Pain Management: A Tale of Two Injuries

This is a story of two similar injuries and how I dealt with them. Please note this is informational only, as with any health problem you should talk to your doctor to see what is best for you.

After about a year at my desk job, the workload increased dramatically. More work to get done, in the same amount of time.  My wrists and forearms starting hurting. Just a little at first. I would try to rest after work, but it just kept getting worse. I put off seeing the doctor until I was in constant pain and my arms felt weak and shaky. It was diagnosed as tendonitis and they gave me wrist splints and sent me to physical therapy. It helped some, but I was still doing the same job, the same way. Months later, I was still in pain. They had an expert come to my office to help make my workspace more ergonomic. And one of the doctors recommended I start massaging my own hands (which eventually led me to massage school).  It was a long road, but I eventually recovered.

I’ve learned that if your body starts talking to you, you’d better listen or it will start screaming. Over the summer, the back of my right hand started to hurt. Instead of ignoring it and plowing ahead:

  • I observed what was going on with my body and changed how I was working  (I moved my computer mouse to the left side) so I could rest my hand. This was probably the most important step, just noticing what was happening and doing something about it.
  • I saw my doctor and followed her advice: rest, ice, and ibuprofen.
  • And I started a regular routine of stretching and self massage- I was in massage school at the time, so I had learned that what techniques might help. Luckily, I had only injured one hand!

Take care of yourself and be well.