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Author Topic: RSIs & EMGs
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted May 12, 2005 21:48      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've been suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and/or thoracic outlet syndrome (specific repetitive stress injury) since my freshman year in college. It's gotten so severe that my doctor referred me to the hand specialist in my part of the state. So in less than seven hours I'll be undergoing EMGs on both hands.

The first part of the test involves sending currents of electricity through my nerves to see how well they're conducting. Then they'll insert needles and do something else (I'm not clear on exactly what will happen at that point). I am not scared of needles or static electricity, but I am slightly nervous about the testing. I guess I'm really concerned that they won't find anything wrong or treatable and I'll have to live with the pain and occasional clumsiness for the rest of my life.

Has anyone else had an EMG or treatment for an RSI?

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted May 12, 2005 21:56      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've got a friend who's had trouble with RSI. She was in the IT industry briefly, but moved into teaching IT at TAFE at least partly because of the RSI thing. I think her approach is to try not to spend too much time at the computer, but that's not always a practical solution. I may be able to put you in contact with each other if that would help (ironically, probably via email [Wink] )

Edit: She hasn't had EMGs, needles, or any of that as far as I know.

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted May 12, 2005 21:59      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mine affects me most when I sleep. Maybe it's aggravated during the day and then fully develops at night?

EDIT: Eeek!! I just looked at pictures of the setup and read some first-hand accounts of people who've had the EMG. It looks freaky! Right now I am so not looking forward to this. (Not to mention I'll have less than five hours of sleep before it occurs.)

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Serenak

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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2005 04:32      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rhonwyyn

Taking Folic Acid may help, I was suffering from "symmetric parasthenia" (numbness and or tingling in the lower arms/legs) and the Doctor diagnosed a vitamin B deficiency (especially folate). I am currently taking one multivitamin with iron and 5mg Folic Acid (yes 5mg - GDA is 200µg) as recommended for pregnant women. Symptoms disappeared in 2-3 days.

Check with your health professional first of course but it might help....

Cheers

[Wink]

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

Posts: 1937 | From: Suffolk England | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Doco

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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2005 06:51      Profile for Doco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My wife had issues along similar lines. Lots of tinglely feelings in the morning and some numbness. A year or so of wearing wrist braces to bed helped her.
Posts: 419 | From: Minneapolis, MN | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2005 06:57      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmm...I've heard/read somewhere that it's definitely not good if you feel pain while sleeping. I have problems with RSI from time to time, and right now, I have a slight bit of discomfort in my hands. I'd definitely be interested to find out what you learn, though I admit I'm rather fearing the prospect of surgery, and hope it never comes to that. One thing I should point out is that the mouse is not your friend - general motion with it, and clicking will often lead to you finding yourself in more pain than usual. It sounds funny, but I really find that I don't have much trouble typing. I'd be using a tablet right now, but it just isn't working with my system well presently - I did find that a bit easier to use, though I think it mostly has to do with how I situate it. I've found that it's better to put my pointing device in the middle of the desk, in front of the keyboard, such that my arm is more naturally positioned w.r.t. the keyboard, and in general, not reaching further away.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
magefile
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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2005 13:29      Profile for magefile     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I haven't had any RSI issues yet (although I bet it's coming), but I do have lax ligaments, and have found that wrist braces at night are extremely comfortable. Might help, might not, but it can't hurt to ask.

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Let them be stupid - the market will sort it out.

Posts: 743 | From: Massachusetts | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2005 14:14      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Erm, yeah, I meant to mention those - my boss had some RSI issues (from some home improvement work, ironically enough), and found that this helped him greatly, along with some arm/wrist exercises.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2005 14:49      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I survived the tests. Dr. Ton-That was really warm and put me at ease right away. He was really gentle and as long as I didn't look at the cattle prod he was pressing into my arm, I didn't really mind the first procedure.

Basically, he attached three electrodes to my hands (he tested one side at a time), then used alligator clips to connect me with wires to a laptop (PC, sorry guys!). Dr. Ton-That then proceeded to hold what looked like a medical version of a cattle prod into my arms in various spots. The first couple clicks didn't feel like anything, but as the voltage (I'm guessing) increased my fingers would start bending--and some of those final shocks hurt a bit! Thankfully they weren't prolonged. [Smile]

The next part of the test involved a tiny accupuncture needle attached to the laptop. I found out at the end that it had electrodes at the tip. (How they do that, I'll never know 'cause that needle was incredibly small!!) He started at the top of my arm and worked his way down, ending in the big thumb muscle. Up until he poked my hand, I didn't feel any pain, but wow! The insertion into my thumbs hurt! But like the shock test, it was over quickly and then he gave me the results.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being worst, the carpal tunnel syndrome on the right is a 7 and the one of the left is a 5 or 6. I have no nerve pinching in my neck or shoulders (which is what the needle tested).

So that means I'm most likely graduating from splints and NSAIDs to some kind of surgery. (BTW, everyone who suggested splints... they did some good when I got them a few years ago, but now they only seem to aggravate it.) I'm hoping it's day surgery and local anesthesia so I won't have to miss work. I should be able to use my hand after surgery, I hope. I have a few more days than a week before my appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. We'll see what he says.

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted May 14, 2005 05:27      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good luck Rhonnie,

I don't know if I have Carpal Tunnel, I have never been checked.

I do know that after a full day of desk jockeying that my pinkies will stay numb and my wrists will cramp and ache through the rest of the night. I do the excercises that stretch my hands.

I have avoided finding out for a few years now. I lived next door to a lady that was permanently disabled from a carpal tunnel surgury. And the concept is enough to keep me away. "If I close my eyes, it's not there."

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Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

Posts: 2465 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted June 01, 2005 19:36      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It suddenly occurred to me that I've told everyone IRL about the results of my EMG/visit to the hand surgeon, but I haven't told y'all.

As much as I'd like to gush about the cute (and musically-inclined!) med student who sat in on the visit with the surgeon, I'll spare y'all from that. End result of the visit with the surgeon? He'll be performing carpal tunnel release surgery on my right hand on 7 July and a few weeks later will do the same to my left hand. They'll give me a mild sedation, then numb my hand. The worst part of the surgery will be the sensation of the scalpel as he opens me up--I hate that dull pressure. I'd almost rather feel the pain (says she who removes her own cysts from her head).

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged


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