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Repetitive strain / carpel tunnel

(20 Posts)
GagaJo Sat 28-Dec-19 21:33:39

I had RSI problems in my hands about 6 months ago. It had begun to be quite a problem, causing my grip to weaken and leaving me with problems holding a pen or typing. All major issues for me at work!

Then, for no accountable reason, it improved drastically. I'd more or less forgotten about it. But now it seems to have started up again.

Does anyone else have RSI that seems to come and go? WHY does it come and go? I wondered if it was the cold weather, but it's been cold for a while now. Any ideas?

lavenderzen Sat 28-Dec-19 21:41:40

I'm glad this post is here. I am struggling with my hands at the moment, the knuckles are swollen and I have very little grip in either of them. I do have arthritis and use a gel and paracetemol. The blood test for RA proved negative. I am going to make an appointment to go back next week but am interested to hear how others have managed. It hasn't been diagnosed as carpel tunnel but I am wondering if it is.

GagaJo Sat 28-Dec-19 21:53:15

Mine really kicked off with pins and needles and numbness. It was the pins and needles that alerted my GP to it. Fairly classic apparently. She recommended split glove things to wear at night. I got some but then it improved on its own so I didn't really use them.

tanith Sat 28-Dec-19 22:33:11

I had carpal tunnel for over a year, numbness and tingling, loss of strength/grip. I had surgery 2 mths ago but there has been no improvement so far and I have a hard lump and numbness at the surgery site. I’m hoping it will improve in time.
I would see your GP he can refer you for tests to see if it is CT.

GagaJo Sat 28-Dec-19 22:57:03

Have seen the GP twice about it. I was more or less told no help was available, despite her thinking it was CT.

ExperiencedNotOld Sat 28-Dec-19 23:07:41

I have no arthritis but did suffer severe tendon damage in my left wrist after breaking it (smashing it into pieces really) with further damage resulting from the plating required to mend it. The plating is now out and two years on I still do the exercises and stretching, with a slow and continual improvement. Some days, after a lot of use, the thumb tendon stands proud and throbs - but I apply ibroprofen gel and carry on. If you don’t keep using it it’ll seize up and become increasingly weaker.

M0nica Sat 28-Dec-19 23:10:21

I had carpal tunnel system on and off for 30 years before it reached the point where I considered it necessary to see a doctor. I would have a few weeks or onths when it was quite painful and then it would disappear for months, as I said this continued for 30 years, then it became permanent and very painful and I began to need pain killers during the day as well as at night.

I saw my GP and was immediately referred for surgery and had the surgery 2 years ago. It has not been entirely successful. I am now out of pain - and for that alone I am truly, truly grateful but I have numbness in one and a half fingers and residual very mild pins and needles in two fingers - and, yes, a small hard lump at the surgery site, but I find all that entirely manageable. But more than anything I am out of pain.

Tanith have you seen your GP about your lack of improvement? I was told to do exercises after the operation. I had a 'stress ball that I used about 10 minutes a day, holding it and clenching and unclenching my hand on it and I also massaged the hard lump every day for about 5 times, using a little bit of oil to lubricate the massage. The hard lump is scar tissue that has formed around the incision site.

I was helped by DD whose arm had been severely injured in an accident about 5 years before and she advised me based on the physio she had to do to get strength back in her hand and wrist and deal with internal scar tissue

tanith Sun 29-Dec-19 07:47:33

MOnica I have been exercising it and massaging too. I went back to see the the surgeon and he also said the lump was scare tissue but as I told him that lump was there almost immediately after the surgery I’m puzzled how it could be scare tissue so soon. He also said it could still recover and to give it time. So I live in hope.

Juliet27 Sun 29-Dec-19 08:00:48

I had carpal tunnel syndrome many years ago which was cured with a cortisone injection. I am now getting weakness and pain in the other hand which feels the same but I think it is now down to arthritis in my thumb joint. I’m convinced that pain is affected by weather/air pressure and the cold, wet weather we’ve had lately has definitely increased pain.

Marydoll Sun 29-Dec-19 08:45:10

I had carpal tunnel surgery four years ago after having various treatments. I still wear a wrist splint in the daytime and a different type in bed and continue to attend the hand clinic, as the improvement only lasted a few months after the op.

I also have RA, de Quervain's tendonitis and a touch of osteoarthritis in my wrists , which makes it difficult to determine the main culprit.
I was forced to give up work as a teacher, after being off for more than a year with it, as I couldn't use my right hand at all in the end and the other wrist was painful too.

