All of you unlicensed doctors...carpel tunnell syndrome?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I have something seriously wrong with my left wrist. I have thought I had carpel tunnell for years as it kicks up when I do things like crocheting, weeding the garden, typing too much, etc. although it has never been formally diagnosed.
    Yesterday my left wrist started bothering me and today I can barely move my hand. It hurts to wiggle my fingers or turn my wrist from side to side. I haen't fallen or twisted it lately so that's not it. I have been painting my house and I did use my left hand to hang on as I climbed up and down the ladder about a million times yesterday, plus, I paint with both hands and when I'm not painting with that hand I'm using it to hang on to the paint can. The pain is mostly on the outside of my wrist and sometimes radiates up my arm. There is one spot the feels like it is hot inside. Does that sound like ordinary symptoms? If so, what do you do for it? I've taken ibuprophen and tried not to use it at all today (although typing this is not a good thing). Do you put hot or cold or nothing on it? Any advice?
    Don't tell me to go to the doctor as I would have to pay out of pocket and unless the arm falls completely off, that is not an option.
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Pinky side of the wrist is ulnar nerve (funny bone nerve) and thumb side is carpel tunnel. If it's the ulnar nerve, keeping the arm straight is important. If you find it hard to keep it straight while sleeping, use an elbow support worn backwards. Other than that, ice, ibuprofen, and rest.
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    You may also try a firm wrist support to immobilize your wrist to see if that helps.
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I use the wrist supports, especially at night, when driving longer distances, when doing a lot of repetitive motion, and whenever it feels flared up. I get a lot of help from them.
  5. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I wear a wrist wrap on my right wrist hand. Guess too much board time. ;) Seriously, it does limit your repetitive motion. It forces you to do another motion. I also got a 'ball' mouse, so you're really only moving your thumb.

    I started wearing it many years ago when I was a graphic designer. ALL your time is on the computer doing the same thing over and over. I can easily imagine how knitting would produce that.

  6. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Now...if you can figure out how to help my swelling, aching feet and lower legs...I'd be a happy camper. It literally keeps me up at night and in pain much of the day.

    I LOVE getting old.

  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    When I lost my job due to downsizing I did a lot of deep cleaning at home - moving heavy furniture to rearrange rooms. It brought on carpel tunnell. I got wrist brace for each wrist and wore them 24/7 for a day or two and then overnight every night for months. Whenever pains start, I wear a brace at night - if it is very painful, wear it during the day also until the pain goes down.
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I don't know what the classic symptoms of carpal tunnel are but my son has been diagnosed with it and he's scheduled for surgery. He works 12-hour shifts as a welder and apparently that's what did it. With him, it's been really weird. His ring finger and little finger on each hand refused to bend when he tried to bend them! He held out both hands and tried to curl his fingers up and those last two fingers on each hand would still be sticking straight out ... then all of a sudden, they'd bend. It's like the nerves were delayed in relaying the message that he wanted them to bend! He's right handed and the right one was giving him more problems but the doctor told him that actually his left hand was a lot worse than the right one.

    He has no pain or problems with either of his wrists, it's all in his hands. I think the nerves to the hands go through a little opening in the bones of the wrist, but the problems it causes are felt in the hands and fingers, not really the wrists.
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I am "permanently partially disabled" due to carpal tunnel syndrome. My hands go numb when held in the same position for too long. So, too much computer, too much reading (holding the book), too much coloring or writing...all that causes pain and numbness. I have wrist supports that I wear at night (probably not as often as I should). Ibuprofen, rest, and ice, along with the wrist supports, are what works for me.

    I refuse to have surgery until it's to the point that I can't manage anymore.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Whatever is the diagnosis, the house painting probably didn't help. husband got RSI (with similar symptoms to what you describe) from a work-related painting task he had to do. Ever since then, if he has a paintingjob to do, this pain comes back. He also has hypermobile joints which makes him vulnerable.

    The heat you describe could be inflammation.

    I do suggest getting a doctor to look at it while it is active, to:

    1) Get a good idea of exactly what is wrong;

    2) See it before you either aggravate it or it improves to a point where it's not completely better, but it's better enough to make it hard to work out what it is;

    3) Get some APPROPRIATE treatment for it to help you recover as fast as possible.

  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Doesn't sound like carpal tunnel. That would be more the center of the wrist, on the inside, where the hollow part is (does that make sense?).
    Clearly, you've been using and abusing it. I'm all for wrist guards and braces. But if you continue the ladder/paint activity, you're going to still have pain, even with-the brace.

    See the bright spot in the picture? Is that where yours hurts?


    Also, you can have problems with-your neck and elbow and it could disguise itself as carpal tunnel.
    Rest, rest, rest. :)
  12. stepmonster

    stepmonster New Member

    I have wrist trouble/thumb trouble and use a brace.
    I didn't have carpal tunnel as I only had pain, no numbness.
    I have DeQuervain (sp), which is a little different. I'd try and see doctor at least once and explain you don't have insurance so you need all the info you can get.
    Ice and ibuprofen too!!
  13. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Well, the pain is definitely on the pinky side and affects mostly that part of the wrist and the 4th and 5th fingers. I did read up on ulnar nerve stuff last night on the internet, Slept with arm straight and it is better (not perfect but at least improved), Thanks, guys. I can always count on you to point me in the right direction.
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Yikes...sounds very painful.
    My girlfriend and I have both had something very similar to what you have described. Both of us have gotten help by taking Aleve (large dose) and buying one of those wrist guards and wearing it for several days to a week. Definately wear it at night and greatly limit using the computer, etc. Also, a heating pad when things are really painful. As you know, if home remedies don't do the trick, you will have to go see the doctor.