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Pain when gripping with hands ???

jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,372
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:50 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical

I am interested to know if others are experiencing this symptom, and if so what they think or know is causing it.

When using my hands for tasks, particularly those that require me to grip something, I have quite severe pain in my hand, which causes me to have to stop what I am doing.

I have noticed this is particularly bad when I am peeling a large amount of vegetables, gripping a cloth to clean the sink, basin etc., even holiding the phone causes pain after a while and also pins and needles in that hand.

Could this be what they mean by muscle weakness??

Interested to hear what you think. :-)



  • Hi, I'm no doctor, but if i was to guess, i would have to say Rheumotoide Arthritis. (bad spelling).

    Good luck, and check on R.A.
  • Howdy Jellyhall,

    I've had this for years. I have cervical nerve issues from C5-C8, and the C8 nerve is causing most of my pain in the hands and arm. Is yours presenting in your arms at all? My right arm and hand are showing wasting now, but I didn't have that when my pain started originally.

    Arthritis, sure it could be that too. Another thing? Any of this pain also in your wrist? Could be Carpal Tunnel, Cubital etc. Lots of things. Have you mentioned this to your doctor to see if he want to follow up further? Sorry you are hurting Jelly. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • Thanks for your caring comments. :-)

    I have had, looking back, pain in my neck on and off for about 30 years. I just thought it was normal for me, just like my back problems. Having discovered that I had a structural and had become quite severe, problem with my lumbar spine which needed surgery to avoid me ending up in a wheelchair, I now take more notice of my various symptoms.

    Over the last 8 months to a year, I am getting increasing pains in my neck, shoulders, arms and hands. My arms and left shoulder keep me awake at night. I get twitching in my shoulders, upper arms and hands and fingers. Also numbness, tingles and pins and needles in my hands and fingers. I also occassionally get cramp in the palm of my left hand.

    The pain I get when I try to grip something for longer than about a minute, seems to be the muscles. They hurt so much that it causes me to release my grip and shake my hand. I was trying to eat a grapefruit the other day with a teaspoon, and it was so painful. I tried using the other hand, but that hurt too.

    I don't think I have any muscle wasting.
    I think it is more muscle pain than arthritis, as when I release my grip and shake my hand, is slowly passes.

    I only get pain in my wrists when I am trying to do exercises, and am supporting myself on my hands (on all fours).

    I haven't mentioned this to any doctor yet. I feel like they must think I am a hyperchondriac, I always seem to be complaining of a pain somewhere!
    I have a doctor appointment in a couple of weeks, and an appointment with the neurosurgeon in a month, so I will tell them about it then. I will make a list!!! I sometimes suspect that if you have too many things that you tell them, they stop listening!

    How are you doing Brenda?
    Hope you are having a good weekend.

  • I experienced something similar to what you're going through last summer while I was in PT for both my post lumbar and cervical surgeries and the PT gal checked my hand out and said it was carpal tunnel. She tested for it by checking the muscle mass in the fat area between my thumb and forefinger. There should be a big muscle there and in the hand I was having problems with (my right one) there was virtually no muscle there. She said that was a sign of carpal tunnel. I wore a wrist brace for a few weeks and changed the way I held my mouse when on the computer and other right hand repetative motions and it improved tremendously.

    My pain was the worst in the morning, but lasted all day. I had a heck of a time picking up the pot of coffee in the morning, my hand was so weak and painful that it was virtually impossible to pick up anything. I'm not saying that this is what's happening to you, just sharing my experience.

    Anyway, like Brenda said, it could be one of many things, but definitely get it checked out. Hopefully there'll be an easy way to get you feeling better.


  • I'll make sure that I mention it at my next doctor appointment. I think it is mostly at that muscle between the thumb and forefinger that I get the pain. I do get it in both hands, although I notice it most in my right hand because that is the hand I tend to use. When I swap hands because the right hand is hurting, I then get the pain in my left hand.

    All my other symptoms in my hands, both my hands are affected.

    Has your pain gone now? And have your muscles built up again?

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  • I have had the same issue in both hands, plus both wrists and elbows, Jellyhall. Mine started over a year ago and when I mentioned it to my PM doctor, he ordered a nerve conduction test and EMG. The results of those tests pointed to an issue at C7/T1, the disk below where I had fusion the year before (C5-C7). I have been taking an anti-inflammatory twice daily to help along with my other meds, but sometimes, even pulling the covers up on the bed will be more than I can handle. Some days it doesn't bother me at all, but carpal tunnel was what was suspected at first and the tests divulged that there was absolutely no sign of carpal tunnel at all, although my symptoms were the exact symptoms of someone with it.
  • Jelly,

    Howdy back to ya!! Now that you've given more information, it is sounding more and more neck related. My Neurologist, when I presented to him with neck/shoulder/arm and hand pain issues and cramping had me undergo an NCV/EMG study. At that time, the C5/6/7 were shown to be the bad guys. Got x-rays and a standing MRI done, and the hernias confirmed what the EMG gave him. The EMG if done correctly can zero in pretty well.

    Cath mentioned the fatty muscle in the web of the hand. Mine is so gone now that when I splay my fingers and thumb out, the web is indented and thin, and the bone that goes from the wrist to the thumb sticks out like I am a starving person (to give you a picture). My left is thick and happy. I can also see the nerve twitching in it just under the skin.

    Hehehe...had to chuckle when I read of your grapefruit. My right hand is the opposite. I was trying to eat an orange, my hand cramped and I squished it! I have a question for you. Does your hand pain change with the position of your arm? I for instance, if I raise my (with my elbow straight) arm above my shoulder, I get increased numbing in my arm and hand, and too pain starts to radiate from my shoulder down. Sometimes when I am on my laptop, if I am not sitting right, I get pain all the way down to my hands. That could be another 'baby test' to see if it is neck or wrists.

    For sure, for sure tell your doctor all of this! The big thing is you don't want it to get where your strength starts getting affected! What I would do if I were you too? Write all of this down so nothing is missed, and like you mentioned with the grapefruit - how day to day, these issues are affecting your life. I hope you have answers soon.

    As to me, thanks for asking. I see my Neurologist on the 4th next month. With the increase in symptoms, I have a feeling after he sends me for x-rays, MRI's (last are over a year old) it ain't gonna be good - but what is will be what is right? My neck and back hate me, and I hate them! So all is right with the world! (G) Please let us know how it goes woman. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.

  • your comments are helpful to hear. I suspect that these pains are due to my neck, affecting my muscles in some way.

    Brenda, you mentioning that you can see your nerve twitching under the skin is just what I had the other day. I think I could now draw on my left thumb a line from the base right up to the top knuckle, following the course of my nerve. It was causing an indentation along its line as it twitched. Very interesting. It lasted about 3 or 4 hours before stopping!

    Oh what an interesting life we lead!!

  • Jellyhall,

    For sure we have interesting lives on Spiney road!!! (G) With my fingers and thumb out straight, most of them twitch, but sideways. The two nerves I can constantly see in my hand are the one below my knuckle of my index finger, and the other leading to the thumb just below that bone from the wrist to the base of the thumb. It is constant, and unless I look at it, I don't feel the tickle under the skin anymore.

    Hopefully you will know for sure soon. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • My hand symptoms have completely disappeared after wearing the brace and changing the way I use my hand. The muscle mass is better, but not all there.

    Just an FYI.

    Please let us know what you find out.

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