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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes tingling sensation and stiffness in the hand?

Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3085 Questions

Posted on Fri, 20 Jul 2018 in Brain and Spine
Question: I am a tax lawyer and spend quite a bit of time on the computer. I also take piano. I recently experienced a little tingling in the back of my right hand. Later I have had some stiffness and mild pain in the muscles along my forearm in line with the back of my hand. Your thoughts?
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 49 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Given the type of work you do with your hands/wrists, and that the sensation is tingling, you may have inflammation of the extensor compartment or extensor retinaculum of your wrists. Tingling usually means that a nerve or nerves are being triggered or irritated. With overuse of the wrists, if there is inflammation and swelling, even if mild, of the extensor muscles or extensor retinaculum, then the nerves below it will start to tingle and hurt.

Treatment is to allow the area to rest. This can be done with avoiding dorsiflexion of the wrist (dorsiflexion is brining the top of your hand back towards the back of the arm). I recommend avoiding using the piano and if possible, limiting time on the computer, for a few days until this resolves. A wrist splint can be helpful to keep the wrist from being used in this way.

I generally am cautious about recommending NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, but if you don't have stomach issues or other problems that would preclude taking NSAIDs, they can both decrease pain and inflammation. Dosing of ibuprofen is 400 - 600 mg up to 3 times per day, after you have food in your stomach (so that there is less chance of it irritating the lining).

Applying intermittent cold to the back of the wrist can be helpful in the first couple days.

Typically we recommend somewhere around 10 days of rest of the affected area and using an NSAID, but as it sounds like this just started for you, you may only need a few days to get it under control.

I also generally recommend a consult with a physical therapist who can evaluate how you use your hands and help you strengthen supporting muscles if needed and give you suggestions for how to avoid the problem.

It's also possible that there is some arthritis in the carpal bones, so if the problem doesn't go away, an X-ray would be helpful.

Does this provide the type of information you are looking for? Please let me know if I can provide further information.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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