Tendonitis pain from Carpal Tunnel To Shoulder, Doctor Wants To Do Surgery

by Sissy

First I want to thank you for ALL the information in your website. I read other ones but yours is GREAT!!

This is my history: I'm a 42 years old woman, short, in good shape even though I don’t do any kind of sports, my wrist are small.

How everything started: a year and half ago my right hand started to be swollen just in the mornings (a couple of weeks), I didn't pay too much attention to that, then also some discomfort in my wrist and fingers (the middle one and the other two next to it, the thumb and the little one never bothered me, neck neither), I still didn't think it was a big deal, I just thought my right hand was just tired, because when all this symptoms started I was working harder than ever for the last 3 months in my job because it was increased A LOT, maybe too much (the job I do is constantly repetitive emotions with hands, fingers, arms, shoulders and lifting 25lb to 50lb, and about that time I was doing that job for over 3 years).

I started to get a little bit concern but I didn't do anything about it. Two months later I had to go to the doctor because my right wrist hurt me really bad (pain in palm side), swollen most of the time (you couldn't see the swollen), sensation of pin and needle sometimes in fingers tips (mainly in the middle one, sometimes even the other two), during night my hand fallen sleep, the pain built up to the forearm, elbow, bicep and shoulder, I couldn't sleep in my right side anymore, a lot of time when working I was having the sensation of burning in my palm, and pain and more pain.

My family doctor said that sounded like Carpal Tunnel, so he wanted me to wear a brace for two weeks and anti-inflammatory pills. I was changed of position at work and reduced hours (no more 45 to 50 hrs, just 30 hrs). I wore the brace as doctor told me, it helped me a little bit for one week.

I went back to the doctor, he requested an EMG/Nerve Conduction test. It was scheduled for three months later. In the meantime I continued icing my wrist, wearing my brace, resting as much as I could, taking Aleve, and not doing the same job as before but similar with less hours.

In some way all this together helped to get better, two weeks before the test was suppose to be done I was feelings 90% better, so I cancelled it. at the end of the year I was fine and very happy for that.

Two months later I was trasfered to another location doing the same job as before all my symptoms started, but in this one I had to use the knife more for chopping and cutting. In just a couple of months ALL my symptoms came back faster and even worse (the funny is in the same month as before "April", I'm really going to hate that month, LOL). I started to take care of my hand in the same way as before but didn't work at all this time, so I looked for the best orthopedic surgeon in the area, I went to see him, he requested an EMG/Nerve Conduction test, it came back NEGATIVE, I was very glad of that because I didn't really want to have Carpal Tunnel, I was expecting to hear ..... I had Wrist Tendonitis, but I didn't get that lucky, the doctor told me that sometimes the test comes negative and he still believe is carpal tunnel, he saw in my face that I wasn't too convinced it, so he referred me to another orthopedic surgeon with even better reputation than him for a second opinion.

I almost forgot to say that ONCE AGAIN I was changed position at work and hours reduced to 20hrs and that seems helped to reduce the pain from 10 to 8. This new doctor wasn't too convinced of the Carpal Tunnel diagnosis because of the negative test, and like me was thinking that it could be just hand tendonitis.

He checked my hand, shoulder and elbow because my pain was from my fingers to my shoulder. He found out that the inside part of my elbow was tender but it wasn't the main reason for all my symptoms, the main pain was in my wrist in the palm side and at that point I was even feeling it very tight, I couldn't shake hands anymore, dropping stuff all the time, I couldn't open jars, I didn't feel my hand and finger strong anymore, I felt useless. Scared!!.

He decided to inject a cortisone shot to my right carpal tunnel space as both therapeutic and diagnostic. Next day I was better 80%, three days later 90% better, shoulder feel some discomfort only when I use my arm to reach over my head over and over at work, I was feeling my hand stronger, pain in the hand and wrist disappeared totally and all the wear symptoms but.... the inside part of my elbow still I had discomfort.

I went back to see my main orthopedic doctor and I told him about it. He said the shot confirmed his diagnosis and he was glad did so great. He gave me more anti-inflammatory medicine for the discomfort of my elbow and told me if the pain and symptoms came back, then he would want to do the surgery.

