Thursday, October 23, 2008

More Help for Your Wrists and Hands

I've already discussed the keyboards and other input devices I use to keep the wrists working after 8 hours of coding and 12 hours of gaming. (Hey, 4 hours of sleep is plenty!)

But that wear-and-tear still adds up and you need recuperation time for things to heal.
I noticed a few years ago that I tend to clench my left fist when I sleep, which really stops the tendons in that hand from recovering after a long week of keyboard activity.

The solution is to immobilize the wrist and prevent the fingers from curling up.
I tried sleeping with a wrist brace on, but that didn't solve the curled-fingers problem.

Eventually, I found the IMAK Pil-O-Splint Adjustable. It's basically just a padded rectangle with some plastic splints and velcro wrap. Thumb slots on both sides allow you to use it on either hand.
It does a good job of keeping the fingers flat and the wrist straight. It's also soft, comfortable and washable.

The only complaints I have about the product are that it can get warm in the summer, and that asymmetric wrap doesn't lie smoothly when wrapping very narrow or very wide hands.

IMAK came out with a "consumer" model (I didn't realize the Pil-O-Splint was supposed to be "medical grade") ealier this year called the SmartGlovePM.
It's less expensive, wraps straight across, and appears to have support for the thumb. This product (and the Pil-O-Splint Standard) aren't as adjustable and probably won't fit people with particularly narrow or wide hands or forearms.

I recommend this sort of night-time brace for anyone having wrist or tendon issues.

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