August 09, 2010,
K.H. asks from Merrimack, NH on February 08, 2009
Wrist Pain on Pinky Side of Hand
For a month or so now I have had intermittent pain in my right wrist (I am right handed). I don't recall actually injuring my wrist, but i have pain nonetheless. I currently have an 8 month baby, and it is possible I injured my hand while picking her up or carrying her around. There does not appear to be any external swelling and I have a pretty good range of motion. However, my writs hurts to touch (around the bone on the pinky side of my hand). It almost feels like a really bad bruise. I also get a really sharp pain when I turn my wrist, especially if I am also lifting something with my wrist. Some days I feel like it is getting better, but then I will move it the wrong way and "injure" it again. I'm a breastfeeding mom so I'm reluctant to take meds. I know carpal tunnel and wrist pain on the thumb side are common to moms, but has anyone experienced pain on the pinky side of the wrist? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
D.M. answers from Boston on February 09, 2009
I had the same thing a few times in the exact same place with the same symptoms, it usually comes from some kind of injury - mine happened when I tripped and landed on my wrists/hands to break my fall. It sounds like nerve damage (that's what mine was as diagnosed by a doc). That sounds worse than it is, the nerves in that part of your hand have probably been irritated or damaged by something because they are very close to the outside of the skin in that area. The only thing that works is tylenol and time. It could take up to 2-4 months for it to completely go away. I found that wearing a wrist wrap/brace was helpful esp with a baby at home, felt like you had a tiny bit of control and helped protect it/keep it a little bit rested/immobile. You can get those kinds of things at CVS. If it gets worse I'd definitely see a dr. good luck!
J.W. answers from Boston on February 09, 2009
It does sound like tendonitis, but this really is something a doctor should diagnose, not people on an internet site. I also have tendonitis in my wrist and after having 2 cortisone shots, now am scheduled for surgery. It is a very simple procedure and will completely correct this condition.
At the very least, visiting the doctor and having a splint made for your hand will help immensely. Immobilizing that wrist and resting it from twisting and turning will give you some relief at least.
But do see a hand surgeon, I see Dr Mark Belsky at Newton-Wellesley Hospital and he is the most caring and kind doctor I have ever had. And he comes with great references, he takes care of the Boston Red Sox. You will not be sorry if you gave them a call. Good luck.
L.S. answers from San Francisco on February 08, 2009
You should probably try wearing a hand/wrist brace. It is common to have ligament and tendon pain (tendonitis) during and after pregnancy, especially if you're breast feeding. Mine was so bad I couldn't even lift my baby up at times. It felt like a shooting pain or someone was wripping my wrist apart. It was horrible. You can take some advil every now and then and try not to use your wrist. It may not really get better until you stop breastfeeding because of the hormones loosen up all of your tendons and ligaments. I would probably use an ice pack on it as well and try not to move it, which is easier said then done. I also had ankle pain too, but shortly after I stopped breastfeeding, I've been back to normal. If the pain continues you may want to consult a doctor. Best of luck.
S.O. answers from Providence on February 09, 2009
A.C. answers from Boston on February 09, 2009
Yes! I had something very similar with my first kid - and it was definitely related to picking him up out of high chairs, car seats, etc.. I know how frustrating it is b/c you can't just stop taking care of your kid! What helped: (1) wearing a wrist guard (check with Dr. or pharmacist about what type is best for your particular injury); (2) trying to find ways to minimize the stress/pain/use of that area of your wrist (e.g., have husband do as much as possible around the house like washing the particularly heavy skillet, carrying laundry basket - whatever bothers your wrist the most); (3) meds - I took Advil for awhile, but considering you are breastfeeding, you might ask Dr. about getting a local steroid injection instead - that helped me too, (4) you can try ice, but once it becomes a chronic thing, ice doesn't help as much; (5) finding creative, different ways of carrying my kid/other stuff so as not to strain that wrist.
Also - once my wrist finally healed, I started doing regular push-ups and weight lifting to keep my wrist and forearms stronger. This has helped tremendously - I was able to avoid the same problems when my second one came along!
C.L. answers from Hartford on February 09, 2009
It's tendonitis - I had it too with both of my boys - it's from carrying them. With my first son it got so bad that I actually got a cortisone shot in my wrist - it helped tremendously! With my second son, I tried to make sure I carried him more on the left side or put him down (not so easy to do though!).
