RSI/Reynaud’s Syndrome

Question: I am currently off work suffering from pains in my wrists, neck and shoulders. My consultant initially diagnosed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but this was not borne out by EMG tests. Now he says it could be either carpal tunnel (the test not always being 100% certain) or Reynaud’s syndrome but neither could have been caused by my work. (30 years as a typist). Has anyone encountered a similar problem or had a similar diagnosis?

Answer 1: I read you note in First I am doubtful that you have Raynaud’s phenomenon. This condition is characterized by sensitivity to cold with the fingers turning white and then blue as the hand is warmed and then red with a rush of blood to the dilated arteries. At the age of 50 which I guess you are I would suspect degenerative disc changes in your neck with referred pain to the shoulder blade area and the trapezius (the area between the base of the neck and the shoulder tip) Sometimes the pain may spread down the arms. The pain in the wrist may be just old fashioned osteoarthritis. X-rays of the neck and a bone scan of the wrists and neck might be helpful in elucidating the cause of your problems.

Answer 2: You need to change your doctor. Raynauds syndrome is generally caused by the effects of vibration on the blood vessels and is characterised by the elongation of these into convolutions and the fingers going dead white and bloodless, especially in cold weather. The common name of this is “Vibration White Finger” so you can see the relevance to you! Any competent medic who makes this sort of diagnosis can only be trying to give you the runaround.

Answer 3: There is something called double crush syndrome which can apparently look like carpal tunnel and is related to ‘adverse mechanical tension’ – for more info on this, see my web site’s recovery bundle and the RSI-UK site which is linked from it. AMT is quite treatable if you get the right therapy. Raynaud’s syndrome has very specific symptoms as pointed out already on this thread.

Answer 4: This is extremely interesting – I wasn’t aware that any causative had been identified for Raynaud’s. Do you have more details? I’d like to pass them on to the RSSA (Raynauds and Scleroderma sufferers association).

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