Body

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Pain Meds vs Sex
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Appendectomy and Climbing Training
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Injury Truths
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: BPA and Waterbottles
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Bouldering for Bone Density
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Chronic Injury
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Bouldering for the Bones
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Body: Antibiotics and Tendon Damage
  • Back

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Back: Spinal Fracture
  • Back: Preventing Hunchback
  • Back: Herniated Disc
  • Abdomen

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Abdomen: Muscle Tear/Hernia
  • Arm

    No items found.

    Shoulder

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: SLAP Lesion and Cortisone
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Frozen Shoulder
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Torn Labrum, SLAP Lesion
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Separation
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Shoulder: Pain and Virus
  • Biceps

    No items found.

    Elbow

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Tennis Elbow
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Medial Tendonosis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Elbow Pain and Dodgy Elbows
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Tendonosis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Medial Epicondylosis and Taping
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Tingling and Numbness
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbows: Minimizing Fingerboard Injuries
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Medial Epicondyle Tendonosis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Stress Fracture
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Elbow: Pain and Hangboarding
  • Wrist

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Wrist: Klienbock's Disease
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Wrist: Ruptured Tendon
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Snap, Crackle, Wrist
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Wrist: Fractured Scaphoid
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Wrist: Instability
  • Hand

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Hands: Dupuytren's Disease (lump in palm)
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fingers

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: What To Do with a Ruptured Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Hyper-extended
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Cysts and Pain
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Cracked Fingertips
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: NSAID Treatment
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Torn A2 Pulley
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Trigger Thumb Syndrome
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Stiffness, Soreness
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Grip Position and Injury
  • Rock Climbing Injury:Fingers: Cortisone for Tendon Injuries
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Pinky Finger Pain
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Electrostimulation
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Taping Truths
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Flappers
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Trigger-Finger Syndrome
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Torn A3 and A4 Pulleys
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Cysts
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Arthritis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Numbness
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Blown Tendons
  • Leg

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg: Achilles Tendonitis
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg and Knee: Broken Femur and Shattered Kneecap
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg: Pulled Hamstring
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg: Fracture
  • Knee

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Rockfall Causes Lump
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Chondral Injury of the Lateral Tibial Plateau
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Leg and Knee: Broken Femur and Shattered Kneecap
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Ruptured ACL
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Ruptured Ligament and Meniscus
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Knee: Synovial Cartilage Damage
  • Ankle

  • America's Best Climbing Area: Red River Gorge
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Ankle: Loud Pop Ankle Roll
  • Feet

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Feet: Broken Foot
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Feet: Gout and Pseudogout
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Feet: Toe Fracture
  •  
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    Rock Climbing Injury: Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    28-Jan-2010
    By

    I have numbness in my hands and fingers while sleeping. I've started spending more time bouldering in the gym and increasing the intensity level. I work at a desk (at Rock and Ice, by the way), and spend most of my day at the computer. Can climbing pinch the nerves in the wrist and lead to carpal tunnel? It feels like nerves are being pinched in my elbows, however, not the wrists. Can one have numbness in the hands because of pinched nerves in the elbows? Is muscle strength affected?

    JASON GRUBB
    Carbondale, Colorado

    The carpal tunnel is a bit like those mountain passages on the Swiss autobahn -- tight. Mostly things run smoothly, but when they don't, imagine a sewage truck being sucked into a gargantuan exhaust fan and you will get the idea.

    The median nerve and nine tendons in the carpal tunnel are manacled by connective tissue on the front of your wrist (flexor retinaculum) and carpal bones on the back. If this passage cinches a little tightly, or tissues within become inflamed, the median nerve becomes compressed. The little finger is not usually involved, as the ulna nerve, which travels outside the carpal tunnel, supplies it.

    The numbness combo you mention smacks of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), though it's not the only possibility. In theory, the median nerve can be compressed in several places between your neck and your wrist.

    The numbness and pain pattern is normally sufficient for diagnosis, but any doubt can be cleared by a nerve conduction test (to evaluate signal strength along the nerve's pathway) that will demonstrate the site of compression. You can compress the median nerve around your upper forearm/elbow. It is, however, much less common and considerably more complex to diagnose without a nerve conduction study.

    The first symptom of CTS is typically the numbness you describe. Weakness is certainly an issue, but is considerably more gradual and difficult to notice initially. Climb on, I say!

    Stiffness in the carpal bones and/or tightness in the restraining tissues anteriorly are major causes of chronic nerve compression. Inflammation of structures within the wrist, such as tendons, may cause nerve compression, but this is typically more transient in nature. Pregnancy-induced edema is also possible. I know you are a man, but you can never be sure when taking a swim in today's gene pool. Better to be safe than surprised. Diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, acromegaly, amyloidosis and a few others that would sprain the tongue of a porn star are also possible culprits.

    Surgery is usually successful. That said, surgery is usually unnecessary. The tendency of some surgeons to prematurely un-holster their scalpels is tantamount to bio-terrorism.

    The solution is multi-pronged. Loosen the carpals, stretch the anterior retinaculum and regain normal motion. The rest will look after itself. Buying a brace will help stimulate the economy and little else.

    An ergonomic mouse and keyboard may help alleviate some work-related stress. Tell Duane you need a holiday. I'll give you a sick note.

     

    RELATED ARTICLES

  • Rock Climbing Injury: Broken Hand
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Fingers: Everything You Need to Know About Finger Stress
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Hands: Dupuytren's Disease (lump in palm)
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Hands: Numbness and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Rock Climbing Injury: Left Hand: Hook of the Hamate Fracture
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