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Old 02-22-2007, 05:15 PM   #1
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bodysong HB User
wrist, arm (near elbow), shoulder and upper back pain

I'm hoping some of you can help me diagnose my symptoms or maybe you have experienced something similar? Any comments welcome.

A week or two after writing this thread [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=458928[/url] I started getting cramp in my upper arm and forearm nearest the elbow. The pain is similar to hitting your funny bone except it can last for hours - much worse than my wrist has ever been. There's also a frozen feeling inside and numbness.

So i had another appointment with the doctor who had previously suggested Tenosynovitis when i mentioned stiffness in my wrist. This time, Before I'd hardly said a word she put it all down to the same condition. But again, I've developed more symptoms - My shoulder and upper back are now stiff all the time.

I know pain from wrist Tenosynovitis can be felt in the upper arm, But would it reach the shoulder too?

Or maybe i have the condition in more than one area?

I've been wondering a lot about Ulnar nerve entrapment as my arm is more uncomfortable when bent or raised. Also, I recently noticed my little finger is visibly coming forward a little compared to on my other hand.

After several weeks waiting - I was given a wrist brace today at the hospital and because my doctor had mentioned 'measurements' I assumed it would be specially fitted. But he simply fetched a medium sized support from the cupboard, put it on and said 'Ready for work now?' The appointment was over with so quickly i didn't feel able to ask him anything.

All i can think about now is 'what if the doctors diagnosis was wrong and something is being damaged all the while it's not treated'.

I find it difficult to discuss with my doctor as I'm nervous around people and whenever i see her two times in a row (which has only happened twice) she seems a bit annoyed and abrupt with me.

Last edited by bodysong; 02-22-2007 at 05:16 PM.

 
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Old 02-24-2007, 07:42 PM   #2
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Re: wrist, arm (near elbow), shoulder and upper back pain

bodysong. Do you have a friend or family member that can go along with, when you have the doctor's appointment? Make a list of questions to ask ahead of time. I've read on these forums.....remember, the doctor works for you so you have the right to question what they do and have the right to have your concerns addressed. And.... you can seek another opinion.

Do you do a lot of computer work? I started having problems with my right arm after using a click it type mouse. I either had tennis elbow or a radial nerve problem on the forearm...and it hurt behind elbow. I couldn't do a lot of things like gripping or lifting. I couldn't even touch my nose as it was very painful to bend my arm to do it. I had some physical therapy and some type of therapy called iontopheresis where dexamethasone is absorbed through the skin using a patch and some electrodes. It took a few months....and I found wearing a band around forearm helped too. ( for tennis elbow)

The measurements were probably used to determine whether you needed a small, medium or large wrist brace.

 
Old 02-26-2007, 03:55 PM   #3
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Re: wrist, arm (near elbow), shoulder and upper back pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taimse View Post
bodysong. Do you have a friend or family member that can go along with, when you have the doctor's appointment?
Yes, I could do that but i still don't think my doctor or any doctor will be very interested. There's patients with much more serious problems and i have too many questions. It always feels like i have to explain everything in 60 seconds or they'll stop listening or start to mis-understand.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Taimse View Post
Do you do a lot of computer work?
I use my computer a lot at home but i'm certain the trouble with my arm has been caused by lifting heavy things at work while holding a tense posture. I often felt i was straining myself but continued anyway to get the job done quicker. I'm more careful now and wary about using my left arm. Luckilly I'm right handed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taimse View Post
I had some physical therapy and some type of therapy called iontopheresis where dexamethasone is absorbed through the skin using a patch and some electrodes. It took a few months....and I found wearing a band around forearm helped too. ( for tennis elbow)
How is your arm now? Oh, I saw one of those bands recently in a shop. They look a good idea. I'd be interested in trying one sometime. At the moment I'm wearing a wrist brace at work as i think (My memory's terrible) my doctor said i'd only need it when lifting.


Something else i've been wondering about - Is ice really good for tendonitis? I've seen this said on some websites. Personally, i find touching anything cold at the moment causes my arm to cramp and ache. Heat has been the best comfort for me.

Has anyone else noticed an extreme sensitivity to coldness?

Last edited by bodysong; 02-26-2007 at 03:59 PM.

 
Old 03-05-2007, 04:00 PM   #4
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Re: wrist, arm (near elbow), shoulder and upper back pain

I've been wearing my wrist support the hospital gave me (it has a metal splint and covers the thumb as well) for 2-3 weeks, just while i'm at work. I find myself constantly repositioning, tightening, loosening it because it's giving me cramp like symptoms in my thumb and hand. Today I deliberately made it really loose and still my hand and whole arm felt uncomfortable. I can't wait to finish work so i can remove it. It feels like the brace is tugging or twisting my muscles into an un-natural position (kind of like a chinise burn). Has anyone else experienced this?

I could need a smaller size but i doubt that would make much difference. I think i would be more comfortable in a support that didn't include the thumb though i've only tried a couple of very cheap ones plus this one that is free from the NHS. I wonder if it's worth buying something more expensive as knowing me I'll have to buy 20 of them before one feels right. It could be that i need support higher up my arm, i really don't know. My upper arm and back is aching now and it's taking me ages to get to sleep I got myself a memory pillow recently but it seems to be making me more tense. I'm just worried all this is never going to clear up and i should be doing something but what?

Have any of you had success with a wrist or arm support?

 
Old 03-06-2007, 04:52 AM   #5
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Re: wrist, arm (near elbow), shoulder and upper back pain

body,
2 things: first of all, carpal tunnel can be felt in other places besides the wrist. When I saw my doctor, he said where your collarbone and bra strap come together, if you have pain there, it's carpal tunnel. So it would stand to reason that cubital tunnel has pain in other places too. Another word of advice: go to another doctor. My mom had a doctor who would be on his computer while examining her. If she had a question, he'd say, shh...so he could put info in, but never wanted to answer questions. If she called his office with a question, he was supposed to call her back and he never did. So she changed doctors. Her new doctor is a gem. She not only answers questions, you can e-mail her with specific problems! She's jolly and smart and a very open person. Good luck.

 
Old 03-09-2007, 08:41 AM   #6
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Re: wrist, arm (near elbow), shoulder and upper back pain

bodysong -
Have you had an EMG or nerve conduction tests? These are not fun, but very helpful to pinpoint problems with your hand and arm. Most neurologists will do these tests in order to get answers for you. I started having tingling, numbness and weakness in my little finger and ring finger and the tests pointed to ulnar nerve entrapment (cubital tunnel syndrome). I had surgery a little over two weeks ago to correct the problem. The jury is still out on the surgery results. But you need to ask for the tests to be done if the doctor doesn't offer........
JP

 
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