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> Hand/arm Pain, Need some help
Fsgdjv
post Aug 16 2008, 06:13 PM
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I've been having pain in my back, arm and hands since december last year. I've been to a few doctors, one hand specialist, one physical therapist and a naprapathician. Not all at once, one at a time, first I went to the naprapatician, then when he said I was "good" I tried to play, then went to another doctor, etc. It's probably really stupid to not stick to one expert untill you're good, but my problem is that I've though this was good so many times.

My hand specialist just let me go because I was getting better, and now it's really bad again. The diagnosis I got from him was that I had some nerves that were squeezed that made my little finger and ring ringer weak and go numb. The thing is, now I have real pain in all my fingers, plus cramp in my arm. That makes me unsure if I should try to go to him again or if I should try to move on, or maybe go back to a naprapathician I saw who was probably closest to solving this, he just let me go a bit too fast.

I have had some back problems for a while, and it's got to do with my shoulder blade sticking out, and that makes the muscles around there really tense, and I'm working on getting that better with regular exercising, I used to go to a gym, but now I've just started swimming instead. My hand pain/numbness mostly comes while I'm not playing guitar, so I'm not sure if that's what's causing it. None of the doctors/naprapathicians/physical therapists I've seen have thought this was only due to the guitar and that I should stop playing, so I haven't for more than just a few weeks at some times when it's been really bad. But after 8 months, I'm really tired of this, and I'm getting desperate. I'm writing this with a burning cramp in my left arm, and I'm having my first band rehersal since before the summer tomorrow morning. We're going to record a demo soon so it's not like I have the time to stop playing just to see how it goes after having stopped for a few months when it's just a long shot in the dark when nobody who I've seen about this told me it was necesarry.

Anyways, the reason I'm making this topic is just to hear what you think can be done. I know going to experts is better than posting at some forum, but you are guitarists and this is something that somebody here might have experienced. And if not, some words or suggestions or anything would be great. This is so frustrating that I don't even know how I can explain it. Anyways, thank you for reading all this if you have, and any suggestion would be appreciated. A lot.


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Marcus Siepen
post Aug 16 2008, 07:31 PM
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I am not sure if it is the same thing, but it reminds me of a problem that Andre, the other guitarist in BG, once had. He also had a nerv squeezed in some way, and the symptoms were the same, numb fingers, no feeling, no power in them. In the end he had to go through a surgery and everything was fine again after this. Of course I am no doctor, I can't judge if you have the same thing, but you should for sure take this VERY serious and see a doctor that knows about such things.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 16 2008, 10:34 PM
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I'm with Marcus on this one of course. Nothing is important as your own health man, and you should take these symptoms very very seriously. Try with every doctor you can find to see what is causing this and work out a solution. There is probably a way out of this problem, and the only thing that can help you is a doctor specialist. I understand the fear you have, but don't delay anything. Go see doctors immediately.


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Fsgdjv
post Aug 17 2008, 09:01 AM
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I really appreciate your help, really. But my problem is that I've been to those experts, I've been to one of the best hand experts in our country, and he just let me go because he figured I was good now. And then all comes back, even worse, in a manner that doesn't fit with what he said I had a problem with. (He said it was a nerve that went to the ring finger and the little finger, but now I have it in the entire hand so it can't be that nerve then). I've been to all experts and doctors I know, and some of them cost lots of money, and I barely have more to spend on that. I take my health very seriously and that's why this is even more annoying. I just don't know where to turn now.


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Marcus Siepen
post Aug 17 2008, 11:27 AM
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Sorry to say this, but if the best doctor sent you home because he thinks you are fine when you obviously are NOT fine, then he is not the best. You should definitely see another doctor and get a second (or third or fourth...) opinion, after all it is YOUR health, not the doctors.


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Ian Bushell
post Aug 17 2008, 11:56 AM
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I had the same problem a few months back.....i am no doctor....hahahahaha
but it does sound like the dreaded carpel tunnel syndrome!!
I also experienced numbness in fingers and things, I was diagnosed with this but don't want to go for the operation.
I take some pills for it when it flares up and that keeps my wrist/fingers happy.
As for your back i get that if i have been practicing for a long period of time or have been sitting while practicing incorrectly. It's all about posture.....and regular breaks between pratice sessions.



