Carpal Tunnel or Arthritis?

Hand Problems Discussion Group: Hand Problems Discussion Area: Carpal Tunnel or Arthritis?
By Kitty Hodge on Monday, January 20, 2003 - 07:25 pm:

During the first week of December I woke up with tingling and numbness in the two middle fingers of each hand. The problem started on a Tuesday and by the weekend my hands were swollen and painful, and the pain went up my arms into my shoulders. The pain and swelling went away but the numbness in the middle fingers remains. First I was told it was overuse of my muscles. Then I was told it was arthritis (because arthritis showed up on an x-ray), but I thought arthritis hurt. My fingers don't hurt, but they are still numb. I do get discomfort in my wrist and forearms. I don't doubt that I have some arthritis in my fingers, but I think something else is going on too.

By Anonymous on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 01:34 pm:

I was told that I have severe carpal tunnel in my right hand and mild to medium in the left. I also was told that I would need surgery on my right hand. My hands do not hurt ever! I only have numbness and weakness but its not just in my hands my right leg is like that too. My Dr. seems to just want to concentrate on my hands and I don't think I have carpal tunnel because i am having trouble with my leg too and my joints. Thank you for listening. If you have any experience with something like this I would really appreciate hearing about it.

By kathyshipley on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 09:45 am:

i have both carpel tunnel and arthritis in my left hand which is my primary hand.. i also have cts in my right..what can i do to relieve some of the pain? i dont want surgery ive heard to many bad things about it...

By kristina on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 09:05 am:

im 20 and started working at a telemarketing firm 3 months ago . Ive been using computers alot . My left hand hurt last night and the next day i woke up with unbelievable pain. I cant even move my wrist or arm. I dont know if I should go into work or not i dont want to make it worse. Im typing this through the blur of tears right now.

By Anonymous on Friday, February 28, 2003 - 11:05 am:

Hello, could someone out there tell me if I have CTS. My symptoms are only a dull continous ache/pressure pain emanating a centimetre from the base of my thumb. It is getting worse as i get older (I am 27 now). This isnt really a BIG thing here in the UK. I will go to my GPs soon and let you know if anyone is interested.

By kim capwell on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 07:00 am:

my hand pain started in feb.severe pain in my wrist at first. I have must of chrottcet a six
foot wall by now. i have done alot of typing
and cleaning,moving also.then sharp pain moved
into my hands,cramping,aching. tingling up my
fingers.and numbness at the tips of my middle, i was told i had carpal tunnel, given
splints.I also have a history of arthritis.moving
on,finnally went to a pain dr.after a radiology
dr,used his eletric machine, Iwas told again I
had cts. the pain dr. told me the other dr's
did not know what they were talking about,and
diagnoaised me with fibromyalgia.than this wonderful dr. stated he had no idea how to treat this,he said he wasen't qualified to do so.
and to find another dr.assuming I was out for
narcotics.come to find out my ins.was illeagally
shut off, I am waiting for blue cross blue sheild,
to kick in,and now i have burning,from midway up
my wrist,to almost the end of my fingers!!!!
exactly what is this all about!!!! my arms are
almost utterly useless, in pain no medicines work
had three cortizone shots, and alot of times
can't even have use of my hands without pain even, any sugestions anyone? I'm quite
baffaled.I know for a fact I am sure not imagining
this,,,what are these dr's. coming to..why haven't
they given me more tests????and what if I lose
total control of my hands.....who,can i turn to?
this is my delima.................

By Anonymous on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 04:26 pm:

I have carpal tunnel and arthritis. I use a computer at work and to complete assignments for college course work. I want to know how to relax my hands, wrists and arms when not in use.

By cherie miller on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 12:07 am:

hi... for about 8 months now... i have a throbbing in my left if i had smashed it with a hammer.. it is not all the time..but alot.. i am a house painter but mostly paint right handed and am on the computer from time to time. my left wrist also gets stiff fairly easily and i have in the past had some numbness in a couple of my other fingers. whadya think.. i've been told carpel tunnel and arthritis by everyday folk but, as i have no insurance, have not been to a doctor about it.

