Post steroid injection in right wrist



Pretty useful forum/site here. Bit of background, I am currently 25 years old and a self employed software developer.
I first went to the doctors in June 2010 with reports of tingling, wrist pain etc in my right arm doctors said I could be referred to a specialist but as my condition was not that severe it would probably be manageable by adjusting my lifestyle, work position etc.

Off I went adjusting my working position, trying around 6 different computer mouses (spending around £500 in total) wearing wrist splints every now and again I seemed to have the condition under control with very few symptoms.
Forwarding on about a year in about 2011 I started to have more symptoms but figured it was due to lack of effort from myself to manage the condition. Around the same time I started to lift weights at the gym which eliminated all my symptoms immediately!
One exercise in particular seemed to help, doing low rep sets of dead lifts at fairly high weight of 120kg seemed to be my magical cure.

Forwarding onto the start of 2013 I had stopped doing dead lifts because of a knee problem but continuing with other weight lifting on my upper body. Around March my carpal tunnel symptoms returned very quickly in both wrists significantly worse in my right hand. Both hands/wrists were worse than ever before. I haven't been very busy work wise either only using the computer for a maximum of 5 hours a day compared to 2012 where I would be at it 9-12 hours a day.

End of April I couldn't take it any more and came to the conclusion I had lost ability to manage it as it was affecting my sleep, work and day to day life. After two weeks of ringing the doctors trying to get an appointment I finally got one on Tuesday 30th April.

The GP suggested I could be referred to a specialist or try the steroid injection, as I wanted a quick fix simply went for the injection then and there in my right wrist only. Assumed it would be sore for a day or two so kept the use of my right arm to a minimal and have taken a few days off. It's now Friday and I have a dull ache up my forearm and across most of my hand (hard to explain this one), I can't grip anything properly in my right hand even lifting a drink feels a bit unsafe.

Is this normal? How long does it usually take to recover from the injection?
Out of curiosity what known effect does dead lifts have on CTS?



The majority of people recover from injection very quickly - within minutes or hours, but some do get persistent forearm pain for several days and I have one patient with very persistent symptoms for months.

I know of no studies of weights and CTS. Anything involving power grip will increase the pressure in the carpal tunnel and such things should not be repeated every day for hours on end but I doubt if your weights sessions are all day every day affairs. It is not impossible that a short period of strenuous grip might actually force fluid out of the carpal tunnel for a while in some circumstances and thus reduce the pressure once you stop gripping but this is entirely speculative - no-one really knows.

With your sort of history, which is not completely typical CTS from what you have given us so far, I would have been inclined to test it first before treating but a trial of steroid injection is not a bad strategy if they were convinced that was the right diagnosis. JB


Thanks for the quick reply.

Going to try take it extremely easy this weekend (bank holiday weekend after all!) and if it hasn't subsided by Tuesday I may return to the doctor.

I have read a few articles about how weight lifters are quite substitutable to RSI due to repeating the same motion many many times, but never read anything with any solid backing on this.

As for the dead lifts I typically did these once a week, each set lasting no more than 20 seconds with around 4-5 sets.


The weights don't sound sufficiently sustained or repetitive to be a real risk factor for developing CTS in the first place. I have to say that almost every group of people you ask think that their particular pattern of hand use contributed to the causation of whatever condition they think they have, be it CTS, Raynaud's phenomenon, trigger finger, Dupuytrens contracture, osteo-arthritis, tendonitis or whatever. When you try to pin down hard epidemiological evidence to support such assertions it usually turns out to be really difficult to prove causation. A summary of some of the evidence is on this site. JB

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