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View Full Version : Would a brace help re: numb sensations?


Nenwing
08-06-2012, 11:17 PM
I'm not sure if my problem originated with work or what, but over the past year I've had problems with numb-ish feelings through my right arm down into the hand, plus pain problems with right side of the head down into my upper shoulder. Even that side of the face feels numb-ish sometimes. I think its a pinched nerve problem stemming from repetitive motion at work. Anyways, its causing trouble with my knitting. I've pretty much refrained from knitting much at all this past year in fear of making it worse, but I love knitting. Its a real bummer. I wonder if a wrist brace might help, to keep my hand steady and not cause a flare-up. Heck I really should probably see a chiropractor, I just get afraid one might snap my neck too hard or make it worse.

suzeeq
08-06-2012, 11:40 PM
A neck, shoulder and upper back massage would probably work wonders, either a 15-20 minute chair massage or half an hour on the table. It's probably more how you sit or your posture while you knit or at work. Take frequent breaks in both activities, do neck and shoulder stretches and rolls. You might also have tight muscles in your lower arms too, which you can find and help with self massage.

justplaincharlotte
08-07-2012, 12:21 AM
I wonder if a wrist brace might help, to keep my hand steady and not cause a flare-up. Heck I really should probably see a chiropractor, I just get afraid one might snap my neck too hard or make it worse.

Ouch!:sad:

I'll second the massage recommendation, but sleeping in a wrist brace can't hurt and it's an inexpensive experiment to see if it helps.

My "good" hand goes numb when I hold my needles too tight or knit too long. Not knowing how you grip your needles, maybe trying a looser grip is also an inexpensive experiment?

Good luck, and I hope you get some relief!

ArtLady1981
08-07-2012, 01:43 AM
I've worn magnetic bracelets to help with repetitive motion syndrome of my hands, wrists, fingers. Also, a magnetic necklace to help with tight shoulder muscles. Athletes use magnetics as well. Magnetics increase circulation in the specific area, which in turn helps your body 'right' itself. For instance, magnetics applied to a deep bruise quickens the body's ability to flush away the dead blood in the tissue.

Read up on the use of magnetics. Just google it. And check the website www.nikken.com Perhaps you've heard of them. They promote (and sell) magnetics that are, IMHO, far superior to anything I've seen elsewhere.

BTW: magnetic bracelets and necklaces don't "wear out".

salmonmac
08-07-2012, 05:19 AM
Nenwing, have you seen a doctor about this? It's gone on long enough. You want to understand the cause of the problem and you want relief but you also want to make sure you're not doing further damage.

Sewing Angel
08-07-2012, 09:39 AM
I think you have received some great suggestions. One thing that my friend who is an Occupational Therapist recommended was to put a pillow between your side and arm. I have had similar problems from time to time (I have a long standing issue with my right shoulder also). It helps keep you from tensing those muscles as much and providing some support. Sometimes I use a small pillow, other times a bed pillow. I recently was having problems and I had been sitting on the sofa knitting. It is better for me to sit in an arm chair and prop my feet up. Its a little firmer and I get more support.

Nenwing
08-07-2012, 10:37 AM
Thank you so much for the replies. I've been trying to ease back into knitting, after every row or two stopping to take a stretch break.

I have been to the doc, unfortunately his answer to most things is to just say "you need to relax and take an antidepressant". I probably need a new doc, but we don't have health insurance.

I do need to try a chiropractor or something similar, as long as its not crazy expensive. That would at least be a start. I've been taking magnesium because I've heard that is good for nerve health, I think it helps some.

insanenewknitter
08-07-2012, 10:47 AM
Yes, I agree the salmonmac, you should probably see a doctor.
And, yes, you probably need a new doctor. You can't go on with him telling you that you are 'imagining it'. It's not true. I had a doctor trying to tell me that I imagined it, and a test said something very different. Don't let it wait to the point where it is irreversible.
Not fun, I really feel for you.

suzeeq
08-07-2012, 10:59 AM
Yes magnesium is a natural 'muscle relaxant' so would be good to take, and B6 is good as well, particularly for carpal tunnel like symptoms. Keep in mind that only about 30% of CTS diagnoses are true carpal tunnel problems, so don't get scared into thinking you need surgery. Most people who have surgery need it redone, usually because the cause is not in the carpal tunnel itself, but is problem with overly tight muscles that squeeze the nerves and blood vessels. You can do a lot to relieve the symptoms by doing self massage on your lower arms (the muscles that control the hands and fingers) and your neck and shoulders.

