Carpal Tunnel: question for those who KNOW

About 3 months ago, I switched briefly to a tablet and pen. Used it for about a week.

Developed excruciating pain all the way up my forearm, not really in my hand so much. Switched back.

Pain has been great improved, but it’s now as though my right arm is a little disabled. There is always an underlying soreness from wrist to elbow (along the top mostly), which can be inflamed by extended mouse usage, and also the way I sleep with that arm. If it is extended, resting on my hip while watching TV or otherwise strained in almost any way, the pain flares up.


Do I have carpel tunnel?

This is a non-smoking area. If we see you smoking, we will assume you are on fire and act accordingly.

I don’t know.


I can feel the pain from my middle finger, through my wrist, up my arm, and, when its really bad, up over my shoulder. My wrist gets this really weird, swollen bulge on the outside of it. (Ooohhh, that sounds really attractive)

I am a supervisor at the telephone company. I spend a good part of my day typing phone numbers on the key pad and using my mouse. Never had a problem before I had this job.

I was told to use the three I’s - Ice, Ibuprofin, and Immobilization (wrap it in an Ace bandage). They told me to rest it - but that doesn’t do much, because as soon as you start to use it again the pain comes right back.

WARNING: I cannot be held responsible for the above as apparently my cat has learned to type.

You need to get checked b/c the symptoms over lap, but carpel tunnel is a serious condition. tendinitis seems to go away with rest. c.t. needs some sort of therapy usually.

I get tendenitis when I play guitar too much.
I get carpet tunnel from my keyboard.

All this science, I don’t understand. It’s just my job 5 days a week-- Rocketman

About 5 months ago I went to the doctor for numbness and tingling in the tips of a couple of my fingers accompanied by pain and soreness in my tricep area. Doc asked a few questions and made a quicky diagnosis as CT. He said a thorough diagnosis would involve some unpleasant test that included electric shocks. He said that surgery is a last resort and doesn’t always fix things. He prescribed a CT brace and told me to wear it almost constantly, especially when sleeping to see if I’d notice an improvement.

I did and I did. I no longer wear the brace and longer have the symptoms.

A friend at work had the test done and she said it was the most painful thing she ever had done. She does have kids, so don’t go there with the most painful thing bit. She said she would never submitt to this test again.

Her hands have no feeling in the fingers. The worker’s compensation insurance said it was because she was overweight and had nothing to do with the repetative motion she goes through each day. She’s about 50 pounds over an ideal weight. Anybody that has collected from our workman’s compenstation insurance has had to sue them.

When I was pregant with one of my 2nd child I had this annoying constant pain in my fingers and wrist sometimes shooting up my arm. ( I did not have any obvious swelling ) My OB said it was gestational carpel tunnel. I had heard about it before and was pretty worried. ( The pain was reminiscent of when I sprained my wrist in H.S. playing basketball) He told me once I delivered it should be gone. It was amazingly!!! Other than the exertion of those particular joints, ligaments etc, could CTS be helped with any non-medicinal treatments? i.e. low sodium intake to reduce water infusion into already swelled areas?

One must learn by doing things; for though you think you know it you have no certainty until you try.

I was just at the doctor yesterday, because of problems with my wrists. He said that tendonitis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) have very similar symptoms, and it’s not easy to tell one from the other.

One indication of CTS is numbness or tingling in the tips of the fingers. But CTS can appear without that symptom sometimes. There’s no way to tell for sure without going to the doctor.

It appears that I have tendonitis, which is the easier of the two conditions to treat; it’s just irritation and swelling of the tendons. The doc gave me a prescription for some anti-inflammatory pills, and recommended applying an ice pack after work.

CTS can be a bit more serious, because the nerve down the middle of your wrist is being compressed. For mild cases, it’s treated the same way as tendonitis. More serious cases can require stronger drugs, or injections of cortisone into the wrist. If it’s very bad, and is left untreated for a long time, it can eventually require surgery.

Long story short: go to your doctor.

Laugh hard; it’s a long way to the bank.

I have tendonitis which is made worse with pregnancy. Ligaments elongate and soften during pregnancy to prepare the body for delivery. I only wear my wrist brace at night. I also try once in a while to switch my mouse hand, which is like learning how to wipe yourself with your opposite hand. You can do it, but it isn’t second nature and you gotta think about it.

Put me well in the “GO TO THE DOCTOR” category.

I didn’t for several months after the numbness and pain started. I have permanent damage to my left hand. I now have a very long scar on my elbow (I had Cubital Tunnel, where the same nerve is trapped, but higher up), permanent nerve damage along most of my arm, and I’m STILL in pain when the weather changes or I use it too much. They had to completely rebuild my elbow and part of my arm so I had any usage at all, and now everything has to relearn how to work.

I’ll spare you scar pictures. They’re nasty.

In short, folks, if there is something causing you pain, making it hard to work or even get through a day “normally” … this is not a drill. Go get it checked out by a professional, for cryin out loud.

Yes, the EMG and other tests for the nerve entrapment syndromes HURT. However, without those results, you could permanently lose function if you put it off too long.

I almost did.

Get to the doctor, a good hand specialist. I’m a surgical nurse, the surgery (if needed) is very simple, although irritating to recover from ( my mom got both hers done at once). But if it is carpal tunnel, it can get past the point of no return, and you could wind up without the use of your hands. In the meantime, ice, alternate with heat, a brace, and anti-inflammatories (over the counter stuff, aspirin or ibuprofin). Don’t procrastinate about hand function.

I have had carpel tunnel/tendonitus for years from production work. I have learned of a remedy that seems to work but is not much publicized.

Squeezing an exercize ball one finger at a time for five minutes three times a day will definately yield noticeable improvement.

Once a day does not seem quite enough to maintain progress. Twice before getting out of bed seem to maintain progress but the jury is still out. Additionally it helps to get one in the mood to get out of bed on cold mornings.

I get my excercise balls from Dick’s sporting goods in Rochester, NY. They are about the size of an egg and contain sesame seeds! (they fall apart after a while)

I’ve had them about 8 months. After about four months, I’d made so much progress I stopped doing it three times a day. It’s not cured though, I’ve let the condition back slide a little.

Even so, I no longer need drugs and only need imoblization during sleep if I haven’t done the exercize both morning and night regularly. (or perhaps did some particulary demanding work)

I don’t know any more about where to get the excercise balls. If you are demoralized about your condition, these balls will give you hope in about 8 to 10 weeks, assuming you’re not overly abuseing your wrists. This is of couse a guess based on my own personal experience.

I have no interest in trying to sell these balls. Good luck!