I still don't want to believe is Carpal Tunnel, although I have read a lot that a lot of times the test comes negative for some people and they went through surgery anyway and solved the problem. My concern is ... if the pain come back what to do? is the cortisone shot a good diagnostic tool? I wonder if I have wrist tendonitis where the doctor would inject the cortisone shot? in the same place like for carpal tunnel? if so, how they can know for sure that is a proof of carpal tunnel?

The cortisone shot in my wrist (carpal tunnel space) was done on August of this year, today is Nov 2nd and I'm still fine about my hand and wrist but three weeks after I had the shot and I stopped wearing my wrist brace, my elbow started to get worse and worse, pain and burning sensation in the inside part of the elbow, especially when working, so I went back to the doctor, now I also have medial epicondylitis (golfer elbow), so another cortisone shot in the inside of the elbow and a strap to wear in the forearm, it's helping a lot with the elbow issue but slowly, I still have some little discomfort with my shoulder sometimes .

This makes me think did I have two problems all this time or it was just the elbow? for what I read affect the hand too, although all the pain and symptom started in my hand.

I know my job requires repetitive motions, long hours and some lifting but the negative test result makes me STILL think that maybe it's not Carpal Tunnel, it could be just Wrist Tendonitis, or the elbow issue OR the problem comes from another part of the body (I read that happen a lot too), if I said this is because in December of 2009 I was carrying a piece of a furniture (wood) under my right arm from my car to my house when I slipped and my body bent to my right side hitting my rib pretty hard against what I was carrying (my hand, elbow or body never touch the ground, only my right knee), the hospital took X-ray of my rib and doctor said it was a rib contusion, it took over a month to get well, it was very painful and with difficulty to breath but I got well. Then all this issues with my hand and arm started on April of 2010, just a couple of months later, coincidence? maybe!! but for some reason makes me think that maybe it could have something to do with my problem even the doctor doesn't think so.

I read something about Thoracic Outlet Sindrome, I really don't have any pain or discomfort in my neck, chest or back, but just makes me wonder. I would really appreciate A LOT any help about all this, I’m even thinking to go for a third opinion if ALL the symptoms come back. I’m not afraid of the surgery, but I want to be SURE that I have what the doctors say I have.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Nov 27, 2011
Joshua Responds - Tendonitis pain from Carpal Tunnel To Shoulder, Doctor Wants To Do Surgery
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Hi Sissy.

Thanks for all the details. That's perfect.

-I- would be afraid of the surgery.

Dr.: "I want to do surgery to open up the carpal tunnel."

You: "Why did the carpal tunnel close down?"

Dr.: *Blink*Blink* "Because of all the repetitive motion, obviously."

You: "How exactly does repetitive motion cause problem at the carpal tunnel."

Dr.: "Don't you worry your pretty little head about it. Let's do the surgery."

You: "So the surgery will fix the problem and then I can do all the repetitive motion activities I want? Because surgery fixes the CAUSE of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?"

Dr.: **Blink**Blink** "Well, no, you won't be able to go back to your original job, and it might take you a year to heal from the surgery, and I can't guarantee results and I can't guarantee that your symptoms won't get worse after the surgery. Oh, and there's no money back guarantee if it doesn't work out."

Dr's attack symptoms. Not the cause of the symptoms. Your doctors can't give you an answer about what's going on or why you have the symptoms that you have. Period.

Just for fun, go ask them some questions like you'll find on this page: Quiz Your Doctor

Moving on.

So, you have wrist pain, numbness, tingling, burning, elbow pain, pain up in to the shoulder now.

(Is surgery at the wrist going to fix the entire dynamic up the arm?)

1. You seem really interested in a diagnosis. Now you have two! There's more I could say about that, but I'll just go with - A diagnosis is just a label for something.

2. What you DO have is a Pain Causing Dynamic.

3. And a Process of Inflammation.

4. And it's a safe bet you're Vit D and Magnesium deficient. Go get a Vit D level test (don't worry about getting a magnesium test, they won't give you the right one). Being short on Vit D and Mag help cause the symptoms you describe.

5. Inflammation Causes Vitamin B6 Deficiency. B6 deficiency causes Carpal Tunnel Symptoms.

6. Maybe you have Tendonitis. Maybe you just have Symptoms of Tendonitis. Meaning, maybe you have damage, maybe (most likely) you don't.

