Tag Archives: hand pain,

Confessions

  
In the spirit of starting anew I thought I should admit my own “hand issues” – these are things I lecture my own patients about but have not taken care of myself. You know, the mechanic’s car never runs, the shoemakers kids go barefoot. 
Ever since my first pregnancy (over 7 years ago) I have had occasional numbness in my pinky and ring finger. At first I only noticed it in long car rides, especially if I was leaning on my right arm. Then it started to wake me up at night. I knew exactly what it was. Cubital tunnel syndrome or pressure on the ulnar nerve at the elbow. Here is more information about this condition.

 

Over the last few years I have tried altering my sleep position and tried not to lean on my elbow as much. The numbness never used to lasted long. Now it seems to hang around almost all day. The next step – wearing an elbow brace to sleep.

This is the confession part – I have made at least 10 of these braces for the same exact problem. I have lectured my patients on the importance of wearing them consistently and warned them that it will take a while to get used to the brace at night. I, on the other hand, have not worn mine for a full night since I made it. Sigh – I know exactly what you’re thinking. Well I did try one night but somehow took it off during my sleep.

Now to be fair I’ve always been very sympathetic when my patients tell me how difficult it is to sleep with a long piece of hard plastic is strapped to their arm.  But my sympathy runs deeper now. So I’m going to make some lemonade out of this situation. I’ll be tweaking my splint design until it is absolutely perfect and then maybe the next time I make it for someone else it will be less torture to wear.

Elbow Splint

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