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numb fingers (post #72356)

I'm bending and tying tons of #3 bar.  Now my fingers are numb 24/7 and I get a wicked electrocution like pain on the inside elbow joint when I clinch my hands.  Any advice other than "don't do that."?  Thanks.

(post #72356, reply #1 of 33)

See a doctor and/or a physical therapist right away. You can suffer permanent damage if you don't rectify this.


If you need to keep bending bars, buy or rent a power bender.

(post #72356, reply #2 of 33)

Thanks Dave.  A doctor is definitely in order.

(post #72356, reply #3 of 33)

Try to mix things up a bit, not just gripping and pushing/pulling.  Put some foam handles on your bender, if that's an option.


Sometimes bicycle gloves (with gel padding) inside work gloves can help.


zak


"so it goes"

zak

"When we build, let us think that we build forever.  Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone." --John Ruskin

"so it goes"

 

(post #72356, reply #4 of 33)

Quit hand tieing   buy /rent the power tie tool . One I saw had a spool of wire and jaws that fit over the bar . pull the trigger ,rebar is tied.

(post #72356, reply #5 of 33)

Sounds like a pinched nerve to me, especially the "electric shock" feeling.


Doctor time.


BTW as someone who just spent 4.5 mos in screaming pain from a fragmented disc, dont waste your time with PT, give a chiropractor a try.


I had no faith in them at all till I had no other option and gave it a try. I cant believe how much he helped me out.  

 

Family.....They're always there when they need you.

(post #72356, reply #14 of 33)

MSA1, did Dr Herman help you, or did you go to another chiro? Either way, I'm happy you got some relief.


blue


 

"...

keep looking for customers who want to hire  YOU.. all the rest are looking for commodities.. are you  a commodity ?... if you get sucked into "free estimates" and  "soliciting bids"... then you are a commodity... if your operation is set up to compete as a commodity, then have at it..... but be prepared to keep your margins low and your overhead  high...."

From the best of TauntonU.

(post #72356, reply #28 of 33)

I've been going to Dr. Herman for about a month now and what a difference. I would've never believed a chiro could help but i'm feeling much better.


Thanks again.

 

Family.....They're always there when they need you.

(post #72356, reply #31 of 33)

I have a lot of faith in Jim Herman. He's a square shooter and if he couldn't help you, he'd let you know right away. I'm truly glad that you are getting some relief. I've had some lower back problems and Jim got me back to "normal", as normal as possible.


My lower back has been sore for a month or more and I might just have to spend some time with Jim again. I'll be working on the east side and I'll probably start seeing him again.


Are you on the three day schedule still, or have you dropped down to two yet?


blue


 

"...

keep looking for customers who want to hire  YOU.. all the rest are looking for commodities.. are you  a commodity ?... if you get sucked into "free estimates" and  "soliciting bids"... then you are a commodity... if your operation is set up to compete as a commodity, then have at it..... but be prepared to keep your margins low and your overhead  high...."

From the best of TauntonU.

(post #72356, reply #33 of 33)

Depending on my schedule I go once or twice a week. Its been pretty good. I havent had to take pain medication for about a week, and starting tomorrow i'll be done with the muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories.


Like I said, I cant believe the difference a couple of visits have made.

 

Family.....They're always there when they need you.

(post #72356, reply #6 of 33)

Don't do that.

The "tunnels" that the nerves go through at elbow and wrist (and maybe shoulder or neck) may be inflamed. There is surgery to correct this, but it's best to try "conservative" measures first (NSAIDs, alternating ice and heat, steriod injections, physical therapy).

Avoid jerking motions, vibration, and prolonged twisting/scrunching of the joints. Do mild flexibility stretches several times during the day. Use splints when doing repetitive tasks or holding a single posture for along time (such as when keyboarding or gaming).


If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. --James Madison


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #72356, reply #7 of 33)

Sounds like tendonitis - just reading your description brings back the pain!  The steroid injections will (usually) work, but by far the best cure I've found is accupuncture. I usually go that route, and/or chiropractor depending on the injury, first for these types of injuries.  In my experience the docs usually just want to pump you up with some sort of anti-inflamatory that trashes your liver or worse...

