Arm Numbness, Tingling Hands and Fingers


Numbness means decreased, and tingling  unusual skin sensation. In this article, numbness and tingling in the arm, shoulder, hand or fingers are described. Read about numbness in both arms (hands) AND legs (feet).

Picture 1. Arm dermatomes
(A dermatome is a skin area, innervated by a single spinal nerve)
(Source: Wikimedia)


Pressure Upon the Arm

Pressure upon the arm nerves or vessels causing numbness, tingling or temporary paralysis of the arm may result from:

  • Sleeping with the hand under the head
  • Sitting with the arm hanging over the back of a chair
  • Wearing straps or carrying a bag or rucksack
  • Inflated cuff during measuring blood pressure

Raising the Arms Above the Level of the Heart

Keeping the hand(s) above the level of the heart during work or sleep can prevent appropriate blood perfusion of the hands, and cause numbness, tingling or partial paralysis of the hand(s) within few minutes.


In cold weather, narrowing of the arteries in the hands and fingers can prevent appropriate blood supply and thus numbness, tingling, pain or temporary paralysis of the hands and fingers.


Cervical Disk Syndrome

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) or injury, like hyper-extension injury in car accidents (head moves rapidly toward the back), can result in bulging or herniated disc(s) pressing upon the cervical (neck) spinal nerves, thus causing symptoms of cervical disc syndrome:

  • Position/movement dependent pain, tingling or numbness in the neck, shoulders, upper back, arm, hand or fingers (when the roots of cervical spinal nerves are compressed)
  • Stumbling gait, difficulty with fine hand moves, tingling in the body or legs (when the cervical spinal cord is compressed)

Symptoms can appear immediately after the injury, or develop slowly over the weeks or months. Diagnosis is made by a CT or MRI of the neck spine. Therapy includes immobilization, cold therapy followed by heat therapy, cervical traction, analgesics, muscle relaxants, physical therapy or surgical decompression of the nerve roots or spinal cord.

Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is an age-related deformation of the cervical spine; deformed vertebra or discs can press upon the spinal cord or nerve roots in the neck and cause chronic symptoms, like in the cervical disc syndrome (see above).


Disorders of the Brachial Plexus

The brachial plexus is formed by the cervical nerves C5-C8 and thoracic nerve Th1. The plexus extends from the lower part of the neck to the armpit. From brachial plexus all main nerves to the arm (axillary, musculocutaneus, ulnar, radial, and median nerve) arise.

Brachial Plexus Injuries

Most of brachial plexus injuries usually occur in car, motorcycle and sport accidents, during birth, or in bullet or knife injuries. Symptoms and prognosis depend on the nerves involved and extent of an injury: nerve stretching, scar tissue (neuroma), partial or complete nerve rupture or tearing of the nerve from the spinal cord. A limp or paralyzed arm, severe pain and numbness, especially in the neck and shoulders, and weak arterial pulses in the arm are main symptoms.

Some brachial plexus injuries may heal without treatment. Many children who are injured during birth improve or recover by 3 to 4 months of age. Treatment of brachial plexus injuries includes physical therapy and, if necessary, surgery.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic outlet is the space between the collar bone (clavicle), first rib and corresponding ligaments through which nerves and vessels travel from the base of the neck toward the armpit. Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) results from a compression or extension of the subclavian artery or vein, or brachial plexus (nerves), commonly occurring in motorbike accidents, athletes, swimmers, weight lifters, etc. Symptoms include:

  • Muscle wasting at the base of the thumb, numbness, feeling of pins and needles, or pain in the shoulder, armpit, arm or hand (when nerves are compressed)
  • Pale, cool arm with weakened arterial pulse in the arm, numbness and pain (when vessels are compressed)

Radiation-Induced Brachial Plexopathy

Radiation-induced damage of the brachial plexus can follow radiotherapy of the chest, axillary region, thoracic outlet or neck. Symptoms may appear months to years after radiation therapy and include numbness, swelling, weakness or pain in the arm.

Broken Shoulder Blade

Shoulder blade (scapula) is the bone in the upper back that connects the collar bone (clavicle) and arm bone (humerus). Broken shoulder blade, usually from a car or motorbike accident, can result in pain,  swelling, bruising or deformation of the shoulder blade area, and weakness, numbness or tingling in the shoulder or arm.

