Crazy work ethic, or old age setting in?

Written by Jeff Harrison
November 18, 2007

I’ll admit that I look at a computer screen about 14-18 hours per day. So when my right forearm started feeling like limp spaghetti, and the tips of my fingers started to tingle, I sensed something was awry.

After reading about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, it looks like I’m a candidate for it. Foster suggested I dig out my Wacom tablet and use that instead of a mouse. So I did.

It’s frightening to be knocked back to 50% productivity, esp. when you have the usual mountain of work to do. Being self-employed, I have no workers compensation insurance or paid sick days.

to avoid having a sawbones carve into my hands/wrists, I’m cutting back (no pun intended) to 10-12 hours a day. For a while…

Hopefully you never have this surprise!

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4 Comments

  1. Jeff Harrison

    Hi All,

    An update: A week after the problem appeared, I was carefully shoveling snow using my Jell-O arm and heard something go “crack” in my right wrist. The next day my right hand felt much better. Maybe something was pinched in there. This could cause area to become inflamed – creating pressure in the area and showing same symptoms of carpal tunnel.

    Reply
  2. Cap

    I’ve been a Graphic Artist for Motorola using CorelDRAW for almost 15 years.

    In 2000, we upgraded our cubicle environment which included under-desk keyboard trays with an integral mouse pad. After two–three years of use, I noticed similar sensations: numbness in my right hand, pain shooting from my wrist into my forearm, loss of strength in that hand, etc.

    I quickly researched all that I could on carpal tunnel and ergonomic office design. I switched to a Wacom tablet, repositioned my chair and keyboard, and purchased keyboard and mouse wrist cushions.

    The result: no more pain or numbness and strength has returned to my right hand! Take ergonomics seriously folks. A few small adjustments make a big difference and go a long way toward protecting your most important asset: your drawing hand.

    “Drawing” the right conclusions, Cap

    Reply
  3. MadDog

    Jeff,
    Maybe just age.
    I had hand / wrist / forearm pain.

    1. Lowered kb, tilted it forward.
    2. Raised chair.
    3. Raised chair arm rests to a comfortable position.
    4. Checked angle to put forearm, wrist, hand in the straight line / no stress with the mouse.
    5. Constructed a mousepad support to achieve angle, see #4.
    6. Put a lip on the front of the support to keep mouse off floor.

    Pain’s gone.

    MadDog

    Reply
  4. nunuv

    I use keyboard shortcuts to relieve mouse hand tension. I built a mousepad riser for my underdesk keyboard tray to make my mousepad even with my chair armrests, and I don’t use the underdesk tray for my keyboard…I use it for my Wacom tablet. The keyboard sits on my desktop with a gel pad in front of it. That cured my inflammation and sore shoulder. It’s vital that you don’t reach out or to the outside of your body to use your mouse, and that your elbows are supported.

    Reply

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Jeff Harrison

Jeff Harrison is a media "Jack-of-all-trades", familiar with most of the major media applications on the Windows platform. Whether it's 2D/print, 3D, audio, video, or web-related - he's working on mastering everything that comes his way. He's a past Alpha and Beta tester for Corel, and has instructed students from all over the world. He runs the popular MacroMonster.com site, the #1 place for CorelDRAW macros. Also check out his youtube page, and his gallery at coreldraw.com.

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