After I was somewhat confirmed to have wrist tendinitis, my primary care doctor simply told me to avoid doing the things that may have caused it. And he gave me a bottle of anti-inflammatory pills.
The idea was that I avoid playing guitar, typing on a keyboard, working out, etc. I managed to avoid playing guitar for a long time. Every now and then, I’d pick it up and see if the pain would resurface. It wasn’t consistent, but I definitely felt my wrist becoming irritated after most small, repetitive movements. Unfortunately, I still had to write papers, complete online assignments, etc. I would apply ice to my wrist throughout the day. Tried to rest as much as I could. Did lots of stretches. I wore a splint throughout the day and while asleep – There’s always the possibility that one could be sleeping in a position that stresses certain parts of the body.
I did my best to relax and stay level headed during this time of compromise. I did as many of my favorite wrist-free activities as I could. Trail running, freestyle rap, singing, drawing, and handwriting (right hand activities). My hope was that it would clear up after being relieved from the suspected activities, but it appeared to become even more sensitive, more fragile. Looking back, I see now that I was developing a cautious mentality to everything my hands made contact with. It didn’t really matter what it was. I’m sure this cautiousness manifested in micro stresses that actually made my wrists worse off than they were. Notice I now use the plural. Both my left and my right wrists were now experiencing pain and irritation.
So I dropped the “avoid at all costs” approach I had been prescribed. It wasn’t doing shit. I began seeking out alternative methods of healing. Here are a few:
Diet: Started eating animal products again, and taking b12 and magnesium.)
Traditional Chinese herbal medicine: A bunch of crazy herbs boiled in water and applied to the area. Had this done during my trip to China. Miranda’s parents’ treat.
occupational therepy: This is the first thing that yielded results for me. I was amazed. I was also pissed that I hadn’t done it sooner. Fun fact: They told me I should play guitar. It was important because my muscle tissue was being broken down and built back up according to what activities followed.
Dry needle therapy: Had this done at the same place I had the OT. IU Sports and Rehab Clinic.
Accupuncture: Done by Ying Jia in Bloomington, IN. I think this helped but it was a bit hard to tell since I was also taking other kinds of treatment at the time.
Having emerged from this winding path of recovery, I’m happy to now that I am now pain free. But this does not mean I’ve gone back to how my life was before. I made a number of small shifts in various aspects of my life. Shifts in my daily routine: What I do and how I do it. My routine before and after playing an instrument, doing computer work, working out – AND what I do during those activities to avoid unnecessary repetitive tension. I have accumulated a large inventory of curated stretches, exercises, tools, and techniques for relieving tension and maintaining good wrist health – not to mention other vulnerable parts of my body! The ones that suffer under sedentary, repetitive work.
A few resources that helped point me in the right direction.