Back in 2012 I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel and subsequently given a wrist guard. It was a fancy and expensive one that felt great and seemed to help, but I was given strict direction to only wear it at night when sleeping, not during the day. Well, after a year or so, while spending several months in the hospital, I ended up wearing it all of the time for relief. I think I have developed some psychological dependence on it. At some point the original one was lost and I had to buy a generic wrist guard from the drugstore, which is the one I currently use. I usually wear it all day, taking it off to shower and sometimes when I sleep because it gets uncomfortable. Recently, I have noticed a sharp increase in hand, wrist, and arm pain. It was suggested to me that my wrist guard is the cause, that I have abused it and caused muscle imbalance and weakness. Before I call my doctor, we're quite tired of one another, I thought I'd ask the Yahoo community for their medical expertise. Have I injured myself by wearing my wrist guard too much? Is it really bad to type with it? And if I have, how can I start to reverse the damage and heal?
I've seen articles that suggested wearing a brace all the time for extended periods of time can weaken the muscles in the wrist and thus lead to more issues. I have no idea if that is true as I do not work in the medical profession. I am a software developer and work on a computer 10+ hours a day and have suffered from carpel tunnel symptoms off and on. When it flares up and really bothers me I'll wear my brace for almost the full day for a week, two max.
Disclaimer: I'm not a medical professional either but have experienced something similar -- feeling really frustrated trying to get to the bottom of getting rid of my carpal tunnel. I had bilateral carpal tunnel right after graduating from law school. I was told that I may have permanent nerve damage and my only option was surgery, where the success rate was, in my opinion, low. Luckily, I explored other options and tried other things. Now I'm pretty much healed (except if I want my husband to carry the groceries in!).
I used wrist braces and while they are helpful, they are pretty much a bandage and not really addressing what is causing the pain. They are often used at night so you don't twist your wrists in your sleep -- but I would try not to depend on them for so long. Your wrist/arm then gets used to the brace and I've noticed, when I wore a brace, I modified my wrist/arm so that I still injured it by using it improperly.
Have you tried other options? Let me know if you want to chat - i'm on google+ (***@****) and skype (serauhwang). I know that it's easier to speak via video than type!
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