to be that the "relief" from TMJ can lead to large increases in strength. It is hypothesized that TMJ is so distracting from a musco-skeletal standpoint that is has a huge negative impact on normal bodily function.

Reply to this Comment

@Thomas, please refer to my 2 previous comments where I clearly said that modern medicine is not perfect.

@Josh, Please refer to my previous comments about the "Argument from Antiquity" fallacy and that anecdotal evidence does not carry much weight in science. I am glad to hear that your Jaw was "cured". The mind is a powerful thing.

Reply to this Comment

Both my wife and I being musicians, have had similar problems, and were due to repetitive stress injury, poor technique, and bad practice habits. I never let it get bad enough to require a visit to a doctor, but a few things that helped me were:

Straight wrists during typing, playing instruments, and working out/lifting weights. Bent wrists or twisting wrists is a big no no. Any exercise that made me twist my wrists unnaturally I eliminated or modified. For example, I changed from a straight bar to a V bar for chins and bicep curls.

Frequent breaks. I got myself a timer and set it for ten minutes when practicing guitar. Don't use a timer for typing at the keyboard, but whenever I feel tense or tired in my wrists I stop and take a break.

Relax when you type, or work out. No resting the wrists on the desk while typing because this makes you flex the top of your hands and forearms to pull your hands up onto the key board. Also, I noticed when working out, I tended to squeeze the bar during exercises where it wasn't necessary.

Stretch frequently. But be careful, don't over stretch the wrists.

Hot/cold therapy to relax the wrists.

CoolJJ

Reply to this Comment

@Jason,

Please refer to my previous post where I'm not simply stating that medicine is not perfect but rather that it's not an exact science. While it's far from astrology, it's also pretty far from math, and in some aspects probably not super far from some of the so-called pseudo-sciences.

Reply to this Comment

I'm done with this conversation. Arguing with true believers always proves pointless. I believe I have made my points clearly enough to help those that will hear it.

Good Luck on your recovery Ben, and no hard feelings with anyone. Your opinions are your opinions and I will not turn this into a big argument. This is not the place for it.

Let's all agree on one thing though.

CFML Rocks!

Reply to this Comment

@Ben, sorry to hear of your problems, any repetitive strain issue is not something to take lightly when you do what we do for a living! It got so bad for me at one job that I had to go on disability until we could get it under control. My issues are mainly in my elbows...I basically have tendinitis in both arms on both medial and lateral tendons...not fun. Prolotherapy has actually been something I had been told would be my only real chance for anything close to a cure, but I've learned to manage it for the most part on my own. Prolotherapy is generally considered experimental by insurance and there aren't that many doctors really experienced doing it, and there is often considerable pain involved due to all the injections, so I've not been terribly keen on the idea myself. If you do give it a try, be sure to let us know how it goes!

TMJ - Oh yeah, I deal with that as well. I have to wear a night guard as I clench my teeth and have caused a lot of damage to them over the years. It can definitely be very painful when it flares up, I often have a hard time telling if it's the TMJ or a bad tooth!

Reply to this Comment

@Mary Jo,

Definitely not something to be taken lightly at all! I'll keep you guys updated after my next doctors visit.

Reply to this Comment

Chiropractic treatment is one of the best methods for treating numerous health problems naturally. After years of experience being a chiropractor, I have found that it is a powerful way to solve many pain conditions, like headaches, neck pain and back pain, as well as many non-pain condition as well, such as fatigue, sleep problems, and sinus problems.

Reply to this Comment

@chiropractor suwanee,

Spoken like someone trying to sell something.

Other than for minor, temporary relief from some back pain, chiropractic treatment is nothing but placebo effect and quackery.

Chiropractic "medicine" practitioners, just like those from acupuncture and other pseudosciences, like to claim that their pseudoscience can cure almost anything. In fact, that is sign of quackery and should raise a red flag. Here are some examples.

All ailments stem from vertebral subluxations and can be cured through spinal manipulation - Chiropractic

All ailments stem from a block in Chi flow and be corrected by sticking needles into the skin to re-channel the flow - Acupuncture

All ailments are caused by sin and can be healed through prayer - Christian Science

All ailments are caused by disruptions in the vital force and can be cured by drinking water - Homeopathy

Any so-called "medicine" that treats all ailments the same way are complete BS. If treating illness was so easy, then modern medicine would never have come about.

Chiropractic has somehow over the years achieved a level of legitimacy above those other pseudo-sciences, probably the result of a congressmen getting some back-pain relief and demanding state-licensing for the quacks. But chiropractic is no different than these other types of magical thinking.

Keep in mind a few things before seeking out care from any pseudo-scientific practitioner.

