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Old 06-02-2005, 04:56 AM   #1
Nateskate
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Carpal STINKING Tunnel

I'll define it. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a disorder in which tendons that make your hand work, get inflamed, and for whatever reason, get sort of trapped in a space that's too small, causing pain and numbness in the hands. It can be nasty when you try to sleep, or use the hand for prolonged periods. Picture the feeling when a limb falls asleep. I hate when medical charts refer to "NUMBNESS and tingling". You'd think of novacain, where you lose feeling. NOT THAT NUMBNESS DOCTOR. It's equivalent to the numbness you feel if you stick your hand in ice for a half hour, just before you lose your limb, and you feel searing pain.

Since we have so many longterm writers here, I'm sure I'm not the only one who has it. I had surgery on the left, and it's very severe on the right (According to the EMG) but I keep putting off the right surgery until I finish the rest of the stories of the series.

Who else is or has struggled with this monster?
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Old 06-02-2005, 05:09 AM   #2
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I have not experienced the pain of it and I hope I never do. The closest I can come to relating is the time I hurt my foot real bad. It was so painful that it kept me awake at night and I was completely miserable. It wasn't a sharp pain. It was a dull, throbbing, deeply aching pain that was relentless. I would guess that carpal tunnel is maybe something like that.
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Old 06-02-2005, 05:12 AM   #3
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At the first symptoms of it, I took to wearing a brace at night and haven't had much problem since. I hope things get better for you!
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:36 AM   #4
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I wear a brace at night, otherwise both hands end up numb by morning and most of the day. It helps a lot, no surgery. It can work or not at all, or it can make it worse.

I have a mouse pad with a wrist rest, and one for my wrists on my desk in fornt of my keyboard--but it is the night time stuff that's the worst.
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:48 AM   #5
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Here, too, along with peripheral neuropathy caused by long-term diabetes. Know exactly what you mean about the numbness. Right...try that foot-going-to-sleep prickly, hurty feeling x 1000. Then you'll be close.

Some days I work with both arms wrapped to the elbows in ace bandages and wearing those gloves needlepointers use (I found them in the crafting section of the store). Heat seems to help me somewhat, so I've got heating pads that I also wrap my arms in when needed. Ibuprofin is my friend. So is Amitriptyline for those particularly troublesome times.

For some reason those gel wrist pads (or anything like that) just seem to aggravate the pain for me so I don't use them. Don't use a mouse either--just the thought of that makes my hands scream. I've set up my laptop so that I use the tap feature on the mousepad.

I also have days when I can't touch the keyboard at all. Not good when I have deadlines.

Sometimes I've wondered if others have the same problems. Sorry to hear that some of you do!

Last edited by awatkins; 06-02-2005 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 06-02-2005, 07:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awatkins
Here, too, along with peripheral neuropathy caused by long-term diabetes. Know exactly what you mean about the numbness. Right...try that foot-going-to-sleep prickly, hurty feeling x 1000. Then you'll be close.
Insulin dependant for 38 years now--and I think that has more to do with it than the typing as i have it in my feet as well---neuropathy, and diabetics are more pron to the dang stuff.
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Old 06-02-2005, 09:11 AM   #7
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Shawn

25 years insulin dependant for me. I've got neuropathy in both arms and hands, ditto for my legs and feet. When everything gets going at the same time, ooooh, man. Mine's worse at night, too. Wonder why that is?

I'd love to hear what everyone does to help ease the pain and discomfort from CTS. Thanks for starting this off, Nateskate.
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:26 AM   #8
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Try taking B-complex twice daily, and wearing a cock-up wrist brace at night. I've had CTS for years, and with the exception of when I was pregnant 8 years ago, I haven't have it get any worse. Just some minor twinges now and again.
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Old 06-02-2005, 04:36 PM   #9
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One note of caution,

if you use Ibuprofen to deal with the pain, please be careful how much you take, especially if you are diabetic. Ibuprofen can cause kidney damage, which is the reason my sister-in-law had to withdraw as a kidney donor for my husband. After years of using Ibuprofen for her back problems, she has damaged her kidneys. Fortunately, she found out as a result of testing for donating to Dan, before it got too serious.

Hope this helps,
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Old 06-02-2005, 05:12 PM   #10
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OUCH!