I have another appointment at the end of January, where I will have to decide if I want a procedure done in theatre, where they inject cortisone deep into the wrist.
I'm not holding out much hope, sorry if I don't sound too positive.

jacq10 Sun 29-Dec-19 09:20:10

My late cousin suffered very badly from carpal tunnel. She was a keen knitter (practically professional) and it really affected her. She was operated on very successfully in our local hospital but about four years later her other hand became infected. She was told there was a long waiting list (years) so her DS offered to pay for it. She went ahead - same surgeon, same hospital and operating theatre but the cost was around £1,000 (which was a lot then) if I remember rightly. I get a cortisone injection in my left hand every six months or so - pretty sore getting it done but pain free for about three months before it starts again.

Polly99 Sun 29-Dec-19 09:32:04

My hobby is knitting and crochet but about a year ago my wrist was so painful I had to stop. Then I read an article about hand stretches for knitters, involving moving the fingers, gently bending back the wrist etc. I gave it a go and to my surprise it really helped. I try to do them every time I knit and I am back to knitting every day now. Of course this is probably RSI and I am not saying it would help with other medical conditions.

Barmeyoldbat Sun 29-Dec-19 10:15:49

Years ago I had CTS which I think was caused by me being a keen knitter. Anyway had a successful operation one year on one of them and the other one was done a year later. Never had a problem since.

GracesGranMK3 Sun 29-Dec-19 10:31:50

Carpal tunnel is a problem with one of the main nerves in your hand so isn't always caused by arthritis although it can be. I have general neuropathy, i.e., the nerves are dying or dead in various places and this can be anywhere on my body. It is mainly peripheral at the moment - so hands, arms, legs and feet and it has caused carpal tunnel in both hands.

It has improved in my feet which may or may not be due to two other conditions being found and treated but there does seem to be little that can be done other than finding the cause of any entrapment of the nerve and treating that.

Painkillers seem to be the only answer but don't give up with your doctor. You should not have to live with pain.

M0nica Sun 29-Dec-19 22:40:10

tanith scar tissue forms very quickly. Whe DD had her accident scar tissue formed very quickly, within a couple of months of the accident and initial surgery she needed surgery to remove excess scar tissue in her wrist because it was limiting use of her hand.

Some people are inclined to grow excessive scar tissue, it is quite common and she was one of them - as am I. My hard lump was there from the day of the op. Initially I think it is just swellingbut as the swelling subsides it becomes scar tissue.

I had one steriod injection, it was meant to be two, but it had no effect on the problem whatsoever. Both GP and surgeon were agreed that the only solution for me was surgery but we had to jump through all the NHS lesser treatment hoops first.

It was a classic example of how the NHS wastes money trying to save it. Insisting I had to start treatment with steriod jabs when GP and specialist were united in saying surgery was the only solution, there was innecessary expenditure on steriod jabs that were completely ineffective and I then had further tests to check surgery was needed, when it was already abundantly clear it was necessary.

Some one up thread talked about having steroid jabs twice a year. Carpal tunnel is very basic day surgery, how soon before surgery would have been cheaper than constantly repeated steroid jabs?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by nerves being subject to pressure as they go through the carpal tunnel, a cartilege tunnel in the wrist. The operation consists of a 2 cm incision to enable the surgeon to cut the tunnel and free the crushed nerve. It is so quick and simple, I cannot understand the determination to do anything to avoid the op.

Yes, it is not always completely successful - as mine wasn't, but at least I am pain free.

lavenderzen Tue 31-Dec-19 17:19:43

I wanted to come back to this thread to read about RA, I know Marydoll has it.

I have been to the drs this afternoon and been given amitriptyline to take at night. Dr has more or less ruled out CTS and RSI and is still going down the RA route. The bloods I had in September, which the other dr (locum) said were fine are not sufficient she says, so I am going in again on Thursday for more. Dr did say it doesn't always show up in the beginning.

I will have to see how I go on but the pain kept me awake for two nights on Sunday and Monday I didn't sleep at all. It's so exhausting.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Tue 31-Dec-19 17:25:39

I had this a few years ago Gagajo and it was very painful - like my hand was on fire. Steroid injections by the GP were helpful. I worked as a typist, then a cleaner and must have put too much pressure on them.
Gentle flexing exercises helped a little.

GracesGranMK3 Tue 31-Dec-19 17:31:24

I hope the amitriptyline works lavenderzen.

GracesGranMK3 Tue 31-Dec-19 17:45:21

Did it go away lovebeigecardigans1955? I would love to think that it did. I was so angry with my consultant when I last saw him about my neuropathy. I asked him if there was anything I could do to help myself. His reply - you can always ask your GP for stronger painkillers!

Surely it's worth saying something like "a half-hour walk every day may help". Even if he knew it could well make no difference he would be giving back some sense of agency, of personal autonomy. I like the idea of the knitters stretch exercises for just that reason.

vinasol Tue 31-Dec-19 17:52:19

I have repetitive strain in my right hand, particularly at the base of my thumb. I blame it on years of lifting heavy patient case notes. It does come and go. I don't think it's that bad to do anything about just yet, but I'll take a couple of ibuprofen if it's on the achy side.