2

votes

Help - any suggestions for wrist inflammation?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 16, 2012 at 3:11 PM

My father's (in his mid 60's) been doing Paleo for about a year except for a brief 2 months in Oct 2011 but has wrist inflammation for several years severe enough he can't help my Mom with cooking, lift things, basically do normal things. He doesn't want to retire from his job and stop the things he loves doing.

This was NOT computer triggered. Back several years ago when he had OCD (which improved on Paleo, although that might be his new obsession!) he did repetitive behaviors like stapling stacks of papers for his office for maybe an hour or more. He no longer does these behaviors.

His blood numbers are great - even better on Paleo his cardiologist friend and PCP have noted - no low Vitamin D or anything. No other medical issues except mild allergies that improved on Paleo. No prescription drugs.

My father tried acupuncture, Chinese herbals, physical therapy, cortisone injections - everything but surgery but now he feels he's exhausted all alternative methods because while Paleo improved the inflammation, not enough to let him do the things he wants. The cortisone and physical therapy worked partially but only temporarily. He saw no benefit from acupuncture and Chinese herbals.

I'm at my wit's end because he takes good supplementation and eats pastured Paleo. Thanks for your help.

UPDATE: he does have grass-fed dairy (he's had dairy he's entire life) - how long should he go dairy-free to test that out? His milk is raw.

Update 2: He went to at least 3 different hand surgeons. The last one seemed the most honest and told my father to come back when the pain is bad enough. The pain fluctuates between 1-7. It could be osteoarthritis, tendonitis, etc. The doc said to come back when his pain was bad to diagnose it properly.

I recommended bone broth and collagen supplementation. He's already been taking glucosamine for years. Any recommendations on dosages or type of glucosamine - sulfate, etc.?

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on February 02, 2012
at 07:54 AM

Hand Therapists (PTs and OTs) do AMAZING things. They actually have been better (in my personal experience) at diagnosing things than the surgeons are.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on February 02, 2012
at 06:05 AM

It would be better to work with a proper diagnosis instead of trying to hit things in the dark.

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on February 02, 2012
at 04:42 AM

I wonder why the sun having set makes a difference. Perhaps the World Turtle has gone to sleep?

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on February 02, 2012
at 03:15 AM

+1 to sleeping in an appropriate brace. That made a huge difference to me. We don't always have a healthy "neutral" position...

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on February 02, 2012
at 02:34 AM

Furey most definitely IS controversial, but the man has good workout advice. Whether he's the combat-killer or not.... uh..... he gives good health and fitness advice often!

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on January 18, 2012
at 04:42 PM

I said there was pain in the back of my *hand*, not wrist. Maybe it wasn't Official Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; I don't know. I just know that pressing the bones in my wrist away from the palm side seemed to relieve the pain. I was told that was because those bones, by shifting forward, were effecting pain by negatively affecting the amount of space in the "tunnel" for the nerves. But maybe it was just a placebo effect.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 17, 2012
at 09:48 AM

Your description sounds exactly NOTHING like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Impingement in the Carpal Tunnel effects the median nerve which innervates the palm side of the hand from the underside of the wrist (where the actual anatomical area, the Carpal Tunnel is located). Pain in the back of the wrist could be from a radial nerve impingement or many different tendon, bone or muscle problems, but it ain't a problem with the carpal tunnel.

7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:19 PM

@Arwen--In the Houston area, look up Jill Davis. She is a former student of mine who can help you.

7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:14 PM

@ shah--Yes Paleo reduces the inflammatory factors that leads to both chronic disease and musculoskeletal pain. Why We Hurt is a good book on the subject although he advocates the Mediterranean Diet.

7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:11 PM

It will be just a few treatments but you will probably want to establish a maintenance program after that. He will feel alot better. I would expect results after a single treatment. NMT is massage, btw.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on January 16, 2012
at 10:30 PM

I don't know anything about neuromuscular therapy - is it long term or just a few treatments?

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on January 16, 2012
at 10:29 PM

no artificial sweeteners. He's on the autoimmune protocol.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on January 16, 2012
at 10:27 PM

already doing that

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on January 16, 2012
at 10:25 PM

Thanks Shah78 - he's in Houston - anyone there you recommend?

