Carpal Tunnel

Lounge By nancysmom Updated 1 Aug 2013 , 11:24pm by BatterUpCake

nancysmom Posted 15 Jul 2013 , 8:33pm
post #1 of 19

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?

18 replies
MimiFix Posted 15 Jul 2013 , 10:09pm
post #2 of 19

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. 

nancysmom Posted 16 Jul 2013 , 12:14am
post #3 of 19

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. :)

jason_kraft Posted 16 Jul 2013 , 12:16am
post #4 of 19

ACan you collect disability while you are out?

shanter Posted 16 Jul 2013 , 12:21am
post #5 of 19

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.

HamSquad Posted 16 Jul 2013 , 2:30am
post #6 of 19

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.

MimiFix Posted 16 Jul 2013 , 10:36am
post #7 of 19
Originally Posted by shanter 

I trained my self to use my computer mouse with my left (non-dominant hand) 


Gripping and using a mouse was very difficult so I bought one with a roller ball. No grip necessary - my thumb moves the cursor and it alleviated any problems. 

ApplegumPam Posted 16 Jul 2013 , 11:36am
post #8 of 19

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!!

de_montsoreau Posted 16 Jul 2013 , 12:00pm
post #9 of 19

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.

MimiFix Posted 16 Jul 2013 , 12:26pm
post #10 of 19

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.

nancysmom Posted 16 Jul 2013 , 7:22pm
post #11 of 19

Thank you all for the advise.

Lynne3 Posted 16 Jul 2013 , 8:14pm
post #12 of 19

I had surgery on both hands.  It was the BEST thing I ever did.  Good as new.

aidabakes Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 4:55am
post #13 of 19

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.

nancysmom Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 2:22am
post #14 of 19

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. 

MimiFix Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 4:58pm
post #15 of 19

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.)    

nancysmom Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 7:05pm
post #16 of 19

Thanks MiniFix, for the info. I will start thinking of the few swear words that will keep repeating. :)

aidabakes Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 9:04pm
post #17 of 19

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.

nancysmom Posted 24 Jul 2013 , 9:20pm
post #18 of 19

Thank you very much aidabakes. I will give the shots a try, before thinking of having surgery. :)

BatterUpCake Posted 1 Aug 2013 , 11:24pm
post #19 of 19

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.

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