Can Carpal Tunnel or Wrist Tendonitis aggravate arthritis?
I am a 56 years old female who was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome about 6 years ago.
My job requires a lot of computer work. Since February I have been very active with home improvement projects which has required extensive use of my hands. The problem has gradually become worse and these past few months it has become a big concern.
I have osteoarthritis in my thumb and fingers along with a bone cyst in my thumb. I can't say that I have wrist pain. However, I have constant numbness, swelling, tightness, weakness and pain in all my fingers and thumb. The wrist splint for night worked for a short time, but no longer. This problem wakes me up all night long. Of course, the specialist wants to operate.
I have 3 questions:
1. Do I actually have carpal tunnel syndrome or is it wrist tendonitis?
2. Can the problem aggravate the arthritis?
3. Can this cause permanent nerve damage?
Thank you so much for your time!
I'm going to jump right into answering your questions.
1. You may have some tendonitis damage. For sure you have a tendonitis dynamic, which is very close to the same thing as a Carpal Tunnel Dynamic.
Both consist of a Downward Spiral of increasing pain, problem, and tightness.
I recommend you start shifting your thinking towards that you are suffering from a -dynamic- in the hand and arm, as opposed to a specific kind of injury.
Your symptoms are too widespread to be looking at it as a specific problem. Or at least, the specific problem is that you have a dynamic in the entire arm that is causing you misery.
Said another way, even if you do have Tendonitis of the wrist, I don't think it's the primary issue you should focus on first. It's not the worst issue at the moment. All the constant tightness is the foremost issue.
2. A Carpal Tunnel Dynamic and/or a Wrist Tendonitis dynamic can absolutely aggravate arthritis, and could possibly be a partial or total cause of the problem.
When muscles get tight and stay tight, including the thumb muscles, the pull joints together, compressing the joints.
So now when you move your thumb and wrist joints, the bones are rather grinding on each other. This causes irritation and wear and tear damage, and that causes arthritis.
Here's more conversation on Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis.
3.Permanent nerve damage is an interesting concept.
Doctors consider it permanent like 'final' and 'no hope of ever returning to normal'.
But really it works like this: If you step on a water hose, flow of water slows or stops. Is it a permanent flow reduction? Only as long as your foot remains on the hose.
Same thing with nerve compression from tight muscles. They are constantly tight, so it feels like it might be permanent 'damage'.
But if you reverse the Tendonitis dynamic, (though for you maybe we should call it a Carpal Tunnel dynamic) nerve flow will return.
Those are the immediate answers to your questions.
So let's see, other thoughts....
A. I'm not surprised that the wrist splint didn't work. Really they are just a device that prolongs your suffering.
B. I am 100% certain that a good portion of your hand issue is coming from up at the front of the shoulder and neck.
C. Of course the specialist wants to operate. That's what they are trained for, that's the best option in their world view, God bless 'em.
My training and world view consists of reversing the problem and helping the arm and hand get healthy again.
Carpal surgery at the wrist isn't going to heal the problem. Nor will it reverse the dynamic of the Downward Spiral.
It -probably- would temporarily help, as it would free up the pathway, kind of.
But the dynamic will still be in place and would eventually result in more pain and more problem. Plus you would have to heal from the trauma of surgery. And the body doesn't like trauma and will ultimately respond with more tightness (to protect you).
So what do you do to make it better?
My biggest suggestion is to get The Carpal Tunnel Treatment That Works DVD.
Granted, I'm biased because I created it and am selling it. And, if you do what it says to do, you will be pleasantly surprised at the results. And if you don't give up on it, you can possibly get pain free, minus the arthritis and bone cyst pain. But even that will be much, much reduced. (More on that later)
The DVD contains exactly and only what you need to understand the dynamic that is going on in your hand and arm, and what to do to about it to quickly reduce symptoms and turn the Downward Spiral into an Upward Spiral.
That's why I made it.
It doesn't address arthritis directly, but first things first. You have some layers to work through before you can get to the arthritis. First you need to get rid of the pain, numbness, and weakness. Those are creating an ecology that causes and maintains arthritis.
Also, read through this website. There is a lot of valuable information and an activity you can start doing today to make the hand start feeling better. Hint: Ice Dip
I'm always available to answer questions, and fine tune your activity and results from the DVD, and I'll be right there with you until you are out of pain, if you're willing to do the work.
Keep using the Comment function right here to ask questions and post updates, etc.
Whatever you do, let's get you started on a path to get your hand feeling at least 90% better.
It's totally doable. It will take some time and effort, but you'll be surprised at how little.
Talk to you very soon.
Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert