Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, who's had it?

stunet's picture
stunet started the topic in Monday, 29 Nov 2021 at 4:36pm

And, more importantly, how'd you deal with it?

I've been diagnosed with it. Thought at first it was something to do with mountain biking as I got a new bike recently, maybe Handlebar Palsy, but I had a nerve conduction study and, as he read the results, my doc looked over his glasses and said: "You have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, my friend." Not sure, but think it's RSI-related.

So I got a cortisone injection, but that was two weeks ago and it hasn't worked.

Now taking some mild painkillers: paracetomol, which does bugger all, and Nurofen when I can handle the gut aches.

Bought an ergonomic mouse but it hasn't arrived yet.

Doing mild stretches that don't involve flexion.

Scored some lidocaine cream for nerve blocking. Tried it while surfing this arvo and it seemed to go OK, but only worked for thirty-ish minutes. Pretty toxic stuff too. Can't use it too often.

Gimme some advice if you've ever been here.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Monday, 29 Nov 2021 at 4:37pm

For the near future, my surf sessions are gonna be a half-hour of power.

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak Monday, 29 Nov 2021 at 4:56pm

@stu , I had it but was probably 30 +years ago , my hand would cramp and spasms . Can’t remember what happened to fix it , possibly a change from bricklaying and labouring to hospitality for about 8 years. Ive had golfers elbow in left arm and tennis elbow in right . 18 months ago bursitis in left shoulder. I’m pain free in all joints now and I’m putting it down too CBD oil taken regularly . Government prescription is about $180 , I get mine from nimbin for $70 . Plus a cream that relives the pain within a minute for $25 . I never used CBD oil for carpel tunnel because it wasn’t around then . https://cfah.org/cbd-oil-for-carpal-tunnel/

Wyre's picture
Wyre's picture
Wyre Monday, 29 Nov 2021 at 4:56pm

A friend of mine just got the operation, on both hands over a stretch of a few months. Reckons it is a game changer.

he has been flying helicopters for the National Parks for years, seriously bad for CTS.

Not sure who he went with but I can find out for ya?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Monday, 29 Nov 2021 at 5:03pm
Wyre wrote:

Not sure who he went with but I can find out for ya?

Text me, Wyre. I've made a booking with a hand specialist but it's a looooong time away.

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Monday, 29 Nov 2021 at 6:26pm

I use to get it in waves after doing any manual work with my hands. Would wake up at night like hands were on fire, not pleasant. Eventually went away if not having to do any manual work. Doc suggested operation if got worse as it is effective simple and safe, but has been ok. Lucky I am not in work that involves a lot of physical work. Saying that when I was living in Indo and on a motorbike a lot, it would get quite bad in my left hand if was riding a lot due to gear changing. The mountain biking could be a factor.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Monday, 29 Nov 2021 at 10:07pm

Desk based mate of mine who was doing massive hours (60+ for months on end) had the start of it but his employer supported him with new ergonomic sitting/standing desk, chair, keyboard and mouse ... along with some training on how to use properly and some physiotherapist sessions. All this pretty much cured him.

My point is there may be an alternative to surgery ...

I’ll add for the last decade of my career I headed up a disability insurance assessment area for one of AUs largest public sector Super funds. Can very confidently say CT/RSI is pretty much unheard of these days given the front of mind awareness for proper ergonomics. I’d be looking at the physical reasons why before any surgery, there are fee based professional assessment services for this purpose - good luck

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug Monday, 29 Nov 2021 at 11:24pm

Thanks Guy, maybe San Guine has some input into this.

arcadia's picture
arcadia's picture
arcadia Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 12:47am

My old man had it and got surgery which seemed to fix it, but rehab took a while ... I think.
Periodically I get similar symptoms (pins and needles, pain and weakness), connected I suspect to rock climbing. I now stretch the hand and joints daily which seems to help

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 6:29am

Also forgot to add, if you have not already got a wrist hand support brace from chemist, get one. Wear it at night and helps a lot...

brutus's picture
brutus's picture
brutus Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 7:36am

Stu..I had it really bad in France from shaping , but also RSI in my elbow..........I think you need to see a Sports specialist Dr......as the cortisone worked for me , but it was all about where I got the injections which was done with an ultrasound to target the inflammation.....
You need to get a wrist support to stop using the tendons in your hand as much.........have you had someone workout why you have it?
In the end I survived for a couple of years until my shoulder was diagnosed as the cause of all the problems and had a complete shoulder reconstruction....I had Warren and Sten Kramer (WSL Docs for the last 20 years or so) do all the work......as they are some of the Worlds best surgeons.
So it's all about getting diagnosed....do you know anyone that could get you into an NRL Doc/Physio??

