Today’s topic is a more serious issue. I want to talk about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a medical condition due to compression of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist at the carpal tunnel. The main symptoms are pain, numbness, and tingling, in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the thumb side of the ring fingers. – Wikipedia
Before this year I had heard of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but I had not really given much thought to it. But now my mother has recently been diagnosed with Moderately Severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and this had made me think a lot more about it. From what I have read it often effects surgeons, vets, typists. I.e. people who work with their hands a lot. My mother is also an artist and she is also a writer so she definitely uses her hands a lot. Unfortunately my mom didn’t experience pain, she only felt numbness and this caused her to ignore it for a long time. When I say a long time I mean over 10 years. But it has slowly worsened to the point that she can barely use her hands for anything anymore without them going numb. She is going to go for surgery this month to hopefully correct the problem, however had she been diagnosed when the problem first started there were other thing that the doctors could have tried doing without resorting to surgery.
I feel that this is something that many of us should be aware of as many of us use our hands pretty much all day. Many jobs these days require people to sit at a computer and do repetitive tasks all day. I paint, crochet, knit, type, ect.
Some good things to do are to,
Take breaks! This is good for your eyes and for neck tension too!! I know for myself it is so easy to just get in the groove and work for hours but it is much better to take regular breaks. I now try and make my self some tea or coffee and then drink it sitting down in another room instead of drinking it at my computer or painting. That way I am forced to have a little break.
You should also try and keep correct posture, again this will help with your neck strain too. I often start off sitting straight but soon I slouch again, but if you are taking breaks hopefully this gives you a chance to remember and re straighten your posture.
Something I haven’t tried yet but that the internet suggests is wrist exercises. I guess you would just do this quickly during your break. 🙂
And lastly my final piece of advice is that if you are experiencing any pain or numbness at all GO TO THE DOCTOR! Have it checked out! For a lot of us our hands are our livelihood, as well as for a lot of artists being able to create is a source of happiness and sanity. I know my mom has been really struggling with not being able to do much.
So finally I will show you some presents I have made for my mom and I will be sending her way very soon. I know someone going from the UK to ZA so I know that they should arrive a couple of days after her surgery. I made my mom 2 pairs of wrist warmers/fingerless mittens. South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere so they are heading towards Winter now and I know that post operation areas can hurt in the cold for a long time after the initial operation.
The first pair are a knitted pair. I used a pattern called the Silk Garden Fingerless Mitts by Virginia Burrow. The only thing I did different was that I used 4ply yarn instead of Double Knit but I just held it double. I also crochet 2 little white flowers to go on but I am not sure if my mom will like them so I will include them loose and if she likes them then either my sister or my Gran can help my mom sew them on.
The second pair are a crochet pattern by Whistle and Ivy. I did quite a few modifications because my yarn was completely different and it wasn’t working up correctly. So I used the pattern more as a guide.
I hope that you have enjoyed today’s blog post and I hope that you find it helpful or interesting in some way.
Lots of Love