1. None of them are medical doctors. Not even chiropractors. Chiropractors have about the equivalent of a master's degree in their pseudoscience. Granted that is more than a doctor of naturopathy, but I could go to school for 3 years studying daytime TV, that doesn't qualify me to treat your ailments with "Days of our Lives"

2. Even these so-called "natural" treatments carry risks. Risks are not the exclusive domain of modern medicine. Take, for example, the risk of having a stroke while at your chiropractor's office having your depression treated. http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/chirostroke.html

3. There is no plausible mechanism that can explain how these treatments work. It is magical thinking. I know, I know, people always say, "Just because we can't explain it doesn't mean it doesn't work...". Blah blah blah. Magical thinking. That is just self-justifying the magic in your own mind. There is no such thing as Magic. If there is no plausible mechanism to how something works, then you owe it to yourself to question it. It is more likely placebo.

One other thing to keep in mind. Modern medicine carries greater risk than these "natural" remedies for a reason. Modern medicine is actually trying to DO SOMETHING. That brings with it some treatment risks. Typically the only risks that come from natural treatments are the risk that you will die of your original ailments, or at least never get better, because the treatments do not do anything and depend on the placebo effect and your willingness to believe that they work.

Reply to this Comment

OMG, I can't believe I am still getting notification of comments on this thread.

And, of course, it is the same old, tired fallacious logic, impossible-to-back-up claims, and arguments that completely miss the point.

I've said what I am going to say, some of you people are going to believe in whatever hooey and ridiculous quackery that you want. There is nothing I can do to stop you.

I just hope that some logic will find its way to the people who may be on the fence about these treatments and might come across this article and realize that no system is perfect, but science-based medicine is more effective than magical thinking.

Reply to this Comment

I came across your blog when searching for wrist pain related websites. I've been suffering with wrist pain for two weeks now with no relief and no answers. I live in a small city of 12 000 with a doctor shortage to begin with so i am waiting patiently but suffering and have been unable to work. I've missed 6 days now and have told my employers I'm likely going to have to go on employment insurance if I qualify (I live in Canada)for sickness benefits. At least until I can get some answers and am able to control the pain. I had started lane swimming in January as part of becoming healthier in 2011 and I believe that the repetitive swimming strokes must have had something to do with this. The pain started in my shoulder and has continued down my arm but the worst is the wrist. I am unable to type for 8 hours a day and to type this post is very painful. The left wrist is starting to experience the pain as well which isn't very encouraging. I am curious since you had posted this a few yrs ago now, how are your symptoms today and what did you ever find out in your situation? I have been dealing with a chiro only because he is one medical professional a person can get into see on a regular basis. I find him to be very educated and he has offered me more advice/answers over the course of the past couple of weeks than the three doctors I have seen. I see my regular doctor tomorrow who will refer me to a neurologist I assume in a larger city who will the order an MRI I'm hoping. I am certainly afraid I won't be able to return to my office job which I have only been at now for about 8 months. Could 8 months of repetetive typing/ computer use have caused this or the swimming? I have never had any issues up until now and the swimming is the only thing that had changed in my lifestyle. I had eased up but perhaps it was too little too late and I am missing the destressing of hitting the pool so much. I am in constant pain and my family will suffer financially without me able to work. I was a childcare provider for years while my own kids were younger and had just returned to the workforce outside the home, landed a pretty awesome job in a law firm without any experience whatsoever. My employer has been great about this so far but I'm going to feel awful if I have to give this job up. Going back to childcare might be my only option.

Reply to this Comment

Hi Ben,

I am a web developer and have also began to suffer with bouts of wrist pain a few years back. I didn't want to have to take medication so I just fought through the pain as best as I could. But a year or so ago I found about this pain cream that is all natural and free of any toxic ingredients. I began to apply it daily and it really did wonders for my pain. Check out there website for some more information...

http://www.myomedworks.com

I'd highly recommend it to anyone.

All the best,
James

Reply to this Comment

@Jen,

The doctors never told me anything that was too useful for my wrist pain. One thing that did help it, though, was a SUPER INTENSE massage of my forearm. I mean, intense to the point of painful. But afterward, my wrist felt great.

This relief lasted for like a month and then the pain came back.

For the last few months, however, things have been feeling pretty decent. I don't know what I did. I did cut out some exercises in the gym and avoid the things that made it feel particularly funny. Over time, it started to get better.

At work, with typing, I HAVE to have both my arms fully supported on the desk. If my wrists have to hold any weight, they burn instantly. Perhaps try a different posture when you type.

I wish you the best of luck - as someone who always feels like he is recovering from something, I know how much it sucks.

@James,

Sounds like an interesting product. How does it semll?

Reply to this Comment

Hey Ben,

You only really notice a slight menthol smell at first, but it quickly goes away. It's nothing like Bengay or similar creams like that.

Cheers,
James

Reply to this Comment

@James,

Honestly, nothing wrong with a little menthol smell to open up the nose :) I recently got tissues that have Vicks built into them and it's like a little pleasant surprise every time I go to blow my nose.

Reply to this Comment

Repetitive strain and back problems have become an issue in today's computer world such as carpel tunnel, disc herniation and tendinitis.

Most of us, I think are all guilty of bad typing practice and mouse manipulation by using the wrist instead of using the elbow as pivot.

