Is it safe for me to continue working at my job with my wrist tendonitis?

by Jason

Symptoms/Causes: I am a gamer. Gaming has been my primary hobby for a number of years. This winter, I was unemployed, and naturally, I spent a lot of time gaming. I felt the occasional pain in my wrists (both of them), and would take a day off, and I'd feel fine for a couple months...then a month...then a couple weeks...and then...a couple days off didn't take it away anymore.

When I first quit gaming, I would feel occasional tingling in my fingers, but mostly the pain was right in my wrist. The tingling faded very quickly. The pain in my wrist faded over time, and I would try using just a little bit of computer, and I discovered that even sending a short email (10-15 lines) could make the pain flare up for several days.

I talked to some other gamers who had pain in their wrists and did my own research online (although I didn't come across this site until now), and basically what I found was, rest it and it will eventually heal.

Since then, the pain has faded a good bit. I had gotten to the point where I would feel an occasional twinge in my wrist, but most of the time, I was pain-free, although I still avoided using the computer much.

Current Situation:

I applied to this summer job a number of months ago, thinking I would be healed by the time this job came up. After my first day on the job (which involves a lot of chopping vegetables, mixing dressings, carrying boxes, etc), the pain has flared up about as bad as it was when I first quit gaming 3 months ago, if not worse. I do not have any tingling in my fingers like I did when I first quit gaming, but I now have some pain in my right elbow as well as both of my wrists. The pain in my wrists I would rate as a 4-5 on a 10 point scale.


I fear that if I try to take time off from my job at the beginning of the tourist season, I will be fired. Is it safe for
me to continue working my job if I start using the inflammation reduction treatment now? Am I going to cause irreversible damage if I don't quit or take time off?

If I pass off the harder jobs to somebody else and try to do relatively easier jobs (like working shifts that involve primarily assembling sandwiches and salads as opposed to chopping vegetables and scooping ice cream), do you think that this is enough to prevent me from further injury?

If I do the easier jobs for a few days and my pain starts to diminish, does this mean that my wrists are healing, or merely that I am not injuring them further?


Joshua Answers:

Hey Jason.

How'd that job go/how's it going?

1. Your description of the onset of this is the classic description of the acquisition of a Tendonitis dynamic.

See: What Is Tendonitis?

That's the Pain Causing Dynamic at work.

It comes on over time, gets a little worse and a little more worse as your body starts losing the battle to keep everything happy.

2. Rest never has fixed tendonitis, and it never will. No amount of rest is going to help.

3. If you chop less will it help you avoid injury? That brings up a good question.

Do you -have- an injury? Or do you just have a very unhappy pain causing dynamic and lots of chronic Process of Inflammation.

4. First thing's first. You better learn How To Reduce Inflammation. This will lower pain levels. It's not a fix per se, but it's incredibly effective at doing what it's good at: reducing pain from inflammation while reducing the inflammation mechanic.

Give me an update, and we'll go from there.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Feb 04, 2012
update - Is it safe for me to continue working at my job with my wrist tendonitis?
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the reply. I've been off my computer for quite some time so I didn't get this until recently.

It flared up quite bad over the summer's gotten quite a bit better since then.

Last week, I tried the ice dipping, but it didn't seem to do all that much for me even after a week. I have poor circulation in my hands, and even with 5 second dips, my hands just don't warm up very much between dips. When I was done each session, my whole arm felt very tense and it remained relatively cold for a long time afterwards (an hour or more) even if I tried to stimulate blood flow a little by putting it on my warm stomach etc, it remained cold and tense.

I tried another option I've read about called contrast therapy, alternating heat and cold, and after the 3rd treatment, I felt amazing. I felt much less tense, and the pain is almost non-existent unless I'm currently doing something with my wrist (basically anything at all repetitive...brushing my teeth, stirring pasta, lifting something heavy). But when I stop doing something, the pain quickly goes almost completely away.


1) Since a reduction in inflammation dramatically reduced my pain, does this mean my actual tendon damage is very mild at this point and will heal quickly?

2) How should I go about returning to activity and/or exercises for my wrist? I've read about a lot of success with eccentric exercises. Is it safe to start these now or should I wait until the pain is completely gone before starting? When can I return to short periods of browsing and emailing without harming the healing process?


Joshua Comments:

Do we know for sure that you have tendon damage?

Definitely stick with the contrast therapy: hot then cold. If you have poor circulation for whatever reason, then you need to help the effects of cold by using heat afterwards. Fluid out, fluid in. Plus, the icing is good exercise for your circulatory system.

I'm not so worried about exercise for you. I'm more interested in getting rid of inflammation, making sure your nutrition is taken care of, and softening too tight muscles and connective tissue.

