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Shooting pains in the wrist??

For the last month or so I have been having some shooting pains that start in my wrist on the side and shoot up my forearm. It is pretty painful and it really is annoying. Today, my wrist has hurt on the side all day and cramps up. I have read about carpal tunnel, but I don't have any tingling in the fingers. I am only 24 also. What could this be?

Update:

I am currently going to the chiropractor 3 days a week b/c my neck, back and hips are out.

15 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
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    What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

    Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers (although not the little finger), as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. The carpal tunnel - a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand ¾ houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm. Although painful sensations may indicate other conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common and widely known of the entrapment neuropathies in which the body's peripheral nerves are compressed or traumatized.

    What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

    Symptoms usually start gradually, with frequent burning, tingling, or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers. Some carpal tunnel sufferers say their fingers feel useless and swollen, even though little or no swelling is apparent. The symptoms often first appear in one or both hands during the night, since many people sleep with flexed wrists. A person with carpal tunnel syndrome may wake up feeling the need to "shake out" the hand or wrist. As symptoms worsen, people might feel tingling during the day. Decreased grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist, grasp small objects, or perform other manual tasks. In chronic and/or untreated cases, the muscles at the base of the thumb may waste away. Some people are unable to tell between hot and cold by touch.

    How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?

    Treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome should begin as early as possible, under a doctor's direction. Underlying causes such as diabetes or arthritis should be treated first. Initial treatment generally involves resting the affected hand and wrist for at least 2 weeks, avoiding activities that may worsen symptoms, and immobilizing the wrist in a splint to avoid further damage from twisting or bending. If there is inflammation, applying cool packs can help reduce swelling.

    Non-surgical treatments

    Drugs - In special circumstances, various drugs can ease the pain and swelling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonprescription pain relievers, may ease symptoms that have been present for a short time or have been caused by strenuous activity. Orally administered diuretics ("water pills") can decrease swelling. Corticosteroids (such as prednisone) or the drug lidocaine can be injected directly into the wrist or taken by mouth (in the case of prednisone) to relieve pressure on the median nerve and provide immediate, temporary relief to persons with mild or intermittent symptoms. (Caution: persons with diabetes and those who may be predisposed to diabetes should note that prolonged use of corticosteroids can make it difficult to regulate insulin levels. Corticosterioids should not be taken without a doctor's prescription.) Additionally, some studies show that vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplements may ease the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Exercise - Stretching and strengthening exercises can be helpful in people whose symptoms have abated. These exercises may be supervised by a physical therapist, who is trained to use exercises to treat physical impairments, or an occupational therapist, who is trained in evaluating people with physical impairments and helping them build skills to improve their health and well-being.

    Alternative therapies - Acupuncture and chiropractic care have benefited some patients but their effectiveness remains unproved. An exception is yoga, which has been shown to reduce pain and improve grip strength among patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Surgery

    Carpal tunnel release is one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States. Generally recommended if symptoms last for 6 months, surgery involves severing the band of tissue around the wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve. Surgery is done under local anesthesia and does not require an overnight hospital stay. Many patients require surgery on both hands. The following are types of carpal tunnel release surgery:

    Open release surgery, the traditional procedure used to correct carpal tunnel syndrome, consists of making an incision up to 2 inches in the wrist and then cutting the carpal ligament to enlarge the carpal tunnel. The procedure is generally done under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis, unless there are unusual medical considerations.

    Endoscopic surgery may allow faster functional recovery and less postoperative discomfort than traditional open release surgery. The surgeon makes two incisions (about ½" each) in the wrist and palm, inserts a camera attached to a tube, observes the tissue on a screen, and cuts the carpal ligament (the tissue that holds joints together). This two-portal endoscopic surgery, generally performed under local anesthesia, is effective and minimizes scarring and scar tenderness, if any. One-portal endoscopic surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is also available.

    Although symptoms may be relieved immediately after surgery, full recovery from carpal tunnel surgery can take months. Some patients may have infection, nerve damage, stiffness, and pain at the scar. Occasionally the wrist loses strength because the carpal ligament is cut. Patients should undergo physical therapy after surgery to restore wrist strength. Some patients may need to adjust job duties or even change jobs after recovery from surgery.

    Recurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome following treatment is rare. The majority of patients recover completely.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It could still be carpal tunnel, the tingling in the fingers does not happen to everyone, but if you use your wrist a lot, like being on the computer for endless hours, you more than likely can have carpal tunnel.

    It does not have an age.... try wearing a wrist brace for a few days and see if this helps.

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Check here a very effective sciatica natural treatment http://cure-sciatica.info

    Normally, I would not answer a question like this as my expertise is generally in medication but I had severe sciatica while I was pregnant with my 3rd child (after having had twins) and I had sciatica so bad that I was finding it difficult to walk. I tried massage therapy and physical therapy and could not take medication

    I went to the chiropractor and the pain was instantly relieved. My hips and lower back were out of alignment because I had carried twins the year before. On occasion a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) can also work but they usually only work on one joint at a time - the chiropractor will do your whole back which works faster. Anyone who does not believe in chiropractors will tell you they are quacks - don't listen.

    I don't necessarily believe that chiropractors can cure things like diabetes but they can definitely relieve some types of back pain especially if a pinched nerve is involved which is usually the cause of sciatica.

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  • 1 decade ago

    get a reusable cold pack, and ice your wrist everyday as often as you can when it starts hurting you. And start asking your friends about a good chiropractor in your area and pay that chiropractor a visit and tell him or her what is going on. It may be carpal tunnel, but it may be something else, maybe a symptom of another injury (I suggest this because you said the pain is shooting up your arm) like a neck injury.

    --edit--

    I see you're already going to a chiropractor. If the one you're going to now isn't really helping, snag your x-rays and see a different chiropractor.

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Hey there,

    Sciatica is a pain that results from irritation of one of sciatic nerves. This is a lower back pain that goes down to hip and then to both legs extending to feet and toes in some cases. Sciatica nerve is the largest nerve in our body. Running down the spine through the hip, sciatic nerve goes down to knee and ankle. Any damage or pressure on this nerve results in debilitating sciatica pain that needs thorough investigation of probable causes on the basis of symptoms to provide relief to the patient on a permanent basis.

    For details visit: http://curesciatica.toptips.org

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  • 1 decade ago

    It could be the start of carpal tunnel or tendinitis. Put warm compresses and then cold compress and take Ibuprofen. If this works then you are starting to get one or the other and age has nothing to do with it. It is either your Job or what you do for fun. Bowling can cause these as can alot of typing.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It could be a pinched nerve if not the first stage of carpal tunnel. keep it immobilized for a few days and see if wearing a wrist support helps.

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  • Daniel
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    1

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  • 1 decade ago

    it could be tendonitis, i would go and see a doctor, if you cant or wont do that, buy a wrist brace to stabilize it and it may go away in time, happens to me all the time, its similar to carpal tunnel but not the exact same thing

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  • 1 decade ago

    do you type with your fore arms resting on the edge of your desk? using your forearms an the fulcrum to use your mouse can cause nerves to get pinched like when your hand falls asleep. i started using my mouse further up on my table so my forearm isnt resting on the edge of my desk. Hope this helps:)

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