Our posture when sitting at our workstation has become a real issue. Back pain is becoming something of normality in today's society as our lifestyle dictates, and in some cases with dire consequences leaving an individual completely helpless. www.sciatica-pains.com

You're not alone Ben

Reply to this Comment

Wrist pain can be a bear to deal with. My personal experience with it led me to study acupuncture, and, ultimately sell my chiropractic practice.
I have done some advanced studies in wrist pain, but not treat myself successfully. I agree that the muscle imbalances you were addressing were the primary culprit in the persistence of the dysfunction, and may have even been the cause. My experience tells me that it was most likely repetitive microtrauma. Something you do so often that it you would not even consider as un-natural. Yes, typing at a keyboard is one of those, as suggested. So, for me, the best I can do for myself is to do electro acupuncture, a form of muscle stim that goes directly through the needle into the trigger points in the wrist and finger extensors. Think extensor digitorum longus and brevis, the usual suspects. Best of luck to all!

Reply to this Comment

It has been some time since you posted this, but a recent comment brought it back to the forefront. So I figured I'd weigh in. :-)

I am guessing that your wrist problems have subsided now or completely gone away. A few years ago I had started taking gymnastics again. And I was also programming every day. I would guess that the gymnastics were the only 'new' thing since I had been programming and typing for awhile. I think I did something serious to my wrist while doing the gymnastics. It was on the opposite side of the wrist from your pain...it was towards the pinky, on the outside of my hand. I was pretty sure I had a stress fracture, because I would often get a burning sensation as I would go about my daily duties. Typing every day only made it worse. I got a bag of frozen peas and frozen corn and put them under my wrist when I typed. I also got one of those ergonometrically designed keyboards to type on while I did my programming with the keys way up in hills. I still have it.

Due to my wrist problem, I had to quit taking gymnastics for a little while, and I also stopped typing and programming. Over time, my wrist problem went away. I don't have it anymore. I have no idea if it was a stress fracture, or something else that just simply healed when I wasn't stressing it any more. But we often get overuse injuries when we do things are bodies aren't used to. When you went swimming...we do usually think of swimming as not hurting the joints, but it may simply be that your wrist already had some sort of overuse injury going on and swimming it was moving it in a way it was not used to moving, and aggravated it. That's something also that can aggravate injuries...moving it in a new way it isn't used to moving. And swimming is a repetitive motion, so that is quite possible.

I have had knee problems in the past, but it probably has more to do with the fact that I was a competitive runner than anything else. I competed in cross country, indoor, and outdoor track in high school and indoor and outdoor track in college, trained with the cross country team, and played soccer. I can share some other research with you if you would like that I have discovered about joint problems, but would prefer to do it privately, as I don't care to be blasted on here for "believing in pseudo-science".

On that topic, let me just say that there is a branch of naturopathic doctors...I believe it is...naturopathic doctors, who have to have medical degrees before they become naturopathic doctors. So that isn't just a bunch of fluff stuff that people just make up. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going the natural route and taking better care of your body with exercise and/or nutrition before something actually happens rather than pumping yourself full of the latest trends in medications just to make yourself a "great person".

And, btw...often times, the medications you get going to the doctors' are the latest trends being sold on the market that they got the most kickbacks for, or that were sold to them by the "cutest" pharmaceutical reps. But don't get me started on that tangent.

One last anecdote I will leave you with. I had a kidney infection when I was in school, and I spent more time in the infirmary than I did in class. Every week, I would go, and they'd give me the "latest and the greatest" cocktail of drugs for kidney infections. Sure, they worked really quickly to take out the infection, but as soon as the infection cleared up and I went off of them, the signs would come right back. I did my research, and decided to stop going to the infirmary, since it was really doing me no good. I started drinking cranberry juice instead to rid my body of the backteria which kept coming back, and my kidney infection cleared right up, and I never had to go back to the doctor again for it.

Sometimes, with things in medicine, especially with pain killers, you're simply taking away a signal the body is trying to give you that you need to rest whatever part it is that is being stressed. With pain killers, sometimes, your leg hurts for a reason, and if you pump yourself full of pain killers so you can keep running, or doing whatever it is you are trying to do, then you are just going to hurt your leg worse, because the pain is gone, but the problem/injury is not. I do find it interesting that massage helped. When I used to take gymnastics, massage helped my cavs greatly. I used to massage my cavs after every session every week. I'd come away with sore cavs, and I would massage them, and they would be feeling great at the end of it. I had a shoulder problem as well from an injury I sustained from incorrect lifting of weights a couple of years ago, and massaged helped it as well. I am sure it could go away completely if I could quit using it in the way that I have to sometimes, but I am sure I will figure out the right modifications eventually to make the pain go away. If I could afford it, I would pay to get massaged all the time. I love them.

Reply to this Comment

Superior weight in Anna. Thumbs up to you. It is good to visit your trusted chiropractor if you experience chronic wrist pain. It is a pill free way of achieving wellness.

Reply to this Comment

Post A Comment

You — Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Comments
Live in the Now
Oops!
Comment Etiquette: Please do not post spam. Please keep the comments on-topic. Please do not post unrelated questions or large chunks of code. And, above all, please be nice to each other - we're trying to have a good conversation here.