Carpal tunnel... or not!?


In mid-June I was seeing my GP about my post-natal depression and mentioned to him that, upon waking I had tingling and numbness (bilaterally) in my thumbs, index fingers and slightly in the middle finger. He said it sounded possible that it might be carpal tunnel, suggested that I looked at making life-style changes and buying a wrist splint to wear at night.
I did those things - the obvious obstacle that I have a 17kg toddler who I sometimes have to lift up or down (to a chair, car seat etc).
I have been having massage (for continuing Pelvic Girdle Pain symptoms) and mentioned my hands and the lady massaged my shoulders, arms and hands (which was extremely painful at the time but made a huge difference). Generally, massage and rest would help to improve the symptoms but was nigh on impossible to maintain.
Over time, the symptoms have worsened such that I have almost constant pain in both wrists and constant numbness/tingling sensation in all fingers. It is much worse during the day and almost completely disappears during the night. Upon waking, sometimes my fingers are "stiff" and as soon as I start using them (from turning the alarm off), they start to ache again.
At the weekend I unpacked some boxes of books (we've recently moved) and in the evening couldn't use either hand at all. On the Sunday, it felt my lower arms and hands were "buzzing" and on the Monday it felt like someone had cut open both lower arms and driven stakes into them. I was in tears from the pain. (Paracetamol and Ibuprofen being almost completely ineffective)
I came across this site and completed the questionnaire - difficult to do because it depends on what I have been doing in the day as to how severe the symptoms are! I was somewhat surprised to discover a possible CTS score of just 6%. I am seeing a different GP on Wednesday afternoon (I'm in New Zealand) and am now unsure what to expect in terms of diagnosis and prognosis.
(I should add that my job prior to "motherhood" was as a Medical Secretary and I still do a fair bit of voluntary admin work necessitating a fair bit of typing)


The timing of your symptoms - worse in the day and better at night is pretty much the reverse of typical early CTS so I'm not surprised at the 6% score. If it is CTS then it is decidedly atypical but that doesn't mean the possibility is entirely ruled out and given the severity of the symptoms I think it would be worth getting that tested to see if there is any evidence of CTS on either nerve conduction studies or ultrasound imaging (or both if you are really lucky). JB

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