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Pain Treatment

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm having really bad pain in my wrists. I think I've posted about it before, but basically the wrists hurt to use, especially the right one. The right wrist gets stiff sometimes and I am no longer able to bend the hand back as far as the left. It is physically not able to bend back as far. While the left hand can make a 90 degree angle with my arm, my right hand can only do 50 degree from flat.

If any of that makes sense to you. So I was wondering what I could do to manage the pain, stiffness, and the decrease in range of motion. I already use painkiller patches every night, one per wrist. It helps a little, but not much. Icyhot is too expensive for every night use.

FYI: I can't see a doctor about my wrists for a few more months. I have no health insurance until this Fall.
post #2 of 16
I have tendonitis in my right wrist, which results in pain and general weakness in that hand when it acts up really (I once tried to play tennis and couldn't even manage to squeeze a tube of toothpaste with my wrist afterwards - bad idea)

What really helps me is to immobilize it with a wrist brace, even if its just overnight. Keeping your wrist from funny positions at night while you're sleeping can make a world of difference, though I don't know if it will help your particular symptoms.

I hope someone else has some better suggestions for you, good luck! Wrist pain is terrible!
post #3 of 16
Uhoh. Do you think it might be carpal tunnel syndrome? Or maybe some other type of repetitive motion disorder? If so, talk to ReesesPBC -- he knows a lot about it, and even wrote an article on it recently for another website.

If it's something else, like possibly arthritis, you might try heat. I don't know if you can buy anything for the wrists, but it occurs to me that you could make something easily -- just put some uncooked rice in a cotton sock, knot the end, warm it in the microwave, and safetypin it together around your wrist.

I hope it turns out to be something easily treated. Good luck!
post #4 of 16
If you can take Advil or some sort of Ibprofin (sp?) that may help. It is an anti-inflammatory, and may help with the stiffness. Make sure it wont interact with anything else you are taking.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have a wrist brace somewhere, but its for the left wrist. I do tend to sleep on my hands from time to time. (sleep on belly with wrists under me. Its comfortable).

I sometimes run warm/hot water over my wrists at work when we are not busy. I have spent around five minutes before just letting water run over my wrists. It helps with the stiffness a little, but after an hour or so, it goes right back to pain and stiffness.
post #6 of 16
Soak your wrists in warm water. Take "Ibuprophen" (aka Advil), but no need to go and buy Advil, look for the cheaper generic brand...same thing but without the high price of a Brand name.

Ibuprophen is an anti-inflammatory and works on pain by going to the areas that need it and reducing inflammation. Stuff like Tylenol (Acetaminophen) doesn't work the same way. The ingredient in Tylenol works on the pain receptors and alters our perception of the pain while doing nothing about the cause of the pain IE: inflammation.

Also, it sounds like you might have carpal tunnel. Many feel that it requires surgery to correct, however, it's often cured by treating pinched nerves in the neck and shoulder. I recommend seeing a Chiropractor about it.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Would BC powder work better? That stuff is terrible to get down, but it tends to work on pains better and faster than the other stuff. I remember when I had back pain that was so bad I didn't want to get off the couch. My fiance brought me some BC powder and in less than an hour I was back up and walking around the house. The pain was completely gone. I might get some of that tomorrow and see if it helps.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just looked up Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on WebMD and some of the symptoms don't match.

Tingling - Don't have
Numbness - Don't have
Weakness - Only when lifting things
Pain in the fingers, thumb, hand, and occasionally the arm - Every so often, but when I do get it, its in my fingers, thumb and hand, and it hurts so bad, I don't want to use the hand. This has happened twice at work and I actually had to stop working for a while to massage my hand and run it under hot water to relieve some of the pain. After a few hours the pain went away.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soka View Post
Would BC powder work better? That stuff is terrible to get down, but it tends to work on pains better and faster than the other stuff. I remember when I had back pain that was so bad I didn't want to get off the couch. My fiance brought me some BC powder and in less than an hour I was back up and walking around the house. The pain was completely gone. I might get some of that tomorrow and see if it helps.

I don't think BC powder will work as well as Advil. BC is an aspirin, and is used for pain and fever reducer. Advil or Ibprofun is an anti-inflammatory. That sounds like what you need. They work on different things.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have some ibuprofen upstairs. I'm far too tired to get it tonight. Not to mention this house gives me the creeps when I'm home alone, which I will be until Sunday. I never go upstairs at night when I'm here alone. I'll get it in the morning and take some. I'll also try and find that brace. It wouldn't hurt to help the left wrist too even though it doesn't hurt as bad.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Holy cow! I just had a royal scare. I was sitting here and suddenly I hear something upstairs. My grandparents are not here for the weekend and I live in the basement. I heard something thump and my heart went up into my throat. I got really scared really quick. I look around for my cats and they are nowhere to be found. I stay very quiet and walk over to the stairs. The door to the upstairs is open. I realize the cats somehow got the door open and went upstairs to cause havoc. Now I have to go upstairs and scare myself poo-less since I hate it up there when I'm alone and come back downstairs with both cats, locking the door behind me.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soka View Post
I just looked up Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on WebMD and some of the symptoms don't match.

