I have pain in my wrist and any time I stretch my arm, it burns. What is this? The pain occurs in my wrist at the base of my thumb about 3-4 inches down. It feels like a ligament or something is out of place and the muscles look sort of different from my left wrist. I have read in a few medical journals that it could be tendonitis or carpul tunnel. I am on the computer and typing a lot and my wrists are elevated a lot, but the pain started when I was messing with my dog and I threw my arm out and twisted my wrist at the same time. After I did that, it started to hurt. Can someone help me out on what to do at home to help it, or whether I should consult a doctor?
Burning pain with numbness and tingling means that a nerve has been damaged. Without more details, I cannot say for sure which nerve is damaged in this case. Most likely, a nerve was damaged by a stretch injury to the arm (lucky dog, unlucky owner). Nerves are like rubber bands that travel from the spine all the way to your toes and fingers. If you stretch this "rubber band" suddenly or for a long time, it can break.
The best specialist to see is a neurologist or a physiatrist (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist). An electrodiagnostic test (a nerve test which measures nerve responses and evaluates the connection between nerves and muscles) will show which exact nerve is damaged.
Prognosis is good because nerves can repair themselves. But, that process is very slow and takes months. Sometimes the repair is incomplete (just ask anyone who has a surgery scar). If the damage is severe, a surgeon may be able to repair the nerve (like reconnecting the phone lines).
Stretch injuries to nerves are common. People who smoke or have diabetes are most likley to have this type of injury. Some are just unlucky.
Dr. Christina Lasich, MD
Here is some information on nerve pain you might find helpful!
Nerve Pain at a Glance
Neuralgia – An Overview
What Can Be Done for Nerve Pain?