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MickeM
post Aug 17 2008, 12:45 PM
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That's health care in a nutshell for you. First, if you seek help from private naprapathician etc it will cost you dearly and you'll never know if they are on to something or are just a great salesman. Not to dismiss it as humbug, I don't think it is, this naprapathician in Falun (Allan) found cancer in my dads friends belly. He said - you must go see a doctor, I can't treat this. Saved his life, so sure they can make a diagnosis but from other methods than x-ray, blood tests and so forth.

The doctors (in hospitals) have so much more and efficient ways of invesigating and make a diagnosis. The big problem is that if you're not sick enough they will send you right back home. Which seem to have happened to you, finding a specialist is great but first I think you have to know where the sympthoms spring from. You went to a hand specialist who didn't really find a problem with your hand. Mind that lots of problems in limbs can spring from your back. If that's the source of the problem, the hand specialist wouldn't know while a backspecialit would.

Going back to the hand doctor might be a good start since you already have your journal there. If he can't help, ask to be remitted to a back specialist. If it's the carpel tunnel syndrome the hand specialist should find it.

Don't be afraid to ask, nag nag nag and don't accept to be sent home until they have diagnosed you with something. Not until then you can get proper medication or surgery.
It's so crowded with patients the sad truth is they can't manage to treat everyone, the ones who don't appear to be sick enough are sent home. So be sure to be clear about how bad you feel or you might not get the help you're in need of.


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micpon
post Aug 17 2008, 01:10 PM
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Hi there Fsgdjv,

Have a neurologist examed you?
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 17 2008, 03:25 PM
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I am aware of the fact that you went to see doctors, but the problem appeared again right? So it is logical to go again and see some doctors and ask for second opinion. I suggest that you don't go see a doctor that sent you home. Obviously he is not a great doctor.

Can you go to state hospital, to general practice doctor and let him direct you to some specialist? I don't really know how health care is organized in your country mate, but it's Sweden, my guess is that you will have those things covered by the health insurance.


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Fsgdjv
post Aug 17 2008, 06:21 PM
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Thanks for all replys. The hand specialist I went to is considered one of the best in sweden, so I see no other reason for him sending me home than that it must come from somewhere else than the hand, like the back. That's logical because I have back problems aswell. He did some stests for carpal tunnel syndrome, and I don't have that, and that's great at least.

to micpon: Yes, I've been examined by a neurologist aswell, they sent elecric signals though my arms to my hand and measured the time it took for it to travel to see how the nerves were working.

Ivan: Yeah, for me it's almost free to see doctors, but the problem is like MickeM described it, it's full of people who need help, and all the hospitals are trying to save money, and sometimes to the point that they don't want to treat people. But I'll keep trying to solve this, there's no way I'm giving up, it's just that I'm a bti unsure what to do now.

And to everyone who replied: Thank you a lot, I'm going to keep trying, tomorrow I'm going to call the hand specialist I went to and tell him how it is now and hope that he can help me.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 17 2008, 06:51 PM
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Try to go to general doctor, I'm sure he can tell you where to go and what are your options. Then you can go to see a specialists you need to go. As you mentioned it may not be the hand afterall. Anyway, I really hope you get better soon and find out what's troubling you mate.


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micpon
post Aug 17 2008, 07:04 PM
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Hi again,
so you have met a neurophysioligist and he did a neurophysioligical test(ENeG). Did they put needles in your arm/handmuscels too(EMG)? If the conduction test was normal the problem are probably in the back of the neck(if you havn´t any problems with your legs). Once again, have you been examed by a neurologist(not the same as a neurophysiologist). If you havn´t I believe you should.


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Fsgdjv
post Aug 17 2008, 07:22 PM
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I don't really know what the thing they did was called, but that elecrtic signals thingy is what they did. From lots of places on the arm. Yes, they put that in my arm and hand.

The thing is, I have a leg that's 1.5 cm shorter than the other, so I have some problems with that. That's why I have the back problems I think. So it's hard to know what to do. I'm going to call that hand specialist tomorrow, and if he doesn't know what to do I'll probably try to find someone good at a place for sports injuries, they seem to know what they are talking about.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 17 2008, 08:24 PM
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The electric thingy is I suppose EEG (electroencephalogram or something).


