Right hand: painful fingers, a trobbing ache with bouts of sharp intense pulsing sensations

by James
(from Wales)

Hi Barrie,

You advised me before when I asked a question about my right arm. Hope you don't mind me asking another question but it may be related to my previous issue below:


I went to my GP about my right arm aching & the tingling in my 2 fingers, he examined me and said it was Tennis Elbow, his advice was rest & 400mg Ibruofen to bring down inflammation.

The tennis elbow seems to have moved into my hand.

A typical day for me would be:

When I first wake up it's like I have arthritis in all fingers on my right hand, it's an intense pain no matter what way I move them.

As the day goes by, the intense pain turns into an ache/slow throbbing sensation in the whole of my right hand including fingers.

I try and ignore this ache otherwise I'd never get anything done.

As the hours go by, heading towards evening, the ache will sometimes be joined by a sharp and short pulse like sensation focused on the outer edge of my hand running down towards little finger.

Lately I have noticed the veins in my right forearm (up to my elbow) & on the back of my right hand are more prominent than the left.

The pulsing sensation generally gets more frequent as the night goes on.

It's doing my head in, I seem to be in pain with something all the time lately, especially when I lay down to go to sleep.

A. I have suffered with Restless Leg Syndrome all my life.
B. The muscle in both my calves is always knotted tight making them over sensitive and the slightest touch is painful.
C. I have plantar fibrosis lumps in both feet (my GP has referred me to a podiatrist and I am waiting on my first appointment).

What do you think is going on? I am unsure where to start or who to ask.

Hello James,
I've never heard of tennis elbow causing tingling in the hand; something else is causing both.

On the side of your hand it's almost certainly a continuation of what you had before; however, now it's affecting the whole had I'm thinking of a thoracic outlet syndrome. If so, raising your hand above your head will worsen the symptoms.

You might like to try a test called Adson's but it's subjective and not easy without experience. You can find it using the search function at chiropractic help.

Basically, find a strong pulse in your right wrist with the fingers of your left hand. Then turn your head to the right, look up and take in a deep breath, and hold it. Does it affect the pulse?

Is the upper limb tension test positive?

If there's swelling in your arm, but it goes to the pinkie, then I'd be concerned about a thrombus in the arm; rare but serious.

If it avoids the pinkie, then carpal tunnel syndrome needs to be considered. There are others, I'm afraid. Time to see a chiropractor for a good examination.

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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