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 8:31am

Colleagues at work have had this from too much typing with poor ergonomics (mouse shape, wrist position etc). They tend to use the strange alien spacecraft shaped big mouse with success. These people usually did data entry work. I would expect lower typing volume swellnet journalism work would be quite doable without problems with care.

Cycling can be a factor - sustained pressure plus the rough ride of off road mountain biking.:

"Handlebar palsy is caused by prolonged pressure on the ulnar sensory nerve, which causes your hand to ache and the ring and little fingers to feel numb. Carpal tunnel syndrome can occur when the median nerve is compressed through the "tunnel" between the bones of your wrist."

As you age, highly repetitious actions and pressures of many sorts can cause problems (a kayaker I know got hand weakness from lots of paddling). Tendons age and don't repair well.

I have a sore thumb tendon from doing heavier weights - common. It never gets better. One shoulder has some rotator cuff or tendon pain - again from going up in weights in my mid 50s - felt the tear. Now I stick with lighter weights. Pushing to the pop up make both hurt due to the angles. Minor issues really. Would not want to do popups for a living though!

But surfing itself has not been a cause of any problems over the years. I can't see surfing less as being a solution for you.

My suggestions are think about your work patterns and ergonomics and your mountain biking - amounts you do and hand positions. Take the pressure off the problem actions and they should ease up or go away. Your body has sent you a message.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 8:35am

Cheers Brutus, the cortisone injection was in conjunction with an ultrasound. In fact, the ultrasound technician commented on how enlarged my median nerve is, so he saw it, and I can only assume the doc landed the needle in the right spot. I've read that sometimes the injection simply doesn't work.

Reckon you're on the money, as is Guy Smiley, regarding visiting a sports doc or occupational therapist. Need to get to the bottom of why I have it so I don't keep aggravating it.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 8:39am

Surfing 'round the net looking for answers I came across Bob and Brad, the two most famous physical therapists on the internet.

Only need to listen to the first ten seconds.

Volume up.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 9:00am

3.6 million YouTube subscribers can't be wrong.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 9:03am

They have given plenty of bad advice in the past.
Haven't watched that vid though.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 9:08am

It's all about the song.

Could easily change it to "the two most infamous..."

ljkarma's picture
ljkarma's picture
ljkarma Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 9:20am

Stu don't rule out Acupunture, well worth investigating and a safe option.
CTS with father and brothers having operations on wrists and hands. I started getting hard tissue lumps on palm of hand and had three treatments of acupuncture which fixed it. Now just soft tissue lump with no pain or finger contraction.

Taprobane's picture
Taprobane's picture
Taprobane Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 10:39am

Had my operation about 5 years ago and I could not wait to have it. By all means try alternative options but if it kicks in like mine it was the only option. Had the worst nerve pain waking me up every night for about 3 months.
The operation itself is not too bad.

samerubi's picture
samerubi's picture
samerubi Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 11:37am

my experience with cortisone for a shoulder bursitis was that it took 3 to 4 weeks to really have a noticeable effect. 6 to 8 weeks later the bursa was good. give it time.

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 12:05pm
samerubi wrote:

my experience with cortisone for a shoulder bursitis was that it took 3 to 4 weeks to really have a noticeable effect. 6 to 8 weeks later the bursa was good. give it time.

I’m glad the cortisone worked for you , I also had one for tennis elbow with guidance from scan but it only relived the pain temporarily for a few weeks. The CBD oil plus phiso sorted it out. Had the problem for about a year came good after 4 weeks of alternative treatment. I was told also that problems with elbows and wrists usually stem from something further like shoulders, neck and back . Had sciatica for a year and doctor torture in legian fixed that in 2 sessions after spending over $1000 in oz seeing various specialists . Sucks getting old .

linez's picture
linez's picture
linez Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 12:27pm

Just out of interest Supa, what treatment did you get in Legian?

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 12:48pm
linez wrote:

Just out of interest Supa, what treatment did you get in Legian?