Broken Arm, Wrist, Hand or Finger

Symptoms of broken arm (the arm bone – humerus, elbow, and bones of the forearm – radius and ulna) include:

  • Severe pain increasing with arm movement
  • Obvious deformity, swelling, tenderness and bruising over the site of bone fracture
  • Stiffness or inability to move your arm, hand or finger
  • Weakness, numbness or tingling in the arm, hand or fingers

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome or Ulnar Neuropathy

The ulnar nerve arises from the brachial plexus in the neck and travels under the collar bone, downside along the inner side of the upper arm, behind the inner part of the elbow (Latin cubitus), where it can be felt as a “funny bone” and then down to the wrist, hand and little and ring finger. Ulnar nerve entrapment usually results from an elbow injury or constant pressure upon the elbow, like in cyclists or typists.  Symptoms, known as cubital tunnel syndrome, include:

  • Pain on the inner side of the elbow or electric shock sensation after touching the elbow
  • The hand, ring and little finger are numb and falling asleep, especially after bending the elbow
  • Limited movements of the ring and little finger (“handlebar palsy” in cyclists)
  • Hand (on the little finger side) sensitivity to cold

Prevention of ulnar nerve entrapment is by avoiding excessive elbow use. Treatment includes special arm exercises, anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, and wearing an elbow splint.


Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of an uncertain cause affecting the nerve tissue of the spinal cord, brainstem or brain. Symptoms can appear suddenly or gradually, “travel” among various body parts and include: numbness or tingling in one or both arms (or any other body part), blurred or double vision or blindness, weak or paralysed limbs, problems with urinating or defecating, difficulty maintaining balance, tiredness, etc. Symptoms can last from few weeks to several months, disappear completely and appear again, and, in general, worsen with time.

Diagnosis is with MRI of the brain and spinal cord, and examination of cerebrospinal fluid obtained by lumbar punction. Apart from treating symptoms, there is no treatment for multiple sclerosis at the time.


Acute brachial neuritis is a rare, supposedly autoimmune inflammation of brachial plexus, occurring at any age, but primarily in young men. Symptoms include severe pain in the upper arms and shoulders, followed by numbness and weak reflexes; the disorder resolves in few months on its own.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Carpal tunnel syndrome (Latin carpus = wrist) is a painful condition of the wrist, hand and fingers, caused by repetitive use of the wrist, or swelling of the tissues in the wrist, resulting in a pressure upon the median nerve. CTS is a common problem in assembly line workers, computer workers, musicians, mechanics, tennis players, etc. Bone spurs in rheumatoid arthritis, or fluid in hypothyroidism, kidney disease or menopause may also press on the median nerve. Symptoms usually start gradually and include:

  • Tingling or numbness in the  thumb, index, middle and ring finger and related part of the hand
  • Pain in the wrist, palm or forearm
  • Difficulty grasping small objects or gripping
  • Hand pain at night

Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion cyst (Greek ganglion = tumor, cyst = fluid filled sac) is a soft lump, usually appearing on the back of the hand in some people between 20-40 years of age. It is a noncancerous fluid filled sack arising from the tendon sheets or capsule of the joint from an unknown reason. Ganglion cysts may not be always seen from the outside. Gymnasts often have them. Symptoms include:

  • A soft lump or lumps of various size (may exceed an inch), on the back of the hand, inner side of the wrist, base of the finger, or on the last finger joint.
  • Pain or numbness in the wrist, hand or finger(s)


Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’s disease is a painful finger condition due to spasms in the finger arteries. Disease may also affect toes or, rarely, nose, ears, lips and nipples. The cause is not known. Symptoms are triggered by cold (even short term cold like taking something from a freezer) or strong emotions, and appear in the following sequence:

  • Fingers (one, more or all in one or both hands) become pale, numb or cold due to lack of blood flow, then bluish due to a lack of oxygen, then red, with throbbing pain and tingling as blood returns to the affected area.
  • Attacks can occur daily, weekly or occasionally and can last from less than a minute to several hours, usually about 15 minutes. Different areas can be affected at different times. Severe, although rare, attacks can result in finger sores or tissue death (gangrene).

Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud’s phenomenon is a term used for the same finger symptoms as in Raynaud’s disease, when the cause is known. Causes include: connective tissue diseases, like scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjögren’s syndrome, dermatomyositis, and polymyositis, carpal tunnel syndrome, obstructive arterial disease, anti-hypertensive drugs, ergotamine (used for treating migraine), chemotherapeutic medications, etc.

