Keeping forearm and wrist straight - Jeremy, can I have your thougths?

Hello world!

My name is Doug. I am a mechanical engineer and so I do a lot of sitting at a computer 80 hours a week. I also have to do some labor like picking up boxes and lots of repetitive movement as I have to assemble parts.

For the past year, I have had numerous bouts with severe tingly sensation on my hand and also on the muscles on the top of my forearm, next to my elbow joint. It gets so bad that I just can't type, but then I massage my muscles on the top of my forearm next to my elbow and then it goes away for a little bit. This is a huge, painful problem that I really want to solve.

I've heard that keeping my hand to forearm in a neutral position will help when I'm at the computer and doing manual labor. Is that advice sound? I can't get away from the repetitive motion that is assembling parts or typing at the key board.

I tried the wrist braces that add compression, with splints, but they're all so uncomfortable.

I'm even developing my own wrist brace to warn me when my wrist is straight or not (e.g: in the neutral position). But the question is: if I keep my hand to forearm straight, will that help me a lot? I have to solve this problem.

Thanks so much,

Another way of asking this question is: If I keep my wrist straight will the prevent the risk of injury by 10%? 50%? 90%?



Depends what the problem is I think. It's not a typical story for CTS so what you do with the wrist may be irrelevant. You seem to be describing an effect on the symptoms from manipulating the elbow and all three of the main nerves to the hand pass around the elbow so it's possible there is some kind of nerve problem further up the arm. This almost certainly requires a careful neurological examination of the arm and possibly some nerve conduction studies to get a handle on it before recommending any particular course of action for dealing with it I'm afraid, so you will have to see a doctor in the flesh I think. JB

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