Re: [IPk] Carpal tunnel syndrome
I have had and currently have CTS. Apparently it is quite common in
diabetics, and more common in women over all (regardless of repetitive
strain). I had surgery on my right hand in 1996 which sorted that one out,
and currently have mild CTS (only mildly painful/tingly, only once a week
or so) in my left hand. My current hand surgeon doesn't want to touch it
while it is still so mild, which suits me fine.
My understanding (from talking with two hand surgeons about my own) of CTS
is that it's caused by swelling in the carpal tunnel, which runs from the
wrist partway up the hand, and holds the nerve that looks after the thumb,
first two fingers and the inside of the ring finger, as well as a whole
heap of tendons which serve all of the fingers.
Fluid retention, weight gain, and bad BG control can all contribute to the
carpal tunnel swelling and causing pressure on the nerve that runs through
it. One simple way to relieve the symptoms (and may allow the hand to
resolve itself) is to use a hand brace which holds your wrist locked so
that you don't flex or bend it too much. That sort of action pressures the
nerve (making it hurt), and also can increase the fluid build up within the
tunnel itself. I would imagine that heat plays a part in it too (certainly
with my right hand I was woken constantly and very painfully by it
throughout summer and it eased considerably when the weather cooled). Cool
packs around your hand and wrist may also help ease the swelling.
If you are finding it impossible to function without pins and needles or
numbness I recommend seeing a surgeon for advice. Although full recovery
from the surgery takes 4-6 weeks, the actual procedure for me was only day
surgery under local anaesthesia (I went into hosp at 7am and left at 11am)
and I had a fair amount of function back within a week. It was worth it to
me just to be able to sleep through the night again and not wake up in agony!
I DO know what you're enduring and it is not fun :(
Best of luck
Tori (dm 34+yrs, pumping 25yrs, CTS and a whole heap of other "interesting"
conditions in the past, present and future!)
At 07:17 PM 20/09/2003, you wrote:
>Anyone else suffered from the above?
>I reckon I've got it. Both wrists ache from time to time. When I hold
>the telephone handset I have to keep swapping or my thumb and first two
>fingers go numb. When I'm reading emails and holding the mouse, my thumb
>and first two fingers tingle. I have to keep putting my arm down by my
>side and giving it a shake. I get similar symptoms at odd times
>throughout the day, but it usually comes and goes quite quickly.
>Does anyone (Abi?) know what steps I can take to stop it getting any worse?
>IDDM 35 years, pumping 3 days short of 1 year!
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