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Thread: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and Quilting

  1. #26
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    Has it been confirmed that you have CP? I have arthritis of the thumb and recently had a steroid injection which worked wonders. Also wear a brace when I have any pain and do sleep with it at night. Good luck with this. Nothing worse than the pain when we want to do soooo much sewing!

  2. #27
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    I had the surgery years ago now best thing I did. I couldn't even hold a pen anymore it would fall out of my hand and I didn't even feel it go. CTS is a pinched nerve in the tunnel in the waist I did all the before treatments none worked. I know they make special cutters now and a friend of mine told me a great idea put one of those bath tub handles for getting out of the tub on your rulers it works great it eases the pain. I think they are around 14.99 the cutters are a little pricey, but if you want to keep quilting it's the way to go.

  3. #28
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    I had surgery for CTS five years ago. It worked for me! I found the brace worked a little but the surgery was a complete success.

  4. #29
    Senior Member waquilter's Avatar
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    The one think I did was learn to use the computer mouse left handed saving my right hand for quilting. Until I retired I was at the computer 8 to 10 hours a day and it took only a short time to learn to use my left hand to mouse. I also invested in a high quality track ball mouse, the kind used by CAD drafters and learned to use it left handed. Now that I'm retired I still mouse left handed to save my right for sewing. Didn't cure anything but has prolonged the need for CTS surgery.

  5. #30
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    I found sleeping with a wrist splint or bowling glove, kept me from folding my hands under while I was sleeping. It gave me good relief.
    Me too - I practically bend myself into a fetal pretzle.

  6. #31
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    I had CT surgery 12 years ago in my right wrist, and was told that my left would need it eventually - not so far! I wore a splint for the nine months I had to wait to see a specialist, (this was in the UK) and the first couple of months after was a little sore, but not as much as before the surgery.
    I avoided too much handwork until after the two month period, then gradually started again. Within six months, it was as if I had not had a problem at all, and I haven't looked back.

  7. #32
    Super Member blahel's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that you are having pain when quilting..you may wish to take a look at this web site www.thimblelady.com as she has developed a way of quilting which she says is without pain. I purchased her book recently called Perfect Hand Quilting without pain by Liuxin Newman (the thimblelady) at a recent quilt and craft show and she also has another book on applique..
    She is a very talented lady and has won awards for her handquilting and she also teaches but i have not been fortunate enough to be able to attend one of her courses. Having said that the book is very detailed and goes through everything step by step. From memory she can do 14 stitches to the inch and her stitches are perfect. She has a range of products from her own needles to thimbles. There are also videos on her website to watch.
    The book comes with a CD and she has also been on Simply Quilts.
    Hope this information helps you.
    Oops nearly forgot she also has a new product out which all those people who are trying to find to mark their fabric with would probably like. It is like a pencil but with a needle in it and you run it along the ruler where you want the fold to be and like magic it holds the fold. It would be great for applique etc and i think there is a video on her site about it too. I bought one of them too!! I had a good day that day!!

  8. #33
    Junior Member roseville rose's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your help--this forum is awesome and I appreciate all the support. It is depressing not to be able to do something you love! I don't hand quilt. I am having trouble gripping anything in my right hand due to the ends of my fingers being numb. I have seen an orthopedic hand surgeon but do not want to have surgery at this point. I am trying the splints at night and giving the hands some rest--hopefullly it will get better. Thanks everyone!!

  9. #34
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    I used to have problems with hand sewing or sewing tops all day as well as when I do a lot on the computer. I started wearing a brace at night while sleeping. I have a lot less problems.

  10. #35
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    If you ask the doctor you are seeing he should tell you once the damage is done to your hand none of the thing you are trying will really help. They are just away to please you I did all of them even had shots of corizone in my waist. The needle they used was so long they wouldn't let me see it before they did it. Plus the surgery isn't bad they don't even make you stay in the hospital anymore like when I had it done years ago. You should really think about having it done.

  11. #36
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    Rose,
    I too have carpal tunnel and have not been able to quilt for quite a while. I have not heard of anything short of surgery. So I am to have the surgery. After it is done I have a joint - baseof the thumb near the wrist - that is being replaced. I am looking forward to getting these things done and getting back to quilting.