In workers exposed to vinyl chloride, using vibrating tools, typists and pianists, Raynaud’s phenomenon also commonly occurs.


History of arm numbness. Knowing an exact time course of tingling or numbness, and eventual arm weakness, head or legs involvement, history of arm or neck injuries, repetitive elbow or wrist use, reactions to cold, hypothyroidism, diabetes, menopause may give a strong evidence about the cause.

Neurological examination. Testing of sensitivity of a particular arm dermatome can reveal which nerves are involved.

Imaging. X-ray may reveal arthritis in the neck spine, or a broken arm bone. Myelography can reveal herniated disc or narrowed spinal canal. MRI and CT show soft tissues like tumors.

Electromiography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies can show the nature of the nerve damage. Together with imaging they are important to evaluate the extent of brachial plexus injury.

Blood tests can reveal diabetes, abnormalities in serum levels of sugar (diabetes), calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, vitamins B6 or B12, thyroxine (hypothyroidism), sex hormones (menopause).

Cold simulation test can reveal Raynaud’s disease or phenomenon.


Firstly, the cause of numbness should be treated if possible.

Non-steroid anti-rheumatic drugs like ibuprofen, or antidepressants, may relieve pain and numbness.

Rest and immobilization of the neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or the whole arm is sometimes necessary after an injury, or when joint movements contribute to nerve irritation, like in ulnar nerve entrapment or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Physical therapy may help when bones, articles and muscle tendons are involved. Physiotherapist may show you special exercises for each type of nerve disorder.

Effect of acupuncture, acupressure, TENS (Trans Cutaneous Nerve Stimulation) may be debatable. Certain ointments like capsaicin may temporarily relieve tingling, burning sensations.


The following may help to prevent arm and hand numbness:

  • Avoid putting the arm over the chair back to prevent permanent injury of brachial plexus
  • Avoid sleeping with the hand under the head, or with arms on the pillow
  • Avoid using mechanical screwdrivers
  • Do not rest your elbows on the desk for long periods of time, while working with a computer
  • Wear warm gloves at low temperatures

Related Articles:


  1. Brachial plexus  (
  2. Anatomy of the arm  (
About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
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  • Bex

    I have been experiencing numbness and tingling in my left hand for about a week, almost to the point of burning, particularly in my pinkie and connecting finger(s). The numbness is mildly effecting my entire left arm and part of the left side of my chest as well. As well, I’ve had a similar (less intense) sensation in my left foot/ankle/lower leg (though this may be related to a compression stocking I’ve been wearing due to a skin graft surgery (a year and a half ago)in the lower left extremity. I’m not sure if the two areas are related as the numbness is much more severe in my left hand. Could this have something to do with a pain medication (Vicodin) I was prescribed to take, being a smoker, or typing a lot (even though I use my right hand more often)? I’m trying to figure out what doctor to see and what he/she will do for me, if I should go to an ER instead, if there is something I can do to ease the pain, etc? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • biker

    I ride dirt bikes. Sometimes when i ride completely loose feeling in my left arm. My hand can still pull in the clutch and hold onto the bars. It’s just i can’t feel anything it’s doing. If i stop and take my hand off the bars and swing my arm around for a minute i quickly get the feeling back. Unfortunately i loose feeling again usually within 5 minutes and then i have to swing it around again. Any idea what could be causing it?

  • Jan Modric


    symptoms in the arm and leg and also chest can all arise from pinched nerves in the different parts of the spine. The cause can be a degeneration disc disease (DDD), spinal arthritis, or bulging/herniated discs due to bad posture or prolonged sitting periods or lifting heavy objects. A neurologist or orthopedist can give a diagnosis. A CT or MRI of the spine is necessary when spinal disordes are suspected. If you are already taking Vicodin, I don’t know, if any other painkiller wil give you additional relief.

    Vicodin can cause hypotension (with faintness, nausea, rapid heart beat..) – this could aggravate eventual pre-existing spinal problems. You are not saying why are you taking Vicodin…

  • Jan Modric


    it can be a carpal tunnel syndrome (you can read above in the article). Repeated use of the wrist can result in wrist swelling (not necessary visible from the outside) which puts pressure on the nerve that supplies the arm. A complete wrist rest for some weeks (also avoiding carrying heavy objects with the left arm) could help, and if not, an orthopedist or a sport doctor can give you a correct diagnosis.

