Sitting On A Yoga Ball ?

kgdrum

Greetings to All
That is about all you can do. Once the Ulnar nerve has been injured it tends to get irritated very quickly. I was thinking about getting a brace, but I can't find one that doesn't look like it will bother me more than it helps. It is worse when I sleep because I can't really control my position. Otherwise, I just try not to put any pressure on it.

So has it is ever gone away for you and if so how long did it take and how long did the disappearance last? It reoccurs whenever you inadvertently lean on you elbow?
It’s so damn annoying!
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
@dzlizzi
I’ve been dealing with numbness in the left side of my left hand(pinky and 4th finger)
I have a question for you: how did you get it to go away???? and how long did it take to go away?
I’ve had this for almost 4 months.I went to a neurologist 4 or 5 weeks ago and she suggested the same(don’t lean on the elbow) & also recommended not to go w/a surgical approach (ulnar nerve is too tricky).
I’ve been diligent about not leaning on the elbow but it’s still there and so damn annoying! Is that all you had to do?

Thanks

I'm not a doctor, this is not medical advice... but... I recommend taking a vitamin D supplement (get your levels checked before and after if it makes you feel better, but almost everyone with a "modern lifestyle" is defficiant in vitamin D). Iirc it has some proven benefits for improving symptoms such as yours. I could swear I have less arm/hand pain since I'm taking it (been taking it for years, 2000 units daily at the moment).
Try stretching the muscles and fascia tissue that is close to that nerve, the goal is to make the surrounding tissue put less pressure on the nerve if at all possible. Stretch till you feel a slight pain (if you can't smile anymore while doing it, it's too much), hold for two to three minutes in that position, then very slowly release the tension. I've heard a story of a painter that had to stop painting because holding his arm up pinched that nerve from the muscle tensions. That story is what put me on the right track fixing my own armrest issue when I had it.
Have you ruled out the cause being anything with your spine? I have spinal disc protrusions that cause pain in my fingers when I sit or lie with the neck tilted down too much. Can be anything from a mild burn to a sudden feeling of getting a needle jabbed into the finger.


So has it is ever gone away for you and if so how long did it take and how long did the disappearance last? It reoccurs whenever you inadvertently lean on you elbow?
It’s so damn annoying!
I really don't want to prime you for a nocebo effect ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocebo ) but nerve injuries don't always heal back fully. I once sat with crossed legs too long and ignored that my leg fell asleep. The next day I couldn't pull my foot upwards fully anymore. It felt numb and was trembling. I went to the doctor immediately and he said it's a pressure injury to the peroneal nerve ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peroneal_nerve_paralysis ) and if I'm lucky it goes away fully. And I'd say it went away to about 98%, but lifting that foot still feels slightly different than on the other leg and I could swear I'm tripping over things slightly more often.
A neurologist told me it's quite typical for people to get nerve damage from falling asleep drunk on park benches, sitting with one arm hanging over the back rest. I find it super scary that a couple hours of mild pressure can already cause permanent nerve damage. I don't think we're nearly enough educated on stuff like that since much of permanent damage can be prevented with seeking out treatment immediately or avoiding the injury in the first place with a little foresight, like I could easily have by sitting differently.

I really hope you still can get this fixed. Don't give up hope and keep trying things!
My physiotherapist recommended one thing to me that would be worth trying: stand in a T-pose, arms stretched out, palms pointing up, keep elbows fixed in that position, tilt head right, raise left hand till it points to your head, then flip everything over to the other side and repeat a couple of times as if you're slowly waving. The idea is that nerve tissue isn't fully "fixed" in the nerve canals and that kind of motion pattern might be able to do you some good. Your mileage may vary, wouldn't be surprised if it gets worse either, but since it's a very mild movement similar to just stretching, it's likely fine for you too. I didn't notice any benefit from it, but I don't have issues with that nerve at the moment either.

Good luck!
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
+1 on the get rid of the arms. After a few injuries, half of my hands go numb when I lean on my elbows.
1x10^-63

The idea isn't to lean on your elbows and give yourself nerve injuries, it's to put your forearms on them for support while you're typing/mousing! Otherwise you get problems from holding up your arms.

As I said, an alternative is pushing the keyboard forward on your desktop and resting your forearms on it.

But holding up your arms creates tension in your neck, shoulders, arms, and wrists. We're not all the same person, but I believe that's the cause of lots of repetitive stress injuries people complain about with mouses and so on. To me it only makes sense to have the whole chain relaxed.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
except at the end of that day I felt like I'd been kneeling for eight hours. My knees hurt - and that was in the '80s before I injured one of them playing tennis.
Well... you were kind of kneeling the whole day. I had put extra cushioning on the knee area and I always had a tendency to kneel even on normal chairs, so it didn't feel like a huge additional strain, but I definitely felt it too. Not quite sure whether that or the total lack of back support bothered me more in the end. Hm...

