Hi every one, I have been decorating cakes for 5 years. I have carpal tunnel in both hands due to caking. How many of you out there have it too? What do you do for the pain?
What did I do for the excruciating pain? I had surgery in both hands and eventually the pain went away. Are you aware that carpal tunnel does not get better if you continue aggravating your median nerve?
I loved heavy-duty commercial baking, it was my whole life, but I had to make a major change to my career path. You need to think about your hands - they're the only ones you will ever have. nancysmom, I'm in total sympathy.
Thank you MiniFix. Yes, my doctor said I need surgery in both hands too. I just started a new job and financially I do not have the income to be able to be out with out work for 2 to 4 weeks during recovery. I am thinking about trying the cortisone shots and see how that goes. I love decorating cakes and only do it as a hobby. My pain is always there but worsens after working on a cake. Thank you for your response and I am glad your hands are much better. :)
ACan you collect disability while you are out?
Evidently massage helps quite a bit (expecially if you can't have the surgery for a while):
It's easiest if you have someone who can help you. Unfortunately, I didn't, and my doctor said I wasn't "bad enough" for surgery, so he said I should wear a wrist brace to bed every night (so you don't curl your wrist, thereby closing the tunnel) and I trained my self to use my computer mouse with my left (non-dominant hand) (played about 2000 games of computer solitaire!). It worked. No pain unless I extremely over-use my right hand.
I haven't tried piping with my left hand--that would probably be hilarious. I just don't pipe much at a time.
AThanks for posting the info! I have carpal tunnel from having to type daily medical case-notes when I was a Nutritionist with the WIC Program. OMG, my carpal tunnel was so bad that my arms and shoulders had pain radiating all the way thru to my hands. I had to carry paper work like a seal. I too had to wear the wrist braces. I had to retire, did this for 23 yrs. I occasionally make cakes cause it makes my hands hurt and rolling out fondant is torture. I don't want surgery, I've had enough of them. I will try the massage. Thanks for sharing.
I too have had surgery on both hands
If you delay surgery you can risk permanent damage to the nerve.
The techniques they use these days are far better than even a few years back - small keyhole on the inside of your wrist
My first scar is like 4inches long from the centre of my palm to inside wrist.
The one positive is that after surgery........ NEVER a problem again!!
I have it in my right hand. It is worse in summer, because of wedding season and the heat. This season it is actually slightly better, last year I had many mornings where I woke up and my right hand was horribly swollen and it was very hard to move my fingers. It is actually fine as along as I don't strain it too much. I hope I can avoid an operation.
Just an FYI - if anyone does have carpal tunnel, be aware that with continued heavy use of your hands, other issues may develop. I refused to pay attention to my body and got "trigger finger" (tendonitis) in several fingers. The link below is from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
This certainly does not happen to everyone, but if you have carpal tunnel and continue with your activities, it's smart to learn the symptoms that appear. If they begin, you'll be able to make an informed decision on how to proceed. Hopefully, you won't be as stupid as I was.
Thank you all for the advise.
I had surgery on both hands. It was the BEST thing I ever did. Good as new.
After being so busy raising 3 children I finally got a chance to do something I always loved (baking and decorating cakes), I too got tendinitis from too much use of my hands (typing ) . Saw my doctor last week and got cortisone shots in both of my hands but no relief. I have too much pain to work on my cakes for now. I cant wait to get better to get back to my passion. I feel for all of you out there.
aidabakes, I am so sorry to hear about your hands. I can relate. I go to the doctor this week to decide on what to do. I have been thinking about the cortisone shots, but after hearing that yours did not work. I am having second thoughts. I also heard that the shots are very painful. I will have you in my prayers.
Cortisone shots work some people; but it's not a permanent fix. The benefits eventually wear off over time so it has to be repeated and there's a limit to how many times it's advised. (I think 3 or 4 times, max.) The shots are very painful, but the pain usually subsides in a couple of minutes. I suggest that if you decide to try it, chose a few swear words you can keep repeating while the shot is administered... I've had the cortisone opportunity in several different fingers. (Unfortunately, it never helped me.)
Thanks MiniFix, for the info. I will start thinking of the few swear words that will keep repeating. :)
The shots do hurt (burn actually) but I thought it would be worth it if it helped, but honestly it did nothing to relieve my pain. I wish you luck and hope if you decide to get them they would give you some relief.. Good luck.
Thank you very much aidabakes. I will give the shots a try, before thinking of having surgery. :)
I had surgery 2 1/2 months ago. I still have excruciating pain at times but no more "dead hand" I use cool comfort wrist braces during the day when they are bad then the stiff sturdy braces at night. I find heating pads help also. I start back to physical therapy tomorrow morning...last time they used ultrasound and that helped a lot temporarily because it reduced swelling around the nerve. NSAIDS help also. Advil, Motrin, Aleve and aspirin. Everyone else I know who has had the surgery had stopped having pain by this time. I am the exception...not the rule.