I'm an athletic 64-year-old man. I've been throwing the football out on the beach, on and off for hours, nearly every day for many years as my primary workout. In 1992, I had successful treatments for recurrent metastatic testicular cancer.
After a recent heavy-lifting right hand strain with pain, I now have wrist-crease and adjacent forearm pain on the ulnar side, mostly with flexion...as is done when throwing a football. this has persisted since approximately 5/11/2013.
I've also been doing extensive work on my new laptop, especially since 12/25/12, working on ancestry.com researching ancestors, literally for hours at a time, with breaks.
Finally, for a long time I've palpated a hard small cyst or neuroma in my right palm located between the fourth and fifth fingers, with some discomfort there. about 12 years ago, I had a fourth-finger tendon rupture, splinted, no deficit.
Yesterday, I bought a night splint and wore it for the first time last night. I've suspended my football throwing and am more careful typing on my laptop. I've begun icepack treatment and am on a daily low-dose arthritis NSAID.
Any thoughts and/or suggestions for me. I love my football workouts out on the beach (who wouldn't?), but it hurts to now throw the ball. Ouch! (I was laid off after working 10 years and now have no health insurance.)
I could try a wrist cortisone injection, which I've had success with in the past for elbow epicondylitis.
Thanks lovely people!
There seem to be multiple causes for your symptoms. Since the discomfort is more on the ulnar side, your symptoms could be due to carpal tunnel syndrome. The second cause could be the nodule in the palm causing compressive symptoms, it could be tendinitis. A third possibility is over starin, unaccustomed exercise on the laptop causing the pain. For now you can try to rest your arm, take OTC pain killers and if the symptoms worsen check with your doctor to rule out any nerve compression. Nerve conduction studies are quite diagnostic for carpal tunnel syndrome. Treatment is usually by splints and steroid injections. Surgery may be required in some cases. Take Care.
Hi, Dr. Anitha, and thanks for your helpful response.
I'm being very careful. now it seems symptoms come and go. there is some discomfort and tenderness in the ulnar area of the wrist crease/forearm. sometimes, it is painful, and I have to stop and rest.
I've been wearing a right-wrist night splint, but I must say it is uncomfortable, and I have worries it may cut off some circulation and possibly some flexibility...watching carefully. But it has helped significantly.
Typing on my laptop with more caution and awareness regarding my wrist.
I think the tender lump in the palm could be a ganglion cyst, and I'll monitor that. Could be just a benign mass/cyst... yes, either one of which could contribute to nerve compression and pain and limitation.
Cortisone could help too, as well as nsaids and definitely more rest than I had been giving my wrist and hand.
Avoiding surgery is my goal, so thanks for the heads up on that, Dr. Anitha. Who wants surgery when it can be avoided with proper habits and taking more care of oneself?
The compression on the nerve is more common in those who use the key board, mouse etc a lot—like in computers or in typing jobs. The carpal tunnel (at your wrist through which the median nerve passes) changes its size depending on the position of the wrist. It’s widest when wrist and hand are straight in line. When the hand is bent up or down, the tunnel becomes slightly smaller. This then presses on the nerve which then causes a pain right up to the arm. Often proper working style, working without bending wrist, using smooth movements to operate the mouse and keypad, and relaxing the joints of finger, wrist and arm in between helps. A wrist support or arm support too helps and you have computer chairs with support for your spine and arm. So, try these measures and hopefully your symptoms improve. Good Luck.
Once again, Dr. Anitha, you are most helpful! I now type with great care on my laptop that I've had since 11/2012. I never had one before, and they are quit useful and productive. I've changed my keying habits to include relaxing more, holding my wrists in a straighter alignment, taking regular rests, and being aware of tendencies that might contribute to my symptoms of wrist pain.
My exercise regimen pain has greatly diminished, and I know I must "know my limits" and use caution. I am not getting any younger: "The robot needs replacement with a newer model!"
Thanks again, Dr. Anitha.
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