By Janice on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 09:02 am:

Sounds to me cherie that you are starting to have probs with your hands and wrists, prob due to the nature of your work...increased by computer usage im afraid....these days there are many more people suffering with these kind of probs due to extra strain...Repetive strain injury is one, anyone who does lots of things constantly with their hands and wrists etc is a poss candidate for cts typists or shop cashiers and your trade....need to get it checked out if you can as it will only prob get worse and then where would you be?
regards Janice

By angie clyburn on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 01:10 pm:

I have been waking up at night with severe pain in my right arm and shoulder, this scares me! I don't have a very strong grip in my right hand either, I have been working in a clerical position for five years that involves a lot of typing and working with my hands. I have also experienced pain in both of my forearms during the day and at night. Should I assume that this is carpal tunnell and if so, should assume that I am in an advanced stage? Please give me some insight!

By lana on Saturday, September 06, 2003 - 12:01 pm:

hey.I found out i ahd carpal tunnel 2 years ago. It started with tingles but soon developed int aching. Now all i have is aches and cramps...Its permenant pain. Im getting one side, my right fixed on monday thank god but my left is the same. I also am starting to get the same feeling in my legs. Im getting it tested because th doc that tested me said you can get it in your legs to. i never knew so many people had the same thing. Its so e-mail me if you want to chat id like to talk to some1 else about
oh im lana....

By Sarah on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 06:54 pm:

I am a dental hygienist. I have been having joint pain in all joints for 1 yr and was "diagnosed" with fibromyalgia. My symptoms are the same as rheumatoid arthritis. My wrists have been giving me trouble for about a month. It is a different kind of pain than the other joints. This is more of a throbbing sharp pain. I am wondering if I should go to the Dr. and get tested for carpal tunnel because of what I do for a living althought I have only been in this line of work for 2 yrs. Any suggestions?

By MISSMAMITA on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 11:31 pm:


By crl522 on Saturday, February 07, 2004 - 07:33 pm:

For about two months now I've been having severe numbness only at night in both of my hands and wrist. It starts off as numbness after I've been sleeping then it turns into pain from my wrist all through my hands. It hurts sooo bad and wakes me up. I've been told several things cts and maybe arthritis. I'm only 25 yrs. old . Now all the sudden here lately they have been going to sleep when I put my hair up or when I'm driving down the road. What is up with my hands could it be something major.


By P on Monday, February 23, 2004 - 10:12 pm:

I also have the numbness in my hands. My Dr told me it was nerve damage, not CTS. My finger tips go numb and in the middle of the night, my hands will go to sleep. They hurt so much, it will wake me up. I can't even turn off my alarm clock because my hands are asleep. I have been told there is nothing anyone can do. I have to just live with the pain. I do have medicine. But it is only to make the pain bearable. I have been seriously considering finding a new Dr. I hope you find help too. I just want the pain to end.

By Annette Delanghe on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 07:23 pm:

for the past 6 months or so the middle fingers of my right hand are getting puffy/ spongy and stinging. dr says this is arthritis but I am not sure. I started taking calcium citrate and it seems to reduce the swelling. Any thoughts out there as ti what this is

By susan wilkinson on Sunday, May 09, 2004 - 10:28 pm:

I just have a question to those who have problems with their fingers. My left pinky finger just began having sharp pains in the joint and without any cause that I can see. It really doesn't last that long but it really hurts alot. I have no swelling or history of any joint problems. Does anyone have a clue what this could be.

By Anonymous on Wednesday, May 26, 2004 - 09:30 am:

I have been waking up during the night from the pain I'm experiencing in my hands and up my inside forearms. The left is worse than the right. My fingers are almost completely numb and the pain seems worse around the thumb area. Sometimes there is a burning sensation and my hands seem to be drawn. When I try to straighten out my hand and fingers, there is a crackling sensation in the palm of my hand. I don't have this problem during the day, only at night and i'm wondering if it could be oxygen deprivation. My joints ache most of the time also. The problem has progressed. What's wrong with me?

By jason on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 02:55 pm:

HI PLEASE READ AND HELP IF YOU CAN. i am having severe pain and stiffness in my joints including...fingers, both hands, knees, ankles, and toes without any injury or swelling. i see no cause for this and from what i read doesnt seem like arthritis. please email me and inform me if u hav had a similair problem. thank you

By Anonymous on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 03:11 pm:

i have a pain in my left hand and my all vains stretch then i cant open my hand and my fingers r too sensative now even i cant bear wind blow. my dr says that u have carpel tunnel and he says that u must do a surgery of urs wrist vain i am afraid about surgery tell me its better way

By Anonymous on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 09:43 am:

i woke up this morning with a swollen hand, for what seems to be no reason at all. I slept with my arms above my head all night, could that cause swelling? I might of slept on that arm all night. Got a small tattoo on my back last week, but its not red or sore in any way, the scab is already coming off. Could that cause swelling in my hand? there is a small scrape on the swollen hand, but it's not unusual or painful in any way??? I didn't hurt my hand in any way too. Any suggestions?

