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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - a little worried

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
i think i spend about 12 hours a day sitting in front of my computer, most of the stuff i do depends on it. Given at this age of technology, i don't think i'll be able to live without the computer. Nowadays i've come to realize my right wrist is beginning to hurt, and the pain extends up to my arm and my right shoulder, to the base of my neck. Though there are no obvious signs of swelling yet, i am concern that it might be the symptoms of CTS. At times, i have woken up at night to feel the stinging pain on my right palm, like needles poking on it.

Has anyone experienced CTS before? And is there anything i can do to make the pain go away? i've tried massaging my palms and stretching, there seems to be some kind of strain on my right elbow too. Right now i've switched the mouse to the left and am trying to avoid using my right arm as much as possible.

i've had a friend told me her company had to "let her go" because she had CTS and went through surgery, and it took a while to recover. And with that kind of work that requires using the computer, i don't think the company can afford having someone to be on leave for a long period. Just the thought of it makes me worry.
post #2 of 19
YIKES!!! I have CTS so I KNOW the signs.. AND I have had 2 surgeries on my right hand (2nd due to stupid dr not listening to me- he fixed ONE nerve and not BOTH nerves so he had to go back in and fix 2nd nerve)

First, do you have tingling/numbness in ur fingers/hands? If so, that's a sign of CTS.

Do a simple test- put ur hands together (with back of hands touching each other) and hold it in that position for a min without moving.. If there's any tingling/numbness or it gets worse then that's an sign that u probably have CTS.

How I handle pain with my CTS- I get flare ups of CTS often so when I do, I take tynonel, put ice on my hands, wear braces at nites and try to rest them as much as I can.. U might want to buy a wrist brace (can get at any store) and see if that helps- recommend to wear braces especially at nites while sleeping cuz often ppl sleeps with hands curled in and that makes it worse. Braces help keep ur hands straight.. Make sense?

Since u're having pain, I would STRONGLY recommend u go to ur dr soon to ck it out. Again, pls see ur dr - just to be safe..
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yeah, there seems to be a tingling sensation on the right hand. I can tell because the left feels nothing. i really should look into getting a wrist brace. Thanks for your reply Pam.
post #4 of 19
I have early repetitive stress problems...not too bad yet, just some pains from time to time. Definitely go see a doctor about this SOON. The doctor can help you figure out what, exactly, is wrong and how to keep it from getting worse. There are also some other health problems that are stongly associated with CTS, such as thyroid problems, that your doctor will probably want to investigate, too.

In the mean time, Aleve works best on the pains for me. I hope you feel better soon!
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbester
Yeah, there seems to be a tingling sensation on the right hand. I can tell because the left feels nothing. i really should look into getting a wrist brace. Thanks for your reply Pam.
Here are some links to CTS that might help u understand more about how it works and some tips on how to handle it. But again, pls ck with ur DR just to be SAFE - he probably will give u some antibiotics that will help and some other tips for helping.

http://www.ctsplace.com/
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/c...pal_tunnel.htm
http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/carpal.html

Keep me posted and feel free to pm me if u want to talk more about this..
post #6 of 19
Buy the wrist braces --- the kind with the thumb support. I paid $20 each (I have CTS in both hands) at Walgreens -- you can find them online at Walgreens.com.

It is well worth it. Since I started wearing the braces ---- I wear them FULL TIME AT NIGHT --- while sleeping ---- my CTS has improved. I noticed if I go without the braces at night, my hands are completely numb by morning and I am in pain around my wrist/arm area.

I also wear the right brace during the day while typing, lifting weights at home, and working in my yard; it helps to keep your wrist in the 'correct' position so the nerves don't get pinched.

The wrist braces I have are black, so dirt isn't an issue, but you can wash the things.

I also just started soaking my hands, from the wrist area down to the tips of my fingers, in hot Epsom salt water. My neighbor suggested the Epsom salts --- the salt draws out the pain or something, soothes the nerves & muscles. IT WORKS!!! So when I notice my CTS flaring very badly, such as after laboring yard work or major stuff here on the puter... I soak my hands then put the braces on.

