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Knumbness in my right wrist and hand?
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Knumbness in my right wrist and hand?

I had a terrible pain that started in my right shoulder area. It gravitated down my arm, over a period of time, and then it finally ended at my hand. Now my right hand is almost all knumb, fingers and all. I have a burning sensation that exists there, along with being knumb. I have to take Vicatin now to ease the pain in both my arm and hand. So, what could it be?

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Avatar_n_tn
did your dr check this out and prescribe you vicodin(if that is what you meant)? burning and traveling pain down the arm and into the hand/fingers most likely is a nerve problem and you need to have it evaluated to see what is going on. it could involve muscular problems as well. before getting too hooked on vicodin(its very addicting) id have your dr refer you to a specialist if they dont know themselves. good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
My guess is that you are rt-handed/use a mouse/lean towards
rt/poor posture w/ rt shoulder & neck tilted more to rt. You
probably use computer alot & don't have a posture-correct chair.
You're aiming for carpel tunnel syndrome. Get a mouse pad w/ a
wrist rest. Flex fingers frequently. Buy a coldpk or fill a sock
w/ crushed ice to keep in freezer to wrap wrist. This might take down the nerve swelling & pain. Drugstores also sell things
like wrist guards w/ metal & velcro closier to use at bed so
you don't curl wrist. Like the previous post it sure sounds like
nerve or muscle swelling & Vicodin helps pain but won't fix the
problem. Your c-spine is out of alignment too long sitting there clicking away. Get up freq. & do some stretching. Catch it
early. This can become chronic & more painful.
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Avatar_n_tn
Check out: http://www.epinions.com/cmd-review-40A1-FD6795-3907584F-prod4

Is it Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Wrist Resting Syndrome?
Apr 26 '00



Both are Repetitive Stress Injuries, but make Sure Your Doctor Knows the Difference

I have been using a computer at work for twenty-five years and at home for the past seventeen. It was only a matter of time before my repetitive use of the computer began to take its toll. And surely enough, about three years ago, I began to have symptoms that were misdiagnosed by a well-meaning physician as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). My symptoms were tingling, numbness, and pain in the palm and fingers of my right hand only. These symptoms were worse at night, sometimes waking me. In the morning, my hand would often be "asleep" for up to an hour before the numbness subsided.

Is it Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

CTS is a repetitive stress injury that develops in jobs where the work requires repetitive hand and finger motion. The overuse results in swelling and inflammation and eventual damage to critical nerve structures running through the confined carpal tunnel. The treatment for CTS has changed over the years. At one point, many of the cases were treated surgically whereas today surgery is a last resort. For example, about fifteen years ago, a friend of mine who is a pianist was diagnosed with CTS. The first and only course of treatment she was offered was surgery (which was successful).

Today physicians typically prescribe rest (including avoidance of the motion producing the damage), anti-inflammatory drugs, and rigid splinting in a neutral position. These treatments reduce the swelling and inflammation and keep the carpal tunnel as large and open as possible. With this combination of therapies, many individuals recover fully without the need for surgery.

Diagnosing my condition as CTS, my physician prescribed an anti-inflammation drug and "rest," meaning that he told me to stop using the computer! I told him that was not possible?the computer was vital to my work, so he then suggested an ergonomic keyboard (even wrote me a prescription) and a rigid plastic splint.

It May be Wrist Resting Syndrome!

Although I am left-handed, I use the mouse with my right hand?I suppose I?m really ambidextrous. Suspicious that my symptoms were only in the hand that used the mouse, I began to research my condition. CTS comes from internal damage to the nerves resulting from overuse. I just don?t type fast enough to create that kind of pressure. And besides, I use my left hand for most everything except the computer mouse yet the symptoms were in my right hand.

Unlike CTS, Wrist Resting Syndrome (WRS), which produces basically the same symptoms as CTS, comes from external pressure. Like many other mouse users, I rest my wrist on the table as I use the mouse. This concentrates the weight of the hand and arm on the delicate wrist area directly over the unprotected median nerve.

The problem is exacerbated by the elevation of the wrist. When the wrist is held at acute angles (less than 90?) from the elbow, the problem often worsens. WRS can also be experienced in both hands when the user rests his or her wrists on the table or the keyboard. Many users find that wrist pads are helpful, but they often do not solve the problem because the sensitive area of the wrist still experiences pressure while sitting on the pad.

Confirming the Diagnosis of WRS

Noting that my computer table at work required me to hold my wrists higher than my elbows and that I always rested my right wrist on the table while using the mouse, I became convinced that my problem was not CTS, but WRS. I discussed my conclusion with my physician, pointing out that the condition only occurred in my mouse hand. Not being much of a computer user, my doctor was unaware of WRS, but after he had researched the condition, he agreed with my assessment.

The treatment for my WRS was similar, though not identical to that for CTS. The anti-inflammatory drug and rest were still called for, and the ergonomic keyboard was a good idea anyway (my employer paid for it as a work-related purchase). I was also instructed either to raise my chair or lower my keyboard to increase the wrist-to-elbow angle past 90?.

Making the Appropriate Adjustments

I purchased a keyboard tray that allowed me to hold my wrists lower than my elbows and replaced my mouse with a touchpad. All of these treatments would help CTS as well as WRS, but there is one major difference. The rigid plastic splint required for CTS actually continues to place pressure on the wrist. Instead a soft open-fingered glove with a foam strip on either side of the median nerve area elevates the vulnerable area of the wrist above the table. I purchased a set of these gloves for $30--they are available from the manufacturer, SoftFlex? at the following web site: http://www.transpaper.com/softmore.htm.

After a week of using the right glove only, all my symptoms disappeared entirely. Now, three years later, I have reverted to using the mouse (I prefer it over the touchpad). Whenever the numbness reappears in my right hand, I just swap hands and use the mouse with my left hand (remember I?m ambidextrous). If the symptoms are severe, I may wear the glove for a few days, and the symptoms will then disappear for months.

Conclusion

If you are a frequent or long-term computer user like myself with symptoms including numbness in the palm and fingers of your hands, especially the hand you use for the mouse, you may not have CTS, but rather WRS. While the conditions produce similar symptoms, they have different causes and slightly different treatments. With the correct diagnosis and treatment, you should be able to continue to use your computer with a few adaptations while avoiding the need for surgery.
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144586_tn?1284669764
The liklihood is you have a nerve pinched in the cervical area. Easily treated with anti-inflammatories, range of motion exercises  and axial traction. The physician who prescribed you vicodin without checking this out should have his DEA script writing priviliges revoked.
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