Desk Bound – Numbness In Right Forearm and Hand
Dear Doctor Brett:
I have recently noticed numbness in my right forearm and hand. I also have pain in the same forearm from my hand to my elbow. My left arm is fine. I am an administrative assistant by profession and I am typing at the computer all day. Can these symptoms be caused by my work or my position at my desk?
Dear Desk Bound::
In short, absolutely! Your symptoms are similar to numerous patients I have seen in my office. See your medical doctor first. He/she may perform a physical with blood work to rule out something other than a repetitive use injury. A thorough orthopedic and neurologic evaluation is a must. You may have numbness from local irritation to the nerves coursing through your forearm. The nerves may be irritated from muscle and joint overuse and/or incorrect posture. When muscles become overused from repetitive use and incorrect positioning at your work station this can cause irritation and pressure at the carpal tunnel. Therapy focused on loosening the muscles and increasing range of motion in the joints of the wrist and elbow usually helps if not resolves the symptoms. I strongly suggest a professional assessment of you at your work station, some home stretching and icing under the guidance of a qualified therapist.