It was explained to me that with sciatica, the muscle in your bum , grabs hold of your nerve . Dr torture stuck his elbow with an extreme amount of pressure ( had me screaming and eyes watering )in to my butt cheek and held it there for what seemed an eternity. Then massage and acupuncture with the electrics hooked up . He first asked how long I’d had it and when I said 12 months he said no problem it would take 3 sessions, well it took only 2 . After being in pain 24/7 with the pain running down my leg and out through the top of my foot it was a huge relief. I got what he called tune ups once a month after and its never returned. Haven’t seen him since covid started but still all good . He had a patient that suffered with it for 14 years and he came good after 10 sessions. He used to charge 300,000 rp but is extremely popular with expats and its now 500,000 rp. B672-CBF9-E990-437-C-8-E7-E-661-AE509-C855
pit digging insect crossword

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 1:12pm

https://g.co/kgs/cHxzdy. Some reviews of Dr Torture

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 1:27pm

https://www.youtube.com/c/athleanx

Have found this guy's videos useful for some ailments.
Fixed my back,.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 2:25pm

Have used this guys Pressure Point stuff for Sinus relief...Brilliant

linez's picture
linez's picture
linez Tuesday, 30 Nov 2021 at 7:48pm
Supafreak wrote:

https://g.co/kgs/cHxzdy. Some reviews of Dr Torture

That's what made me ask.....my wife went to him years ago and she said the same thing, brutal but effective.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021 at 9:37am

A follow up post for anyone also suffering or otherwise interested:

A few weeks back I had consecutive days when someone recommended the same specialist to me. Was prepared to listen to the first friend, but when the very next day another friend mentioned the same guy I immediately made a booking for "the hand man".

It was gripping - sorry, dumb pun - watching the way the hand man worked. Asked me to tell him absolutely everything that may have contributed, then, without leaping to conclusions, he went over each aspect: broken collarbone, torn flexor muscle, asked me to move this way and that, prodded me as I did, inquired about the pain with various movements, working down my arm till he was poking deep into my palm while moving each finger individually. It was a forensic search for evidence.

The hand man deduced that my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome was being caused by tendonitis from the tendon connecting my pinky to my forearm. As the swollen tendon passed through the Carpal Tunnel it pushed on the most sensitive thing - the median nerve - and caused havoc in my hand.

He advised me to keep wearing the wrist brace I've got but he also cut and stitched a length of 8mm neoprene to wear over my pinky and stop it curling, thereby engaging the tendon. For a few days I kept every finger on my right hand straight. Not an easy task, but thank the primates for giving us opposable thumbs.

A week in and my hand is noticeably better, the weird numbness and pains have gone, and surfing is relatively pain-free. I've got one more week in my little pinky wetsuit then I'll see the hand man again for a check up, but the improvements so far are stark.

Like most ailments, it's a matter of getting a correct diagnosis so you know what battle you're fighting.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021 at 9:53am

Stoked. Sometimes the lack of certainty about healing can be as bad as the issue itself.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021 at 10:18am

That's great news Stu, and no surgery!

So are you secretly admitting you're wearing paddle gloves in the surf now ;)

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021 at 10:33am

Foiled again! My elaborate ruse to justify paddling gloves has been discovered.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021 at 10:56am

You don’t need a contrived cover story to wear paddling gloves, just abandon any self respect you’ve ever possessed..

Too easy.

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021 at 11:11am

I've been wearing 8mm neoprene over my pinky for years but alas it never stopped it curling

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021 at 7:29pm

Great news Stu!
This might be embarrassing to admit but i used to be a full on gamer whenever i had the chance and the surf was flat i was gaming, sometimes 10 hours a day. I was ranked 320 in the world on Call of Duty and had to keep up or improve my rank so kept on playing days on end even missing work sometimes.
Anyway i developed what you describe in my wrist hand and fingers, tendons went all weird on me and i had to stop playing games. That was about ten years ago and i forget which hand it was left (key hand) or right (mouse hand)...anyway it went away soon after giving away gaming.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021 at 8:26pm

Any advice on what’s causing the tendonitis Stu?

