sophie wrote: But for sure do not go anywhere with the label of "Spine Center".
Geesh, I wish you had posted this before I made an appointment with the "Florida Spine Institute". With an MRI, two EMG's, and a session with an electrical stimulation machine called a BioWave they used up all the money for the year in our spending account on the diagnosis and now there's nothing left for any kind of treatment unless I pay for it myself.
Ultimately they decided that all I needed for now was physical therapy and after a few sessions I'm pretty well convinced that this is another medical scam. For the "manipulation" part I think you could just get a simple massage and it would be just as effective. And then there was the "exercise specialist" who taught me something called "myofascial release". It consists of pressing tennis balls against my pectoral muscles to release "trigger points" to help with my neck pain. Based on what I read online the science behind this is questionable but I'm still doing it even though I'm not sure it's doing me any good beyond a placebo effect.
One of the EMG's that cost over $500 apiece did reveal that I have something called "cubital tunnel syndrome" which I had never heard of but I wasn't surprised since my arm and elbow have been hurting like hell and I read a website where it was called "The Programmer's Nightmare". As for how to treat it, the physical therapist had never heard of it so I went on Youtube and found lots of suggestions for what to do and the exercises seem to be working.
I was almost disabled a number of years ago due to pain in my hands, diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome. I ended up having to use voice recognition software pretty much exclusively.
That isn't particularly good for programming, but it's better than being crippled. I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking, which is now up to version 15 I believe. They have recently changed their licensing model, so that you can install it on as many computers as you want with one license, so long as there is only one user. Which I think is good for an assistive technology that people who need REALLY need.
I am using it to dictate this response, as my hands are bothering me somewhat. Fortunately I no longer have to program all day, but finishing my book project was very hard on my hands until I wrote voice macros to do things like copying and pasting images.
I also use an ergonomic keyboard from the Kinesis Corporation, which allows the fingers to be in a more normal posture, with the middle finger slightly lower into the "bowl" where the keys are arranged.