|Pain in the hand or forearm while gripping is really unbearably uncomfortable. Imagine if every time you gripped another person’s hand in a handshake you got pain up your arm. Increasingly you would chose to keep your hand out of sight in a pocket, instead just nodding a hello.|
Or perhaps you notice that the pain comes on when playing sport, gripping a hurl, tennis/ badminton/ squash racquet, or even worse, a golf club? Essentially any racquet or stick based sport, instead of being a source of great pleasure and leisure, becomes a test of will and your ability to withstand pain? Aagh!
Maybe it is while writing that you get hand or forearm pain, or in today’s world, writing, keyboarding and mousing each begun to hurt you. Or else the pain is associated with driving, gripping the steering wheel.
When really acute, the back of the hand or around the elbow becomes so sensitised to pain that they even hurt in bed…
These symptoms variously describe ‘Tennis Elbow’ or ‘Golfer’s Elbow’ or ‘Work Related Upper Limb Disorder’ (previously known as RSI, ‘Repetitive Strain Injury’).
So how can you begin to manage this condition yourself? Well, the first thing, as with a mechanical fault in any piece of machinery (in this case the human body), is to begin to treat the onset of pain as an exercise in forensic detection.
When you become aware of pain, think back over the previous few hours. Mentally go back through your activities in detail. With patience you will start to identify the first moment, the exact task you were involved in when pain broke through your consciousness. This is a vital clue! Essentially once you are aware of a problem task you can monitor this to see if you get the same pain every time you do it or whether different conditions affect the symptoms differently. You should be able to identify whether it is gripping something or prolonged use or touching the sore part off a piece of furniture, etc, that sets off the symptoms. Once you know this, you can make decisions as to whether to engage in or continue this activity.