Feb 04, 2012
further update
by: Anonymous

Alright, so I decided I'm sick of this and I want to get rid of this problem NOW. So I bought the book, and just finished reading it.

So I read about the Protocol that goes along with the ice dipping I've read about, and I'm going to try the ice dipping again but this time with the rest of the Protocol as described in the book. Maybe that will get rid of that tense feeling that I've had previously.

I'll try using the whole Protocol for a week and post back my results.


Joshua Comments:

Funny how pain can be such a great motivator....

Yes, do check back in. If you have specific questions about the protocol, email me.

Feb 04, 2012
quick update - Is it safe for me to continue working at my job with my wrist tendonitis?
by: Jason

I'm sorry for posting a third time so quickly, but I did some reading in the comments, and found some other people who had issues with the ice dipping and poor circulation. My mother does have Raynaud's, and she has it very bad. Her hands will frequently go purple when it's 68 degrees. Me, I just have more of a "cold hands" deal, whether or not it's Raynaud's, who knows.

My hands tend to be "cool" most of the time it's below 70, maybe "cold" if I place them against my stomach, but it's never really been a problem, other than I have to be careful outside in the winter (gloves definitely once it hits lower 40s if I'm out more than 15-20 mins. A little stimulation from a hand warmer though and I've been able to spend 2 hours snowshoeing at 20 degrees without going numb).

So...given the recommendation to some other people on here, I think I will continue to use the alternating hot/cold, but start to add in massage/ice massage for a week and see what that does for my remaining pain.

Will post back in a week with the results.


Joshua Comments:

Aside from conditions like heart disease and diabetes, etc, poor circulation is often a symptoms of B vitamin deficiency.

Alternating hot and cold for you!

Feb 15, 2012
by: Jason

Alright, so it's been a little more than a week, but here's the update. Pain has continued to decrease with the contrast therapy. Left wrist hurts maybe 10% of the day now. Right wrist maybe 50% of the day, mostly as a dull ache. I find that it fatigues really easily. Like stirring a pot or cutting up something for lunch, they feel like my legs do at the end of a 10 mile hike. Upon stopping the activity it goes back quite quickly to the minor dull ache that was there before the activity.

I've been doing specific massage, and I definitely found some hot spots. Over the past week or so they've gone from "somebody is stabbing me" to just a general dull pain as I pass over them.

I'm going to start working in ice massage now.

Sep 07, 2018
Gamer with Pain/Burning Sensation in both wrists/elbows/arms
by: Mo H

Hello Joshua. I am 23 years old. Here is how it all it started. 1.5 years back from now, I woke up 1 day with pain/burning sensation around my left wrist. I went to the doctor, made an X ray nothing showed up. He gave me some anti-inflammatory meds and that’s pretty much it. 15 days later, the pain on my left wrist is still there and now that same pain occurs in my right wrist. Seeing that I have a pain/burning sensation in both wrists, I went to the emergency, made MRI scans to both wrists. Results showed only micro-fracture to my TFCC but nothing urgent.

Still complaining about that sharp burning sensation in both wrists, over the year, the pain/inflammation started slowly going to both of my elbows/arms and finally to the back of my neck. Oh and also, clicking popping sound started to be heard in my wrists/ shoulders at the beginning and until now it is still clicking making weird noises.

This wasn’t happening before all of this happened.

As I speak today, I am having pain/inflammation/burning sensation in both of my hands/wrists/elbow and neck. This process happens as soon as I wake up and it goes all day until I go to sleep. Only thing that is helping me for maybe like 1 hour is ice and anti-inflammatory hot/cold meds.

I really do not know what to do. I am really depressed because not a single diagnosis from doctors, I even did arthroscopy if I recall the name correctly to both of my wrists, all was good.

During that time, I was a boxer/gym/gamer addict and I eventually stopped when all of this happened.

I have no idea what’s going on to my body, if this is Tendonitis or not. If there will be any fix for this.

Thank you,

Your website gives me hope.



Joshua Comments:

Hi Mo.

You had arthroscopy done? Exploratory surgery?? For regular tendonitis symptoms?

I guess with the TFCC fracture they were looking for bone fragments? Though that should be visualized with xray and MRI...

What's going on with your body is the tendonitis dynamic AND the downsides of a TFCC fracture. So nutritional insufficiency, too tight muscle and connective tissue (which causes various problems including all your symptoms), and chronic inflammation process.

These three factors keep everything in place.

See Related: Wrist Tendonitis And Carpal Tunnel From Video Games

See possibly related: Long Term Hand Injury From Punching A Wall Hand Tendonitis And Knuckle Pain

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