I have been a typist for almost 30 years. Over the past year I have noticed weakness and pain in my left hand and my fingers that travels up my arm. My fingers seem to be hesitant to move and want to curl and not rest on the keys. When I'm not typing this does not bother me at all. What could this be and what type of physician should I see regarding this?
First of all, keep in mind that I am unable to diagnose you because I am unable to examine you, this forum is for educational purposes.
The symptoms that you describe are most consistent with carpal tunnel syndrome. The nerves that go to the hand pass through a tunnel in the wrist that is covered by a band of connective tissue called the flexor retinaculm. With repetitive tasks (and some people just have small tunnels) the nerves become compressed in the tunnel and cause pain and weakness. Many patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) have pain with cetain tasks including typing (most common), holding the telephone and holding the steering wheel are also common. CTS can also cause a buring pain at night in the wrist that can make sleep difficult. It is not uncommon for the pain of CTS to be felt traveling up the arm. Nerve conduction studies/EMG can be performed by your neurologist and be useful indetermining the diagnosis and extent of your injury. The first line of therapy is to wear wrist splints at night (to keep the carpal tunnel open-in its most relaxed state). Medications to control neuropathic pain are sometimes needed such as neurontin, elavil, lyrica etc. Patients that do not have control with conservative measures and/or medications are often help by surgery (to release the pressure on the carpal tunnel).
Other less likely possiblities for your symptoms include a taks specific dystonia (such as writer's cramp) or a disc bulge in your neck pressing on the nerves that go to your arm/hand. I would suggest that you see a neurologist and specifically a neurologist with subspecialty in EMG/neuromuscular to help you with your problem further.
I hope this has been helpful.
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Apart from the pain which travels up your arm, the rest are not suggestive of Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Your short description points at an early " Task specific dystonia" the other name is "Occupational dystonia " and you need to see a movement disorders specialist, and if you are bellow 40 years of old (some say 50) Willson disease should be ruled out by blood and 24 urine testing
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