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on January 16, 2012
at 10:24 PM

Thanks Quilt for your help - It's actually not numbness but pain that he has.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on January 16, 2012
at 04:53 PM

He can also alternate his hand/wrist soaking and it will help the pain relief effect. It will not change the numbess effect. It will allow him to move better but the numbess wont change. If the numbess is the big issue......then Sx is the best choice.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on January 16, 2012
at 04:52 PM

tell him to begin soaking the hand in ice cold water for as long he can tolerate it as soon as the sun sets where he is at. He needs to do it consistently over a week. He will notice that the pain relief grows as he does this too. There will be other effects too, but none are bad for him.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 16, 2012
at 04:19 PM

dear matt H. Email me at landj@mail.com. I'm trying to get the Paul ST. John crew to adopt Paleo as their go to diet. Let's talk. Paleo plus NMT is so the way to go. Isn't it?

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11 Answers

3
35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on January 16, 2012
at 07:24 PM

You say he's had PT, was he seeing a hand therapist specifically or just a general physical therapist? I saw a hand therapist when I had tendonitis in my wrist and she was able to identify some structural stuff in my hands that meant that standard bracing made my situation worse and gave me an alternative brace that made a world of difference. A hand therapist has had extensive additional education in the structures of the hands, wrist and fingers above and beyond a conventional PT.

One tip she gave me that I've passed onto a number of my friends with wrist/hand issues is to sleep in your brace. Many people (myself included) curl up their hands and wrists as they sleep, and this impairs circulation and healing and can lead to further inflammation of nerves & tendons. I actually got more out of sleeping in the brace, and then going about my day without the brace (to rebuild strength and flexibility) than I would have gotten just bracing my wrist when doing common tasks.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on February 02, 2012
at 03:15 AM

+1 to sleeping in an appropriate brace. That made a huge difference to me. We don't always have a healthy "neutral" position...

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on February 02, 2012
at 07:54 AM

Hand Therapists (PTs and OTs) do AMAZING things. They actually have been better (in my personal experience) at diagnosing things than the surgeons are.

3
03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on January 16, 2012
at 03:41 PM

When I had carpal tunnel, I didn't have as much pain as you've described, but the back of my hand would hurt when I picked anything straight up with my fingers spread (like lifting a bowling ball), and the smallest finger or two would sometimes go numb. A strength test showed that the afflicted hand had about a tenth the squeezing strength of the other. A chiropractor adjusted the bones in my wrist from the palm side, pushing them deeper toward the center. He also adjusted my elbow, and my shoulder, which seemed to be slightly out of socket and also had pain from repetitive movement. I don't know which adjustment(s) were the most important, but I've never had trouble with it again (and I spend a lot of time at the keyboard). He said if I ever felt it coming back, I should massage that area of the wrist, putting some pressure on those bones to encourage them to stay down where they belong. I may have done that some at first, but haven't felt the need to for years.

That was about 20 years ago, so I'm happy with the results, especially considering that people getting carpal tunnel surgery have told me the surgeons say it'll probably give them 5-10 years of relief before they have to work on it again. Over the years, I've actually come around to thinking that many things chiropractors do are quackery or temporary pain relief; but in this case, it made the difference. I don't know how many people with carpal tunnel would get the same relief, but I figure it's worth the $50 to try it if there's a chance it'll save you expensive and painful surgery.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 17, 2012
at 09:48 AM

Your description sounds exactly NOTHING like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Impingement in the Carpal Tunnel effects the median nerve which innervates the palm side of the hand from the underside of the wrist (where the actual anatomical area, the Carpal Tunnel is located). Pain in the back of the wrist could be from a radial nerve impingement or many different tendon, bone or muscle problems, but it ain't a problem with the carpal tunnel.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on January 18, 2012
at 04:42 PM

I said there was pain in the back of my *hand*, not wrist. Maybe it wasn't Official Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; I don't know. I just know that pressing the bones in my wrist away from the palm side seemed to relieve the pain. I was told that was because those bones, by shifting forward, were effecting pain by negatively affecting the amount of space in the "tunnel" for the nerves. But maybe it was just a placebo effect.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 16, 2012
at 03:25 PM

A good neuromuscular therapist can fix carpal tunnel issues for a few hundred dollars.(And they will fix other "things" during the same hour visits!) The best therapist in Boston is Randy Payne. He works in Somerville. His phone number is 617-926-8175. Don't waste another minute.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on January 16, 2012
at 10:25 PM

Thanks Shah78 - he's in Houston - anyone there you recommend?

