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Carpal Tunnel Symptoms After Carying a U/W Camera


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#1 divedoc

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 08:16 PM

I have developed transient and fairly classic symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome during my last several trips. These symptoms take weeks to resolve. This was particularly severe after doing 30 dives in 6 days on the N Sulawesi Aggressor back in November. It took until February for my symptoms to resolve completely. My symptoms involved the median nerve which is locted in the wrist and supplies sensation to the thumb, middle, and index finger, The principle symptom was severe burning of thr hsnd and decreased sensation in affected fingers.

I attribute this injuty to my heavy u/w photo rig as I was carrying which included a heavy ikelite 40dh housing and 2 heavy zIkelite ds125 strobes mounted with ULCS arms. Moving this sbove water is tough but this setup is also heavy under water. This is a fairly heavy rig that has high drag underwater. Manipulating the rig underwater often requires considersble wrist flexion that I believe is directly compressing and injures the median nerve.

On the liveaboard boat I was last on, one other passenger had the same symptoms from his heavy video setup.

Has anyone else experienced this? Its not reported in the medical literature that I m able to find.


Thanks,

#2 cor

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 12:04 AM

Ive had the same problems, they mostly disappeared after I made my housing more buoyant.
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#3 Gudge

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 02:17 AM

Ive had the same problems, they mostly disappeared after I made my housing more buoyant.

Same with me.
Canon 7D, Nauticam NA-7D housing, 2 x Inon Z240, 1 x Inon S2000, Tokina 10-17 & 12-24, Sigma 17-70 Macro, Tokina 35 macro, Canon 60 & 100 macro, Tamron 2X & Kenko 1.X Teleconverters.

#4 Halabriel

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 02:47 AM

Has anyone else experienced this? Its not reported in the medical literature that I m able to find.


Hi

Methinks that somebody is using innocent Wetpixies for data collection on a forthcoming scientific paper. Would this get through the ethics committee? :bananashark:

Cheers

Hal

Edited by Halabriel, 21 August 2008 - 02:48 AM.

Canon Ixus 950is in WPDC-15 housing with Inon accessorization (D2000s strobe, UWL105 and UCL165 lenses).

#5 rtrski

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 05:27 AM

As long as I'm not in the placebo group and get the GOOD drugs, I'm okey-dokey with it. :bananashark:

Yes, I've noticed wrist strain (I wouldn't call mine 'carpal' symptoms, just muscle fatigue and pain...not sure I'd be able to tell since my pinkies are sort of semi-numb half the time since I sit at a computer all day for work) with a heavy rig. Now that my new rig is nearly neutral I make it a point to keep it tethered to my BCD (removes the psychological need to "clutch" the handle all the time in fear of losing it) and tend to just loosely cradle it in both hands when swimming, sort of 'pushing' it ahead of me often with just fingertips.

I do find the most awkward thing about it is having to clutch it against me to simultaneously turn the little knob that engages the button to switch the dial function, while also trying to turn the dial (e.g. to alter exposure compensation vs. aperture in A mode). That usually makes my fingers/wrist twinge a bit. Fortunately I don't have to do that often, usually not more than once or twice a dive.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#6 MikeO

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 06:04 AM

Ditto on the housing buoyancy. In addition to carpal tunnel symptoms, I was diagnosed with a deep volar ganglion attributed mostly to computing, work-related factors, etc. I was scheduled to go on a three week U/W photo trip and was worried because my old photo rig was negative AND was front-heavy when configured for macro AND having to hold a handle and operate a lever on the housing to operate the shutter wasn't as ergonomically correct as it could be. I now have a Seatool housing with floats on the arms. Benefits to my wrists include:

1. With the floats, the housing is neutral for wide angle, only slightly negative for macro.
2. Housing is small enough and the controls are placed well enough that I use the handles to "carry the housing" but when I shoot pictures, I grip the housing itself, much like I grip just the camera and can operate the controls w/o straining, reaching, or moving my hands.
3. I have a rotating 45-degree viewfinder so taking verticals is much more comfortable.

Seach wetpixel forums for information about float arms and ways to add floats to macro ports to reduce "front-heaviness". Lots of discussion in the past on this.

Mike

PS My wrist felt better after I got back than before I left . . .

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#7 divedoc

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 10:15 AM

I figured this wasnt just me having this issue.

