Arm/Hand Numbness and Office Work

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Bella Scarlett
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 7/8/2009 10:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Happy to say that I have been offered a secretarial job that should be a good fit, and very part time - only 12-15 hours per week. After my last job quitting fiasco, I was concerned that I may never find work again. I initially felt great relief, but then started thinking about the reasons why I am not working right now. I quit my last full time job was due to a pretty bad fibro flare. I had not been there very long (just a few months) and never really got comfortable at the job. That flare had the added new symptoms of numbness and tingling in my arms that seemed to worsen with computer (mouse especially) use. Honestly, it really frightened me. I was afraid of losing the use of my arms.

My question is, those of you who have the arm/hand stuff, does office work make it worse and if so, how do you handle it? Is there a danger of permanent damage or is it just part and parcel of the whole fibro BS? Is it just a matter of managing the symptoms?
"...All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."
Julian of Norwich


papasgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 7/8/2009 12:13 PM (GMT -7)   
hi there
 First of all i am so happy for you with your new job congrats!!!! tongue I have a problem with arm numbness and tingling also but i dont do office work so not sure how that ties into it what does help me when i have that trouble is i take about 5 mins and do gentle stretching with my arms and also my legs which helps the circulation atleast for a little while. I was in gymnastics for many years before all my problems started and stretching was always a big part of that and so i have kept it up. I hope that it will help u and again congrats on the new job and good luck!!!! :-)   have a great day and bye for now ~papasgirl
fibro,arthritis,many spinal problems,herniated disk,bone spurs,muscle spasms,chronic neck and low back pain,chronic fatigue,anxiety,panic attacks,depression,ect hahaha i think thats enough now lol
 
3rd degree burn all over back and sides skin graphed also surgery in jan 07 for perforated diverticulitis and a surgery in april 07 to do an ostomy reversal 
 
meds: percocet,ativan,lodine,protonix,cymbalta and benadryl


boo32
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 7/8/2009 1:40 PM (GMT -7)   

hi beela,

well done on getting out into the work place again.

I get the arm/hand numbness also, even after minimal use on the keyboard/mouse.

I stretch it out doing shoulder rotations, just swinging your arm really. Rotate the wrist and pull your fingers back towards your shoulder.

As far as i'm aware, it isn't going to cause any permanent damage and is ourely repetitive strain syndrome, something fibromites have to be aware of. Mine never flares up unless i'm aggravatting it. Walking dog or posting.

take care, boo


BikeBoo, biking with my boo since 1999
Of all the things i've lost, i miss my mind the most! But it has its advantages!
Fibro, spinal arthritis and all that goes with it.
GAD


AustenFan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1771
   Posted 7/8/2009 5:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I get this too from using the mouse.  I will sometimes fold up a small hand towel to support my wrist, and I also sometimes switch the mouse to my left hand (you can change the mouse button functions in your computer control panel).
 
Have you looked into ergonomic mouse pads or keyboards? 
 
I also stretch and change positions often to help minimize the pain, numbness, and tiredness in my hands/arms/shoulders.
 
Hugs - Austen
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of  heart." - Jane Austen
 
 
Fibromyalgia, 2 back surgeries, Meniere's Disease, 30+ kidney stones, GERD, IBS, Asthma, Allergies, Endometriosis, Heart Arrythmia, Myofascial Pain, TMJ.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Bella Scarlett
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 7/8/2009 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, folks.

Yes, I do stretching and I have been looking into ergonomic keyboards. LOL, I already have a monitor, desk lamp and chair that have traveled with me to the last few jobs; I guess I can add a keyboard. All part of the fibro and trying to get as comfy as possible outside of my home.
"...All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."
Julian of Norwich


Littleneck
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 7/8/2009 10:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm a secretary and I find that when the numbness and tingling pain limits my hand movements, I just need to stop the task I'm doing and switch gears for a little bit. Like, if I'm typing and typing and my fingers go numb (not from carpal tunnel but fibro) I will file, or something. If I can't grasp a heavy file I will work on email. With enough accommodation to myself, I won't get discouraged. I left my last job after they couldn't count on me, and started reducing my hours more and more. Good luck in your new position!

Bella Scarlett
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 7/9/2009 6:44 AM (GMT -7)   
How many hours are you working now, Littleneck? I'm going down to 12-15 hrs. 3 days a week.
"...All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."
Julian of Norwich


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17094
   Posted 7/9/2009 8:41 AM (GMT -7)   

I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel but don't have it now and did nothing for it but babied my hands and wrists.  So, it probably was fibro.  I found it difficult to even write.  I would have to stop 3 or 4 times and drop my arms and shake my hands to get the blood flowing again...just to write a check!  I had great problems lifting things and I couldn't even open my front door properly.  I have a handle with a thumb latch and couldn't push the latch down with my thumb!  I had to use the heel of my other hand to open the door.  But, as I said above, I have no problems at all in that area now!

I was having problems with the mouse, too.  I bought a mouse pad with a wrist support.  Also, you might try wearing the wrist brace for carpal tunnel on the hand that uses the mouse.  That might help, too.  (You can find those n the drug stores.)  Those nerves are being pinched somehow causing this numbness and pain.  Try not to stress over it.  That makes things worse.  Remember, mine went totally away.  So take one day at a time and you'll make it through!  Congratulations on your new job.  It sounds perfect!

Sherrine


Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


Carnissa
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 7/9/2009 5:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi...
I do office work on a daily basis... i find some days are better than others... but not to much numbness but i also try to take short breaks from using the computer.. and holding anything for a great length of time.. I also got a thicker pen.. so that when i do get the numbness and tingling i don't have to get cramps from gripping a thin pen..

there are lots of great products out there for us to use... i love jumbo pens... its amazing how much less cramping i get in my hands from it
Diagnosed - fibromyalgia 2001
Meds amitryptilene 30mg/day
Lyrica 75mg/day


noklu
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 7/9/2009 6:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I do quite a bit of computer work at home. I sometimes have to wear my wrist brace. However, my pain dr said to be very aware of how my arm was sitting. Putting pressure on the forearm can also cause numbing and tingling. I am trying to be very aware of it, and sometimes I am amazed that placing my arm in a different possition works.
Maggi
 
fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, depression, hypothyroidism, avascular necrosis, costochondritis, GERD
cra (can't remember anything)
 
in trying times, don't quit trying          
 


Littleneck
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 7/9/2009 11:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Bella, I'm back up to 37 hours/week, almost full time. I work 9am-5pm, instead of starting at 8am. Granted, I get to sit a lot, which is great. I use the extra morning hour making sure I iron out all the stiff joints, that my neck works so I can drive, that I can walk OK, and that my hands uncrimp. I started meds in Feb. and they have really been working to get me to the point where I can function at work. I still have to really budget my energy, plan events and shopping out, etc. For instance, if I work my full day of work, I may not be able to go grocery shopping on the way home, but may have to wait til the weekend.
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