carpal tunnel syndrome - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-15-2010   #1
 
cataraftgirl's Avatar
 
Sandy, Utah
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carpal tunnel syndrome

Help !!!!!!
I've developed carpal tunnel in my right wrist. Numbness, tingling, pain, especially at night. Have started wearing a hand brace to sleep in which helps a bit. Leaving next week for Deso trip and can't see my sports med doc until I get back. I am really afraid that he's going to tell me that rowing my Cat all summer and fly fishing aren't good for my problem. Any rafters or kayakers out there who've had experience with carpal tunnel. How did you treat it ..... brace, PT, surgery ??????
No way I'm giving up river running.
KJ

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Old 04-15-2010   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
Help !!!!!!
I've developed carpal tunnel in my right wrist. Numbness, tingling, pain, especially at night. Have started wearing a hand brace to sleep in which helps a bit. Leaving next week for Deso trip and can't see my sports med doc until I get back. I am really afraid that he's going to tell me that rowing my Cat all summer and fly fishing aren't good for my problem. Any rafters or kayakers out there who've had experience with carpal tunnel. How did you treat it ..... brace, PT, surgery ??????
No way I'm giving up river running.
KJ
First line of defense, ice ice ice, and tons of Ibuprofen. Like 1000mg (I've done 1500) a couple of times a day. That's what I used to do with crippling pain. Did I say ICE? Don't underestimate it. I can no longer take Ibuprofen, so it's my only relief for actual swelling (even calming nerves in the wrist/arm/hand). I overdid some stuff this weekend and flared up my tendonitis (maybe carpal tunnel) and iced hard Mon/Tue. It was much better yesterday, and tonight I'm going to pack for the first weekend on the Lochsa this season. At least that is when I'd do for now, to get you on your trip. If the doc tells you to quit boating, find another one that understands, perhaps is an athlete or outdoors person themself. Long term treatment? I have nothing to offer, other than healing thoughts. Good luck!
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Old 04-15-2010   #3
-k-
 
Denver via GJ, Colorado
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I kayaked a full season with carpal tunnel in my left hand. Numbness and tingling from my fingers to elbow. I do not recall what exercises I did, but I googled a few articles and had good results with the recommended exercises/stretches and ice therapy. Of course the best results were a result of the off-season and I have not had real problems since.

If you can find a brace that does not limit your grip, I think you will probably be ok rafting, as long as you make a concious effort to limit your wrist movement. I found with kayaking that what was hardest on my wrist were the rudder strokes and the vibrations they water sent up my paddle , so maybe make a point to keep from draging your oars in the water (if you do). Fly fishing is a tough call. Mine was my off hand so I didn't notice. Good luck!
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Old 04-15-2010   #4
 
Park City, Utah
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I asked a similar question last year. it started as numbness when on long rides, would sometimes well up to big welts after a day of boating. In the end, it would wake me up at night every time I bumped it against something. I had a surgery in November and two days later was skiing. I wish I had taken the surgical option earlier.

Stretch. I never stretched my wrists, but now I do.

Good luck
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Old 04-15-2010   #5
 
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This has worked for me for the last 5 years

I had severe carpal tunnel in both wrists, to the point that I couldn't even pick anything up when i first woke up in the morning. Very scarey, but I did not want to do surgery until I tried some alternative options. Fortunately i work for a Doctor in alternative medicine and this has worked for me. Pyridoxal - 5 - Phosphate (CoEnzyme B6) not to be confused with ordinary B-6. Click on this link I found below. It explains it better.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
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Old 04-15-2010   #6
 
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KJ,
Along the lines of what Canada recommends (stretching), do you have a regular yoga practice? There are some fantastic asanas for relieving the pain of CTS. Anjali Mudra ("prayer position") placed at the chest or at the shoulder blades will stretch your wrists. Practicing cow-face arms with a strap or towel and eagle arms will help as well. Modify poses that put strain on the wrist, such as downward dog, which you can modify into dolphin pose, using blocks as necessary, and plank pose. Backbends, such as bow, and twists can help to counter act stress in your shoulders and arms that flows to your wrists, and even a simple Tadasana (Mountain Pose) will help, especially with the arm variations mentioned. You can google all of these poses, or ask a yoga instructor to demonstrate them for you.

Best of luck
(here is a nice link from yoga journal to give more info!)
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Old 04-16-2010   #7
 
Louisville, Colorado
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I have struggled with carpal tunnel on and off. What kind of computer mouse do you use? I got a track ball mouse and haven't had a problem since.
I had it the worst when I was rowing 6 hours day with featherable oars. I started wearing a brace at night because I had fallen into some weird sleeping position that where aggravating it even more.
I have never used oar rights, but if you are having carpal tunnel issues they would keep you from using wrists to feather, and might reduce the chances of a flare up while you try to get it under control. I am no doctor, but I would be wary of embarking on rehab routines involving streching or exercises while there is still severe inflammation. Get thee to a professional!
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Old 04-17-2010   #8
 
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Sandy, Utah
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Thanks to everyone for the advice. I did look at the information on Vitamin B6, and I'm trying some of the gentle yoga stretches. I've been on a prescription NSAID forever for a bad knee, so that's covered. The hand brace for sleep at night has really helped a lot. I've always used oar rights. I have a friend who's been bugging me to get rid of them and learn to feather my oars, so now maybe he'll leave me alone about it. My doc has me on a short course of prednisone to decrease inflammation, so I should be feeling pretty groovy on Deso next week. I've got a pair of bike gloves with gel pads on the palm and thumb to row in so that should help.
I sure appreciate all the good mojo from my fellow rafters. Thanks
KJ
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Old 04-18-2010   #9
BillC
 
gunnison, Colorado
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I have had the best results with A.S.T.M treatment where they scape your arms with wierd tools.It worked but I don't where to get it done any more my friend in salida was certified at that time.I slept great for weeks but the pain returned when I did not continue the treatment.

Wild Bill
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Old 04-18-2010   #10
 
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Carpel tunnel is one of the MOST mis (over)diagnosed set of symptoms. examples like K - "Numbness and tingling from my fingers to elbow." and someone else mentioned a mouse problem. without having it right in front of me it is hard to virtually assess (in k's case, pain extending to the elbow is most certainly not CTS, and the [all too common] mouse deal is more than likely something coming from tension in the neck).

That said, I am not trying to open a can of worms by generalizing, just trying to drive home the point that pain in the wrist is more often than not due to impingement in the cervical region.

When you say sleep is a problem, I think: 1) are you sleeping with the wrist proper all crunched up, or 2) (more likely) are you a side sleeper that is sloping on your shoulder and inconveniencing the plexus there?

Advice: see a PT or DO that knows, uses, and commonly practices osteopathic tests to determine the problem area. Most folks that get the surgery, it does not help- but most folks that get the surgery don't have CTS to begin with (this is documented in medical literature). watch a surgery on youtube. they just make the hole bigger so that your swollen-ness can fit through unobstructed. So, what is causing the swelling in the first place (hammer, too much stroking, etc...)? If it is an activity that causes it, change. If your symptoms are from a nerve issue in the shoulder, trap, neck area, acupuncture & massage.
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