Various (Related?) Hand and Joint Issues

by Matt


I'm a 26 yr old male. When I was 16, moving chairs, I started getting burning in my wrist one day. Speaking with a doctor friend, he suggested it was tendinitis. Since then, it progressed, causing more severe burning in my wrists and forearms (various places over 10 years).

Though my pain is bilateral, and largely intermittent (normally worst in spring), a nerve conduction study showed slight impingement in my right wrist only... leading to a suggestion of surgery several years ago. Thus far, I have been able to manage with a healthy diet high in vegetables, high hydration, and trying to maintain proper exercise.

Over the years, I've seen many chiropractors, several doctors, and this year, a physical therapist, who has been the most helpful. Diagnosis has ranged from a compressed C6 causing imbalanced hips to locked neck to carpel tunnel syndrome (I lack tingling in thumb to middle, most often pain is in my palm or arm just above my wrist where all the tendons pop out.

The PT suggested muscular imbalance and has had me doing various shoulder stabilization exercises, which have seemed to be quite helpful. Though I've been maintaining the exercises, I'm beginning to regain burning pain in both palms, and various finger aches, which I can't quite source the pain for, and pain at the bases of my thumbs. All pain has been historically bilateral. Often my TMJ issues act up at the same time. I am somewhat suspecting TOS, but have had such varied symptoms over the years with many things having short term help, before the pain returns. Do you have any suggestions?


Gosh Matt, I'm afraid I don't have many suggestions. It certainly isn't carpal tunnel syndrome.

What's your instinctive sense? Is this radiating from your neck area, or is it a local problem in the hands and wrists. The fact that it is bilateraly suggests in the neck or carpal tunnel, though that is usually unilateral.

Do you X-rays of your neck show cervical ribs?

I'm assuming there is no wasting of the muscles in your hands, no weakness, loss of reflex or change in the sensation in your hands and arms.

Movements of your neck do not provoke it?

My suggestion is an MRI of your cervical spine. It's a long shot, but that's where I'd go.

Keep us up to date, and I'm sorry I don't have more to contribute.

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Sep 13, 2019
by: Matthew

Thanks for your help! I have been wondering about it being caused by cervical ribs for awhile, but have not yet had an MRI. So far relaxing, straightening my upper back (it wasn't bad, people have commented on my straight posture for years), staying warm and hydrated seen to be keeping the symptoms at bay for the present.

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