(post #72356, reply #9 of 33)

The talk of steroids reminds me... I once had a 6-day course of Prednisone after an injury. A couple of days into it I had no aches and pains anywhere, it felt absolutely great. You might not know that all your joints hurt until they stop. But, once you read the possibe side effects you'll never take it again.

(post #72356, reply #11 of 33)

Yea, the accupuncture isn't as fast as the steroids, but no side-effects trumps speed for me!

(post #72356, reply #15 of 33)

Just curious, what are some of the side effects of Prednisone?   

Life is short, go square drive.

(post #72356, reply #16 of 33)

From  http://www.medicinenet.com/prednisone/article.htm


SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of prednisone and other corticosteroids range from mild annoyances to serious, irreversible damage, and they occur more frequently with higher doses and more prolonged treatment. Side effects include retention of sodium (salt) and fluid, weight gain, high blood pressure, loss of potassium, headache and muscle weakness. Prednisone also causes puffiness of the face (moon face), growth of facial hair, thinning and easy bruising of the skin, impaired wound healing, glaucoma, cataracts, ulcers in the stomach and duodenum, worsening of diabetes, irregular menses, rounding of the upper back ("buffalo hump"), obesity, retardation of growth in children, convulsions, and psychiatric disturbances. The psychiatric disturbances include depression, euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and even psychotic behavior.


Prednisone suppresses the immune system and, therefore, increases the frequency or severity of infections and decreases the effectiveness of vaccines and antibiotics. Prednisone may cause osteoporosis that results in fractures of bones. Patients taking long-term prednisone often receive supplements of calcium and vitamin D to counteract the effects on bones. Calcium and vitamin D probably are not enough, however, and treatment with bisphosphonates such as alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel) may be necessary. Calcitonin (Miacalcin) also is effective. The development of osteoporosis and the need for treatment can be monitored using bone density scans.


 

 

Prolonged use of prednisone and other corticosteroids causes the adrenal glands to atrophy (shrink) and stop producing the body's natural corticosteroid, cortisol. If prednisone is abruptly withdrawn after prolonged use, the adrenal glands are unable to produce enough cortisol to compensate for the withdrawal, and symptoms of corticosteroid insufficiency (adrenal crisis) may occur. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting and shock. Therefore, prednisone should be discontinued gradually so that the adrenal glands have time to recover and resume production of cortisol. Until the glands fully recover, it may be necessary to treat patients who have recently discontinued corticosteroids with a short course of corticosteroids during times of stress (infection, surgery, etc.), times when corticosteroids are particularly important to the body.

A serious complication of long-term use of corticosteroids is aseptic necrosis of the hip joints. Aseptic necrosis is a condition in which there is death and degeneration of the hip bone. It is a painful condition that ultimately can lead to the need for surgical replacement of the hip. Aseptic necrosis also has been reported in the knee joints. The estimated incidence of aseptic necrosis among long-term users of corticosteroids is 3-4%. Patients taking corticosteroids who develop pain in the hips or knees should report the pain to their doctors promptly.


Sorry about the formating.  Something happened in the cut and paste process...


 


Edited 6/9/2006 9:17 am ET by peteshlagor

(post #72356, reply #18 of 33)

In High School I got a bad case of mono. In one day My fever shot from 101 to 104 and climbing. I was literally burning up. My entire body got stiff and I could no longer move my neck. I got rushed to the hospital wheere they gave me all kinds of horsepills and such. Left with a prescription for prednesone and was "better" (not feeling pain) in 2 or three days.

(post #72356, reply #17 of 33)

Pednisone will have a mild to moderate psychotic effect on some people with long term use. From what I have seen I call it the "Conan" effect. People that take it for a long time tend to become more aggressive. It is a synthetic steroid so it also causes some of the same side effects as other steroids.


I have only known one person that took it for a long time. The personality change was dramatic  to me. She was taking for the treatment of Addison disease (an auto immune system disease).


 


Dave


Edited 6/9/2006 9:23 am ET by DaveRicheson

(post #72356, reply #19 of 33)

Pretty scary stuff.    But hey, you wanna make an omlet, you gotta crack a few eggs right?   only kidding.    The side effects of some drugs are really something else. 

