Occupational therapist /occupational hazard

I was lucky enough to get an appointment today with a professional and kind “arbetsterapeut” or occupational therapist.

I have developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome just a month before starting full-time knitting at HV Skola. Furthermore, I am a trained musician and have just started to make my way into the musical circles of Stockholm, as a clarinettist in various orchestras.

The occupational therapist, Carolina, made it clear: no knitting, no playing, no lifting and lots of rest. If I “cheat” I risk more damage, unable to do anything with my hands and I could face surgery.

I would like to share Carolina’s (pictured) advice:

1. Rest!

2. Avoid lifting any weighty objects – e.g. shopping bags that pull on the fingers.

3. If something hurts, stop immediately.

4. Avoid intense / repetitive hand activities – knitting / crochet / clarinet (in my case.)

5. Wear support straps at night while sleeping. If possible raise the hands up on an extra pillow or cushion.

6. Wear the supports during the day but when symptoms subside remove them and then do the exercises…

Exercises:

1. Hand above the head, clench a fist, relax and repeat. Elevated position helps to reduce swelling (both my arms, particularly the right one, are inflamed.)

2.Use table for support, bend wrist over the edge with palm inwards. Use other hand to press gently.

3. Arm straight, palm against the wall, wrist down, stretches along the whole arm.

4. Arm straight forward, turn wrist with palm facing, use thumb of other hand to press and support stretch.

You can read more on the condition here: http://www.m.webmd.com/pain-management/tc/carpal-tunnel-syndrome-topic-overview

I hope this helps and is useful to anyone suffering from Tunnel Carpal or repetitive strains.

I am trying to look on the positive sides and relieved to have caught this relatively early. Thankful to my occupational therapist for giving me the support I need – both literally with the wrist supports and moral support!

The other pictures show that I have a lot to be grateful for living Sweden. Not to mention living with my dearest (patient) Swede there is also great health care and it is the home of fika (coffee plus naughtiness) and plenty of scenic places to walk. I will have to go for less naughtiness and more walking to try to lose weight as part of the overall mission to feel better. Hoping for improvement so that I can get back to doing the things I love: knitting and music.

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3 responses to “Occupational therapist /occupational hazard

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