My right wrist is, um, uncomfortable. I’ve had modest discomfort in it for a month or so, but in the past week it has really been talking to me. Now, I must listen.
That means, first and foremost, I must rest my right wrist. Today is Day 4 without knitting or spinning. I have accepted that I really need to rest the wrist for 2 weeks. That may seem like an impossible amount of non-spinning, non-knitting time, but if I don’t rest the wrist now, it is likely that I’ll only make it worse and I’ll need to take an even longer break – when I can less afford it – and perhaps need medical attention. I’d like to avoid that.
So, for now no knitting. No spinning. No gardening. As little typing and computer work as possible. I need to avoid using my right wrist as much as possible. I’m right-handed. I’ve got to use my left hand when I can … to open doors, push the vacuum cleaner, hold the dog leash, move clothes from the washer to the dryer, pour milk, push the microwave buttons, and so on. It requires quite a conscious effort to resist automatic right-handed everyday movements. There are a few things I can’t do with my left hand: I can’t use scissors. And I think it’d be dangerous for me to use a knife with my left hand.
I also ice my wrist twice a day (for 20-30 minutes at a time). And I try to keep the wrist and fingers in a neutral position. And I rest them on a pillow (elevated) when I can. It would probably help if I took a modest amount of NSAIDs (aspirin or ibuprofen), but that stuff is really hard on my stomach!
How do I know this is the right thing to do? Well, I trained for 20 years as a dancer. And I’ve got 10 years of graduate education in the movement sciences. And I have 9 years experience teaching in graduate-level physical therapy education programs.
If you are experiencing discomfort that you think might be related to overuse, I suggest you check out this National Institutes of Health website: “NINDS Repetitive Motion Disorders Information Page”.
I do know that my symptoms indicate I do NOT have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you need information on that challenge, again I suggest an NIH website, “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet.”
In fact, I suggest that if you are seeking any on-line medical information, you should make nih.gov your first website stop. They have a terrific search engine.
Time to Rest the Right Wrist now…