In 2015, I was diagnosed with both cubital and carpal tunnel syndrome. It came on suddenly and it came on FIERCE.
At the time I was working part-time as an office manager where I typed almost all day long. Then in the evening I happily typed away on my laptop as I built my online presence.
One day I was able to type like crazy, and the next day I was in so much pain from my neck down to BOTH my wrists that I couldn’t work. My world changed when suddenly I couldn’t type or write and my sleeping and even walking, was painful.
I did physical therapy and got regular massages for several months, which helped, but it didn’t make all the pain go away. About a year later I went to a chiropractor and now I can function with little to no pain.
It was a long road, but what I discovered is that a lot of my pain was caused by my tight muscles locking down on my nerves. I now have several tricks to keep my muscles pliable and stress-free, like rolling a tennis ball on my back against a wall. So simple, but it helps!
I also found certain tools that made me more comfortable and reduced strain on my muscles. I spent A LOT of time and money, researching and purchasing different products to help my pain, so I want to show you the best of what I found. I hope my recommendations make it easier for you to find the relief you need!
This list of ergonomic tools is also great for gift ideas if you know someone who works from home or has carpal tunnel syndrome.
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BELOW IS A LIST OF ERGONOMIC TOOLS THAT I HAVE USED OR STILL USE TODAY:
Laptop Lap Desk – I found that sitting on a sofa was more comfortable for me than sitting at a desk. When I sit at a desk my arms are raised and my shoulders get tense, causing pain in my arms and wrists. This laptop desk is big enough to hold a mouse off to the side. (I’ve heard it’s not healthy to have a laptop sitting directly on your lap anyway, so this is good for anyone.)
By the way, I DON’T recommend the laptop desk with an ergonomic wrist pad. I tried this one first and the wrist pad put pressure on my wrists, which hurt! Also, you’ll want to find a lap desk that is about 22.5 inches long so that you have room for your laptop AND a mouse. I find that using the trackpad on my laptop hurts my wrists.
Lumbar Support Pillow – After sitting on my couch for a few months I found that I was having lower back pain. I know that sitting on a sofa all the time isn’t ergonomic, but I found that it reduced my pain and allowed me to work comfortably. So, I purchased a back pillow to support my back which eliminated my lower back pain.
Anker Ergonomic Wireless Mouse – I tried a couple of different ergonomic mouses (mice? LOL) before I found one I liked. This mouse turns your wrist vertically, instead of horizontally. I love this mouse and won’t go back to any other. I use it directly on my laptop desk.
Compression Wristbands – I used to wear these ALL the time, not just when I typed. I mean, everywhere. It was comforting to have these bands around my wrists to support them. I no longer have to wear them, but they were a big help in the beginning when I was in a lot of pain.
Someone even asked me about my ‘cool wristbands’ one day and thought I was being fashionable. Ha! I actually chose these bands because they don’t look ugly.
I tried a lot of different wristbands and wrist supports and I liked these the best. Some wrist supports wrap around your hand, which reduces movement and requires you to take it off every time you wash your hands!
Sunbeam Heat Therapy Neck and Shoulder Wrap – I love this heating pad because it wraps around my neck and shoulders and helps reduce tension. I hold all my stress in this area so it’s important to keep these muscles calm and relaxed. If you have cubital or carpal tunnel, you might be holding all your stress in your neck and shoulders too. Try to relax this area as much as possible with heat, massage, and stretching.
Body Back Buddy – This weird looking contraption with a weird name helps me reach painful areas in my back that are difficult to reach. I have a spot in my upper right back that I injured while working out years ago and I could never work out the kink – until I found the Body Back Buddy. It also allows me to give a deep neck massage and work on my shoulder muscles.
Also, if you have lower back pain make sure you get your glutes. Tight muscles in your booty can throw things out of whack and cause back and hip pain. Sitting for long periods of time can make your glutes and hamstrings tight.
Glo – Stretching can really reduce pain in lots of areas in the body. Not too long ago I started feeling pain in my feet because of plantar fasciitis. I found that stretching and going to the chiropractor really helped. Glo has all sorts of yoga, stretching, pilates, and meditation videos that you can do at home.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cubital or carpal tunnel, just keep trying different things.
Remember to keep your muscles pliable and relaxed, find tools that help reduce your pain and stress, and get the help you need from a physical therapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, etc. I got rid of almost all my pain except a nagging, sharp pain in my right wrist. I went to the chiropractor and he showed me how to crack my wrist. Now when I get that pain I crack my wrist and I’m good! Amazing!
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