  • logan

    Hi i’m 21, male the problems started in october with a (so called by the doctor) left ulnar neuritis with numbness and tingling lasting some days and a personal (not seen by the emg in november) change/loss of sensation in the area that i feel nowadays, even ef it seems to be better.. The problem is that every night if i sleep even in a normal position (its really difficult to sleep without touching the bed with the elbows) and even when i study i get my both 5 and 4 numb , when the problem cought the other hand in march i did not have an “acute” episode but it simply started to fall asleep like the other. I did a lot of exams mri brain and cervical ok.. Blood count ok, feces and urins ok viruses, and even rheumatic problems were excluded.. During the day i have strange feelings like smth is touching me softly, tingling .. all that feelings and exams with a non result lead me to the hypocondriac disease and it was increased when i found out hansen’ disease.. Long incubation, numbness as first sign.. Thats gonna make me mad.. Is it possible a bilateral cubital syndrome without an emg diagnosis? I was a goalkeeper and broke one shoulder once.. Now i study a lot.. Thats all i think.. thanks for ur time

  • Jan Modric


    cubital tunnel syndrome (read above in the article) can be caused by a such banal thing, like repeating leaning with your elbows onto te desk during study. Anyway, the cause of numbness/tingling in 4th/5th finger may arise from the brain or fingers themselves and any disorder on the path of the nerve innervating the fingers (so, in the cervical spine, shoulder/armpit area, elbow or wrist). Symptoms agravated by elbows touching the bed suggest a disorder in the elbow(s) or, like said, an ulnar nerve ben affected by the constant pressure from the outside.

    In Hansen disease, the first sensation abnormality is usually a lost sense for temperature, then numbness. I believe these sensations would be more or less constant and not so obviously triggered by elbows position. They would also not likely just disappear between numb episodes. Diagnosis can be made by taking a sample from skin lesions when they appear.Your shoulder injury could contribute to your symptoms, but an experienced orthopedist or neurologist should say.

  • chaitrali

    my uncle is suffering from heaviness n numbness in his both hands since last 2-3months.he has moderate cord compression extending from C3-C7.he doing exercises n taking medications for same but not much of improvement.plz help

  • Jan Modric


    a neurologist can decide, if some other exercises would help, or only the operation would solve the problem.

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  • penny69

    throughout the night i wake up and cannot move one or all of my legs feet arms and hands. they feel very hevy and when i can, i have to use one arm to actually pick up the other one and move it so i can change positions. my bed and pillows are good. Any ideas

  • Jan Modric


    a neurologist can find out, if you have any spinal or other neurological disorder, low blood levels of certain minerals, like potassium or calcium, or you just “sleep over the limbs”.

  • Kathy

    My left arm is very weak, pain from shoulder to hand, some tingling, and swollen with pain at top of forearm at elbow area.
    Very hard to sleep or do any tasks with it. I am left handed, so it makes things difficult to do.
    Thank you.

  • Jan Modric


    an orthopedist or neurologist can give you a diagnosis. It’s possible that one or more nerves are pinched at some site anywhere from the spine to the elbow.

  • Holly

    Hi Jan,
    My boyfriend has been complaining of numb and tingling arms and thumbs for about 5 days now. He says the issue is now affecting his face and jaw which now feel numb and achey too. He’s absolutely terrified it could be something serious but I’m sure there’s a less sinister explanation. Any ideas?
    Thank you.

  • Jan Modric


    Your boyfriend should go to the doctor (probably a neurologist) as soon as possible. Numbness/tingling appearing over the entire body can be caused, for example, by blood mineral imbalances or a neurological disorder.

  • yuri

    I started feeling my left arm numb 2 days ago. The night before that, I had some beers and ate pork with friends. Can this numbing be due to Diabetis? NO accidents whatsoever before so I have no idea why my arm is numb. I have not gone to the doctor to have my blood tested for diabetis. Should I try to do so asap? Please help..

