Extreme hand/wrist/arm pain for over a year, still no diagnosis!
I am 29 years old and have always had excellent health. A little more than a year ago I began having numbness in both hands when I woke up in the morning and during my morning shower. The numbness would go away on it's own after the shower.
About 6 months ago I started waking up in the middle of the night with EXTREME (= to labor) hand/wrist/arm numbness and pain!! Additionally, throughout the night I started getting an electrical feeling in my forearms that causes me to thrash my arms violently in an attempt to alleviate the sensation.
At this point I began to start having pain & numbness throughout the day as well. The ONLY relief I got was to hang my arms at my sides, but as soon as I lift my arms to reach for something, a cup, a doorknob, the car steering wheel; the pain & numbness returns.
I have two daughters ages 3 & 4, I work and I go to school so I can't spend my day with my arms draped at my sides all day! I don't have a primary care doctor but have a good relationship with my chiropractor so I decided to start with him. I had seen him for years for work-related neck and shoulder pain (I'm a Dental Assistant), and also I have had a couple of car accidents that I have needed his care for as well.
With this history I thought maybe I had a pinched nerve or residual issues from one of the car accidents. With my health history in hand and after hearing my summary of symptoms, he performed several movement tests. With all this, he advised me that it was not an issue that chiropractic care would help with and he recommended I see an orthopedic surgeon for a possible case of Carpel Tunnel.(even after saying it was rare for a person of my young age and even more rare to have it on both sides).
I couldn't get in to see the ortho. dr for almost 6 months so for a temporary relief my chiro told me to try wrist braces that are for CTS and found at either CVS or WalMart. This provided some relief so that I can better function during the day and I now have to sleep with them as well.
I am taking Neurontin (gabapentin), a prescription for nerves and it seems to help somewhat. I have just applied to Dental Hygiene school and do not want to lose my dream career before it ever even starts! My appt with the orthopedist is another 3 wks away, I just hope my sanity can hold out!
Does this sound like CTS? Wrist Tendonitis?
Something else you know of?
Well, from the clues you've told me so far (pregnancy, dental assistant repetitive motion and posture, multiple incidents of car crash whiplash, numbness when raising hands up/over head, it very much sounds like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Which of course shares various factors with Wrist Tendonitis
But my focus for you would be on two things. The first is, compression up at the front of the neck/chest/shoulder, with hints of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (a fancy term for carpal tunnel up at the front of the neck/chest/shoulder).
The second, is nutritional deficiency.
Pregnancy takes a lot of nutrients from your body, which it's unlikely you replaced adequately.
See: Pregnancy Carpal Tunnel
The Process of Inflammation
eats up Vitamin B6, the lack of which causes Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
See: Inflammation Causes Vitamin B6 Deficiency
And if you do some research, you'll find that Neurontin causes some serious neurological side effects (which are mostly just because it causes nutritional deficiency).
Also, interestingly enough, if you work with laughing gas much at work, Nitrous Oxide causes significant vitamin B12 depletion (which causes neurological pain/dysfunction issues which you're then given dangerous pharmaceutical drugs like Neurontin for....)
Obviously I haven't seen you in person, and I'm not a doctor, so there certainly -could- be something medical and 'bad' in play, but chances are, from what you've described to me, it sounds like you're just suffering from the predictable progression of a Pain Causing Dynamic
. Meaning, due to injury and nutritional deficiency, your body can't function properly, which then creates pain, which creates more pain, etc.----------------------
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expertwww.TendonitisExpert.com