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Experiencing sharp painful sensations in wrist. Can this be due to nerve damage? What is the remedy?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - Nov 2013
Nov 2013
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Practicing since : 1994
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Hi, I am a drummer and while playing, I felt a sharp pinch on the top of my hand (near the middle) that was somewhat painful enough for me to stop. While resting, I noticed non painful radiating sensations from that spot going down to my wrist. It eventually went away and I continued the rigorous 5 hours a day of practicing I've been doing for about a month for, I think, 2 or 3 more days. Eventually, I noticed my affected left wrist and forearm getting fatigued faster and stopped that day. I've stopped since then and today is day 2 and a half since stopping. During the 2 days I've experienced: -some slight tingling on and off. Especially in the area where i first felt the sharp pain. -no real pain, but the forearm (esp the outside muscle near the elbow) and tricep area can get sore fast from activity though stretching and rest relieves it. -No numbness. I got a splint from my friend but it's a bit tight though it works. I'm thinking I have carpel tunnel. I'm hoping I didn't permanantly damage a nerve. Is there a chance? What steps should I take to remedy this?
Posted Fri, 6 Dec 2013 in Brain and Spine
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 3 hours later
Brief Answer: My reply is below. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for posting your query. Yes, your guess is probably correct, as your symptoms indeed look like carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). I would like to reassure you that you have not permanently damaged your (median) nerve, which is usually compressed at the level of wrist in CTS. Initial treatment is to stop the activity that caused it, in your case, it is drumming, and you have already done it. Medications such as gabapentin or pregabalin capsules would also help. A nerve conduction studies of upper limbs, would confirm the diagnosis of CTS and its severity. In some cases, where rest, splint and medications do not help, a minor surgery at wrist may be required to relieve the nerve compression. I hope it helps. Please get back if you require any additional information. Wishing you good health, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, India Click on this link to ask me a DIRECT QUERY: http://bit.ly/Dr-Sudhir-kumar My BLOG: http://bestneurodoctor.blogspot.in
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Follow-up: Experiencing sharp painful sensations in wrist. Can this be due to nerve damage? What is the remedy? 28 minutes later
Thank you for your answer. I have a few more if you don't mind: - Should I continue to refrain from my usual yoga workouts? Is complete rest needed? -Should I sleep with the splint? -How long does it take to heal with rest? When should I get worried and get help? -Does the medication for pain relief or is it to remedy the problem? -Sometimes sensations on the top of my hand (original spot of the injury that i mentioned) will make a spot on my arm feel a sensation. Is this normal?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 1 hour later
Brief Answer: My replies are below. Detailed Answer: 1. You can continue yoga, and all routine activities. Only drumming need to be stopped for now. 2. It is better to sleep with splint, if it is not so uncomfortable. 3. It takes a few weeks (2-4 weeks). 4. Medication is for relief, and not the permanent remedy. 5. Yes, the sensations are normal. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
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Follow-up: Experiencing sharp painful sensations in wrist. Can this be due to nerve damage? What is the remedy? 47 hours later
Thank you for the follow up. The yoga I do is fairly intense. It's strength training with yoga moves. I do a lot of flexing and opening of of the fingers and push ups are involved. Is this still okay? I'm afraid of further damaging the initial nerve I hit on top of my hand from doing yoga or any activity. To update my condition: -My muscles still fatigue and get sore with use, but the level of overall discomfort from the soreness seems less. -Depending an my level of soreness and activity, I still feel the sensations of my forearm and top-of-hand muscles working -Tingling is intermittent depending on level of activity. Seems to have lessened overall but I almost always have a splint on so it's hard to tell. Sometime tingling near the elbow can turn into brief itching Does this help indicate I'm getting better? Is rest and splinting akin to a high recovery rate? Meaning, no surgery. Typing can wear me out fast. Should I avoid typing with both hands? Thank you, and I look forward to your follow-up.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 3 hours later
Brief Answer: Thank you for getting back. Detailed Answer: Yes, intense yoga where you land on your wrist region may cause further nerve damage, so, it may better to avoid that for some time. Similarly, too much computer use can also be avoided for the time being. Your improvement in symptoms does indicate that you are getting better. Regarding surgery 70% people do not require them and get better without surgery. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
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Follow-up: Experiencing sharp painful sensations in wrist. Can this be due to nerve damage? What is the remedy? 3 days later
Thanks for the follow up again. after a couple days of the same, I started getting markedly better yesterday. I can type in short spurts without getting fatigued. The tingling and "mirrored" feeling the top of my hand causes seems much weaker symptomatically. I've had virtually 90 percent rest during this whole time since i took off work. Would you suggest that I stay safe and just go the whole two weeks of rest and splinting? I very much appreciate all your help.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 7 hours later
Brief Answer: You can start some activity Detailed Answer: Thank you for getting back. Since you have had so much improvement, I suggest that you start some of the activities, that do not put much strain at the wrist level. You can wear the splint most of the time especially at nights, you can remove them during day when you are doing something. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
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