  • Jan Modric


    a pressure from an arm hanging over the chair or so can cause arm numbness/tingling lasting for some days. Other than that, a disorder in the cervical spine, like a bulging disc, can cause the same symptoms in one arm. Such a disorder can develop slowly after years of sitting at work or forced neck position, for example, or suddenly after an injury. In a poorly controlled diabetes, numbness could develop slowly, but not likely all of the sudden. If your symptoms persist, you can visit a neurologist.

  • Manish

    Hi Jan,
    I get numbness in my left hand and both ring and little fingers. I started consuming tobacco a week before it started. I generally can’t tolerate constipation and tobacco helps me overcome that quite easily. Last time about a couple of months ago when I started tobacco I had this numbness which was gone I suppose after I gave it up due to my heart aches. Recently I started it once again thinking my heart should be fine 🙂 but same numbness in my left hand and both little and ring finger started in the evenings. Also I observed my left eye flickering all through the day for three days back to back until I again stopped consuming tobacco.
    Now as I stopped it, all is just gone, no numbness, no flicker in my left eye!
    Is there a connection? I know you will say stop consuming tobacco.

  • Jan Modric


    heart pain of ‘angina pectoris’ type (triggered by stress or physical effort, lasting from few to several minutes) often (typically) radiates into the left arm up to the fingers. Left eye flickering could be also related. Now, you say it’s only numbness and not pain, so the other possibility are repeated transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), aka mini strokes in the right brain hemisphere. You already know about tobacco, so what I recommend you is to visit a cardiologist and neurologist (maybe your primary doctor first).

    What can help in constipation is sufficient dietary fiber (oatmeal, wholegrain bread, vegetables..), sufficient water intake, physical and mental activity, and maintaining regular bowel habit.

  • karen

    Hi. My friend is experiencing numbness from shoulders to the arms and he said it feels like its falling off. Also severe headache, dizziness, sore throat, nausea, hard time breathing for months. what could his sickness be? thanks

  • Jan Modric


    those symptoms sound quite serious to me, so I recommend him to visit a doctor as soon as possible. I don’t see apoint listing all possible causes, but it could be a brain disorder, cancer, blood disorder, mineral/vitamin deficiency…

  • mckarmy

    i am having numbness in my pinky nad ring finger of left hand. If i turn my arm palm up it hurts like hell. it starts below elbow and escalated down to the two fingers. i hate going to the er for something unless its important… (unsure if this is related, about three weeks ago i sut my middle finger same hand right on my middle knuckle it was very deep i could see white pretty sure it was my bone. didnt go to doc bc there was no way it could have been stitched any way, i know proper cleaning and dressing of wounds so it actually has healed quit nicely, however the painduring the injury always concernd me the cut its self never really hurt below the kuckle adn above swelled and hurt pretty bad. im not sure if this had any thing pretaining to my current issue but i understand all symptoms and past trauma can effect current diagnosis. also thre years ago had a torn rotater cuff no surgery (military related)

  • sj1956

    Hi, I have a meningioma situated in my left cavernous sinus (3cm x 1 cm). In the last couple of months I have had the following symptons all of which are affecting my right side. Constantly aching shoulder, facial tingling ( cheek area) and numb right thumb area. It is not Carpel tunnel syndrome. Could the meningioma be causing this issue, if not have you any other ideas ? Many Thanks

  • Jan Modric


    pinky and ring finger are innervated by the ulnar nerve, which runs behind the elbow…So, what you have could be a cubital tunnel syndrome (see above in the article). I’m not sure if your middle finger injury has something with it, since you’ve said the symptoms have started at the elbow and then spread down. Theoretically an infection from the middle finger could spread upwards to some extent. Not necessary to go to ER, but you could visit an orthopedist or neurologist to find an exact cause and prevent eventual complications.

  • Jan Modric


    yes, cavernous meninigioma can cause symptoms in a shoulder and thumb, but it depends on exact tumor location – so a neurologist can say more. Symptoms in a shoulder and thumb (but less likely in face) could also arise from a disorder in the cervical spine, like a bulging disc, for example.