82shoes's picture
82shoes's picture
82shoes Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021 at 10:38pm

Sounds like you might already have it sorted Stu, but here's my story, or what I can remember of it as it was probably ten years or more ago... I thought I had CT Sydrome, went to a specialist place where they run the diagnostic tests at one end, discuss the results in the middle and do the surgery at the other end. Of course they diagnosed Carpel Tunnel didn't they. I smelled a rat (seemed a bit like a Carpal Tunnel operation factory)and mentioned it to an osteo I used to see. He did a few little manips etc. and fixed it pretty much in 5 minutes ... So, not saying you haven't got it (or didn't have it) but like you said a proper diagnosis is important, then suitable treatment.
I would also suggest acupuncture or myotherapy for something like this, but everyone is individual as are the causes. And then there are good practitioners and not so good in every field....

82shoes's picture
82shoes's picture
82shoes Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021 at 10:39pm
linez wrote:

Just out of interest Supa, what treatment did you get in Legian?

How's the back going Linez?

linez's picture
linez's picture
linez Wednesday, 15 Dec 2021 at 7:28am

Hey 82, yeah it's coming on really well. Finally got back in the water a couple of weeks ago, so good just to get back on a board. I'm stronger overall, but my surf fitness is shot haha. Just have to take my time and not overdo it and the fitness will come.
Massive thanks to MB..... I never thought I would even surf again.
How you going?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Wednesday, 15 Dec 2021 at 8:11am

GuySmiley wrote:

Any advice on what’s causing the tendonitis Stu?

No idea. I asked the hand man about it, but he gently dismissed the notion. Without using so many words he made it clear that it was his job to fix the problem, not identify what caused it.

I guess people could be upset by that, but considering the pain and discomfort I was in, I kinda liked his focus.

I'd still like to know what caused so it doesn't come back again. I'll be observing things closely when I regain full movement again.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Wednesday, 15 Dec 2021 at 8:20am
82shoes wrote:

Sounds like you might already have it sorted Stu, but here's my story, or what I can remember of it as it was probably ten years or more ago... I thought I had CT Sydrome, went to a specialist place where they run the diagnostic tests at one end, discuss the results in the middle and do the surgery at the other end. Of course they diagnosed Carpel Tunnel didn't they. I smelled a rat (seemed a bit like a Carpal Tunnel operation factory)and mentioned it to an osteo I used to see. He did a few little manips etc. and fixed it pretty much in 5 minutes ... So, not saying you haven't got it (or didn't have it) but like you said a proper diagnosis is important, then suitable treatment.
I would also suggest acupuncture or myotherapy for something like this, but everyone is individual as are the causes. And then there are good practitioners and not so good in every field....

Yeah, I've had experience in the past where specialists in various fields tell you what you want to hear. The last such time was in 2016, when a neurosurgeon at St Vincents up in Sydney told me my nerve impingement could only be fixed by fusing my spine across the effected vertebrae.

Though it took a while, that condition was fixed though diet and lifestyle changes. Cheaper, safer, and healthier.

As for the CTS, the hand man appears to pride himself on non-surgical intervention, and I liked that approach. As stated, his search for the cause was thorough, and after two months of pain I started feeling better within two days of following his advice.

It's not over yet but I really feel like I'm on the correct path to recovery.

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell Wednesday, 15 Dec 2021 at 10:26am

Good luck with that Stu, looks like it was a different variety of injury to my RSI or whatever it was that gaming excessively caused my injury. My injury went away withing a few weeks too so im sure its not that.
Slightly off topic I feel embarrassed talking to surfers about gaming but it is a really fun activity and can help with surfing especially games like snowboarding or rally games...flow ive bagged on about that though too much on these forums already.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Wednesday, 15 Dec 2021 at 10:57am

Cheers Groundswell. You might be onto something with gaming, RE the flow state for surfing, though I'm not sure if the obligatory Cheezels and bongs help.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Wednesday, 15 Dec 2021 at 5:28pm

I had Carpal Tunnel in my right hand 20 years ago. It was caused by a savage wrist lock when I got bounced out of Jupiters Casino by the goons one evening. (It's a long story)

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Wednesday, 15 Dec 2021 at 8:00pm

Thanks for sharing Stu...Good health to one and all!
Also diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel & told to wear Wrist braces for 3 months > then surgery.
Did the Brain & neck scan then Doctors asked tbb where & when was that...Huh!
That was 2 years ago...Covid hit & Outpatient appointments were long since cancelled.

