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Dear Doc.

Q i have been troubled by pins and needles in my right hand for sometime, typically it is worse when I wake up and then generally improves over a few hours. I wonder if it is related to my job, which involves a lot more keyboard use than before or if it is anything more serious?

APins and needles are caused by irritation of the nerve looking after a particular part of the body. It is not possible to be certain from your description exactly where the problem is, but there are two common causes to consider. One would be irritation of the nerve as it passes through your wrist, this is a congested area full of tendons nerves and blood vessels. Low levels of irritation of the tendons and/or wrist bones can cause irritation of one of the median nerves, producing carpal tunnel syndrome. It will usually produce pins and needles and numbness of the thumb, index, middle and part of the ring finger, it can also produce weakness in the small muscles. Primary treatment is with measures such as rest, anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections, followed by surgery if it is persistent. The other place the nerve commonly gets trapped is in the neck; this produces a different distribution of numbness in the hand, it also responds often to rest and analgesia. Your GP may ask for the assistance of a neurologist in differentiating between the two.
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Title Annotation:Family Life
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Dec 5, 2006
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