Wanda Witch
08-07-2012, 01:05 PM
I certainly feel for you. I too have issues with neck, shoulder and nerve problems down into the hand, right one of course, since that is my working paw. A wrist brace does help and I also have a magnetic bracelet that I wear. However, in today's world of chiropractic, I really do not think a D.C. would ever 'crack' your neck as in days of yore. They generally manipulate. I hope you find relief and will be able to resume not only your knitting but free from constant pain. Keep us posted, and Best Wishes.

suzeeq
08-07-2012, 01:31 PM
Yes, a lot of chiros do gently work on your spine more than the idea they wrench the neck. I've been seeing one for 2 months and my blood pressure has dropped 30 points and a lot of neck and upper shoulder issues are improving.

Nenwing
08-07-2012, 06:53 PM
Well, that is a relief that a lot of chiropractors don't do the ole "neck snap" maneuver. Is that an older method?

I am betting a chiropractor would help more than my regular MD, he would probably just end up shrugging his shoulders and referring me to another type of doctor anyways.

Thank you, I do hope someday this can be fixed, it sure isn't fun living with problems like this, especially if one enjoys crafts like knitting!

deann
08-07-2012, 08:36 PM
I'm not sure if my problem originated with work or what, but over the past year I've had problems with numb-ish feelings through my right arm down into the hand, plus pain problems with right side of the head down into my upper shoulder. Even that side of the face feels numb-ish sometimes. I think its a pinched nerve problem stemming from repetitive motion at work. Anyways, its causing trouble with my knitting. I've pretty much refrained from knitting much at all this past year in fear of making it worse, but I love knitting. Its a real bummer. I wonder if a wrist brace might help, to keep my hand steady and not cause a flare-up. Heck I really should probably see a chiropractor, I just get afraid one might snap my neck too hard or make it worse.

I too have neck and arm issues with headaches. However, since knitting I started getting more aches in my hands/wrists/fingers. I wear my wrist braces at night now, during sleep, and I cannot tell you how much it has helped my hands/wrists.

As far as the neck, mine is disk degeneration. There is no more space between my C5-6 disks so they are touching. and pinching on my spinal cord/nerve. I agree with the other poster PROFESSION MASSAGE is the answer. I have found a great gal, she is rough and tough and that girl digs in all of my painful triggerpoints...LOL. Make sure when you are calling around for one, ask if they are a wussy therapst or a tough one. They will tell you because they know... Hope you feel better!! Gotta keep knitting!!

fatoldladyinpjs
08-10-2012, 08:30 AM
I'd recommend you see a doctor. It's against the law to diagnose or prescribe treatment for someone. We had to be careful not to do this when I worked in the health food field. We could refer them to the herb books but not tell customers specifically what herbs or combinations they should use. Most states require you to be an MD or a nurse. Some but not all states allow you to do this with an herbal degree. Some allow you to practice with a Doctor of Naturopathy degree. There's a liability and criminal issue here. I'm not trying to be mean about it, just saying.

TeeBee
08-10-2012, 09:47 AM
Hi Nenwing and others!

I also have this problem. Last year it was only in my arm and hand, so had surgery for my detatching tendons. It got MUCH better, but, alas, I'm in pain again. Some days I cannot even pick up a glass of tea with my right hand. Now the pain has migrated into my shoulder and neck. I am going back to the doc again as soon as I can afford it...lol!

As some have stated, massage is really helpful, whenever I can persuade my fiancee into obliging! I also use a rice sock...(just that, big sock, fill with rice, tie end, microwave 3 minutes = warm, moist heat.)

I am now at the point of relearning how to knit; rather, to learn how to knit Continental so that I can lessen the use of my right hand and arm. Going well, so far, but frustrating because I was a pretty fast thrower!

Hope you find some relief soon!!! Great suggestions on here, by the way!

