Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Community
Undiagnosed and confused?
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a progressive condition that occurs when the nerve, that runs from the forearm to the hand becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist causing pain in the hand and wrist. Discuss topics including prevention, causes, symptoms and treatments for carpal tunnel.

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Undiagnosed and confused?

I am a musician and have been experiencing hand pain in both of my hands. It started in my right and has occurred in my left now, too. It all started in one isolated event. I was playing a gig and thought I injured my right hand. I rested it for a week, as per doctor's orders, and it seemed to be fine. He told me over the phone it sounded like a pulled muscle or small sprain and if it didn't get any better, to come in for an appointment. It go better so I never went. The pain was dull but constant and caused me a great deal of discomfort.

Since then, the pain has randomly occurred and flared up. One day I was at the store moving clothes on the rack and it seemed to be the same kind of injury.

Now,  both of my hands will randomly tingle/have a pins and needles sensation occur. The pain is again, dull but constant and causes me a great deal of discomfort when I try to do a lot of consistent things using them. When I crack my thumb/fingers the pain will subside for a few seconds but comes right back. The pain is also in my wrists and arms.

It is bad enough that it wakes me up at night and causes me to become restless. I have tried a numbing cream and it has been helping me sleep slightly. I am not sure what exactly is wrong or what to do about it.

I am only in my early twenties and am confused if it is Carpal Tunnel or Arthritis or something else. I am unsure what to do, what doctor to see, and how to treat it myself for the time being. Any help or suggestions are appreciated!
Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Understand your predicament. Yoru symptoms of numbness and tingling can be due to nerve compression at the carpal tunnel. In this the median nerve is compressed at the wrist in a place called the carpal tunnel. Symptoms begin with numbness and tingling of the first three or two fingers from the thumb side. Then the numbness or tingling can spread upwards to the arms. Nerve conduction studies are quite diagnostic. Treatment is usually by splints and steroid injections. Surgery may be required in some cases. This condition is 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 key pad, 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.

Would advise you to consult your primary care physician who may do a neurological assessment and may ask for Nerve conduction Studies to detect lesions in the nerves.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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