When I started my therapy consulting business, I wrote all my reports by hand. This put a lot of stress on my hands and actually led to tendonitis in my wrist. I felt excruciating pain at the base of my thumb and all over my forearm to my elbow. My doctor told me to stop working on the computer and let it rest. He also said that he might need surgery to heal it properly. There was no way he was going to undergo surgery. And in no way could I stop writing for long; after all this my livelihood was at stake.

My pain not only interfered with my work, but also caused me to stop lifting weights and doing yoga poses that forced me to bear weight on my hands. I just couldn’t accept all this disruption in my work and exercise life, so I set out to do something about it, without surgery!

First, I actually relaxed by writing and exercising to rest my hand (this helped my back too, but that’s another story). As any good therapist would do when the pain started, I applied ice to my wrist for about 5-10 minutes. twice daily. A little trick is to take a piece of ice and rub it hard on the painful area; I learned this advice from a fellow therapist friend. It really does get ice on tissues much more effectively than just using an ice pack. I also took an anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and swelling.

Second, I did a little research and came up with some hand and wrist exercises to gently stretch painful areas. This eased my pain a bit and steered me further toward recovery.

I found a simple, flexible resting splint that I could wear at night and I was able to wear it when writing too. This allowed me to work.

The next area to address was my exercise program. At first she couldn’t bear any weight on her wrist without feeling a lot of pain. I adapted the yoga poses where I could and this helped. Then I found some padded protective training gloves that I still use not only for yoga poses like Down Dog, but also for holding weights during weight training. These strategies helped me get back to exercise without pain and without further damage to my wrists.

With these simple strategies, my hands have steadily healed, allowing me to resume my work and exercise activities, all without surgery.

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