Nenwing
08-13-2012, 11:24 AM
Somehow I do have to get this figured out. Sometimes I worry it is never going to get better and I'm going to be this way forever, hopefully that isn't true!

I think step one would be for me to try and see a chiropractor.

Christinechrstms1
08-15-2012, 07:25 AM
I don't think a wrist brace will help at all. My reasoning is that if the pain is running down your arm then the issue may likely be higher up If it is from the elbow down it could be compression of the ulna nerve located pinky side of the arm. If the pain is coming from even higher up it could even be originating in the neck.

You described pain in your upper head down into your shoulder which may be muscle spasms. Each muscle then tugs on the other causing further spasms and can temporarily compress nerves. Many times inflammation is the cause of this and something such as advil taken regularly for 3 to 4 days can help. It isn't recommended to continue self treatment beyond a few days as advil can cause gastrointestinal problems.

Physio or at the very least, range of motion exercises will help strengthen muscles and thereby helping to relieve spasms. I am not talking about a huge amount of exercise, just several repeats of each of 10 simple exercises a few times a day will even help. Also tightening and then releasing each muscle beginning in your face and working down to your toes will help as well. For me, I find relieve very quickly, usually the same day.

Voltaren gel contains the anti inflammatory diclofenac and can be applied to sore muscles. This rub works amazingly! Especially with the range of motion exercises.

I hope you feel better soon

Nenwing
08-16-2012, 12:27 AM
Christinechrstms1, I've actually been digging around online for some stretches and exercises to do. I found a good one that I'm trying to do several times a day, just started. Hopefully it will help, maybe enough stretching will finally loosen it up, though I think it would take awhile to have effect since its been this way for some time now. When its particularly bugging me, there does seem to be a knot in my upper back/shoulder area, right near where the neck flows into the shoulder/upper back area (if that makes sense).

I do try to stay away as much as I can from painkillers as I have read about the "rebound" effect.

Hopefully between the magnesium and a regimen of stretches this can work itself out. Here's hoping!

Arielluria
08-16-2012, 01:15 AM
Something else to try is knitting differently (switching from continental to english or vice-versa).

I personally would never go to a chiropractor, the massage idea sounds good. I recently started experiencing numbness as well, and seem to have a sometimes pinched nerve at the base of my neck, top of my back and my pinky and ring fingers on my right hand (I knit continental) seem to be the ones which experience the most numbness.

I have noticed when I knit Portuguese style, I get some relief. (For Portuguese style knitting look up Andrea Wong's group on Ravelry: Portuguese Knitting (http://www.ravelry.com/groups/portuguese-knitters)) or Knitting Daily video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzfYS9_t27k).

suzeeq
08-16-2012, 10:10 AM
See what you can do to get that knot between your shoulders to relax. Heat can help or massage or even pressure like from a ball - lay on it with the ball under the knot and roll it around a little. A knot won't stretch, you have to relax it first, then it can. But try stretching the muscles in the arms and the neck and that will all help, they're all connected.

Nenwing
08-16-2012, 11:07 AM
Yeah I figure stretching can't hurt, only help!

When this all first started, I thought it was just a headache problem because I was having balance issues along with it. I did not make the connection of it possibly being a muscle out of whack.

Hmm...that is a good idea too, to try to learn the other style of knitting. That might help if I am using my other hand more (I am right handed).

I need to get a tennis ball!

Christinechrstms1
08-18-2012, 01:54 AM
Nenweng, stretching is good but range of motion exercises will help keep your muscles from weakening. Some that work for those without a serious condition are:

Standing with arms at your sides and slowly raising them up ( motion like making a snow angel) about 3 repeats of 10, three times daily. Do the same but this time raising arms up in front of you. Stop if painful.

Another is to raise and lower your forearms from the elbows. First with arms at the sides , then do the same exercise but with arms in front.

These exercises are not tiring and it is hard to imagine that they would help any but you would be surprised.

You are right about balance. We can easily lose our balance if our center of gravity is off and with muscle spasms or weakness it certainly can be.

Always best to consult a doctor and these are just exercises that have helped some people with similar pain.

I hope you feel better soon.