Good luck~!
post #7 of 19
I too have CTS/repetitive stress.
For your keyboard-drop it flat on your desk-it might take few days to get use too but it reduces the angle of your wrist. I use both a gel wrist rest and a separate gel rest for my mouse. Takes your hands, bend at wrist 90 degrees dow and up, also sidways and twist your hands around, clentch inside fists- try to do about every hour when you are doing alot of typing. What you also have to get used to doing is moving your hands around on the keyboard versus stretching your fingers.
My had doctor got me a really nice brace-velcro with a removable gel pad that I could heat or cool in necessary(it was $70 about 5 yrs ago) . My right one is the bad once but my left one acts up too!! I've looked at the braces available in the stores-make sure they have metal supports in them-try on if possible.
I don't where it every but when its really bad and then sometimes during during the day but its kindof awkward.
I garden and had to change the way I weed too. The little changes make I big difference-do them know while its not to bad.
Good Luck.
post #8 of 19
I've had CTS for 30 years, and was operated on twice (I won't do that again, because the relief was only temporary). It flares up several times a year, and then I take ibuprofen and wear wrist braces, which I'd also highly recommend. I also have developed a unique "five-finger" typing system, and switch hands as needed.
I do something I shouldn't do - when I get the telltale lump (ganglion cyst) on the back of my wrist(s), instead of having a doctor "crush" it manually, as many do, I smash it against the tile wall in our bathroom, and then wrap the wrist & hand in an ace bandage.
post #9 of 19
I have had one surgery - since then I replaced all my keyboards with "split" keyboards and the mice with the thumb ball type mouse (no moving of the shoulders!) haven't had a flair up since.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbester
Nowadays i've come to realize my right wrist is beginning to hurt, and the pain extends up to my arm and my right shoulder, to the base of my neck. Though there are no obvious signs of swelling yet, i am concern that it might be the symptoms of CTS. At times, i have woken up at night to feel the stinging pain on my right palm, like needles poking on it.
This Does sound like carpal tunnel, but Pearly, it is not the endo of the world, caught before it becomes an issue there are preventative measures to help cope- waiting for it to get serious will cause you a world of trouble. Also beware your sodium intakes, as it is not uncommon for women to have wrist pain due to too much salt or preservatives!.. weird, I know.Lay off soda. It will make it worse.

Also see if the pain is more prevalent around your menses, as this can cause a flare up in some people.

get yourself a brace. make sure it'sn not a cheap or crappy one, those tend to be uncomfortable and hinder you at your work. there are some with a shorter sheath tht allow for full palm and finger flexibility, but still support proper wrist positioning.

Let me ask you a question, Do you sleep with your wrists tucked in? this can cause stress on your CTS if it is what you have, and I suggest wearing a brace at night to prevent pain. During particularly bad bouts, some tiger balm will improve flow and prevent swelling, which will lead to less pain..

Have you had any numbness in your thumb and or third and ring finger? or tingling like they've fallen asleep? this is another sign that it is progressing.
post #11 of 19
Chronic CTS here as well as tendonitis from being a former drummer.

Ergonomic keyboards, trackball, wrist rests for keyboard and mousepad, and chairs with arms at the proper height.

I take alieve for pain and inflamation, and brace both wrists every night.
post #12 of 19
I agree with all of the above.
But I also have some advice. I don't have CTS, BUT I have horrible pains, swelling, rock hard forearms and hurtyness in my fingers from work. I am a medical transcriptionist and type 8 hours a day and am on the computer for more hours at home.

The thing that has saved my life (and my career) is massage therapy and contrast/ice bathing. I"m not talking just any old massage therapy. My MT KILLS me every time I go in - it's definately not relaxing - but afterwards my arm feel 100 lb lighter and I can work and live again.

