Q: I am a 41 years old female suffering from persistent wrist pain for the last two weeks. I feel as if somebody is giving me electric shocks. I have no history of hypertension and diabetes. Why does my wrist hurt so much?
A:The signs and symptoms of inter vertebral disc disease (disc bulge in the neck) are best separated into
- symptoms related to the spine itself.
- symptoms related to nerve root compression.
- symptoms of myelopathy (movements, sensation deficits)
Complaints of neck pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain and hand pain radiating from the neck are therefore probably related to primary pain about the disc bulge and spine. The symptoms of nerve root compression are usually associated with pain radiating to the arm, or chest with numbness and motor weakness. Usually the symptoms are intermittent and are combined with more neck pain and shoulder pain.
The symptoms of mid line cervical spine compression (myelopathy) are unique and varied. The pain is poorly localised and aching in nature; pain may be the only minor complaint on presentation to the doctor. Occasionally sharp pain, tingling sensations (in your case) may be experienced with neck extension. They are associated with weakness in the involved side (arm, elbow, hand movements associated with numbness, abnormal sensations in the limb).
The differential diagnosis in your case can be:
- Thoracic outlet syndrome (Compression of nerves below the collar bone).
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (Compression of median nerve below the wrist).
- Cubital tunel syndrome (Compression of ulnar nerve at elbow).
I would advice you to consult an Orthopedic surgeon and get a careful examination along with neck X-rays as usually X-rays are most helpful to rule out other problems.