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carpal tunnel & climbing

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carpal tunnel & climbing

Postby anita » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:38 pm

I think I have carpal tunnel in my R wrist and lately it has been acting up.
how does climbing affect this? anyone have carpal tunnel & climb? any tips?
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Re: carpal tunnel & climbing

Postby reboyles » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:05 am

I have carpal in both wrists. Hand jams are the hardest on my wrists so I avoid crack climbing as much as possible now. If it gets really bad I experience numbness in my hands and that affects my grip (and confidence). I use Ibuprofen at times for swelling but I don't like taking that stuff unless I'm really hurting. Surgery is an option for severe carpal but I will not go that direction unless it gets really, really bad. The best thing I've found is to just lay off whatever it is that causing me problems and it gets better (so far). I had to give up biking because of the constant pressure, vibration and bend that the bars puts on my wrists (numb hands). If you spend a lot of time at a keyboard like I did you might try one of those dropped shelves that allows you to lower the height and take the bend out of your wrists.

Bob
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Re: carpal tunnel & climbing

Postby anita » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:06 pm

thanks for that.
I haven't had to do many hand/fist jams, but I did a bunch of slab climbing recently and that was making my wrist act up.
also indoor climbing and doing anything like planks, push ups is getting painful.
thought maybe to tape my wrist up a bit... otherwise I think I need to wear a splint during the day/night to keep it straight. don't want to take meds and don't want surgery either. it's because of work. I should stop working ;)

this sucks.
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Re: carpal tunnel & climbing

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:49 pm

You've got to address the carpal tunnel directly more than the climbing. Without changing habits it will only get worse, and can take a very very long time to get better. Surgery is not a good solution, and still without changing habits it just comes back.

Things like voice software, frequent stretches while working on the computer, a keyboard tray, using a different mouse, never using a laptop keyboard... stuff like that. Can try using a tablet instead of a computer and see if that helps or hurts.
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Re: carpal tunnel & climbing

Postby anita » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:08 am

What kind of stretches?
I have the keyboard tray and have started using the mouse w left hand already a while ago. Still flares up.
I need to just quit my job I think.
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Re: carpal tunnel & climbing

Postby WyomingSummits » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:13 am

anita wrote:What kind of stretches?
I have the keyboard tray and have started using the mouse w left hand already a while ago. Still flares up.
I need to just quit my job I think.

I hold my arm straight out, and pull my fingers up and back toward my forearm. I also do it the other way. I'm at high risk due to my occupation as a jeweler, and hobbys of climbing and playing guitar. I'm 35 and so far, so good. (Fingers crossed).
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Re: carpal tunnel & climbing

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:48 am

^^
That stretch. Also simply spreading your fingers out as much as you can for just a couple seconds. And stand up and walk around every now and then... Don't sit for more than an hour straight at the computer. Stretch you neck and upper back too... all those nerves come straight from there.
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Re: carpal tunnel & climbing

Postby mghazal » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:42 am

My 2 cents.

The most dramatic change that has reduced my cts was changing my keyboard. I'm a programmer, and spend almost all of my day on the computer. I purchased an ergonomic keyboard (Microsoft 4000 Natural). It's odd to get used to, but helped tremendously. In addition, a gel pad that elevates your wrists to make it on the same level as your keyboard may help.

Oddly enough, rock climbing has reduced the pain in my wrists. I personally feel it stretches out my wrists when I do climb. I also do ice my wrists on a weekly basis.

Hope this helps!
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Re: carpal tunnel & climbing

Postby reboyles » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:49 pm

Every time I start feeling too much wear and tear from any single activity I switch to something new that uses other parts of my body. As an example, I used to run but now I only walk (hike). I biked (both mountain and road) until my wrists couldn't take it anymore, gave it up and took up ice skating of all things. I never climb indoors anymore, only in the mountains. I figure if I'm wearing parts out I'm not going to waste them practicing. I'd much rather burn myself out on a real climb than on some indoor wall.

I've used all of the exercises mentioned above and they really help as long as I don't over do it. When that happens it feels like someone is poking a hot metal rod in my wrists for a couple of days along with numbness. Nothing but stopping whatever it is I'm doing will help at that point.


Regards,

Bob
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Re: carpal tunnel & climbing

Postby WyomingSummits » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:42 pm

reboyles wrote:Every time I start feeling too much wear and tear from any single activity I switch to something new that uses other parts of my body. As an example, I used to run but now I only walk (hike). I biked (both mountain and road) until my wrists couldn't take it anymore, gave it up and took up ice skating of all things. I never climb indoors anymore, only in the mountains. I figure if I'm wearing parts out I'm not going to waste them practicing. I'd much rather burn myself out on a real climb than on some indoor wall.

I've used all of the exercises mentioned above and they really help as long as I don't over do it. When that happens it feels like someone is poking a hot metal rod in my wrists for a couple of days along with numbness. Nothing but stopping whatever it is I'm doing will help at that point.


Regards,

Bob

That's what I did this summer due to a foot injury and a blown tendon in my wrist. Only a few rock climbs, and 5 mountain trips. But I biked a lot more as it didn't aggravate my injuries and allowed them to heal. Now I'm mostly healed up and can get stronger over the winter snowshoeing and on the indoor wall/ice.
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Re: carpal tunnel & climbing

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:30 pm

I used to get a peculiar pain in my wrists every time I drove through the Mount Baker tunnel with a group of friends on my way into Seattle. Turns out I was suffering from carpool tunnel syndrome.
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Re: carpal tunnel & climbing

Postby mconnell » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:41 pm

mghazal wrote: In addition, a gel pad that elevates your wrists to make it on the same level as your keyboard may help.


If you are resting your wrists on anything while typing, your hands are in the wrong position which contributes to cts. Even a wrist pad is to low. (I don't follow this, but was harassed by the Ergonomic Police at one company for resting my wrists on a wrist pad.
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Re: carpal tunnel & climbing

Postby Bill Kerr » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:19 am

Way late but the definitive solution to carpal tunnel is to lay on your back on an inflatable exercise ball and stretch your pecs, biceps and forearms at the same time. Warm up first and then lay on it between your shoulder blades and try to touch the back of your hands/fingers to the floor. five minutes at a time and then ice pack your wrists to reduce swelling. May take 1-2 weeks to notice effect but stick with it as it really works. Too much time hunched over a computer keyboard or hanging off a finger board will tighten up all of these muscles and who ever stretches their pecs, biceps and forearms.
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