Hey, so I haven't really been on here for a while (seriously, three months?!) and I thought I'd make a journal about my favorite topic: tendonitis.
Wow, so exciting.
Okay, okay, just hear me out. As many people know, I have a degree in a vaguely computer-related field (Math) and I work as a programmer. Most people when they hear this will say something along the lines of, "Wow! That's amazing! You're never going to unemployed!!!11" Which is, by and large, true. But computing jobs are becoming harder to get (I applied to about 60+) and there's a serious downside to them which no one wants to talk about - wrist injuries. Typing 40+ hours a week puts a lot of strain on the tendons in your wrists and even with a good keyboard and proper hand position, it's likely that you'll suffer from some wrist pain.
In my case, it was a rather sudden onset; my wrists had been a bit stiff, though not painful for a couple weeks prior (and really, that's to be expected). By the end of work week, I'd developed a fairly significant tremor, but it seemed to mostly disappear over the weekend. I went in on Monday and within a few hours my entire forearms felt like they were burning. I couldn't hold anything weighing more than a couple ounces. I couldn't draw at all. Luckily my boss was super nice about it and I was able to take a break from intense coding, but it was about a month before the burning stopped. Almost a year later, my wrists are basically pain-free, though they're still a bit stiff and I've developed a ganglion cyst in the right one.
Anyway, what's the point of this? Well, firstly, don't pick a job just because it sounds like a "good idea" or your parents want you to - make sure you actually like it. If you love what you do, any pain you suffer will be made worth it. Secondly, take care of your wrists. Some things I've found that work are:
- Brand-name ibuprofen. (i.e., Advil or Motrin)
- Keeping your wrists warm
- Exercising - a lot
The first point might seem like overkill, but if the generics don't seem to be doing anything, you might as well give it a shot. I went from taking three generic ibuprofen and feeling awful, to taking a single Advil and being completely pain-free all day. Just saying.
The second is just something I discovered along the way; I'd always thought that you should ice your wrists to reduce inflammation, but (for me personally) if I keep them warm while coding, I don't have as much swelling in the first place.
Thirdly, exercising reduces inflammation a ton. I took up running regularly because it's easy and convenient (also I can't do weights or rock climbing or things like that because of the afore-mentioned wrists). Just keep in mind that you may have to continually increase the amount that you're doing. I started out running a mile or two to having to do seven or eight to get the same effect. Which isn't bad, necessarily, but it does take a lot more time.
Anways, have fun and stay safe, no matter your occupation!