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Forearm crutches causing hands to go numb

I started using forearm crutches a couple of weeks ago and am having a problem.
Every time I use them, my hands go to sleep and I have to stop and wake them up.
Meaning I get the pins and needles, etc.

Does anyone have any tips or advice on how I can stop this from happening.
There is no padding on the handles and I am thinking that might be the problem.

Thanks again for all of your support.

I am going downhill pretty quick and I am nervous that I may have to get a chair sooner than later.
I am not thinking my life is over, I just don't want to move too quickly.

But...walking is becoming more difficult for me related to exhaustion.
Anytime I try to do something outside of the house like going to a store, etc, I am down for the rest of the day.

I am too young for all of this and I still have four young children I have to care for.

Blah, blah, blah.  Thanks.
12 Responses
333672 tn?1273792789
I'm sorry that you're having such a hard time, especially with young kids.

I don't have any answers for you. I get numb more easily than I did before, I think from the MS. My hand hurts if I have been really leaning on my cane for a while, but doesn't get numb.

Padding might help, but it might just be the pressure from putting your weight on your arms and there might not be anything to be done about it.

Maybe a physical therapist could give you some insight into something you could change?

sho
900662 tn?1469390305
Hello,  I'm saying this is your problem,  however you might have a problem with a disk in your neck. Have you had your neck scanned?

I have problems with two disks in my neck that causes problems.


take care
Johnniebear
1437229 tn?1296070020
What kind of handles do your crutches have?  Mine have ergonomic handles that take pressure off the palm.  The area for my thumb is shaped to rest it, keeping it flat instead of causing you to curl around, and grip the handle.  Gripping will certainly cause numbness.  Some handles have gel inserts that help, too.

You may also want to consider a pair of wheelchair gloves.  Are you familiar with them?  They mostly come with short, open fingers, and often have gel pads in the palm.  If you have a physical therapist he/she could easily order a pair for you.  They are not particularly expensive either.  They come in a variety of materials from leather to mesh.

I went into a wheelchair very quickly.  My final diagnosis was in July of 2010 and by October I was using it whenever my outing consisted of extensive walking.  By January of this year I found myself wheeling virtually 100% of the time at home and out.  That is a very quick timeline.  It is a lot to wrap my brain around, and has been a challenge to realize.  It is about doing what is best for your body, though.

I know you have children for whom you must care, and that adds a dimension with which I need not deal.  I have never been married, nor do I have children.  I do know that when I visit my nieces or the elementary kidsters at the school where I occasionally volunteer they are always very eager to assist.  That is the nature of children.  I am sure your kids would help you, too.  My greatest challenge with wee-tiny creatures is when my cat Calvin comes and sits beside me and flops his tail directly in the path of my wheels.  We have had some very close calls.  YIKES!

The wheelchair has afforded me the opportunity to conserve energy where I might otherwise be exhausting myself trying to ambulate.  That is a call only you can make.  You will know when the time is right, but you must be willing to go with it when that comes about.

Here is the dittie by which you can live..."Walk when you can, wheel when you must.  Common sense and your body are the clues you can trust."

I hope you can find some answers for yourself.  Listen for your gut to tell you what you need to know.

Most sincerely,
Beth
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for your advice.

It hasn't been a year since this all even started and I find myself growing weaker and weaker by the day.

My neuro thinks I am ianother flare and wants me to do the solumedrol again.

Christmas is in a week and I am dreading all of this happening right now.

I do understand what you mean by going with my gut.
It is all just happening so fast and I feel like I am giving up.

Again thanks for your advice and I love the quote.

I will definately keep it in mind.

Kerri
338416 tn?1420045702
Compression of the (ulnar nerve?) (off to Google!)

Ulnar nerve!  Yes indeed, it's that nerve that runs along the bottom of your forearm.  You're putting a lot of weight on your arms, which is compressing the nerve and causing your hands to go to sleep.  I used to have that problem at my desk, until I changed my keyboard position.

I don't know about you, but when I'm weak, my arms and my legs are weak.  I don't want to depend on my arms holding me up.

I think most of all you're having to run around after the kids, and that's wearing you out.  First things first - let your neuro give you a course of solumedrol.  It'll help you get out of this flare faster.  Then you can think about a chair.  

I used to think I was wheelchair bound, four years ago.  Today I'm still walking as badly as ever.  Not being a pollyanna, but don't give up hope just yet!
Avatar universal
Thanks.  Yes, my arms and legs are weaker than usual.
My hands are also numbing sporadically.

As soon as I start using my hands they go to sleep.

There is definitely something going on and I am pretty sure I am in a flare.

The neuro said that they can't strt the treatment until Monday side I will go to the infusion center in the hospital but he did say if I get any worse to go to the ER and the on call neuro would start the treatment there.

I figure I can wait till Monday and if I am still feeling the same, I will start the treatment then.

Thanks so much for your advice.  I am just nervous about all these quick changes.

Kerri
1830047 tn?1321667793
Everything above makes sense.  

Back to what Jenn said, I fell and broke a toe and was on crutches.  My weak side would tingle a lot (which isn't normal for me) and my arm just couldn't hold me up.  Had to give up the crutches unless it was only for a few feet.

Luck!
1437229 tn?1296070020
Jens,

You said,  "I used to think I was wheelchair bound, four years ago.  Today I'm still walking as badly as ever.  Not being a pollyanna, but don't give up hope just yet!"

Realizing you need a wheelchair is not giving up hope!  I am not without hope!  I am a woman who has a rotten disease that has stolen the strength from what used to be very strong legs to the point that I must use a wheelchair.  It is coming to grips with the fact that there is no classic case of MS, and in turn finding it necessary to use one in order to get from point A to point B without falling from bad balance or collapsing from exhaustion.  Plain and simple.

Beth
Avatar universal
Thanks everyone.  I think since this disease progresses and presents so differently that we all come with specific experiences.  In light of that, we all feel strongly about our own path.

For me, I know that I am wheel chair bound.  I can feel it in my gut and that is fine.  Like maestro said, it is coming to grips with the decision.  If I could fight it I will but my ms path doesn't seem to be going that way.

I love this forum because of all the different perspectives.  There is no cookie cutter ms here.  I can't find this anywhere else.

Neuro said I am in another flare and I will start solumedrol this coming week.
My last flair started on October 21st and I am in another one already.  This doesn't make sense to me if I have RRMS.  I started copaxone a week ago and know that it probably isn't even in my system enough yet to make a difference.

Is a crap shoot.  After my last flare I lost a good amount of mobility and am expecting that I will lose some after this flare.  Which leaves me with the next step after crutches.  I will definately keep you all posted and appreciate all of you.

Kerri
1816210 tn?1327354884
Hi,

I have this problem too.  The angle of your hands on the crutch handles can cause nerve compression in your wrists.  It may well be the beginning of carpal tunnel syndrome.  It's so easy for us to label everything as MS related, but having MS doesn't protect us from getting other problems too.  I have to wear a brace on both hands every night from this same problem.  If you think about how much pressure is on our hands, from using forearm crutches- it makes sense.  

Anyway, whatever the problem is- I hope you feel better.
Tammy
Avatar universal
It sounds like HNPP to me - check this:http://www.hnpp.org/
Get your doctors to take a test for the missing gene that causes this.
2015036 tn?1332997788
Hi,

My neurologist says this problem may be related to carpal tunnel.  He gave me night splints for both hands.

Fun huh!  We are stuck using the crutches to walk sometimes, but then we have to deal with the problems that are created by them.  

I use forearm crutches, but I have only found pads for the arm cuff- nothing for the grip.  

I hope it gets better.
Tammy
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