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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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Can wrist braces cause atrophy, pain and tingling sensations near the wrist and fingers?

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Answered by

Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 3146 Questions
Hi i need answers so i can start to do treatment the correct way. I recently believe i developed some sort of nerv related injury(rsi, carpel, cubical, i don’t know). In my left arm when i press down on the part where my wrist meets my hand it send a bit of aching pain up my hand and my fingers get tingly. In my right arm my the it isn’t as bad but the tingling is in my pinky and ring finger and have a little pain near my elbow. I also wore wrist braves with a rigid splint in them for like two weeks and didn’t do much as i thought you were supposed to rest. Now I’m not sure is this is atrophy but my forearm muscles are definitely not firm and some appear to be memossing when i feel my arm is doesn’t feel the same as before as far as the structure of my muscles. This is in both arms as i wore both braces for the same amount of time. Just need some help. Also is it okay to wear the braces that just are like wraps and have no splints?
Fri, 8 Jun 2018 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Ulnar neuropathy possible.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

Judging from your description a neuropathy, peripheral nerve injury, is possible. The territory of the distribution of the symptoms is that of the ulnar nerve. It can be damaged due to many different causes, compression is the most common, usually in the elbow or wrist, but can happen in other sites as well.

Splinting is used at times, but before rushing to do that one must confirm the diagnosis and the damage site in order for determining the appropriate splint. The most useful diagnostic test is nerve conduction studies. I wouldn't undertake wearing braces and splints before confirming the diagnosis as you'd risk causing more damage from not immobilization and muscle atrophy. If diagnosis is confirmed physical therapy may be needed as well. In some cases if symptoms do not improve surgery may be considered but I'd say it is early to discuss that.

I remain at your disposal for other questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can wrist braces cause atrophy, pain and tingling sensations near the wrist and fingers? 12 minutes later
Thank you for your answer to bad i have state healthcare and live in Los Angeles. Everyone takes forever. So unfortunately i did rush to wrist braces and wore them for two weeks cause i thought it was what i was supposed to do. I am still trying to set up an appointment to see a specialist it is taken a month for them to give me a referral. I definitely have atrophy but I’m young so With physical therapy i can gain my muscle back. It just sucks cause if the doctors here cared or at least the ones i see i couldn’t have gotten more immediate help.
What do you think i should do now?
Thank you for helping me out
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 16 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Vitamin B6 and caution.

Detailed Answer:
I do not think you should do much. Often such neuropathies are due to a transitory compression and heal by themselves over a few months, especially in someone young such as you. Avoid actions or postures which may lead to prolonged compression of the elbow or wrist, avoid intense exercise. Vitamin B6 supplements may also be helpful, to be used for at least 6 weeks.
If symptoms persist till you see a specialist then the above mentioned test should be scheduled.

Let me know how I can further assist you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can wrist braces cause atrophy, pain and tingling sensations near the wrist and fingers? 8 minutes later
Can this be caused by repetitive motion. I sell on eBay and i go for ten hour plus a day and pick through barrels of clothes because they are in bins and I’m using my hands a lot. This can cause it?
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 10 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Can be one of the factors.

Detailed Answer:
Repetitive movements using elbow and wrist joints can be a contributing factor, especially if for so many hours as you say. So you may want to reduce the workload for a few weeks. It is not necessarily causing it alone, often it's a combination of factors such as minor trauma, other issues such as diabetes, genetic predisposition etc. But it can be a contributing factor.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can wrist braces cause atrophy, pain and tingling sensations near the wrist and fingers? 7 minutes later
Okay thank you so much for the help. Do you have any exercises i can do for the atrophy of my forearms cause i need to build those back up so i can get back to normal strength at least
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 10 hours later
Brief Answer:
Elastic ball squeezing.

Detailed Answer:
Hello again.

Any exercise which avoids to much of a strain on the wrist or elbow would be fine. I would suggest exercising with an anti stress elastic rubber ball (I think that's what you call them in english), squeezing for 2-3 seconds and releasing for at least 10-30 times three times a day (may start with 10 and increase gradually). That would be a good exercise for the hand and forearm muscles without any trauma on the nerve.
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