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Left wrist pain, tingling in fingers, headaches, neck stiffness, skiing accident in the past. Treatment ?

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Practicing since : 2001
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I am 54, 5'4' 150lbs, I exercise 5 days a week. I have had problems with my neck off and on for 25 years due to skiing accident. I handle over 300 paper ER patient charts a week, reading, removing staples, alphabetizin, etc. I finally got an electric stapler last month! Has helped some. I have been doing this same job for 18 months, working part-time. A lot of pressure to get as much done as possible. I am having aching in my left wrist (I am left-handed) as well as tingling and numbness in my pinky and ring finger. By the end of the week the discomfort is worse and I recently noticed swelling in my wrist and ring finger. Prior to this have not had this type of discomfort. Always have headaches or stiff neck from skiing accidient.
Posted Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 17 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

Stiff neck with tingling and numbness in the ring and little finger along with some swelling is suggestive of a nerve root compression at the cervical vertebral level due to degenerative disc changes or cervical spondylosis. It happens primarily due to degenerative changes secondary to age in the cervical spine. Past neck injury may also contribute to the degeneration.

X-ray of neck in lateral view or MRI will help in the diagnosis.

Treatment includes
1. Use of cervical collar helps in immobilisation and brings relief.
2. Medical drugs like pain killers - acetaminophen/ibuprofen and muscle relaxants might be helpful.
3. Methylcobalamin supplements are also recommended for nerve compression symptoms.
4. Cervical isometric exercises are beneficial to maintain the strength of the neck muscles. Neck and upper back stretching exercises, as well as light aerobic activities, also are recommended under the guidance of a physical therapist.
5. Hot fomentation helps in relieving acute symptoms.
6. You can avoid using a pillow.

As you try these measures, I also encourage you to consult an orthopedician for both evaluation and to avail stronger prescription medications (if over the counter medications are not helpful).

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer them.

Wishing you good health.

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