By darren hamway on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 04:41 pm:

After doing research on CTS, I realized that the pain felt with CTR is in the finger, index finger and ring finger, not the pinky and below.

Here is what I am feeling:

1.) Tingling from the tip of pinky all the way down to the palm of the hand (just follow the pinky in a line down the hand)

2.) Continues all the way down the arm into the forearm

3.) Pain also varies in the elbow joint

4.) When sleeping, the arm feels like it is on fire and I am tossing and turning

I have no idea what this is, but it has gotten worse faster than it has gotten better.

Please give me your expert opinions on what this could be.

Thanks everyone.

By Anonymous on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 02:52 am:

Every once in awhile my left arm feels like it is on fire and needles and pins are stuck in it, this feeling goes all the way down to my hand.

By Anonymous on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 01:15 pm:

My pain is located right shoulder blade underneath also on the upper shoulder.
I have had MRI's showing a negative result.
Cervical fusion surgery 12/03 on C4 & C5.
I am still suffering with muscle spasms.
I used to be very active.
This has been going on for about 2 years.
I am 39 years of age. They call my condition...chronic cervical myofascial pain syndrome.
Fibromyalgia? Physical therapy before my surgery where the knots were soo bad that the therapist used a two pound weights to knead out.
After the surgery I was on pain meds...vicodin helps and neurontin, muscle relaxants.
Physical therapy after my surgery.
Pain meds just help me maintain this condition.
Every month I would be in emergency due to the 10 scale rating of out of control pain.
All the EMGs that were performed are negative....
I have had botox injections. I can barely drive right now. I am currently on short term disability which has brought great financial strain.(single parent)
To work in front of a computer for and entire 8 hour day is totally impossible.
At home I have an muscle stimulator that I am to use twice a day..but sometimes my spasms would occur while using the machine??? My mornings are just pure hell to say the least. Blowdrying my hair is a well as putting on clothes.
I cannot get out of bed without feeling painful spasms/soreness/weakness.
Lidocain as well as Ketoprofin cream to help.
There has to be an answer.
Suffering on a daily basis.
I also have what they call a winged shoulder muscles are all bunged up underneath that area. I cannot tell you how many times I have cried just out of sheer frustration.
Always worse in the morning and at night.
What is this condition...what can It be? My research tells me: TOS
Any new suggestions..please Help.
Heating pad puts me to sleep.. symptom....right arm goes numb at night.
Will be having an MRI for shoulder area soon.

By elizabeth perry on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 02:01 am:

yes hi i am a 31 year old woman and here recently i have been having severe pain in my left arm at my elbow to my hand and fingers and it seems to be getting worse could this be a sign of a heartattack? i hope not i just need to fiqure out whats going on. i too have the problem about driving my left hand acts like is asleep as soon asi start to drive. i really need an answer. thanks

By susan on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 09:55 am:

hi there hoping someone will be able to help me !!!!i've been waking up out of my sleep with my hands in pain and numb and they seem to stay numb for a long time my right hand is worse then the left i take advil for the swelling but doesnt seem to help much please if anyone has any suggestions ide love to hear them

By demecross on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 02:49 am:

Homeopathy is very good with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. As most of you have found out the hard way, traditional medicine is not! To learn about homeopathy try this website:

My friend walked like an old man due to fibromyalgia. After being treated by Dr. Gray, he now rollerblades and is healthier than before he got fibromyalgia. Another experience I have had is using a homeopathic vet for my dog, with fantastic results. Best luck to you all!

By Anonymous on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 04:03 am:

I woke up in the middle of the night with extreme tingling and numbness in my right thumb, the tingling move up to my wrist and and inner left side of my palm. I am very concerned by this, because yesterday I had a dental work done, and I wondering if this is somehow connected.

Has anyone had these symtoms, and if so, what does this mean. The tingling last for over 1 hour, I am thinking of seeing a neurologist. I am a very active 45 year old female. Any answers will help.