(post #72356, reply #20 of 33)

Prednisone is a bit of a deal with the devil. Even when given short-term (less than 2 weeks or so), the drug can cause a severe "rebound" effect, meaning that if you suddenly stop it your entire body can become inflammed. But it's generally safe for such short-term use, if you aren't one of the "lucky" ones with an abnormal reaction to it, and you "taper" off the stuff appropriately. The benefits of being able to reduce inflammation (especially in situations such as where a nerve is inflammed and swollen and is "choking" itself to death in a "tunnel" through the skull or elbow or wrist).

Longer term (months or years) pred becomes much more dangerous. It can cause a number of effects, from weight gain to blindness to tendon rupture to stroke or aneurism. Long-term use requires careful weighing of risks vs benefits.


If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. --James Madison


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #72356, reply #21 of 33)

Yeah... they gave me a 6-5-4-3-2-1 dose, 6 pills the first day, 5 the next, etc. Kind of cool to be able to leap out of bed in the morning and stride to the bathroom, instead of hobble.

(post #72356, reply #26 of 33)

some of the side effects of Prednisone


Along with what Pete gave you is the nifty "other thing" steroids (not just prednisone) do to you.  As you body metabolizes the steroids, the detritus tends to not "flush out" in the normal ways.  The body being sensitive to this, stashes the detritus in lipid cells. 


Which is fine, unless there's some need (like being ill) to "burn" those lipids for their carbs.  Now, the "crud" is back in circulation, and has to sort itself out for elimination.


This may be the mechanism where the illio-femoral osteonecrosis (hip socket bone cell death) starts.  Or not.  Many of the original corticosteroid patients were OA sufferers.  Osteoarthritis has a number of bone & cartilage "issues," just to make having OA even more fun.  At least we no longer give big jars of horse-pill sized steriods to OA sufferers.


Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
I may not be able to help you Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)

(post #72356, reply #8 of 33)

and i thought that was normal...


pain really doesn't affect me much... not say'n it to be a bad [JOBSITE WORD]... but it just doesn't


but i hate the numb feeling... really bad after several days on a jackhammer or even a hammer drill...  i don't know but i still think it's for you better in the long run to be worn out, work'n and hurt'n than sit'n on ur butt push'n papers


p

(post #72356, reply #10 of 33)

Other than what has been said, you really do need to seek a pro-active doctor.  Not one that just gives you an anti inflammatory and says see you in a month.  A month later, says maybe a little physical therapy.  Find a doctor who will refer you to a specialist.


As a side note.  There are two main nerves that go down to the hand.  One is the ulder(sp?) nerve that goes through the elbow and the other I can't remember.  Basically, the ulder nerve goes to the pinky finger and the finger next to it, plus half of the middle finger on the pinky side.  The rest of the middle finger and other fingers/thumb are on the other nerve.  This nerve , if I remember correctly, runs up the top of your forearm, or is the bottom of the fore arm???.  


If the problem is the whole hand, then it cold be in the wrist or in the shoulder or even the neck, as it was in my case.   Actually, in my case, the neck, shoulders, and wrists were shot.  But the main problem was in the neck.


Please take this injury seriously

(post #72356, reply #13 of 33)

Brachial (sp) (brake- kee-ill) nerve ?


It is right next to the artery of the same name starting from under the arm pit and running in the fold between the triceps and biceps muscles. The artery can be used to check the pulse and as a pressure point to control bleeding in the arms. The wrong type of clamping pressure on the artery can cause the nerve to be pinched at the same time. Hurts like hell when that happens, then parts of the hand and lower arm start to go numb.


 


Dave

(post #72356, reply #22 of 33)

--- Brachial (sp) (brake- kee-ill) nerve ? ---

There are three major nerves running down the arm/forearm.

The radial nerve comes off the brachial plexus (network of nerves in the armpit) in the back, winds around the back the humerus (upper arm bone) to the side of the elbow that is associated with "tennis elbow", then continues down the thumb side of the forearm into the muscles there. It has a branch called the superficial radial nerve that give sensation to the back of the base of the thumb and wrist.

