Carpal Tunnel

Anyone have it? If so, did you get surgery?

I have it real bad in my right arm…I’m in school for Dental Hygiene and this is the wrong profession to be in if you have CTS and knit pretty much everyday.

If you did get surgery, how was it? How long was the recovery period? Is your arm and hand the same? Did it leave a big scar? Was it just outpatient?

You may not have carpal tunnel, but tendonitis. Most symptoms diagnosed as CT are really just overly tight muscles in the arms and neck, due to repetitive motion or the way the arms and head are held. First off, get a really good massage focusing on upper back, neck, shoulders, arms and wrists. Then do some stretches for your arms and hands and rotate your neck and shoulders. Tight muscles in the neck and shoulders can put pressure on the nerves that go to the hands and fingers, and impede the blood flow as well. Unfortunately, many CT surgeries have to be repeated… that tells me that it really wasn’t a problem with the carpal tunnel itself, but overly constricted muscles.

Something else to look in to for relief of symptoms is acupuncture.

Well, from my experience, repeat carpal tunnel surgery is quite rare. That said, more often than not, conservative management is successful and surgery is not necessary. If you have not done so, please see a doctor and confirm your diagnosis, and get some treatment!

One finger typist at the moment…

I had my left hand done on Wed (ouch) and my right a few years back and very glad I did it. There is only a little scar on my right hand - you can hardly see it.

I’m still in a bit of pain, :waah: but I believe it was worth it.

Won’t be able to knit for another month or so and that’s REALLY killing me!!

i’ve had both hands done. i have a small, approx 1.25 inch scar in the fold of each hand at the base, right where the wrist starts. i had pain for a couple of days managed by oral pain meds. it was an outpatient procedure. i was cleaning house the same day i came home, although nearly one-handed. (i think i needed to keep myself distracted and probably should’ve rested, but couldn’t.)

the surgery helped tremendously and my symptoms are nearly completely gone. for awhile, i had no symptoms at all. now i wake up at night and have numb hands from time to time. i hope i don’t have to have it done again.

i wasn’t knitting or working at the time i had my surgeries, so i can’t tell you how long before you will be allowed back to work and knitting.

best wishes.

I have had both hands done Left hand 18 years ago and the Right done 2 years ago.I advise you to have a hand surgeon do your surgeries. I have had no pain with either of my surgeries and now the hand surgeon can do it with a small scope,if your hands aren’t to small.These guys know what they are doing and they do a test to see if it is carpel tunnel.Good luck and you won’t regret having it done by a specialist.:hug:

My sypmtoms are that my hand goes numb, especially at night. Then from my elbow down I have this deep, dull pain. It helps when I massage it, but the other night at work, I couldn’t bear the pain. I wear hand braces at night, but if i don’t knit for awhile at a time, the pain goes away. Does this sound like CTS?

Get it checked out, or like I suggested, try a massage and see if that helps. A good MT will suggest stretches that should help too.

The woman that taught me to knit and crochet had her right hand done about 20 years ago. They messed it up and she lost the use of her index and middle finger. She couldn’t knit anymore,(she knit english and refused to learn conti) but managed crochet. She could not make a fist and every once in a while had a horrible searing pain from her wrist to her elbow. She has Alzheimer’s now, so she doesn’t do much of anything. :frowning:

I had similar symptoms to what you describe and it was not CT, but a different kind of nerve damage. Proper diagnosis is critical- it is worth the time/ hassle/ $ to see a proper hand specialist.

They did an EMG on my arm to see what nerves were being compressed. (I can’t spell, but I think it is electromyelogram)

Then I had a brace 24/7 for 6 weeks.

Then, about 3 months of intensive PT. ( 2 or 3 times a week)
The treatments included traditional exercises and conditioning, as well as acupuncture and massage. While I was skeptical about the acupuncture- it REALLY did help with the pain.

I still have occasional pain/ numbness and sometimes wear the brace if I’ve been overusing the hand. but it is so much better now.

Definitely try to see a specialist- a neurologist or a hand surgeon.

I just found an article about CTS on one of my mailing lists - It seems it’s more genetic than a repetitive stress injury.

Seems to me something that’s due to repetitive motions would be due more to muscle and nerve involvement. The article gives some suggestions for treating, including ice which is good for inflammation - tendonitis.

I HIGHLY recommend that you go to a [U]good[U] massage therapist. I know several people that have had carpal tunnel surgery, but there is a possibility with massage that surgery will be unneccessary. :thumbsup: I know one lady that had severe carpal tunnel symptoms. She got 12 massages over the course of 3 months and has not had any problems with it since. (that was 8 yrs ago):cheering: She was wearing arm braces and having a lot of pain and numbness before the treatment. Swedish massage is good for it. Ask your LMT for a lot of “rolling friction” on your forearms.

I’m a Registered Massage Therapist from Canada and i deal with Carpal Tunnel proffesionally with my clients and also with myself. You’re symptoms actually indicate Cubital Tunnel Syndrom or a Median Nerve intrapment. Although these are both very similar to CTS in that they are all intrapment syndromes (tight muscles squishing the nerve) it’s not the same thing and you most likely won’t need surgery of any kind.
YAY!!! Self massage is a great way of helping, someone suggested earlier that you get a massage by a proffesional and all the areas she mentioned are correct. A great way to prevent this is to stretch before and after repetitive activities, you should also ice the area- wich is actually your elbow (inner elbow i do believe)! If your deep pain and numbness/ tingling should spread to above your elbow you’re moving into another area altogether called T.O.S or thoracic outlet syndrome and this can become serious and very painfull not to mention hard to be rid of. It is also important to differenciate between the numb sensation and the pins and needles sensation. One indicates a nerve (numb) and one indicates a blood suply being cut off (tingling). Unless you sleep in a strange way with your wrist and elbow in flexion all night i would ditch the wrist gaurds, unless you like them, they won’t hurt but they probably arent’ helping.
Anyway, hope that wasn’t more info than you needed. Let me know if you want to know more or if i can tell you about some good stretches.
Please forgive my spelling and i hope your feeling better.

Thank you so much for your good information. I feel like my wrist and lower arm, especially my right, is always tight. I find myself stretching my fingers everyday, without even thinking. I spread out my fingers and flex them back and that feels really good. I don’t have numbness/tingling everyday, but some days are really bad. I would love to learn some more exercises. The PT dept. came into our classroom this spring and taught us some exercises too. Thanks so much, again!

Here’s a reallllllllly long thread that contains posts on stretches with links to more for hands, wrists, arms neck and shoulders – – Yes, it’s on that other board, but still full of good ideas.