So there's that.

My highest recommendation at the moment is to get my Reversing Wrist Tendonitis ebook, and do what it says to do. That will cover your bases, as far as nutrition, getting rid of inflammation, and discovering the source of the pain/problem.

More questions, more answers.

Aug 14, 2014
16 years of carpal tunnel, now shoulder pain, and still searching for the main cause, and cure!!
by: Paul

Up till the age of 18 i was an extremely fit and active teenager (but with bad posture, my dad always used to tell me to put my shoulders back, i never listened....sorry dad) then i damaged my ligaments in my knee, and i got bad advise on how to rehab them so over the next few years my fitness and activity levels dropped.

Which is when my problems, at first, in my right arm started. I worked at a supermarket and lifted a heavy box and i felt a pain in my right forearm.

I went to see several Physios none of whom could help or even diagnose me and so after a year of trying to find what was wrong and hoping the pain would magically go away i went and had an MRI scan done and found a nerve had become trapped in my forearm and so i had surgery to release it( by now i had changed career and was working long hours on a computer making movies) my rehab went well with no problems and everything seemed great until;

6 months later the pain had returned so the surgeon again released the nerve in a second surgery, and again everything went well afterwards with no pain or complications.

My Dr even assured me the pain "can't return" well it did 1 year later, and caused me and my wife to make a big life change, we moved to her home country of Thailand as i was now becoming unable to work. So we moved here and i found a Thai massage practitioner who said straight away my problems come from my neck and all i need is regular massage, so i followed his advise and stayed pain free (mostly) for 5 years whilst still maintaining my career and working on a computer way to much.

But then late 2013 i went to work in London for 6 months and although i made sure my desk was set up ergonomically, i ate healthy and i stretched every day and got a massage regularly, i started to get a pain in my right shoulder, i had had pain in my shoulder before but it had always gone after a few days and never really bothered me, but now the pain would come and go more frequently and got progressively worse as time wore on to the point where i was in almost constant pain during work.

But i made it to the end of my contract and came home to Thailand, went for a massage with my usual practitioner, but the pain remained and got worse and worse by the day. So i decided to get other opinions on what could be wrong now. The general consensus is that i have shoulder impingement syndrome caused by bad posture (i should have listened to my dad for sure) so i was given some exercises and sent on my merry way. But now the pain is still with me after 2 weeks of rehab and I'm starting to feel a similar pain in my left shoulder too. So I'm confused as to what the dynamic is that is causing me all this pain and trouble.

I'm trying to understand the starting point for the pain, and i believe it to be bad posture, and maybe the problem originates in my neck and i get referred pain through my arms and shoulders but this is just me guessing and if possible I'd love to get an expert opinion on this.

Thank you for your time :o)


Joshua Comments:

Hi Paul.

"I went to see several Physios none of whom could help or even diagnose me"


"My Dr even assured me the pain "can't return"

This is the doctor that had to do (or prescribed a surgeon to do) a second surgery because the first one didn't fix the problem.

The problem, of course, is not the 'entrapped' nerve, that somehow magically got entrapped again and 'required' a second surgery.

The problem is the forces at play that cause the entrappment....which surgery does nothing for and generally makes worse.

"I'm trying to understand the starting point..."

Good! Let's talk about that for a moment.

It can certainly be up at the neck/shoulder. The nerve that leaves the neck and feeds the arm can get compressed most anywhere along the way.

And, one can have full blown Carpal Tunnel Symptoms with a perfectly fine wrist but compression at the neck/shoulder.

Other starting points:

* Nutritional Insufficiency/deficiency
* Chronic Inflammation

If you don't deal with a lack of nutrition, no amount of manual therapy is going to help (for long). 5 years of pain free is pretty good, but you notice that you keep moving back towards pain.

That's predictible.

I'd get either The Carpal Tunnel Treatment That Works DVD and the ebook that comes with it or Reversing Shoulder Tendonitis ebook. Probably I'd go with the former as that will open up the neck and shoulder (but RST focuses more on opening up the entire shoulder) and you've had surgery on the forearm so if it wasn't a problem that needs attention, it is now.

See Related: Shoulder Pain And Carpel Tunnel Or Something Else

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