The contrast and ice bathing really help too to get the blood flowing.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I do something I shouldn't do - when I get the telltale lump (ganglion cyst) on the back of my wrist(s), instead of having a doctor "crush" it manually, as many do, I smash it against the tile wall in our bathroom, and then wrap the wrist & hand in an ace bandage.

OMG a "Bible Bump"
Are you hitting it yourself !!!

How brave you are!!
post #14 of 19
I have had problems with tendonitis which is where the nerves in the elbow rather than the wrist are affected. Similar symptoms affecting the hands and fingers. Like Journey, I have found deep muscle massage (the kind that you never sleep through) and the contract baths very useful.

Other items:
Taking short breaks and stretching frequently.
Study ergonomics and see how you can improve your posture.
See a doctor.

Good Luck.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbester
i think i spend about 12 hours a day sitting in front of my computer, most of the stuff i do depends on it. Given at this age of technology, i don't think i'll be able to live without the computer. Nowadays i've come to realize my right wrist is beginning to hurt, and the pain extends up to my arm and my right shoulder, to the base of my neck. Though there are no obvious signs of swelling yet, i am concern that it might be the symptoms of CTS. At times, i have woken up at night to feel the stinging pain on my right palm, like needles poking on it.

Has anyone experienced CTS before? And is there anything i can do to make the pain go away? i've tried massaging my palms and stretching, there seems to be some kind of strain on my right elbow too. Right now i've switched the mouse to the left and am trying to avoid using my right arm as much as possible.

i've had a friend told me her company had to "let her go" because she had CTS and went through surgery, and it took a while to recover. And with that kind of work that requires using the computer, i don't think the company can afford having someone to be on leave for a long period. Just the thought of it makes me worry.
I had a bad case of it some 12 or so years ago, mine would hurt all the way up my arm also, its will espically wake you up or bother you more when you are trying to relax, I used to get up sit in the middle of the bathroom floor and cry it hurt so bad and yet it was so numb,so numb in fact I couldn't hold a pen or pencil without them going numb, I sewed my fingers together more then once also, there is no good way to explain how painful and yet numb they can be. We used to have 20 horses and all that heavy work with them is what did mine in, I finally had the surgery after having a nerve conduction test done, and the damage was very bad on both of them, and OMG what a releif I have never been bothered again in either hand, I don't think there's really much other then surgery for releif, don't let it go to long because without something I think it just gets worse.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I do something I shouldn't do - when I get the telltale lump (ganglion cyst) on the back of my wrist(s), instead of having a doctor "crush" it manually, as many do, I smash it against the tile wall in our bathroom, and then wrap the wrist & hand in an ace bandage.
I've had a couple of ganglion cysts for years. I have tried smashing them myself, but I must not be doing it hard enough because they don't go away. More than one person told me that the dr. smashes it, too. Is that true?
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb25
I've had a couple of ganglion cysts for years. I have tried smashing them myself, but I must not be doing it hard enough because they don't go away. More than one person told me that the dr. smashes it, too. Is that true?
My doctor took a needle and inerted it into the cyst to "pop" it or break it up. It did go away for a week or so - then came right back. I had surgery to remove it. Since then I ergo-ed my work area - with the split keyboard and thumb ball type mouse. Never a pip out of any other problem. That was at least 9-10 years ago.
post #18 of 19
I have had similiar symptons as a digital photographer - I do quite a bit of detail work on the computer. A couple things that helped were if I did not want to wear a clunky wrist brace my doctor sent me to a sewing store for a fingerless compression type glow. That helped but by far what helped the most was switching to a touchpad or a pen type mouse. The difference in that alone was like 95%. Best of luck - when I first felt it I paniced I need to work on the computer!
post #19 of 19
my brother just had carpal tunnel surgery about a month ago. He got workmans comp for it since his doctor believes he got it from being a motorcycle cop for so long. He goes back to have the other one operated on soon.

the surgeons I worked with who did this surgery said carpal tunnel surgeries have about a 50% success rate...

i know my ex-husband had surgeries to releive the pressure on both his ulnar nerves and it was like he was born again...
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