What should I do to relieve a nerve pain above my fingers?

Finger pain

My answer here is based on the following question: (paraphrased) “I work on a computer keyboard quite a lot. When doing so for a long time, I get pain in the circled area (above). If I take a rest of around 2 days, the pain goes away. However, I have to work at the keyboard, and taking breaks of that length is not an option. Are there any exercises, medicines or foods that can help me with this?”

First of all, you MUST get a physical exam from a physician to receive the best advice. Another thing to address is whether or not you might be holding your hand in slight extension/elevation above your keyboard when you type, like this:

Conventional keyboard trays can increase injury risks

This position puts undue strain on the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis muscle (which extends the hand at the wrist), and can produce a pain pattern as follows:

The extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle

You might examine your keyboard and hand positions during typing and bring them both back to neutral (straight).

Another thing you might try involves the following steps:

  1. Heat the forearm (particularly the muscles, around where the “x” is above),

  2. Compress the muscle knot (trigger point) around the x until it feels dissolved,

  3. Then massage and lightly stretch the muscle, like this:

Massaging the arm

(image: Page on Easyvigor)

Be sure not to stretch so hard that it produces pain; this could further irritate the muscle and tendon.

How do I know whether or not a stretching exercise could actually hurt my body?

Very simply. The best way to ascertain if a stretching exercise is hurting you is … wait for it … if it hurts to do it.

Your body is actually quite adept at letting you know if it is being hurt. It is “wired” with sensors that send your brain pain signals if damage is occurring. If a stretch you are doing results in a sharp twinge or an “uh-oh” kind of sensation, it is best to STOP that stretch, and to also leave off similar stretches to that muscle and its myotatic group (associated muscles).

Rest is to follow, as well as ice applied to those muscles (to reduce swelling and inflammation). An anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen (Tylenol) may also be called for. If symptoms are severe, naproxen (Alleve) can be especially helpful in the short-term. Please consult a physician if you are not sure what to take or are concerned about drug interactions or side effects, or if you have other significant health issues.