I always wanted to try one of these:

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I think "Dauphin Tec Profile" is its name. I briefly sat on one in a dental lab, really liked the shoulder freedom. I like that about my current one as well, the backrest is lower than my shoulder blades.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
The idea isn't to lean on your elbows and give yourself nerve injuries, it's to put your forearms on them for support while you're typing/mousing! Otherwise you get problems from holding up your arms.
That gentle resting of the forearms on the somewhat soft armrests is exactly what caused the nerve pain for me. The angle just wasn't right. Likely could have been mitigated with different rests, but I was too scared to try again and didn't feel a need to because:

As I said, an alternative is pushing the keyboard forward on your desktop and resting your wrists on the it.
I think that's the much better alternative.


But holding up your arms creates tension in your neck, shoulders, arms, and wrists. We're not all the same person, but to me that's the cause of lots of repetitive stress injuries people complain about with mouses and so on. To me it only makes sense to have the whole chain relaxed.
Personal needs and preferences are huge for this kind of stuff! For me it was a big deal to have the table even a couple centimeter too high. If everything is set up well, my arms hang pretty relaxed while typing.

I think what typical composers need - frequent access to both keyboard and midi keyboard - is basically impossible to get right anatomically. Not the least of which because those damn midi keyboards are too thick to get all the heights and leg position right. I feel like even a thick tabletop is getting in the way for me already. I opted to not have a proper midi keyboard. I have a keystation mini 32 and mostly enter notes with mouse and/or wacom tablet. But I'm just doing it as a hobby, so I don't have the same needs as most here. And midi editing by mouse also feels very unhealthy to me.
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator

MartinH.

Senior Member
Actually I have a different perspective. :)

These are the desks I make, a variation of the one someone else made that I've been working at all day long for a good 20 years:


Ah, I remember seeing that thread. Very nice work on your desks! I think that design makes a lot of sense if you need to have that full sized midi keyboard. But I think it still wouldn't work well for me. It's possible that you feel the need for armrests because the keyboard and mouse are a little higher on your desk and the rests alleviate the strain that otherwise would create for your shoulders and neck. I would also suspect that these desks work better if you're a bit taller than me (I'm about 175 cm).

I like to move my legs around under the table and still frequently sit with crossed legs, and I always feel like my table gets in the way and the area between the underside of my table and the wacom tablet that my keyboard sits on most of the time, is probably about half as thick as the corresponding area on your design. That would be a dealbreaker for me because if my table was lower I couldn't move the legs like I want anymore and if the keyboard was positioned higher I would get shoulder issues like I got when I sat on a too low chair recently.

I wonder... has anyone in this industry ever experimented with mounting a midi keyboard on a pair (left and right side) of Ergotron monitor arms? That would give you a bigger range of motion for moving it a round, at least in theory. Not sure though if that is at all helpful... I don't play that instrument so I wouldn't know.
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
So has it is ever gone away for you and if so how long did it take and how long did the disappearance last? It reoccurs whenever you inadvertently lean on you elbow?
It’s so damn annoying!
As long as I don't do anything to irritate it, it usually won't bother you. But I've had it for 20+ years and it just seems to get worse as I get older. I don't know if it will help you, but if I remember to take a B supplement with a lot of vitamin B-12, it helps a bit. More for my neck than my hand. Otherwise, I haven't found anything to help.
 

kgdrum

Greetings to All
I'm not a doctor, this is not medical advice... but... I recommend taking a vitamin D supplement (get your levels checked before and after if it makes you feel better, but almost everyone with a "modern lifestyle" is defficiant in vitamin D).

Good luck!

Thanks I’ll look into it but I already know the cause of this in my case.
The proper solution is what I’m hoping for
Again Thanks
 
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kgdrum

Greetings to All
As long as I don't do anything to irritate it, it usually won't bother you. But I've had it for 20+ years and it just seems to get worse as I get older. I don't know if it will help you, but if I remember to take a B supplement with a lot of vitamin B-12, it helps a bit. More for my neck than my hand. Otherwise, I haven't found anything to help.
Thanks for the info
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
Ah, I remember seeing that thread. Very nice work on your desks! I think that design makes a lot of sense if you need to have that full sized midi keyboard.
Thanks, but the number of octaves in your controller makes no difference to the concept. I've shipped three to composers who use 61-key keyboards that I can think of, possibly more.

You're still going between using a full desktop and playing on your keyboard all the time, and you want to stay the right distance from your monitor and speakers.

But I think it still wouldn't work well for me.
Could be, but there are now about 25 of them being used by composers every day, so it's not like an experiment. :)

It's possible that you feel the need for armrests because the keyboard and mouse are a little higher on your desk and the rests alleviate the strain that otherwise would create for your shoulders and neck. I would also suspect that these desks work better if you're a bit taller than me (I'm about 175 cm).
Not really! The point to the armrests - or to resting your forearms on the desktop - is what I wrote above: making it so you're not creating the leverage to type and mouse with your muscles, you're resting your arms. That's true of people with a computer on a desk too, not just musicians.

If anything, armrests are far *more* important if you have a keyboard tray under your desk than with this setup.

