Trading in one syndrome for another

About 1.5 years ago I started having problems with pain in the arch of my right foot. It got so bad that I went to a podiatrist who diagnosed me with Plantar Fasciitis (a swelling of the Plantar Fascia that runs along the bottom of the foot). He prescribed a pair of custom made orthotic inserts for my shoes which seemed to solve the problem.

Fast forward to 3 weeks ago…

I started feeling some weekness in my right hand and a little pain in my right wrist. I also noticed that it was getting noticably harder to “right click” the mouse with that hand as well. I’ve been a computer tech person for 9 years and I knew I was starting to see the first signs of Carpal Tunnel syndrome. After doing some research on preventative measures and ergonomic desk setups, I got a wrist splint, switched my mouse to work as a lefty mouse, and raised my chair so that my elbows were even with the top of the desk. I was also on spring break (I work for a school) so I had a week off from computer work and was able to rest up my wrist.

After a week of implementing those ergonomic changes, I start noticing my right foot arch is really starting to ache again. In fact it felt as if the arch in my insert was pressing unusually hard into the center of my foot arch. On a whim I replace the custom orthotic inserts the doctor gave me with the ones that came with the shoes, and the pain vanished!!! I’ve been orthotic free for the past 2 weeks now.

What I think happened was that for the past 9 years I had been setting my chair to a low position becuase I thought it felt more comfortable, but it was stressing my feet out to the point I needed the orthotics. Raising the chair up releived the stress on my feet and caused me to not need the adjustment the orthotics were made to correct for.

Still, it’s a bummer that I basically traded one syndrome in for another. I hope I don’t have to eventually go in for surgery on the Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Maybe a month or 2 of lefty mouse will help.