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Shoulder pain from computer

Discussion in 'Pain and Inflammation' started by Cort, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Any ideas of how to treat shoulder pain from typing on the computer? It's gotten pretty bad over the past year.
  2. mezombie

    mezombie Senior Member

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    I'm having the same problem, Cort, especially in my right shoulder with pain radiating up my neck.

    Until we hear from others, I commisserate!

    Marie
  3. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Cort, Marie,

    I get some of this too.

    Ever since I started back online in the spring I have had problems with my shoulder, neck and arm, on the right side.

    I haven't gotten rid of mine yet though I will say it doesn't get as bad as it did, when I would spend too much time at the computer.

    Suggestions -- there's an ointment called Traumeel that has natural ingredients, is used by Olympic athetes ... costs about $20 for a good sized tube, at least here in Canada. I am sure it's also available in the states. I got one tube from my naturopath's office and got another one later from a grocery store. So, probably available in alot of drugstores as well.

    Otherwise, all I know to do is make yourself take breaks -- BEFORE it gets really sore :rolleyes: -- and maybe try to change positions typing from time to time.

    I usually am at a desk in my bedroom typing. When my shoulder,etc. would get sore, I would move to my bed, put my laptop on a couple of pillows (learned that from my daughter) as a sort of desk and that would give the sore muscles a break but I could still type. Mind you this won't work unless you have a laptop.

    But any kind of change in position could help, change the angle of your chair, shift your position in your chair ...

    That's it. I'm tapped out.:eek:
  4. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Oh, Marie,

    Pardon my manners.

    Welcome to the forums. :)
  5. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Laptop!

    I use a laptop (on a "lapdesk") while lying down with knees bent and upper body supported on pillows. Everything, including my head, neck, arms... is supported except my fingers.

    I have neck issues - sounds like you guys do, too - and even lying down my left arm can go numb after a time; sitting up it would do so in minutes and be very painful, to boot. Lying down, supported, no pain.

    A laptop makes a huge difference. If I had to sit up to compute... I wouldn't. Having a laptop is a total game changer for anyone with ME. It still makes me seasick to be on the computer but it's way better to be seasick lying down.

    We need to get you guys laptops and lapdesks!

    How do we do that? There must be a way.
  6. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    Ergonomics is key. Your keyboard should be down so that your shoulders, arms and wrists are very comfortable. The keyboard tray in my bedroom, which we attached to a library table, is about 23 inches off the ground. That's very low and comfortable. I just got a glass/steel desk from Ikea (I'm trying to get rid of wood items and go with items that can be easily wiped down re: mold issues), and we set the desk at about 29 inches and we're going to try and put a keyboard tray on that too.

    You want no tension in your upper body as you type. Experiment with the height that is good for you and then attach a keyboard tray to your desk.
  7. Tony

    Tony Still working on it all..

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    I'm with jenbooks and ergonomics. Poor posture, chairs with no support for the lower back and screens too low that 'force' us to slowly lean forward even if we don't know we're doing it.
    If you sit at a desk to type, get it as best positioned as possible.
    http://www.ergonomics.com.au/pages/400_useful_info/420_how_to_sit.htm

    Maybe some gentle shoulder stretching and rotation could help too. Sometimes hot wheat bags can help tension.
  8. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I got the Traumeel, Vicki suggested arnica cream and heat. I wants to put a plug-in for something called the "desk trainer"; it's an cheap online program that puts you through range of exercises that should help with this. It was working well for me but for some reason I've relapsed badly. maybe I've been pushing too hard.

    http://www.desk-trainer.com/about/anat_method_rsi.php

    Another thing is a voice recognition system. I have Dragon's naturally -it take some time to learn your voice but it works really well once it gets going. (Tip - speak in a low voice).
  9. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Forgot to suggest this earlier.

    I used to have very good success with chiropractic for rickety shoulders and arms.

    This goes back about 20 yrs and no doubt techniques have improved in that time, but when the shoulder was bad and too sore to touch, he would use an ultra-sound machine which did not actually touch the sore shoulder. But a couple of those treatments made it better to the point that he could do some manipulation of the joint and within a few more visits I would be back in business again.

    Worked every time. Would take a couple weeks to really do the job but it fixed me. :) Too bad he's since retired. I would still go to him.
  10. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    Tony,
    I'm with you guys on the ergonomics.
    I'm lucky enough to have all that at work, but I notice that most of my colleagues have their forearms higher than their keyboards. They all tend to drop their wrists & rest them on wrist pads as they type.
    I work the other way. I have my ergonomic office chair higher (& feet flat on the floor about 12" apart.
    I think I am the only one with arm rests. At the end of each sentence I drops my elbows & rest them on the armrests.
    Also my hands are lower than my elbows.
    The harder I try to type fast & get through lots of work or post to the forum, the more I have pain.
    If I stop, "melt" & start again (there's that "melt" idea again.....), I think I have trained my body to instantly relax.

    But I admit the last month or two, doing extra typing has left me with more upper back, neck & shoulder pain. Haven't had much upper spine pain for many years now, so obviously the extra typing is starting to take it's toll.

    But of course the best way to try to get rid of this pain is to rest (& don't type at all).

    I can often get rid of the pain with alternative remedies (but it always come back sooner or later).

    It never disappears entirely.

    Now......... none of you laugh.............. but............... I believe it might be my body telling me I shouldn't work at all - I should go on a permanent holiday! If only I was that wealthy that I could afford to give up work

    (Sigh)

    V
  11. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    Actually a dollop of arnica cream with a couple of drops of Lavender essential oil worked into the dollop in the palm of your hand.