Tingling - Don't have
Numbness - Don't have
Weakness - Only when lifting things
Pain in the fingers, thumb, hand, and occasionally the arm - Every so often, but when I do get it, its in my fingers, thumb and hand, and it hurts so bad, I don't want to use the hand. This has happened twice at work and I actually had to stop working for a while to massage my hand and run it under hot water to relieve some of the pain. After a few hours the pain went away.
then, it's more likely tendonitis. I have it in both my wrists. I have braces for both wrists and they have the stays (the stiff metal plates) on both top and bottom, to keep it rigid. If I've had a bad wrist day I get home and put one on, take some Aleve (I've maxxed out on Ibuprofen... I'd have to take 800mgs to get any kind of relief and Aleve lasts a LOT longer) and not do too much with it. Pain goins away by the next morning.

Also, look into alternative therapies. I've gotten over Chiropractic... my last visit to my last intern resulted in moredamage than finding another one is worth... my last two have caused more damage than solved any. I had a good one once, but I don't live in that area anymore.

If you can handle the needles, I highly recommend Acupuncture. if there's a school nearby, find out if they have a clinic. It's a lot cheaper and you get to change interns every so often, or when you want... my first one used a technique I didn't like (had had a pro back in Chicago work on me... so I knew what it was supposed to feel like). I had her for a couple months before she graduated... so I got a new person and have liked my interns ever since. My current one is graduating next month... I'm gonna miss her...

The needles really aren't too bad. Some of my points are brutal but that's because they're connected to some really nasty chi holding on to me.

But if acupuncture is an absolute no-go, then there are many other alternative therapies. Reiki is pretty good.

Explore your options... but from my POV, it sounds like Tendonitis, not CTS.

Amanda
post #13 of 16
DH was recently diagnosed with tendonitis.
His current initial treatment, to see how he responds before more serious treatment, is wrist braces at night or when his wrist are bothering him. Less time at the computer or anything else that will cause repetitive motion. Ice when the wrists are sore to get the inflammation down.

2 aleve (naproxen sodium) in the morning and 2 at night. This is to help keep inflammation down, not to treat pain. If you're hurting your wrist has already become inflamed, so try the ice.

There are also some simple exercises to help stretch the tendons, try looking these up for picture demonstrations.

Be careful with the OTC NSAIDs, too many and you risk serious GI problems and renal damage.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soka View Post
I just looked up Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on WebMD and some of the symptoms don't match.

Tingling - Don't have
Numbness - Don't have
Weakness - Only when lifting things
Pain in the fingers, thumb, hand, and occasionally the arm - Every so often, but when I do get it, its in my fingers, thumb and hand, and it hurts so bad, I don't want to use the hand. This has happened twice at work and I actually had to stop working for a while to massage my hand and run it under hot water to relieve some of the pain. After a few hours the pain went away.
I could be way off base here, but I just wanted to throw this into the ring because it sounds exactly like what I had.

I had the same symptoms a few years ago and with the pain/weakness I was convinced it was carpal tunnel. Turns out it was actually tennis elbow from typing! Some say they have pain in their elbow itself with this problem, but I felt mine all in my wrist.

Easy way to tell if it's a possible cause... hold your arm out straight in front of you, palm down... wiggle your fingers really dramatically...now on the outside of your forearm about 2 or 3 inches from your elbow you'll see a muscle moving... this is one of the muscles that control finger movements.

Ok this is going to get weird to explain, so let's assume for the moment that it's your right wrist that hurts.

Locate that muscle in your right arm. Put the tips of your fingers from your left hand on that muscle in your right arm and apply slight pressure. While doing that, wiggle the fingers on your right arm again. If it hurts/feels sore... it's probably tennis elbow.

The cure: ice on your arm for 15 mins 3x day, mineral ice rub, otc pain relievers, and this brace

Hope that helps!
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
If you're hurting your wrist has already become inflamed, so try the ice.
Actually, ice should only be applied to acute injuries such as sprains and strains. If it's a long term chronic condition, then heat should be applied.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Actually, ice should only be applied to acute injuries such as sprains and strains. If it's a long term chronic condition, then heat should be applied.
If you wish I can give you the number for the orthopedic surgeon. It was his treatment suggestion, not mine.
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