The last five years I’ve struggled with a sharp shock pain in my fingertips, cramping, stiff fingers, and aching hands. The worst part is that I work as a content creator and my job is to be on my phone/computer all the time. Two years ago it got so bad I couldn’t even text and had to use a stylus while texting. I had to carry around the pen and it made me never want to work or be on my phone. I developed severe anxiety that my hands would stop working.
I went to 20 different hand surgeons, neurologists, spine surgeons, family doctors, acupuncturists, herbalists, and even a hormonal doctor. I had every test done from MRI, X-rays, EMG, nerve studies, blood tests, hormonal tests, and many more. Everyone kept telling me everything seemed normal and it was minor carpal tunnel, yet I had no symptoms of carpal tunnel. Others told me they had no idea what it was. This made me anxious, scared of never being able to text again, and frustrated. I felt hopeless.
After struggling with this for four years, I finally met a great physical therapist who seemed to know more than all the doctors I talked to. She told me to stick with physical therapy for 6-months to a year. I’m now at 10 months and I’ve totally reversed it. It took a lot of work and life changes but I can finally text again and my hands feel so much better. I plan on managing it throughout my life so it doesn’t come back. Below I share how I cured this. I defiantly learned a lot and how I need to respect and take care of my body.
My physical therapist thought it was a combination of Carpal Tunnel, Cervical Radiculopathy, and Ulnar Nerve Entrapment. For me a huge part was my hand falling asleep when my neck was bent at night which was more likely Cervical Radiculopathy than carpal tunnel.
Since I have always had bad posture, my nerves were getting bent. my therapist gave me a great example: to think of your nerves has a garden hose. When the hose is bent the water can’t get out. That’s the same with nerves, when they’re bent they aren’t able to function… But I had multiple bents. The best thing was to stretch, strengthen, and straighten them out. Nerves are great at healing but they take a long time to heal, sometimes over a year, so be patient. I completely changed my lifestyle, below is how I did it.
1. Physical therapy
This was the most important! After four years of struggling to text, I finally decided I was going to do physical therapy everyday. I did this for 6 months everyday and after 6 months I did a few times a week. I still do my exercises weekly to manage it. I’ve always had horrible posture and would always slouch. I would use my computer while on my stomach and elbows.
The physical therapist helped me improve my posture. It was all about strengthening my back and neck. Also, stretching my neck, back, and arms made a huge difference. I had about 6 different exercises I did twice a day, but I usually did them once a day. I learned how your neck controls your fingers and hands, so if there’s any pinch in the neck, it can cause pain, numbness, shock feeling, and other weird symptoms in the fingers/hands. I usually spend 15-30 minutes a day doing my exercises.
Years of horrible posture and never stretching caused my chest and back to tighten. My nerves were being bent from my horrible posture which caused the nerves in my fingertips to be weak. I have learned how to stretch my neck, back, arms, and hands and it makes a HUGE difference. You have to remember this is a slow process and your nerves can take a good year to fully heal after being bent for so long. You can look up on youtube good stretches for each condition.
I used to work on my bed, on my stomach while using the computer which compressed all my nerves. I’ve learned to be more ergonomic and it makes a huge difference. I now make sure my computer is level with my eyes and my back is straight. I also bought a special carpal tunnel mouse to protect myself and prevent carpal tunnel. Make sure your mouse isn’t hitting the inside of your wrist. I have a sideways mouse so the side of my wrist is pressed instead.
4. Braces and sleep
This made a HUGE difference. I had to straighten my nerves to be straight again. I always had my arms crossed and would often sleep with my hands bent. I would wake up with my arm completely asleep and unable to move them. I wore all my braces every night for about 4 months and saw a huge improvement. I wear a wrist one that keeps my wrist and thumb straight. The other one keeps my elbow straight. Now, I do it as needed. Sleeping with them straight will let the nerves heal. I also did a pillow case wrap around my neck so I wouldn’t bend my neck when I slept. A tempur-pedic pillow also made a huge difference,
5. Massages and acupuncture
I have always like the natural route and eastern medicine. Acupuncture can help heal the body. When the body thinks you’re being attacked it will alarm your body to heal itself. Talk to a professional acupuncturist and tell them what you’re struggling with. They’ll be able to suggest a treatment for it. My insurance also covered this, which made it easier to get it done weekly. I did an hour treatment with 30 minutes of acupuncture in my neck, back, arm, and hands and then 30 minutes of a massage. Massages are aways great to loosen up your nerves and body.
5. Diet / herbs
I never realized how powerful foods and herbs were till I started changing my diet. What we put into our bodies can help our nerves and body. Moringa was the first herb I discovered which helps with arthritis and heal nerves. I bought this on Amazon and put it in my smoothies. When our bodies get inflamed it can cause a lot of problems, illnesses, and conditions.. I also found Medical Medium who I recommend to everyone. He helped me gain a new perspective of how we can heal our bodies. Around this time I went vegetarian was when I found out how heavy metals in meat/fish can damage our nerves. Defiantly check him out. Other herbs I use are:
Our culture is always go go go, and we spend so much of our time on our phones and computers. Repetitive Stress Disorder is on the rise. Give your hands a break, this will help them heal. I use the function on iPhone where you can talk into your phone and it turns it into a text message. This way I’m using my fingers less. I also try and text from my computer if I’m home since I’ve found it’s easier on my fingers. Making phone calls instead of texting can also help. And of course getting out and not being on your phone is great for healing.
7. The mind
When I was healing I started getting into meditation and changing my thoughts. One of the best documentaries I saw was called “Heal” on Netflix. I recommend this to anyone going through something. It shows you the power of our minds and how we can literally heal ourselves with our thoughts. During this time I thought I was getting arthritis and was getting so much anxiety. After seeing this movie my arthritis went away once I told myself it was in my mind and I was healthy. I truly believe our bodies can heal anything we are going through. Having a positive and calm mind is so important for our bodies. I also recommend this youtube video of a famous doctor who also teaches the power of our minds.
or look up this on YouTube: “Breakthrough with Healing Chronic Pain | Howard Schubiner | Talks at Google”
I hope this helps anyone going through anything. please leave me comments below of what helps you.