I should have skipped this thread....now mine's acting up. It's probably the outdoor work + weather combination, but still.....I didn't miss it while it was away. Ben? BenGay? Are you out there? I need some help, son, even if you do make my world smell like a peppermint factory.
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:08 PM   #11
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I take Ibuprofen almost daily for sinus problems and pain which now that Chacounne has mentioned what happened to her sister-in-law, I will stop doing and find something different.

As for the carpal tunnel, are there things I can do to help prevent it considering I spend a great deal of time at a computer now?
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awatkins
Here, too, along with peripheral neuropathy caused by long-term diabetes. Know exactly what you mean about the numbness. Right...try that foot-going-to-sleep prickly, hurty feeling x 1000. Then you'll be close.

Sometimes I've wondered if others have the same problems. Sorry to hear that some of you do!
Having a peripheral neuropathy sounds terrible. I know most people with CTS can control it with splints. Mine was so severe, because I waited so long to get it treated. I have severe arthritis in my elbows and shoulders with contractures, meaning they don't extend fully. I kept thinking the pain in my arms was because of the position I had to sleep in, and my arms were just falling asleep. So, I was told off the bat I had it severe in both hands, but developed something nasty called De Quervains, which caused me to lose the use of my left thumb. Being a guitarist (hobby), that killed me. So I had surgery on the left hand right away, and got the use of my thumb back.
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gehanna
I take Ibuprofen almost daily for sinus problems and pain which now that Chacounne has mentioned what happened to her sister-in-law, I will stop doing and find something different.

As for the carpal tunnel, are there things I can do to help prevent it considering I spend a great deal of time at a computer now?
Alot has to do with the way you position your hands and wrists, so yes, you can do something. You'd probably find information doing a web search.
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drgnlvr
Try taking B-complex twice daily, and wearing a cock-up wrist brace at night. I've had CTS for years, and with the exception of when I was pregnant 8 years ago, I haven't have it get any worse. Just some minor twinges now and again.
This is weird. My joints are screwed up to the point where the brace isn't helpful. I have so much loss of motion in the elbow and shoulder joints, and some in the wrists "Although if you look at me, I don't look so bad", that when I wear the splints, my arms are forced into an unnatural position. (Hard to explain)

By the way, as far as longterm meds, they all have a downside. I took Bextra, and I had arrhythmias for six weeks. I'm thinking of sueing them, because it was a nightmare. I never made the link with Bextra, but the same thing happened in 2003 when I took it. Then when the FDA pulled it, I talked to the cardiologist, and he saw a link with arrhythmias and Bextra.

The first time they had to cardiovert me. And the strange thing, is the tests show no major heart disease.
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:31 PM   #15
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Nate, I have De Quervain's in my left wrist, of all places (I'm right-handed). Every so often I get swelling, a bump I can move around. Wearing my watch is painful. Then, like now, the bump is gone and I'm fine.

I have CTS in my right wrist, and oh yeah, the "numbness and tingling" is more like "my hand is on fire and I want to chop it off at 2 am."

I get aggravated by too much typing (what do I do for a living - data entry - HA!) and having an ill-adjusted keyboard. I also work at a desk that isn't adjustable. Did I piss someone off in a previous life?

I prefer ibuprofen for the swelling and inflammation. Tylenol will do if that's all I have in my purse.

Bextra - I used to work for that drug company. There have been stories of serious side effects since it first came out, like a rare skin disorder for one. The company had to get a special warning label for it in order to sell it to the public. My husband used to take Vioxx for a bum knee. It worked, but his cardio profile (HBP, diabetic) meant he really shouldn't take it. Then it went off the market anyways.

I am not a doctor, but here are some suggestions for more natural remedies:

Ginger, tumeric, garlic, vitamin B6, increase intake of Omega-3 fatty acids (cold water fish, flax seed), and veggies with high anti-oxidant properties (blueberries, for one). These will take time to work, usually about 6-8 weeks, so they aren't meant for immediate relief.

YMMV!

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Old 06-02-2005, 10:33 PM   #16
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My wife developed CTS when she was pregnant and had to wear a brace at night, etc. But it went away after the baby was born. It did cause her quite a bit of discomfort though. (I caused the rest of the discomfort)

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Old 06-03-2005, 06:21 AM   #17
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Sure enough I am doing everything wrong.

My keyboard is at an angle. I have been keeping a firm grip on my mouse with my hand and I lock my elbow into the arm of the chair so that only my wrist moves from side to side.

Time to make some changes in my habits before it is to late.
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