Wrist Tendonitis cured but back again
So it all started around a year and a half ago.
I bought a new laptop that doesn't have a touchpad (it has a trackpoint mouse instead), and I'm pretty convinced that it's the laptop that caused my wrist tendonitis in the first place.
In order to right click on the laptop, it requires me to bend my right thumb toward the right side. This repetitive motion most likely wore down my tendon and eventually caused my wrist tendonitis.
The pain was not apparent until half a year later (during last summer), and I eventually decided to seek help. A doctor gave me some Ibuprofen and a brace/splint to wear. I continued wearing it and taking the pills for a month, but unfortunately nothing improved.
Finally, the doctor recommended me the option of getting kenalog injection on my wrist. I immediately agreed, since tendonitis severely affected my work performance (I do a lot of lab work).
After the injection, the pain subsided in a week and I was able to go back to my normal work after that. All seemed to be well, except the fact that the skin location where I received the injection started to turn white (which the doctor said is normal).
Furthermore, my wrist began to feel tired more frequently than before even though I didn't experience the pain at the same time.
The pain never came back since then, and I kinda went back to my old bad habits of using my laptop (before I bought an external mouse to prevent the repetitive motion). Nothing seemed to happen for the past year, and I thought my wrist tendonitis was gone forever.
Until couple days ago, I suddenly felt the pain again. I know clearly that it's probably my job and my computer habits that bring this old problem back again. Except this time I have no idea what to do: traditional treatment never works for me and it seems the injection has weakens my wrist in some way.
I might seek acupuncture therapy but there is not a guarantee either.
What should I do?
1. It's unlikely that the repetitive motion 'wore down' the tendon. Tendons are TOUGH stuff. But you DID get your muscle tighter and tighter, and build up a bigger and bigger Process of Inflammation.
2. That's great that the Corticosteroid Injections took away the pain for a good amount of time. It sounds like it did allow for the body to compensate for the tightness and other factors that caused in the first place.
That's great, -except- that you kept doing what got you to a painful state, but didn't feel the pain that was there. You also didn't do anything else to make your forearm/wrist/hand a healthier structure.
Feel free to blame that on your doctor.
And, for the record, your Tendonitis wasn't cured. It does what Tendonitis does: it comes and goes and slowly/quickly gets worse and worse.
It's an entire dynamic, fluid and variable.
3. Acupuncture may help. I'm a big fan of acupuncture, it will either help or it won't (I've had times personally where it totally did help, and times where it totally didn't). It's worth a shot.
4. What to do? Good question.
You need to REVERSE the dynamic. Reverse the factors that have gone a particular direction to give you pain and problem.
Ice Dipping as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation page will help keep pain levels down, and other beneficial effects.
My Reversing Wrist Tendonitis ebook would be a good choice, in my humble opinion, with a complete plan for self care and any necessary fine tuning.
Changing your laptop is an option, changing to smarter ergonomics is an option.
There's lots of options....some just work better than others.
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert