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How I Got Rid of Carpal Tunnel Wrist Pain: Doing Handstands


Neville

Carpal Tunnel Handstand Sequence

I'm not a doctor (but I'm Indian so maybe like 40%)....

But around 10 years ago at the age of 26 my wrists started hurting a bunch from being on a computer a bazillion hours a day.

I'd frequently have to stop working and rub my wrists.

Even at the young-and-dumb age of 26 I knew this seemed WAY too early to be experiencing wrist pain. I looked up all these carpal tunnel stretches and made half-assed attempts to do them every few hours. It didn't really work.

Then in November 2010 I accidentally did the smartest thing ever: I wanted to learn how to hold a handstand:

nov-2010-handstand.jpgDoing a handstand circa November 2010.

november-2010-goals.jpgNovember 2010 Goal was to hold a handstand.

After about a full month of daily practice, I was able to hold a strong handstand for nearly a full minute. I'm still able to do a pretty solid handstand today:

Carpal Tunnel HandstandsStill my go-to party trick....

 

What I was inadvertently doing with these handstands is putting my entire ~180 lbs of weight on two wrists and stretching them out!

handstand weight on wrists

After doing this for a month......I remember asking, "Whatever happened to that wrist pain stuff I used to have??"

It had simply gone away! 8+ years later, it's still gone.

Despite using multiple devices all day long in weird positions, I've never had any returning symptoms of carpal tunnel till this day, and I accredit that dramatic shift to occasionally busting out a handstand a few times a week!

 

If you're interested, here's how I personally learned to do a handstand:

stickman handstand

 

After doing this routine each morning and each night, I was able to hold my entire weight for about a minute within 1 or 2 weeks with no pain. It was around this time any signs of carpal tunnel had gone away.

Hopefully this helps someone else out there....I will then challenge you to a handstand-off :-)

neville-signature-sincerely-pen.png

 

P.S. Original handstand posts on my personal blog:

 

P.P.S. If you're a writer or computer monkey like many of us here, how have YOU managed to stave off carpal tunnel (or does it frequently bother you)?


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Wow thanks for this! I was literally thinking 5 minutes ago why I was getting this pain on my wrist! I’ll try the handstand for sure.

I also noticed that you copy pasted the entire blog post in the email, tell share more about this strategy!

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Guest Yair Katz

Posted

i solved it a different way.

i started using a wacom tablet and pen - since it forces you to move your hand around on a surface, you end up pushing the movement from your elbow and not your wrist.

Never had a pain since - more than 20 years later :)

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Guest Ian Connel

Posted

I take frequent breaks to walk. When I am foolish enough to give myself carpal tunnel, I use the "Handmaster Plus." Still, doing handstands as part of the routine would be better - it's preventative strengthening, and it gets bloodflow going through the wrists (which is basically what the Handmaster does, too).
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Guest Lauren G

Posted

This is great insight! I started about a month ago doing regular yoga every morning, to which I added a lengthy stretch of my forearms (using only half my weight’s-worth of pressure). I’ll give this handstand thing a shot, though- gotta have #goals. Thanks for the terrific pointers, Neville!
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Guest Mónica

Posted

Hi! very interesting, thanks! although my problem wasn't wrists, it was my shoulder due the mouse, I bought a vertical mouse and it was just magical. Awkward at the beginning to use, I can't live without it today!
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Avocados.

My uncle who is a painter (art and not houses) used to work in Alaska on tuna? salmon? boats for 3-month stretches to earn a bulk of cash (a bevvy of cash, a sum of cash, a murder of cash?) so he could devote the rest of his year being an artist.  He frequently had wrist pain from painting. But while on some Chicken of the Sea boat, that same pain was compounded with the repetitive motion of hauling in nets. Someone more sea-worthy and wrist-hardy told him to eat avocados for the pain. Something in the avocados did something in the weary wrists. It worked for him.

Flash-forward X years, when I was in my last semester of college, and working on my manuscript. Typing all the damn day. My wrists became suspiciously tender. Sore even. Mentioned this to my mom, who told me about Uncle Artist and his Avocados. I didn't look it up. I didn't mention this to my doctor. It was before the internets. I just tried it out, blind faith. The side-effects of too much guacamole was not established ( /s). And it worked.

To this day, many many years since, I still don't suffer from carpal tunnel. I refuse to look up what it is about the avocado that heals the pain or whatnot. Call it placebo, fine. But I'm still typing.

Gonna try the hand-stands, though, because it makes my mind do special things when I think it.

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I went to see a physiotherapist. Dipped my hand in some wax, took it out, covered it and let it warm my hand for about twenty minutes. Then I was taught some gradually strengthening hand exercises with springs and plasticine twice weekly until it got better. It took about 3 months. Still a bit stiff but I can bend my thumb now which I couldn't do earlier from using the computer mouse.

 

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Guest Robert Goluba

Posted

I'm writing a full-length novel so I get wrist, elbow and back pain if I sit and write too long. I'm learning to dictate into a speech to text app and while it takes time to get used to dictating vs typing, I'm writing faster and more frequently while sitting and typing less. My hope is to only use my computer and keyboard to edit in the future.
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Guest Priscilla Wood

Posted

"I also noticed that you copy pasted the entire blog post in the email"

I noticed this too, it was nice to be able to read it right there in the email and not having to click to finish reading in his blog, but here I am anyway lol

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What you are doing is (unconscious) yoga. If you do yoga everyday, many other issues will disappear from your body, mind, consciousness.
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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Hey Haya! Sometimes it's not 100% necessary to send people to the blog post (no video, no weird sortable tables), so I can include the whole thing in the email.

Since this post was pretty short, and it would only interest people who've experienced wrist pain who are at an age where a handstand is realistic, including the whole dang thing in the email was fine :)

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

I do this often actually, especially in the autoresponder. However sometimes I have A LLOOOTTT of text or tables in the post (like this blog post titles post), so those kinda of things naturally need to be pointed to the site.
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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Oh wow interesting!

I've been using tablets since roughly 2003, and I still developed a lot of wrist pain after. Interesting that it went away after using a tablet, how cool!

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Yes it does get the bloodflow going....especially the BRAIN!

One of the cool benefits of a handstand is the mild head rush...it really jumpstarts your system for creativity :)

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Very welcome Lauren....I bet with a month of practice you can get it :)
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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

A VERTICAL MOUSE?! I just Googled it, I've never even heard of these before.

This is super cool, I'll make sure to mention this to people Monica!

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

So THIS is why all the millennials  are supposedly eating all this avocado toast eh?? 😛

Cool that seems to work, even if it might be placebo (it's crazy how powerful placebo is).

Try out handstands if they're fun for you. Aside from being helpful for the wrists, it's just plain fun :)

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Yikes, that sounds intense! I also play guitar and piano, and take frequent breaks playing them if working from home.

I'm convinced this also is helped from the handstands, as long periods of piano tend to hurt the wrists also.

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Oh very cool Robert!

My suggestion would be a sitting/standing desk.

Sitting only = Bad. Sitting all the time is obviously bad.

Standing only = Not great. Everyone I know (including myself) that's done a standing only desk has gone back to sitting.

Sitting/Standing Combo = GREAT! I used to have this HumanScale Float Desk in my apartment a few years back and it was my favorite desk ever.

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Perhaps! I think the main thing I'm doing for my wrists is putting 180lbs of pressure on them which completely stretches out the tendons, muscles, and any hardening areas around.

But yes, a side benefit of the handstands is just plain fun :)

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Guest Jon Clemons

Posted

Weightlifting stopped mine. Only got it in high school when I was working as a softwdre engineer and Everquest guild master. As soon as I started weights and took a break dor two years it went away gradually.

Morale of the story is don’t be weak nerd I reckon.

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