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Re: [AT-L] Re: [AT-L] Re:Walking Sticks vs Ski Poles
> What about people like me who sit at a computer all day and get
> sore wrists.
> Would the poles contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome?
I'm one of those people (most days anyway). We're going to separate Repetitive
Strain Injury from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, though the two are related.
First, fill in the disclaimer of your choice...
Any motion completed in repetitious fashion will lead to some form of RSI. I
don't believe that adjustable hiking staffs will create this sort of injury
easily -- variation in terrain, length of swing, varying height of staff and
the use of fairly large muscle groups means that motion isn't repetitive
enough with small muscle groups to easily cause this sort of injury.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a specific form of RSI, would be harder still. If you
have very weak wrists (I don't, quite the opposite) you might be more prone to
this sort of injury from hiking with a pole, because you do use the ligaments
that run through the carpal tunnel. But the rate of relaxation to tension and
the lack of need for extremely fine adjustment (I rarely found a need to point
a pole in more than the most general way) leads to believe that this would not
be an issue.
If you already have carpal tunnel swelling, or other problems with the major
nerves that run up to the elbow, I would certainly be careful and check with
your doctor or a specialist in sports medicine before trying these things out
on a long hike.
I would also be careful about ensuring that any wrist strap is loose. Loose
enough that no additional tension besides your grip (which I found could be
very loose because the Leki SMs are very light) Hiking with mine, I didn't
even put my hands through the loops. I realize that they are there in part to
keep you from having to try and retrieve one, but I feel more comfortable
without them around my wrists and only put them on when there was a drop off.
The reason I mentioned blisters at all is because of one of the methods I
employed with the poles. Going down hill, I often put the palm of my hands on
top of the staff as I lowered myself down off a rock or off some roots. This
put the poles out in front of me somewhat and maximized my use of my upper
body, and minimized my need to grip the poles with an iron fist. It worked
great, except that I rubbed the right hand side of the pad of my thumb in
gripping the top of the pole (as if there were a knob there). In combination
with the rubber grips, and the somewhat soft skin there, a little wear on my
thumb occured. I never noticed a hot sopt and I didn't notice anything until
after I had taken a hot shower and noticed the top skin layer peeling. For me,
I didn't think about this technique before I performed it, it just seemed the
natural thing to do. I guess it could go either way, and I'm going to look
into the cork top version as a possible solution. I don't know whether it
will be better or worse. Probably more than you wanted to know.
Please check with a specialist if you have a problem. I can ( and do) type all
day without ever getting sore.
If your wrists are sore after a day of typing, my recommendation is to search
out a solution. Daily soreness usually leads to much larger problems. There
are alternative keyboards that improve the hand positions a great deal, and as
some of my clients have done, you can switch over to the Dvorak pattern which
really does make a lot more sense and improves the ease of typing. It takes a
few months to get back into form, but pays large dividends after that.
Since this is no longer related to the AT, if you want more info I can point
you to some sources on the web. Email me privately.
Daniel Berlinger Circumstance Technology
http://www.circumtech.com/ Virtuality Designer
Linkwright Data Poet Systems Anarchist Idiosyncrat
Interactivist Herder of Cats Zero Tolerance For Silence