By Sean on Monday, November 15, 2004 - 09:26 am:

Hi, i need to know if anybody might know what i'm experiencing in the way of hand and arm pain etc. only my experiences are just a bit different from what i've been reading here.

in my forearms sometimes at work i experience what i can best describe as hot needle like explosions of pain in my forearms about midway between my wrist and elbow. after that i experience numbness, discomfort and weakness in the hands and wrists. when the bursts of pain start they can go on for the rest of the day or sometimes 2-3 days or more. the numbness and weakness of my hands however stays for up to a week or 2, but after some relaxation things start to regulate.

for the record i do "light industrial" assembly line work 8-12 hours a night 5-6 days a week.

if anybody with possible information or advice about this would email me at i would greatly appreciate it. thanks!!

By Anonymous on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 12:06 pm:

Information help please. I had right shoulder surgery on 11/12/04. Doc repaired tendon,ligimet, and rotator cuff. I have been in a sling for 5 weeks. My problem is that I have numbnesss/aching in my forearm. Between the wrist and elbow. Mostly along the bone on the thumb side of my arm and the two big ligiments that run the underside of the arm. If I take my arm out of the sling to straighten it out (slowly) sometimes I get a burning pain. Is this normal. I explained this to the doc during the first check up after the surgery. I have been sleeping in my recliner chair for 5 weeks. There is always some level of numbness, but sometimes it is more pronounced. Any info or past experience would be appreciated. Plese email to

By Anonymous on Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 03:28 pm:

I hope someone can help! I have a sore swollen knuckle; ring finger, the finger has been swollen for 3 months. No pain in the hand, I have had carpal tunnel surgery on that hand 3yrs ago. If there is any info or past experiences I would appreciate it. Thanks.. Donna

By Nicole on Thursday, February 17, 2005 - 10:45 pm:

Hi- Has anyone been told they have Decar veins?
A few friends have had that w/wrist and finger problems and one went through hand therapy 3X a week for several months and it went away.
I have had morning stiffness & pain in my 4 fingers on both hands since my daughter was born a year ago. The past month I have also been waking up w/ numbness in my right hand and both one night when it felt like my hands were on fire. So I know exactly what you are all talking about. An Orthopaedic Dr. told me today it was Carpel tunnel and that I need to wear splints at night and go for hand therapy 3X a week for four weeks- a special kind... "cold Laser"-(not the ultrasound one). It is supposed to open up the carpel tunnel. He also wanted to have me take "allieve" to reduce the swelling and pain. Hope this is helpful to you.
Anyone else having problems with just the fingers or experience symptoms post natal? Still don't know for sure mine is CTS even though that is what he is treating me for.

By Cory David Heins on Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 11:35 pm:

Hello - I have motor problems in the two middle fingers on my left hand. I am 17 years old. I am a pitcher. I noticed pain in the ulner collateral ligament in my left arm first. The Orthopedic Doctor recommended that I rest, rehab and take antiinflammatory medicine. I did that all winter. This spring I started throwing agian and the elbow pain cam right back. One other thing that I noticed was the fact that I could not raise my left wrist up like I could my right wrist. I got a second opinion from a Chiropractor. He promise me that after manipulating my neck that the problem with my wrist would go away. Once he started testing the strength in my left arm, he noticed that I had lost strength particularly in my left tricep. I can feel that my left arm is much weaker than my right. After several appointments withthe chiroprator, I began to notice that the two middle fingers on my left hand were beginning to pull down. If I laid my hand flat on a table, I could not lift my two middle fingers. I had a nerve conductive test, and the results were inconclusive. Can anyone help me? I was a promising 6'4" lefthanded Junior high school pitcher. If I do not get this problem resolved, I will not be able to play baseball again. At one time just last year, my fastball was clocked at 85 MPH. I was 16 at the time.

By Anonymous on Sunday, September 04, 2005 - 09:53 am:

for the past 2 weeks I have been having sharp pain, numbness and swelling in my pinky fingers while I sleep. SOmetimes the pain is so bad it wakes me up on its own.