R.C. answers from Boston on February 09, 2009
I had simalar pain in my wrists as well like what you describe. when I would try to pick anything up, (including my infant grandchildren) the pain would should through my wrists and up my arms. Different positions were a little better than others, but for the most part, any pressure exerted on my wrists were horrible. I don't know if you expereience this type of pain as well, but when I would spread my fingers out as if I was going to pick up a ball with one hand, the pain would shoot through as well. I had asked my Primary Care Dr, about it he said it was arthritis and told me to take motrin. It helped a little, but you can't stay on Motrin for a long time without side effects, (just read the label!) A few months later, I had my gone to my chiropreacter for my back and mentioned it to him, and he told me it might be carpel tunnel or a touch of arthritis. He adjusted my wrists, he said the bones were slightly out of alignment. He also suggested that I take a mixture of Certo(which is fruit pectin) and 100% concord grape juice. He said that there is something in the combination that helps with this type of pain. It was recommended to him by another doctor and he tried it, and it worked for him, and he has arthritis. It does sound really strange, but it really worked for me. He stressed that because of the high carb/sugar content, IF YOU ARE DIABETIC, you CAN NOT take this. Mix 1 cup of grape jucie, and 1 TBS CERTO together, and drink it. I decided to do it twice a day for starters and by day 5 the pain was going away. Then I cut down to once a day, then every other day and just doing maintainence for once a week. I haven't taken any more in about 6 months. I was amazed that the pain totally went away and I have complete and painfree mobility now in both wrists since then. I have given this suggestion to other friends as well,(one had shoulder pain, and the other foot/ankle pain from a broken foot) and they have reported that it has also helped them. It is a weird treatment, but it worked for me. If your pain is anything like mine was, I really know what you are going through. It might be worth a try.
B.S. answers from Boston on February 09, 2009
Yes, it does sound like what I used to call "Car Seat Hand." You should check with your doctor, but I used to wear a brace from CVS to help (they even make some that you can chill, so they ice the injury at the same time). The only trouble is that it was a bit awkward holding the baby with it one.
S.A. answers from Boston on February 09, 2009
Hi K.. I had similar pain a few months after my son was born and actually went to see my doctor for a diagnosis. I learned I had Tensoynovitis, or what the doctor called "New Mom Syndrome." It's caused when the sheath--or casing--around the tendon becomes inflamed because of overuse. In my case, overuse was from the infant car seat. The constant taking it in and out of our sedan at the strangest angle made my wrist ache for months. My doctor gave me a lovely brace to wear, but after a week of wearing it, I stopped. The pain eventually went away when my son started using a convertible car seat.
Hope this helps and I hope you feel better soon!
R.D. answers from Boston on February 09, 2009
I know wrist issues are common are common with new moms. Especially with your daughter being 8 months (mine is 9 mos) you are putting a lot of strain on your wrists. I'd go to your Dr. and see if there is a wrist support that would help. Or you can try a chiropractor. I had a pain in my toe for months and it ended up being an issue with my ankle. My chiro did some adjustments and it is finally getting better. Hope this helps.
C.D. answers from Buffalo on August 09, 2010
L.M. answers from Boston on February 09, 2009
From someone who put off having my wrist checked I would suggest going to your doctor and asking to have it x-rayed. I have a hair line fracture that I didn't have looked at right away and had intermitten pain so I didn't think much about it but I'm glad I did finally tell my doctor and had it casted. It won't take long to have it x-rayed and then you will know for sure if there is an issue.
L.K. answers from Boston on February 09, 2009
Go to your doctor ASAP. Make sure that you don't have cubital tunnel syndrome. I had it after my daughter's birth. Signs are numbness in the pinky and ring finger up the forearm with progression which then causes muscle wasting and pain. I had my ulnar nerve damaged badly at the elbow and signal to my right hand was getting cut off. (I'm a righty too) Swelling from pregnancy can make it worse. So I needed major surgery. the sooner you act the better the result if you do have nerve damage. But it could also be over-use which is common with new moms.
You can easily test the strength of your hand before your dr appt. ask even your husband to help you with these tests. Spread your fingers out and resist someone trying to squeeze your fingers together. and then the opposite of that. If you have no power in your hand it will be obvious you have a bad problem. Seeks help from a medical dr.
I hope it turns out okay. Good luck!
R.M. answers from Boston on February 09, 2009
It could be repetitive stress injury, where you continually do something (pick up your child) the same way. I had baby elbow when my duaghter was first born. You should be aware of how you're holding and picking up your daughter and somehow train yourself to do it differently.
Years ago, I had carpal tunnel-like symptoms (not medically diagnosed) and read that taking B-6 vitamins would help. It did. I always take B-50 vitamins (more if needed) daily and haven't had a problem since. That said, my friend is going in for carpal tunnel surgery next week.
You may need to see a doctor.
J.C. answers from Boston on February 09, 2009
I have had various issues like that actually-one being a ganglion cyst. Your best option is to see a doctor. I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Belsky at Newton Wellesley Hosp. He is a hand/wrist specialist and is the doctor for the Celtics' players!! You may have to wait awhile for an appointment, but it is worth the wait. Good luck.