The ulnar nerve comes off the brachial plexus on the side of the arm that is close to the body and pretty much makes a beeline to the inner side of the elbow, wraps around the back of the bony prominence there, and continues straight through the pinky finger side of the wrist and into the hand. It gives sensation to the pinky, half of the ring finger, and that side of the hand, and it affects the function of some of the muscles in the hand on that side, leading to inability to spread the last two fingers apart and/or squeeze them together when it's damaged.

The median nerve comes off the brachial plexus in between the other two, goes down the front of the humerus bone, past the elbow, and has branches to a bunch of muscles in the front of the forearm, including most of the ones that bend your fingers. Then the nerve continues through the middle of the wrist through the carpal tunnel and into the hand, and gives sensation to the rest of the hand (thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger, and corresponding areas of the hand). It also has a small branch to the muscles at the base of the thumb.

Carpal tunnel syndrome comes from squeezing of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel, which can be exacerbated by wrist tendinitis from repetitive wrist motion, or by maintaining the wrist in an extreme position over a period of time. It gives numbness, tingling, and/or pain in the areas where the median nerve gives sensation, and in severe cases, inability to move the thumb in opposition (away from the hand), making thumb-to-index-finger pinching grip weak.

Cubital tunnel syndrome comex from squeezing of the ulnar nerve in the cubital tunnel behind the elbow, which is exacerbated by inflammation due to repetitive movement of the elbow , but also by simple things like resting your elbow on the open car window when driving. It causes pain/numbness/tingling on the little finger side of the hand, and in severe cases, weakness of spreading/squeezing together of those fingers.

Radial tunnel syndrome causes symptoms similar to tennis elbow, and is caused by squeezing of the radial nerve within the muscles of the forearm. There is also something called deQuervain's tenosynovitis where the sensory branch of the radial nerve gets squeezed/trapped in its sheath near the thumb side of the wrist. That causes severe pain at the base of the thumb with certain movements of the wrist and thumb.

End of clinical anatomy lesson. ;-)

Rebeccah

(post #72356, reply #23 of 33)

Another detail that's worthwhile for folks here to know: Most of the nerves that feed the fingers run through the palm of the hand, on the palm side of the hand's bone structure. Therefore, prolonged pressure, repetitive shock, or prolonged vibration applied to the palm (including the "heel" of the hand) can injure or inflame these nerves and cause numbness and/or muscle weakness.

It's worthwhile to have a pair of shock-absorbing gloves for cases where you must use perform work that is apt to injure the nerves in the palm. The classical case would be something like jackhammering, or long hours leaning on a bike handlebar, but simply using your palm as a hammer while assembling casework can also cause injury.


If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. --James Madison


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #72356, reply #27 of 33)

You must have been talking to my Orthopod.  Did CT surgery on my right hand and found a completely flattened nerve in the palm.  A few months earlier, I had pounded up the remains of the adhesive that held down a wood floor to 2000 sq ft of ceement using a big  ice scraper/ remover. 


I thought I was being cool using my palm like that!  Totally stupid.


 


 

(post #72356, reply #29 of 33)

True. The median nerve goes right through the middle of the palm (the carpal tunnel is on the palm side of the hand and wrist bones), and the ulnar nerve runs under that bony bump on the heel of the hand, coming out into the softer area of the hand just to the pinky side of the "palm".

Rebeccah

(post #72356, reply #24 of 33)

Way cool!


Way back years ago I use to teach Multimedia first aid , standard first aid and CPR for the ARC. Had a macho co-instructor demonstrate the pressure point on my skinny little arm during one class. From that point on I always cautioned students not to dig their fingers into that pressure point.


The femoral artery pressure  was also a little dicey to teach in coed classes :)


Thanks for the lesson.


 


Dave 

(post #72356, reply #25 of 33)

Great explanation.


Either your in the medical field or your not one of "those" ADD people, like me.  Most of what I remember was "blah, blah, nerve, minor surgery, blah, blah...."


What I did see to learn was from the physical therapist during rehab and her comment was that none of this is "minor surgery", as I have later come to find out.  All surgeries have repercussions.


Wish I could find the Xray of my neck showing the plate & 6 "wood screws"  so I could post it on this site.