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Wrist Pain

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
About a year ago I was working with my mother at a Pediatric office. I developed pain in my wrist that would not allow me to use it normally. I had not injured it or overstressed it in any way. I had to depend on my left hand for just about everything but writing. I saw a doctor and she said it was probably tendonitis and to wrap it, immobilize it, and take something for the pain. She said there was really nothing you could do but baby it, so I did, and the pain went away after about a week.

A few months later the pain came back and once again, I wrapped it and didn't use it. After about a week, the pain went away again. Then in the spring, it came back, only not as strong. I didn't use it as much and within a few days the pain was gone. Here I am a year after the pain started and it is worse than the other times. It hurts to bend my wrist in any direction. It is very tender and pressing on it hurts. It is weaker than it was a few days ago and even writing or picking up a glass of water hurts. This pain started a few days ago and has been getting worse. This morning I woke up and propped myself on my right hand and yelped. I don't do anything to overstress my wrists. I'm on the computer a few hours each day, with breaks in between. I don't do any sports and I'm only 19. I can't figure out why this pain keeps coming back and in the same wrist.

A bit of history. I did break my arms when I was little. I can't remember exactly where since I was only 4 at the time, but I'm not sure if that has anything to do with this. I've asked my mom to see a doctor about it but she keeps saying take something for the pain and wait. I'm sick of having this pain. It makes me irritable and I hate not being able to do things with it.

Any advice or anything I can do to minimize the pain. I'm planning on going out after classes to get some Icy Hot for it, since my mom doesn't have the patches.
post #2 of 12
Several years ago, an unexplained pain I developed in my wrist, which then radiated out up to my elbow, turned out to be a carpel cyst in my thumb joint cartilege that needed to be removed through bone-graft surgery.

My strongest recommendation would be to go see your doctor or an orthedpedic doctor in your area, and get it xrayed.

If I hadn't gone to the doctor when I did, I would no longer have the use of my right thumb, as I would have lost the joint entirely, and it would have had to be fused together.

Just taking something for an unexplained/undiagnosed pain that comes and goes may allow for something more serious to develop that may later become untreatable.

Please go see your doctor as soon as possible about this - at 19, you don't need your mom for that.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Funny you should mention the elbow. The last two (including this one) pains have been accompanied by elbow pain. Last night while I was driving, I was sitting at a stoplight and the pain traveled right up my forearm into my elbow and stopped there. It throbbed for a few seconds then the pain existed only in my wrist for the rest of the night.

The reason I'd have to get my mom to make an appointment is because she works for my doctor, two hours from where I live. The last time I had the wrist x-rayed was several years ago (before the first pain) when my rottwieler bit me and I had to have the wrist x-rayed to make sure no bones were broken. Nothing showed up on that x-ray so anything that could be wrong in my wrist has developed over the past few years.
post #4 of 12
Yes do see a doctor. Also, are you taking frequent breaks while you are on the computer? Try taking a break about every 10-15 minutes and do some stretching. I have also found that deep tissue massage of my neck, shoulders, and arms helps.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes, I do take breaks on the computer frequently. Normally I will stay on the computer for about twenty minutes, get up and either clean up my room, play with the cats, do fish tank upkeep, or homework, then I will go back to the computer and repeat the process. Since my grandmother has warned me about carpal tunnel, I tend not to stay on the computer for hours at a time like I used to.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
As I sit here, the pain is mainly in my wrist but a dull pain can be felt halfway up my forearm. My wrist feels stiff and I am completely unable to bend it either up or down without severe pain. On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain in my wrist when I bend it, is about a 6.
post #7 of 12
Another technique that helps is a cold/hot bath. If you have a double sink, fill one side with cold water and the other side with warm-to-hot (the temperatures should be bareable). Put your forearm in the cold side for about 30 seconds, then the warm side for 30 seconds. Repeat several times.

Again, though I would definitely see a doctor. Also, since this is injury to the tendons, I doubt anything would show up on an x-ray.
post #8 of 12
One thing to add that may help, get a wrist brace to sleep in. It will keep your wrist at the proper angle during the night, and should help ease your pain a little bit. If it makes it feel better, wear it for periods of time during the day, too.

Because you are experiencing radiating pain, I'd say run to your doctor rather than walk - your mom should know better than to wait on something like this!

Show her my posts - if I hadn't gone to the doc when I did, I wouldn't ever be able to use my right hand to pick up of grasp objects for the rest of my life. Better safe now than sorry later!!!
post #9 of 12
I started experiencing tingling in my fingertips and wrist pain in early January of this year. Because I spend a lot of time on the computer -- work, gaming, writing, Internet surfing, etc. -- I was immediately concerned and booked an appointment with my doctor right away. The pain wasn't too bad, certainly nothing more than I could handle (better than a migraine, anyway), but I recognized the early symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and didn't want to need surgery later on in life. Just to be on the safe side my doctor requested bloodwork to be done, and it turns out that I'm B12 deficient, which in some cases can mimic the symptoms of CTS -- if I hadn't gone to see my doctor, I wouldn't have known about it until serious damage had been done. I was also sent to a neurologist, who tested me for CTS; as it turns out, I have a mild case of it, but hopefully I caught it early enough. I now sleep with a wrist brace, and I have a note from my doctor that I can give to any employer requesting that my work space be set up to prevent further damage to my wrist (I haven't had to use the note because I've been fortunate in working for employers who insist upon ergodynamic workspaces, but since I temp I figured it couldn't hurt to have a piece of paper telling future employers that I require certain working conditions). My doctor has also made it very clear that if at any point I decide I want the surgery done to correct the problem, she'll make it happen; right now I think I can live with it, but if it gets worse I'll consider it.

Long story short: See your doctor. Request to have bloodwork done and to see a specialist. Conditions like CTS and tendonitis only get worse with time unless you take steps to reduce the damage. And if it turns out that you're like me and you have a potentially fatal vitamin deficiency, would you want to know now?
post #10 of 12
Originally Posted by Mirinae View Post
I started experiencing tingling in my fingertips and wrist pain in early January of this year.

Hmm. tingling fingertips, you say? that worries me. I've had this odd feeling of tingling and numbness in my fingertips whenever I use them too much for quite a while now... I know I have a repetitive stress injury in my right wrist from art, but that shouldn't affect my fingers or, for that matter, my left hand. Worrisome. My job is with computers, so I use them all day every day and i can't take 15 minute breaks or whatever. And since I work for my college there's little chance of "ergonomic" workspace.
Well, I have a physical next month. i'll ask about it then...
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well I don't think I have CTS, but I do have tendonitis. I've had it for a year and its gotten a lot worse. I got some Icyhot to help with pain and got a wrist wrap (braces were too expensive) and keep my wrist wrapped while I'm not at work. (We are not allowed to wear them at work. Kinda sucks because I'm always having to lift things and constantly use my wrists. I work Cafe.) It hurts to write, lift things, or just use it in general. Today I was forced to use it without the wrap and the pain got to the point it would just hurt on its own without me using it.

Is there anything you can do for tendonitis other than wrapping and icyhot? It would be almost pointless to see a doctor since I already know its tendonitis from a previous doctor visit.
post #12 of 12
Somehow you need to be able to take care of yourself at work because repetitive stress injuries just get worse. A doctor's visit may help you there because he can give you something to take to work explaining your medical needs. To tell the truth, the only thing that has helped me to any degree is the deep-tissue massage and that it not a cheap fix.

Another option which may help is to start doing yoga and exercises to improve your posture.
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