    Then rub into painful part.

    The lavender oil seemed to make it work better.
    It's probably to do with the relaxing effect of the essential oil. De-stresses you.

    You only need a bit.

    V
  12. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    To All,

    when I'm flat on my back tomorrow afternoon, I'll try & picture all your faces (well, those that have their photos up), and mentally try & send you all a shoulder/neck massage.

    Anyone who feels the sensation of someone stroking their shoulders let me know next week.

    (no, I haven't been drinking at work - I will mentally send you all healing messages, no I mean healing massages).

    That will be in about 24 hours time.

    Jody is 13 hours behind me, don't know what the rest of you are. Tony is on my time, so we'll make it around 3.15pm Friday afternoon for you, Tony).

    Victoria
  13. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Let's see, that would be 1:15 a.m. for me and anyone else that's EST. Pretty sure I'm 14 hrs behind you Vicki.

    West Coast then would be 10:15p.m. Thursday night.

    I think. :rolleyes:

    That's all the CFS math I can do (and you better check my calculations.:)). The rest of you in other parts of the globe will have to count on your own fingers and toes.

    Okay! At 1:15 I will be waiting for my massage. Send it by remote, Vicki, you just found out this stuff can work even when it's long distance. :D
  14. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Not even a giggle. Promise. :)

    I think it would be wonderful if you could be a lady of leisure and not have to go in to your job 5 days a week.

    But get your internet hookup at home first. :D
  15. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Vicki,

    I suspect that, even though you are looking at having to be in the hospital, you had a good deal of fun writing this post. :D

    (Thought I'd better explain why you'll be flat on your back in the afternoon ... :))

    And thanks for the plug for people to get their photos up on here, I'm still waiting to see what most of them look like ...:rolleyes:

    If I feel someone stroking my shoulders and there's nobody there, I will be sure to let you know. If there is someone there, I may be too busy to let you know ...:D

    I'm interested in the healing messages as well as the massages, can I get both? :)
  16. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    I actually came on this thread with a serious suggestion, but I got sidetracked. :D

    Cort,

    Do you have swelling in your shoulder or down your arm at all? If so, then another ointment called Lymphagen (by Genestra) can get the edema moving again. It's also about $20 for a jar, lasts quite a while, and I've had good success with it, for the pain and swelling I sometimes get in my lower right arm, from elbow down.
  17. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    Jody,

    Back on deck (& why did you spoil my fun by telling everyone I was in hospital?)

    (I had a coronary angiogram for those of you who did not know I have been having heart problems).

    The procedure went very smoothly, but at 3.15pm I was literally clamped to the hospital bed in extreme pain. If I had attempted to send you healing messages/massages, you would only have received pain (if it really did work).

    When they took the tube out of the groin, they put a long clamp on my groin attached to the bed, to ensure the cut artery doesn't bleed out. And the back pain, because I had to lie flat for 4 hours was really bad (tears in the eyes stuff).

    I can't lie flat (with the lumbar scoliosis & 2008 back surgery), so this was like concentration camp torture for me. But am starting to come good now - still sore, but my application of arnica seems to have erased the small amount of bruising & most of the pain.

    I forgot to take some of my Bach Rescue Remedy before the angiogram, but did take it regularly every hour afterwards. Once they released the clamp, I recovered very, very quickly from the actual procedure & they let me go home early in a taxi. In fact, the 2 people in beds opposite commented on the fact that they let me go home very early.

    They were rather astounded at my quick recovery. But that night I was in bed by 5.30pm & asleep quickly. Later that night I woke in excruciating pain - FM reaction I suppose, so took my Bach Rescue Remedy all day Saturday. I really did think it made a big difference.

    Recovered from ankle surgery in 1998 the same way - they let me home early that afternoon, and dear 6'4" friend (well, a bit more than friend ) literally carried me up 3 flights of stairs to my flat (old flat was on third floor at that time).

    After my colonoscopy/gastroscopy the same thing happened in 2004. I was wide awake & itching to go home, when all other day procedure patients were snoring their heads off.

    Bach Rescue Remedy seems to make a difference every time.

    I do have amazing recovery from surgery MOST of the time, but I can end up with weeks of IBS & FM pain exacerbated by the trauma of a procedure.

    Procedures don't worry me at all. But the after effects can be bad for my FM. I think stress does play a major role in FM (as well as CFS).

    Typed up some notes on IBS to post to you all later.

    Victoria
  18. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Vicki,

    Sorry to ruin your fun. :rolleyes:

    You were going for a different impression of why you were going to be horizontal all that time, I take it?:D

    Sounds like you've come out of it in pretty good shape, all things considered. I am glad to hear it. :)

    And ... you have notes. ;)

    Why am I not surprised. :D
  19. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    Well, Jody (& anyone else reading this).

    I will let you into a little secret.
    After that 6'4" friend carried me up 3 flights of stairs in 1998, I really was flat on my back in bed (after the 8.30am ankle surgery). Am I the only person in the world who #%$@@! 7-8 hours after surgery?

    And how do you #$&%@*! with an ankle bound up tight & medical instructions to lie flat with your feet up & rest?

    (Goodness me, I hope no one who knows me reads this, they WILL be shocked)...

    V
  20. Lisa

    Lisa Senior Member

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    rofl - that's awesome! :D Loved that last bit there too that I quoted. :)

    And as for how... sounds like you had no trouble figuring that out! :p But as I have been laid up with ankle injuries for weeks before myself... you're not alone in that knowledge. :D

    I'm glad you're doing alright after your procedure Vicki and sounding pretty perky too! :D

    Hugs,

    Lisa :)

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