0
B76f22ed4373946b3c8990b667562683

on February 02, 2012
at 12:31 PM

Eating pineapple can significantly decrease the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome if inflammation is truly the cause. They contain a protease enzyme called Bromelain, which has been shown to decrease inflammation in carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also be purchased as a supplement. But be warned, carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most over-diagnosed condition in the US. I would recommend seeing a chiropractor or osteopath, most of whom have been trained in the subtle distinctions between carpal tunnel syndrome and the several other conditions that mimic it. Hope this helps, and all the best for your father!

0
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on February 02, 2012
at 05:43 AM

im no expert on medicine but from my reading he should at least have a non invasive radiography to see if he has some tissue calcification going in from a previous injury. i hope he is avoiding aspirin or other non steroidal anti inflammatory agents because they always delay healing.

0
D13278772f6612432bf53413fad4e7af

(801)

on January 16, 2012
at 09:36 PM

Here's a set of exercises from Matt Furey, a semi-controversial martial-arts-fitness-self-help author. I don't know if my sore wrists were technically a result of CTS, but these simple exercises permanently ended the pain.

http://bit.ly/AweJ9I

(BTW, this is a torrent for the .avi file, which has been ripped from a DVD. You'll need a torrent client to download.)

Dan

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on February 02, 2012
at 02:34 AM

Furey most definitely IS controversial, but the man has good workout advice. Whether he's the combat-killer or not.... uh..... he gives good health and fitness advice often!

0
559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

on January 16, 2012
at 06:21 PM

Vitamin B12 deficiency can give rise to neurological symptoms such as carpal tunnel symdrome.

I supplement with sublingual B12 (as methyl-cobalamin, which has good absorbtion) and symptoms of carpal tunnel and tarsal tunnel (the equivalent thing in the foot) have gone.

Apparently it is possible to have B12 deficiency in the tissues even if blood levels seem to be normal, so I would not rule out B12 before giving it a try.

0
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on January 16, 2012
at 04:14 PM

He could try a lowish carb autoimmune paleo plan. This will cut down any additional inflammation and work to lower insulin and blood sugar, which work to hold in more fluid. I hope he's not eating aspartame.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on January 16, 2012
at 10:29 PM

no artificial sweeteners. He's on the autoimmune protocol.

0
7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on January 16, 2012
at 04:10 PM

Ditto on the Neuromuscular Therapist. I am one in the Atlanta area. Carpal tunnel syndrome or its relative Thoracic Outlet syndrome are no problem for a good NMT. And as shah78 said, we are pretty cheap as well. People just don't know about us. Don't waste another minute.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on January 16, 2012
at 10:30 PM

I don't know anything about neuromuscular therapy - is it long term or just a few treatments?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 16, 2012
at 04:19 PM

dear matt H. Email me at landj@mail.com. I'm trying to get the Paul ST. John crew to adopt Paleo as their go to diet. Let's talk. Paleo plus NMT is so the way to go. Isn't it?

7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:19 PM

@Arwen--In the Houston area, look up Jill Davis. She is a former student of mine who can help you.

7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:11 PM

It will be just a few treatments but you will probably want to establish a maintenance program after that. He will feel alot better. I would expect results after a single treatment. NMT is massage, btw.

7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on January 16, 2012
at 11:14 PM

@ shah--Yes Paleo reduces the inflammatory factors that leads to both chronic disease and musculoskeletal pain. Why We Hurt is a good book on the subject although he advocates the Mediterranean Diet.

0
293ba4c95d190bc616b27d85b10d705a

(661)

on January 16, 2012
at 03:52 PM

I'd recommend HIGHLY It's not carpal tunnel syndrome. Amazing book

http://www.handsonhealingpt.com/index.html

people have traveled all over the country to see this woman, Suparna Damany, she is supposed to be really good

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 16, 2012
at 03:45 PM

Vitamin B6 three times a day. Do not do the surgery. Stop doing dishes and washing clothes for awhile.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on January 16, 2012
at 10:27 PM

already doing that

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