I promise that I am not fishing for data to publish something. Although this is an interesting observation, the institutional review board where I work would never allow me to do research this way! My interest arises out of the fact that I have really suffered during my last few dive trips and was wondering if anyone else had this problem. It was so bad last time that I went to see a hand surgeon. He did not think carpal tunnel surgery would work as he basically felt that I had just beaten the nerve in my wrist to death and it would get better (which it did). I appreciate the replies and what has worked for other people.

Thanks!

#8 davehicks

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 11:04 AM

I figured this wasnt just me having this issue.

I promise that I am not fishing for data to publish something. Although this is an interesting observation, the institutional review board where I work would never allow me to do research this way! My interest arises out of the fact that I have really suffered during my last few dive trips and was wondering if anyone else had this problem. It was so bad last time that I went to see a hand surgeon. He did not think carpal tunnel surgery would work as he basically felt that I had just beaten the nerve in my wrist to death and it would get better (which it did). I appreciate the replies and what has worked for other people.

Thanks!

I tend to get a bit of Camera-Shoulder & Camera-Elbow pain after multi-day trips. I added strobe arm floats which helps alot when combined with Ibuprofen.

I have a similar Ikelite setup with a D300 and the floats helped a LOT. I may add a couple more soon. Another thing I do is use a longer flat port when I shoot my 60mm lens. The 105 port is longer (more air space) and works with no problems on the 60mm lens. One less port to carry and it makes the rig more bouyant UW.

Dave

Edited by davehicks, 21 August 2008 - 08:54 PM.


#9 BrianM

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 11:51 AM

I have developed transient and fairly classic symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome during my last several trips. These symptoms take weeks to resolve. This was particularly severe after doing 30 dives in 6 days on the N Sulawesi Aggressor back in November. It took until February for my symptoms to resolve completely. My symptoms involved the median nerve which is locted in the wrist and supplies sensation to the thumb, middle, and index finger, The principle symptom was severe burning of thr hsnd and decreased sensation in affected fingers.

I attribute this injuty to my heavy u/w photo rig as I was carrying which included a heavy ikelite 40dh housing and 2 heavy zIkelite ds125 strobes mounted with ULCS arms. Moving this sbove water is tough but this setup is also heavy under water. This is a fairly heavy rig that has high drag underwater. Manipulating the rig underwater often requires considersble wrist flexion that I believe is directly compressing and injures the median nerve.

On the liveaboard boat I was last on, one other passenger had the same symptoms from his heavy video setup.

Has anyone else experienced this? Its not reported in the medical literature that I m able to find.


Thanks,


Me too. Mine was diagnosed as tendinitis. I got it in both wrists and thumbs and it took ages to go away. I first noticed it on a 2 month trip round Western Australia. The doctor reckoned it was caused by tightly gripping my Ikelite setup when diving followed by long stints of driving and gripping the wheel waiting for a roo to leap out on me.
I still get twinges when driving long distances, but I know enough now to rest when I get the first signs. So it was this that made me downsize to a compact system and go for minimum weight. My old setup weighed 3lbs in the water and with hindsight, I should have got some flotation to make it neutral as I feel this contributed to the grip problem.
Brian

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#10 Scuba_SI

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 04:03 PM

So this is what i have to look-forward to when i get old? :lol: :bananashark:

I hope you all get better soon!

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#11 davephdv

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 08:11 PM

I had a wrist operated on for carpal tunnel. Though it was thought it was more perhaps "carpal tendinitis". It was worked related. I never noticed it being aggravated by my housing. To the contrary a two week dive trip usually helps my wrists.

I did add buoyancy to my arms though. It has been my observation that patients often make changes that help them without realizing that they are doing so.
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#12 davehicks

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 08:59 PM

I had a wrist operated on for carpal tunnel. Though it was thought it was more perhaps "carpal tendinitis". It was worked related. I never noticed it being aggravated by my housing. To the contrary a two week dive trip usually helps my wrists.


Speaking of work related causes, I stopped using computer Mice altogether about 10 years ago. I only use a trackball or notebook touchpad any more. If I hold a mouse for 10 minutes my wrist starts to ache. I strongly recommend a Trackball to all my friends that start to complain about wrist pain.

UW Photography never bothers my wrists at all, just the shoulder or elbow for me.

Dave