Jump to content


We have hosted chats three times a week in the Chat Room. Just click on “Chat” on the menu bar above and you'll be sure of a warm welcome!! The next hosted Chat will be on Friday.

Photo

Carpal Tunnel Advice


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 kiwimum03

kiwimum03

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 243 posts
  • Location:New Zealand

Posted 06 November 2006 - 09:04 PM

Hi everyone,

here I am again with another question.....

My rheumatologist diagnosed me with carpal tunnel in both wrists two weeks ago and much like the sicca syndrome, in the last 2 weeks the carpal tunnel too, has gotten worse.

It has gone from the occassional tingle in a few fingers, and waking up with hands asleep at night - to fingers tingling all the time during, and a sort of pinging/electric shock type feeling going through the palm of my hands causing me to drop things occassionally.
My wrists are sore, and my finger joints hurt.

The rheumatologist suggests wearing wrist splints at night to stop my hands falling asleep while I am sleeping, but is there anything I can do during the day to stop the tingle while I am doing everyday things.......even now, while I type some of my fingers are tingling and going numb.

Is this a common occurence with arthritis, to have carpal tunnel?

Also as far as I know I don't have Raynaud's, but my hands and feet do get cold and just recently are quite painful if I get things out of the freezer, and I do get the odd white spot on the tips of my fingers when I do that, and then my fingers go red and hurt. Could this be the begining of Raynauds?
I am trying not to pick up on every little thing that happens, but in the last 2 weeks, my carpal tunnel and my dry eyes have just rapidly gotten worse and has taken me by surprise, and I am just not sure if I should be concerned.

Sherrill and Janey have given me great advice about my eyes, but I was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to aleviate the carpal tunnel?

thanks.....once again!!!!
Big hugs,

Irene

#2 susie54

susie54

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 272 posts

Posted 07 November 2006 - 02:37 AM

Hi Irene,

I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel in both hands over five years ago. It would wake me up at night with numb hands. THe neurologist did the EMG and yes, both hands had a pretty good case. I wore my splints diligently and it paid off. I also had ulnar neuropathy flare up once in awhile too. The flare ups seem to come and go but you know it stays under control with the splints. I have even quit wearing them for periods of time. Hope this helps you. Have a great day. Susie54

#3 debonair susie

debonair susie

    Platinum Member

  • ISN Support Specialists
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,810 posts
  • Location:(United States)

Posted 07 November 2006 - 08:47 AM

Hi kiwimum03,

My carpal tunnel (yes, also in both wrists :unsure: ) came on quickly. The dr seriously doubted that I even had it , especially when I answered how long I had had the symptoms... 3 wks to a month. When we saw the results of the EMG, he couldn't believe it... advanced...in less than a month! Of course, I wasn't diagnosed with CREST/Scleroderma until 10 months later! If I had known, I'm not sure I would have had the surgery that I did have (prior to diagnosis)... on each wrist. However, I will say that I had immediate relief and have done better than I had expected. My rheumatologist suspects I have problems with it again, but I don't have the pain...go figure!
I must relate (to you), that I do know several who have had carpal tunnel surgery and are once again having pain/problems as before.
As I understand it, Scleroderma is the culprit that brings the carpal tunnel on, if one is unlucky enough to display symptoms.

Take care with your carpal tunnel!
Hugs, Susie
Special Hugs,

Susie Kraft
ISN Support Specialist
ISN Chat Host
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#4 janey

janey

    Platinum Member

  • ISN Support Specialists
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,260 posts
  • Location:New Mexico

Posted 07 November 2006 - 10:00 AM

Irene,
I used the wrist splints every night and they have worked wonders. I also used the right one when I was doing a lot of computer work. That way I could rest my wrist on the splint and it would keep it straight. You can get the splints from your doctor or a medical supply store. I, too recommend them. Fortunately the cts symptoms are long gone, replaced with Raynaud's. :blink:
Big Hugs,
Janey

#5 jefa

jefa

    Platinum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,421 posts
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 07 November 2006 - 10:05 AM

In my old capacity as a manufacturing manager I attended a seminar on office ergonomics and we spent a whole day on carpal tunnel stuff. Surgical treatment is controversial. Some argue that the improvement comes from the enforced long term rest after the surgery. It comes back when abuse of the structure by improper use brings about the same narrowing of the carpal tunnel bringing back the initial symptoms. While some surgery is necessary many consider that it is used too often.

Splints are not always used properly. The seminar suggested that night splinting was a good idea. The best solution to workplace or home difficulties is in working out the proper ergonomics for each situation. There is no magic right keyboard, right monitor angle, right wrist rest. It is the combination of everything overall. In order to keep the nerves from being pinched, the wrist needs to be kept straight. If swelling occurs, as from too much work or working in bad conditions, it doesn't matter whether your wrist is straight, the nerves will still be pinched.

Do a search on office ergonomics and carpal tunnel and you will find a variety of suggestions. I have removed the stiff metal part from one of my sets of wrist braces and find it helps when I am typing a lot. I have also found that it helps to have the keyboard completely flat or even slanting downward in the back, so that my hands can stay straight and rest on a wrist support in front of the keyboard. The level of the tabletop is important too, set so the arms can come out straight in front of you. I have the monitor down on the table, a few inches behind the keyboard angled so I can look down at both.