    Colleen

  12. #37
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    I had it about ten years back. And had surgery. And now it's fine.
    There is a lot of confusion out there about CTS and RSI. Only by rigorous testing can a doctor tell you the difference.
    And whilst some supports which help both to a certain extent, supports will not cure CTS but might rest your hands for long enough to cure RSI.
    A simple but not definitive way to tell if it is CTS is to gently rub the pads on the tips of your fingers against the edge of your teeth. If you can feel more through the little fingers than the other ones then it probably is CTS as the nerves caught in the tunnel from the fingers to the brain do not include the little finger. The definitive way is for your doctor to measure the current going through each finger.
    HTH

  13. #38
    Super Member cyniree's Avatar
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    I have CTS and tendinitis in both wrists, and I was told by a massage therapist that they can do wrist massages and exercises so I didn't have to have surgery. And then I talked with another friend, and she said not to have the surgery done,that it can be treated with massage therapy.
    Cyniree

  14. #39
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    oh i'm going through the same thing right now myself. I'm in such pain I don't know if I can do any cutting today like I had planned. I've got my brace on and a lot of Ibrupren in me, hoping to get some relief. I too am trying anything and everything as I don't want to have surgery.
    good luck

  15. #40
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    I do...I have had it for years...when I got pregnant it only made it worse...I use my hands every day...I have to just keep them moving and loose..hang massages, some times wrist wraps...I found if i go even a day without giving my hands and wrists exersice I can't use my hands for anything...the more I use them, and strengthen them the better they feel...not sure if this helps or not.

  16. #41
    Super Member Lucky Patsy's's Avatar
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    Many thanks for the hand exercises, Cathy! I do not have CTS but have quite a bit of pain in my thumbs from hand needlework and using the mouse on the computer, I suppose. It is amazing how much better they feel after doing the exercises! Now, to learn to use this mouse with my left hand!

  17. #42
    Junior Member roseville rose's Avatar
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    That is what \they have suggested for me but I am looking for other alternatives.

  18. #43
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sallybramald
    I had it about ten years back. And had surgery. And now it's fine.
    There is a lot of confusion out there about CTS and RSI. Only by rigorous testing can a doctor tell you the difference.
    And whilst some supports which help both to a certain extent, supports will not cure CTS but might rest your hands for long enough to cure RSI.
    A simple but not definitive way to tell if it is CTS is to gently rub the pads on the tips of your fingers against the edge of your teeth. If you can feel more through the little fingers than the other ones then it probably is CTS as the nerves caught in the tunnel from the fingers to the brain do not include the little finger. The definitive way is for your doctor to measure the current going through each finger.
    HTH
    can you tell me, what RSI is?
    I tried the finger test you mentioned and didn't feel a difference, but definitely have something going on.

  19. #44
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I Googled RSI and came up with Repetitive Stress Injury. Maybe that's why I was able to get rid of my diagnosed "severe carpal tunnel syndrome" with splints, drastically reducing the repetitive stress (in my case, typing), and citrus bioflavanoid supplements.

    I went to the doctor soon after my fingertips started tingling and going numb. I think I had occasional pain in my wrists also but it's been so long I don't remember anymore. Also can't remember the name of the test they gave me. Basically they measured an electrical current running through my arm to each finger (both arms). Based on the results of that test, I was diagnosed with severe carpal tunnel in my right hand and moderate carpal tunnel in my left. The hand specialist I was sent to said I would need surgery. When I said I wanted to try natural remedies first, he said categorically that I would be back for the surgery.

    Some of us don't give up easily! I bought splints from Walmart because the ones the doctor's office had given me didn't seem to be very good. Instead of just wearing them at night and while typing, I wore them all night and all day -- took them off only for tasks I couldn't do with them on (such as showering!). I had my husband change my un-ergonomic computer setup and cut my computer typing to less than half what I'd been doing. I Googled CTS and incorporated some exercises and citrus bioflavanoids into my daily routine. As I recall, it took a good six months to be sure I had seen significant improvement, and a full year before all the tingling was gone and I was confident I could go without splints all day long. Eventually I stopped wearing the splints at night also, although I put them back on at night if I suspected even a glimmer of wrist pain or finger numbness.

    Aside from all this, I think a huge key to my success in eliminating CTS (or RSI) was that I took action right away. I'm pretty sure if I had waited a year before changing my habits the inflammation would have resulted in permanent changes in the carpal tunnel requiring surgery. Based on what I read online, my problem was inflammation of the carpal tunnel. My aim was to get rid of that inflammation before permanent damage was done, and I think I succeeded in that.

    For me, it was worth wearing the splints all day and all night to avoid surgery.

  20. #45
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    That's some good info, Prism. I have been cutting typing time. I tried wearing a brace...hubbies. It seemed to feel better, but then after using it for two days, I felt better after taking it off.
    I think I need one that fits me. I have small arm circumference. I am definitely talk to my doctor about this. I'm thinking mine is the RSI thing, bc typing, cutting with scissors etc. aggravate it, but some other things, don't seem to.
    Heard that there are special things you can buy for mouse and pc, to help guard against CTS. I am also going to look into that.

  21. #46
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    here are some different aids for the computer mouse and keyboard. Walmart, office supply stores, electronic stores usually carry these items...prices do vary....

    http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...adsWristrests/

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