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MickeM
post Aug 17 2008, 10:06 PM
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QUOTE (Fsgdjv @ Aug 17 2008, 08:22 PM) *
The thing is, I have a leg that's 1.5 cm shorter than the other, so I have some problems with that. That's why I have the back problems I think.

Are you sure about that? Was it determinded bu x-ray or similar or by a naprapathician measuring from the hip down to the heel or something.
I ask because when I was a teenager I had back problems and went to one who said one leg was 1.5 cm shorter than the other. Impossible to measure youself so whether that was sincear or humbug, who knows. At least he got to sell me a shoe inlay on top of examination and treatment.
Went to see another who couldn't see that one leg was shorter or anything. He found a muscular inflammation instead.

If a doctor at the hospital found that, fine, they have no reason to make things up in order to sell you shoe inlays or extra treatment so that I'd belive. But if they did, they must find a ortopedical solution, right?

Just wanted to share with you that I've been down that 1.5 cm shorter leg path myself in my youth while in the end that had nothing to do with it and probably wasn't even true.


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Fsgdjv
post Aug 18 2008, 08:38 AM
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The leg thingy was measured by an X-ray in a hospital, so I have no reason to not believe that.

And I just called the hand specialist I've been to, he wasn't there yet, but he'll call me back when he gets there, hoping that he can come up with some good reason or tell me where to go now rolleyes.gif

edit again: He said something about surgery, wich sounds really stupid considering the thing he thinks is wrong with me came out negative on the tests. I'm gonna talk some morew to him on wednesday when I have an appointment now, but that makes me think I should probably give up on him now-_-

This post has been edited by Fsgdjv: Aug 18 2008, 01:02 PM


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Marcus Siepen
post Aug 18 2008, 04:42 PM
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Just an advice, a hand specialist is not nessesarily the best doctor to talk to, in Andres case the nerv got squeezed in his elbow back then, he had his surgery there and the problem was solved, his hand didn't really have anything to do with the problem, only the symptoms appeared in his fingers.


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Fsgdjv
post Aug 18 2008, 04:49 PM
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QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ Aug 18 2008, 05:42 PM) *
Just an advice, a hand specialist is not nessesarily the best doctor to talk to, in Andres case the nerv got squeezed in his elbow back then, he had his surgery there and the problem was solved, his hand didn't really have anything to do with the problem, only the symptoms appeared in his fingers.

That's exactly what this had specialist says he thinks I have, the nerve that goes to the little finger and ring finger squeezed in the elbow. He kind of works with all problems that results in hand pain, even though they might come from the neck, elbow etc.

But yes, I know it might not be the best thing, but I'm gonna try to get at much proper info from him as possible anyways, he's the only doctor I'm still keeping in touch with. I'm gonna see where this goes, but I'm very sceptical to surgery, as I don't think I'm bad enough to need it. I can still play guitar once in a while, just that there are about 6 bad days for 2 good ones. I'll see what happens.


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micpon
post Aug 18 2008, 05:45 PM
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Hi again,

if the examination with the electric pulses(ENeg)was normal the nerveconduction through the whole are without entrapment there can´t be a injury at the elbow. You see thats the thing with these examinations - to exclude any injury(nervecompression in your case)in the nerves of arms(and legs). The needles in the muscels(EMG) is an exam to exclude(in your case) injury higher up, compression of nerveroots in the back of the neck and other injurys. Excuse for beeing nagging.
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Fsgdjv
post Aug 18 2008, 05:55 PM
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You're not being nagging, I really appreciate you taking the time. I didn't really get exactly what you meant by that, but I also think that there is no problem in the elbow then, and that's why I feel so lost, if that hand specialist said something about surgery when he's got no idea where the problem is. I'm going to straighten this out in two days when I have an appointment with him. I'm always tense in the back of my neck, but I've told him that, and the only thing he did was send me on an x-ray to see if there's any extra ribs there or whatever it was, but everything was normal there.

I know I probably don't make a lot sense right now, but neither does this annoying pain/weakness/or whatever I should call it in the back, arm and hand.

EDIT: I read some papers and apparently the thing I did was at a neurophysologist, and I don't have a name for the examination with the electric signals more then "neurografiundersökning", I don't know what that is in english.

This post has been edited by Fsgdjv: Aug 18 2008, 06:02 PM


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