Shoulder Pain and Carpel Tunnel or something else?

by Amy
(Lancaster, OH)

Four months ago I woke up feeling like I had just done a weight workout with my hands; the palms of my hands were sore and hurt.

Over the next weeks I experienced tingling, numbness and pain in my hands, at the base of my palm (bottom wrist) and up my arm.

Some days it felt like I had a tourniquet on my arm.

I had been at my desk job 2 1/2 years when this pain began so I decided to try and ergonomically adjust my work setting. No change.

After 2 1/2 months I decided to see a hand/wrist doc. He was perplexed because I was relatively young (35), in his opinion, to have CTS.

The nerve test revealed a 4.9 in the left hand and 5.2 in the other, which surprised him even more.

I am thin and have been really active in my life, and was not pregnant either. He prescribed wrist braces at night and then the option of cortisone and then surgery.

He also said that I am "genetically predispositioned" for this condition.

It has been 2 months since then and I haven't experienced much improvement. I do some stretches for thoracic outlet syndrome and my arm pain subsided.

My hands hurt the worst in the mornings and experience numbness when I do things like hold the hairdryer or cell phone up.

My shoulders have been feeling weird as well this whole time; clicking and feeling a little sore.

I have never had any injury to my shoulders. All of my fingers hurt as well as my pinkies which I thought were usually not affected by CTS.

Is this the run of the mill case of CTS or is there something else? I also have tendonitis in my thumbs. Ugh!!

I want to have a baby soon and this is holding me back.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Amy.

Your doctor being suprised is a bad sign. Your doctor thinking that 35 is too young for Carpal Tunnel is a bad sign, as age has nothing to do with it. Your doctor going right from brace to corisone and surgery is a bad sign.

Genetically predisposed? On what criteria? Because you have symptoms and you're only 35 and you have small

I call BS on the 'genetically predisposed' claim.

Here's my first impression. You have significant issue up at the front of your neck and front of you chest/shoulder. Please don't hear this as damage or something horribly wrong with you.

It's just a function of the hose (nerve) that feeds your arm getting stepped on.

Changing ergonomics at the point that you changed isn't likely to help much.

Wrist splints and braces are good for short term limitation of ongoing irritation, and/or short term use to keep the fingers and wrists from curling and clenching at night.

Doctor's like the term 'nerve damage'. But a hose doesn't need surgery. It just needs to have the foot taken off it.

Let's investigate.


1. Did your doctor do any tests for nutritional deficiency?

2. When you say your arm feels like it has a turniquet, say more about that. The whole arm, some of the arm, etc.

3. Describe numbness/tingling symptoms in more detail, please. Where, when, how bad, why.

4. Describe any other pain symptoms in the lower arm. When, where, how bad, why.

5. Say more about thumb tendonitis. Why do you think you have Tendonitis of the thumb?

6. I bet you have a certain posture. If you're willing to send a picture of you standing or sitting from the side, that would be beneficial and will give me visual cues for what's happening to the shoudlers.

7. History of injury?

8. What's your workout history?

9. Anything else interesting I might need to know?

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.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

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

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