CT Mostly attributed to hand actions above waist / shoulder > hard / Stop-Start gripping
Overhead Power Tools / Hammering but equally Musos, Hairdressers, Cleaners squeezing sponges.

Pretty much as any guess...just wearing out Hands thru repetitive strain cutting off blood flow.

Tip! Bring forward essential Artwork or Fine craft projects while hands still afford such liberty!

Also had a neighbour ( Cleaner ) that had successful 'surgeries'
One hand at a time! (Check with the crew!)
Think there is an order as by hand preference to recovery time before 2nd hand surgery!
(It's a thing!) Might have to sign Consent / Carer / Driver > Operating Machinery etc!

tbb still wears the Wrist Splints...every bloody night!
Might wanna check on (Sleep Time!) Neck & Teeth Stress that can grip hands tightly at night.
Thought the teeth guard was stupid at first > Thanked the dentist for instant ongoing relief!
News (This week!) Reckon every one is gettin' them...Saves chewing someone's head off!

This clenching of teeth & hands can also curl yer toes to harbour equal painful disability.
GP & tbb are working on a theory....

Important! Not too high or too low
tbb wears a comfortable wrist splints but fails to brace fingers to prevent clenching.
( re: Above 1st / 2nd knuckles > disables (freezes) yer hand upon waking!)
Feels right to do this but seriously, don't...tbb tried it...took 4 hrs for hands to heal & come alive...

Instead! See example > Just above the base of yer fingers but short of 1st knuckle is therapeutic.
https://ssl.cdn.ncmedical.com/items/fullsize/1237847493_NC79028A_LG.jpg

This in turn relaxes the fingers just enough & more importantly deters the clenching of hands.
tbb doesn't have a pair but has trialled "Cardboard Paddles" to this holistic length!
Premium wrist support but also perfect finger length to prevent waking with stressful finger clenching.
Strange to think that fleshy spot length cuts down on clenching stress...but it is a huge difference!
Not saying this brand, as reverse side of Splint looks too fussy for CT sufferers.
Once you cross this line by restricting knuckles, the CT stress load equally cripples in reverse mode.

But here's the bonus kicker!
If you can prevent hand clenching...in tbb's trial...also reduced/prevented reciprocal toe clenching.
GP reckons if we could rig up bridged base splint for fingers / toes it should work as one therapeutic.
tbb wears Wrist Splints / Chin strap / Mouth Guard / CPAP Mask-Hose ( Eye Mask was too much)
New Years Resolution : " Hammer Toe & Comforter Splints " Just what the Doctor Ordered... Be Stoked!

Also! Posture, drink more water & allow blood to flow to hands while tasking helps big time.
Basically to better position or time share in order to reduce any overhead griping tasks.
Same goes for any Weed Pulling (Murderous for CT sufferers) Again you'll need to ration the tasks.

Safety Tip! Don't do lengthy heavy duty grip Tasks before Long Drives or Work / Big Day Events.
Warning signs! Keep a drink & if your hand starts shaking when gripping a glass, then it's time to stop!
Also take care with open handle Kettles & dodgy cardboard handle grips / Hot Soup / Noodle Cups.

If yer hands are weak & shaking...You're already a safety risk to yourself...don't be to others.

tbb did 4 hrs HD pruning & failed to grip above waist steering wheel...self grounded for 4 days!
Don't think this can't be you, as tbb was freaking & at a loss as to why! (Safety First!) Know better now!
Result: tbb just took 3 days to cut thru a 4 inch branch > (No injuries, no dramas, good to go! Winner!)

82shoes's picture
82shoes's picture
82shoes Wednesday, 15 Dec 2021 at 10:35pm
linez wrote:

Hey 82, yeah it's coming on really well. Finally got back in the water a couple of weeks ago, so good just to get back on a board. I'm stronger overall, but my surf fitness is shot haha. Just have to take my time and not overdo it and the fitness will come.
Massive thanks to MB..... I never thought I would even surf again.
How you going?

Long story mate, thanks for asking. In short, things got complicated when I tore my meniscus (knee) the day after I got back in the water, had surgery but rehabbing back and knee at same time was problematic, found the hyperflexes were aggravating the knee. Apart from that MB's program was awesome. Decided to go for combined package of treatment/ movement coaching, exercises by someone who surfs and understands. So I'm making progress and tentatively having a few short surfs ...like you said, it's so good just to out there but feeling like an absolute gumby