When I use my laptop, my wrists rest on the warm part in front. I am actually doing better with the little laptop keyboard (propped on my knees on a tray) than my ergonomic keyboard.

#6 Sweet

Sweet

    Platinum Member

  • ISN Support Specialists
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,933 posts

Posted 07 November 2006 - 11:48 AM

Hey guys,

I have a question about this, I'm on my 3rd week of having tingling hands, fingers, but also pain clear up to my elbows. They throbing and my grip has weakend. Today the pain feels like it's traveled up a bit farther into my tricep area.

Do you think this related to carpal tunnel or something different? I'm not having any numbness at night, just throbbing pain and weakness basically in my forarms and hands.

Thanks Sweet

Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#7 nightfrog

nightfrog

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts

Posted 07 November 2006 - 04:27 PM

sweet the nuro who diagnosed me back in 1990 with carpal tunnel
told me it can go up to my shoulder I had both hands operated on in 90
and have not regreted that decision that was 14 years before the scleroderma

#8 Sweet

Sweet

    Platinum Member

  • ISN Support Specialists
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,933 posts

Posted 07 November 2006 - 06:49 PM

Oh, thanks night frog, maybe my problem is carpel tunnel.. Ugghhh

Sweet

Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#9 kiwimum03

kiwimum03

    Silver Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 243 posts
  • Location:New Zealand

Posted 07 November 2006 - 07:52 PM

HI everyone,

thanks for al the quick replies, you guys are great!!!

I guess carpal tunnel is popular around here ........unfortunately.

I will definately try the splints at night as the concensus seems to be that it works well. Anything to stop me waking up in pain and numbness.

I don't do too much typing at the moment, I am trying to keep away from that as it bothers me so much right now. But I can't avoid changing nappies.......since I my two youngest are still in them and I find it increasingly frustrating pulling the tabs of the diaper, sometimes my fingers just don't work or have any strength in them.

I have also had to stop cradling my son in my arms when I give him a bottle as I get that intense pain in the palm of my hand........but now I lie with him on my bed and have a cuddle and he still seems to like that........until he tries to crawl off!!!

Sweet ~ I too have problems with pain going up my arms. In fact I have had that for a while (about 4 months) before I got the carpal tunnel in my hands.
My biceps ache like I have been exercising non stop (which I haven't) and my elbow and forearms ache.........I don't know if it is connected, we will see.

thanks once again for the replies!!!! I hope you are all having a good week,

Big hugs,
Irene

#10 Sheryl

Sheryl

    Platinum Member

  • ISN Support Specialists
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn, Michigan

Posted 07 November 2006 - 10:29 PM

Hello Irene, I also had carpal tunnel. Mine was bi-lateral also. I had to wear my splints 16 hours or so daily. I bought ex - large kitchen gloves for working and clean up jobs. I ended up having to have surgery on only my left hand. The right hand finally got better just wearing the splints and giving my hands a couple months off all normal activites. Like knitting and crocheting and quilting. I would get sleep in two hour intervals because the numbness, pins and needles and just plain pain, would worry me so badly. I worried the Raynaud's would get worse also. So I went to bed with socks on (well still sleep in my socks) then my mouth gaurd in for the TMJ then I would put my wrist splints on and socks over my splints to keep my fingers warm. I was suffering with this one year ago. I had surgery last January. I still have some issues with my left hand but it is slowly getting better and at least that intense pain is now gone. I no longer have to wear the splints. When I had surgery on my left hand the right hand seemed to get better all on it own. Go Figure. I just started knitting again. Testing the waters so to speak. All seems to be going well. I will just not over do it. No holiday presents using my hands this year. Making sure they don't start acting up again. I felt I was going into battle everynight with all the armor. Well, I guess I was in a way. Not very apealing to my spouse but he was able to get through it. Ha! Good luck. Rest your hands in the splints as often as you can. Sheryl
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

Sheryl Doom
ISN Support Specialist
(Retired) ISN Chat Moderator
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#11 Sarahp

Sarahp

    Senior Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 31 posts

Posted 08 November 2006 - 01:59 AM

I use to have a terrible time whith carpal tunnel when I was working. I was a librarian and constantly lifting heavy books and bins of books that could weigh 30 lbs.

Several other people at work had problems with carpal tunnel so it was not just me. But what was different about mine was the swelling in my wrist that would be very visable. My rheumatologist tried different things--short term diuretics, NAISD, splints.

I stopped this job 2 years ago and have not had any more problems. For me rest took care of the problem.

Sarah

#12 Eve in Essex (UK)

Eve in Essex (UK)

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Location:Essex, UK

Posted 08 November 2006 - 05:18 AM

I had Raynaud's for about 2 years and suffered with tingling and pain in fingers, then hands then wrists. I had EMG tests twice and found no Carpal Tunnel problem. After the second test I was told it wasn't Carpal Tunnel but in fact it was Scleroderma, as my rheumatologist linked significant skin discolouration (Morphea), Raynaud's and pain in hands and wrists. I now have pain up to my shoulders and wake at night with aches and pains, but the tingling went away a long time ago. I am becoming increasingly weak in my hands too. I have been offered steroid injections to ease the swelling in hands but other than that I am told to take occasional painkillers. I won't have steroid injections as they were not effective before. I am told I have MCTD, and that this is better than having a specific diagnosis. Oh Good!