And the design has been proven to work for shorter people too - including a couple of women.


I like to move my legs around under the table and still frequently sit with crossed legs
Ah, then this is what you need.
 
I'd almost argue you get more valuable knowledge from buying half a dozen cheap but wildly different chairs than buying one fancy one and hoping for the best.
I think this is very much true for two reasons. The first one you told yourself: getting more knowledge what is good for you. The second reason is that having six chairs makes you able to change your sitting position every 30 or sixty minutes or so by changing chair which is a very good idea. But of course this is a little impractical 😆
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
I sat in the Aeron in a store before buying it.

That seems easier than buying six chairs!
I sat on my chair in the store too (at least 15+ minutes and trying out the various possible adjustments). I sat on at least a dozen different chairs in different stores that day, bought the one that I liked best, but after it was delivered and I sat and worked on it under the exact circumstances that I typically do (which is just different from testing a chair in a store) for a couple of weeks, I had to admit that my old much less advanced Ikea office chair seemed to work better for me in some ways. I learned from it not to buy a chair again with "adjustment options that aren't seamless and only lock into a limited set of preset positions". And also not one with a back rest that pushes too much against the shoulders. I just whish I had learned those lessons on a 100 Euro chair instead of a ~500 Euro one.
If there was a cost-efficient way to do it, I'd consider renting a number of chairs, for 1 month each and just properly try out the ones that I think might work.

There's one I'm still thinking about called "Hag Capisco" that has a very unusual shape, but it's 1000+ bucks for the model with the proper seat cushion and still ~400 ish for the mostly hard plastic one.



Thanks, but the number of octaves in your controller makes no difference to the concept. I've shipped three to composers who use 61-key keyboards that I can think of, possibly more.
That was a misunderstanding, with "full size" I mean the thickness/height of the keyboard, not how wide it is. I might not be describing things very well due to English not being my native language, sorry about that.

And the design has been proven to work for shorter people too - including a couple of women.
I'm glad to hear that! It's quite possible that my specific health conditions just make me sensitive to stuff that doesn't bother any regular user. I didn't want to criticize your desk design, hope that didn't come off the wrong way. I have genuinely not seen a composer desk design yet that I would think makes more sense than yours! I'm just not looking for a composer desk is all.
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
I didn't want to criticize your desk design
I'd have no problem if you did want to, and of course I know you're not looking for a composer desk.

with "full size" I mean the thickness/height of the keyboard
Almost every keyboard controller is under 6" thick (most of them well under that), and it works fine.

For the couple of outliers that are thicker, I'd just make the desktop slope down like a drafting table, and come up with a locking mechanism to stop it from sliding or find the right hardware. (My first thought is a dowel with a spring, but I'd have to think about that if it came up. So far it hasn't.)
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Important topic for us actually...

Regarding the yoga ball... or other backless solutions. These should not be considered your full time chair. They can be useful to use for part of the day as way to build up strength in your core, but if you try to use them or any backless chair, what will happen after an hour is you will start slumping more because you're tired of sitting straight up without the support of a back. I've had numerous physical therapists warn me about that. Not a bad idea to use for an hour a day to promote strengthening of posture and muscles...while you are being attentive to your posture. After that, use a chair with back support.

My thoughts. I have had Aerons as well as my current desk chair from Hermann Miller which is older and less technical then the Aeron but I actually find it more comfortable. The Aeron had a way of pressing too hard against my hamstring for some reason and causing sciatic issues. I literally gave my two Aeron chairs away when I moved. My current chair is an older Hermann miller chair called the Ergon that is actually very comfortable, has good lumbar support and much more comfortable cushions then the aeron... for me anyway. https://www.madisonseating.com/ergon-3-chair-by-herman-miller.html

But I know there are newer solutions now. Gamers have a lot to say about this also, there are some gaming chairs I have seen around which would be interesting to try, but its not inexpensive to try solutions.

I also feel its not good to have your chair in one position all the time. switch back and forth between locked upright and rocking back throughout the day. Get up from your chair at least once an hour, if not twice. Even better invest in a motorized desk that goes up and down so you can switch between sitting and standing throughout the day.

The thing is, staying in one position all day is bad. Slumping or slouching is bad. Standing all day is bad. Sitting on a yoga ball all day is bad. Keep it moving, find something comfortable. Promote lumbar support in the chair.
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
Aeron had a way of pressing too hard against my hamstring for some reason and causing sciatic issues
Sounds like it was too high and too big a size for you. Mine doesn't really contact my hamstrings.

But you're not the first person with that complaint, including my wife, who didn't like the Aeron at all. I love it.
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
backless solutions. These should not be considered your full time chair. They can be useful to use for part of the day as way to build up strength in your core, but if you try to use them or any backless chair, what will happen after an hour is you will start slumping more because you're tired of sitting straight up without the support of a back
Hm. That makes sense, but I can honestly say that the Swopper doesn't make me tired at all. (It has different issues for me, as I wrote above.)

My hunch is that one of a few tried and true chair models will work for everyone, in spite of the differences in our bodies.