By Anonymous on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 10:13 pm:

All of you people seem to have inconclusive results from your medical practitioners!. I took tests which cost a ton of money, and got no treatment advice at all,only a prescription for codeine!!I am numerically old-80 years, and find that I can't close my fingers to make a fist without them locking up, and I have to physically pull the joints to open my fingers. I also have to use handle extenders to use a can opener.I don't have much pain at all.Just when I use tools.Hot water soaks for 5 minutes, followed by one minute of cold really helps.Compared with what most of you people are suffering, I consider myself extremely fortunate.I worked for many decades as a machinist ,and auto mechanic, and rarely did a day pass unless I used tools.My problem started about 6 months ago and commenced with what is known as "Trigger- Finger " as one finger locks down and has to be forcibly opened. Yes, that does hurt ,but only for a moment.I also sleep well, and if the litle jabs of pain occour, I simply massage the joint and the misery departs.These little tricks help alleviate the slight pain ,and I am able to use most tools except heavy hammers and screwdrivers and then the pain hits my wrists. ,so now I use an electric screwdriver,also lighter hammers.There are surgical proceedures for my particular condition ,however several MDs, with whom I sail noticed my difficulty in pulling the lines used during sailing boats and advised that the condition would most likely return, the same holds true for injections.Their considered opinion was as my pain is minimal I should "just Live with the condition " and work around it.I hope that all of you will find some help somewhere.God Bless.

By Mysery in Michigan on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 04:21 pm:

Hi, I'm a 44 year old mother fo two daughters. Wife and landscape designer. I was rear ended in a car accident just before Christmas. I've been in enormous pain and lost mobility in my legs.My hands always are weak and tingle. I was diagnoised with Cervical Myofascial.I can't do hardly anything. I cant write for only a few minutes then it becomes unreadable. I can't drive
because I can't turn my head hardly in either direction. I'm in physical therapy. But is anyone experiencing unbareable pain? I'm on massive pain killers and muscle relaxers. Is anyonelse experiencing weak legs and has to walk with the aid of a cane? Thanks for listening to my complaining. hope to hear I'm not the only one.

By annonymous on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 07:11 am:

I have been diagnosed with low b12 vitiam supply.

I am suffering in my hands from pains, aching, pulled feeling, some tingling and over an sensative touch for 5 -6 weeks now.This sometimes goes to the wrist and forearm.

I have a numb band like feeling in my waiste and an itchy neck.I am in a stressful time and heard stress can cause some fo these symtoms and reduce b12 levels.I am waiting for the doctors to find out what is wrong?

By Sherry on Saturday, April 15, 2006 - 12:38 am:

Hello! 2 years ago, I pulled my right arm and shoulder while walking my dog. I began to break out from my shoulder down to my right hand. I woke up early one morning in severe pain. My hubby rushed me to the ER where they diagnosed me as having Shingles and Skin Nervosa. They put me on Neurontin and percocet and some kind of shingle creame. I was bedridden for a month. My entire right arm and hand was inmoble. My husband had to help me take a shower and everyday things that we take for granted. I am 28 today and I'm still having trouble with a place on my back after the shingles went away; they say that it is dead tissue, but I don't know. I don't think they know anything!!! Today, my right thumb feels like it did when I had the shingles. It feels like when I stretch my arm completely out, my veins and nerves feel like it is stretched. Can someone tellme what that is from because I haven't done anything to upset it! This is sooo frustrating because I can't live a normal life for the past 2 years!

By Karen Gray on Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 01:37 am:

Hi, about 9 months ago, I started to get a lot of pain and pins & needles in my hands, fingers & thumbs and wrists. It initially started in my right hand and then began in my left. The pain alternated between the 2 hands and would last maybe 2 to 3 days each time, then go away for a while and then it start all over again.
I had nothing for a couple of months, then it all started again, this time the pain was more severe. I could not do anything with my hand/hands - sometimes both have hurt at the same time. One day in particular, I woke up with excrutiating pain in both hands - mainly the thumbs through the wrists and I was unable to use either of my hands for at least 2 hours.
My middle finger on my right hand was hooked and I couldn't straighten it and I was unable to put my hands flat on the table for quite a while that day. Four days ago, in the afternoon, I started to get severe pain again in both hands, this time in my thumbs, palms of both hands, through the wrists and up both arms into my shoulders. The pain is keeping me awake at night and when the pain is in my hands, I cannot turn taps on, nor use utensils of any kind, nor hold the kettle or iron and even a simple of task of getting dressed is almost impossible for me to do. My doctor has said it could be arthritis, but this week has made me feel so absolutely useless, I really need to know what could be happening. Can you please shed some light on this problem for me, I would be very grateful. Thankyou for your time, Karen.

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