  • Manish

    Hi Jan
    I am back, thanks for your response. After all I stopped tobacco and am on high fibre diet. Constipation is not that bad anymore, I do make 2 attempts but thats ok.
    My left eye still flikering, not for 15 minutes but it does it for whole day, every day. I am so upset I keep a finger on it not to feel it but it just dont stop, very annoying.
    Not sure what I need to fix it. Am I prone to stroke? Why does an eye flicker at all?
    Manish Pathak

  • Jan Modric


    there are several causes of eye flickering, from a simple eye strain, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, bright lights, tiredness, physical strain, migraine, eye irritation….to various neurological disorders, blood potassium or other mineral imbalance, vitamin B deficiency, dehydration…and could be (together with arm numbness) also related to angina (chest pain). I don’t want to guess the cause from here, but you might need to see a doctor (cardiologist or neurologist) because of other symptoms you’ve mentioned.

  • Mike D

    Hello I woke up from a deep nap today and my right arm was totally numb. I had to shake it for a few minutes to get sensation back then I went back to sleep. I wake up the last few days with bloodshot eyes. I had a similar thing happen 1 year ago (1st time posting) but it was my left arm and this was more of a radiating pain down the arm with numbness that kept me from a deep sleep, I was tossing and turning and could not go to sleep at that time. I have 2 disc bulges in my neck (one at C5) and I have had chronic fatigue syndrome for 10 years so I am a mess. Meds have not helped. THanks for any advice.

  • Jan Modric

    Mike D,

    a single numb event does not already mean, it is caused by a bulging disc – you could simply sleep over your arm. But if the issue will continue, a bulging disc can be suspected. CFS may cause the limbs get numb earlier than normally. If you are not thinking about cervical spine surgery, you can avoid sleeping over your arm and avoid prolonged sitting, carrying heavy bags and such.

  • DarrylB

    I have tingling, burning and numbness in the right thumb and first two fingers, plus skin of forearm and biceps, and pain in shoulder and neck. Carpal tunnel was ruled out by nerve conduction tests and no obvious damage to median nerve. PT has been trying to loosen neck and open up spine, but no consistent success.

    The pain triggers with right tilt to the head or sliding the neck to the back, but can also be triggered/enhanced by pressure to my right shoulder blade.

    I believe that this started as compensation for surgery on my left shoulder in April. It can be quiet for an hour or more and then flair without warning and involve the whole arm for anything from a few seconds to several minutes. It makes sleeping difficult as any misalignment of the head may trigger the symptoms, which will wake me.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  • Jan Modric


    I would assume that pain in the neck, aggravated by tilting the head, arises from the cervical spine disorder, like a bulging disc or spinal arthritis, which can be detected by CT/MRI of the cervical spine. It’s possible you have had somewhat different upper body posture after the surgery, and this has triggered (but not likely caused) the symptoms.

  • button

    ok, anyones help would matter. i got bit on the side of my left arm. it left a tiny cut. i have this wierd numbness, like i hit my funny bone. this happened the next day after i got bitten. my left arm hurts and has that wierd pain. hope you can help.

  • Jan Modric


    I recommend you to visit a neurologist, who can tell if any nerve was damaged.

  • kristine

    i am 13 weeks pregnat and for the past couple nights i wake up with a pain that shoots from my finger tips to my elbow therees also numbness and tingling like my arm and fingers have feel asleep ti takes awhile for the pain an tingling to go away. i havent went to the doctor for it yet. havent had the time with work and all but its very scary…….

  • kate

    I have had headaches and itcy sore ears recently down my right hand side. my right leg hurts often but i put it down to past injury. last night i had oins and needles in my ribs down the right side followed by numb fingers that tingled every so often and numb arms. my arms were burning and itching on and off and feel very sore generally now, my hands keep numbing the tingling and hurting and my headache has returned with my eyes feeling a bit fuzzy now and then. I went to A$E last night and they tested my heart rate, breathing , blood sugar,looked in my ears then and took some reflex tests . they said they were concerned so would keep me in then sent me home an hr later none the wiswer. the symptoms are still there now as bad as they were last night.

  • Jan Modric


    do symptoms appear in both arms and in which exact fingers? One possible cause is a cubital tunnel syndrome (read above in the article), especially if your elbows lean upon the desks during work.

  • Jan Modric


    obviously, you would need to go back to the hospital for further diagnostics.

  • beachgirl

    My husband works in construction and a few days ago while working he heard something pop in his arm. Then his whole arm all the way to his fingers became swollen,throbbing and he lost his grip. It usually gets better after a week. This is the second time this has happend.

  • Jan Modric


    if his arm had visibly increased diameter (swelling), this speaks for a blockage of a vein or a lymphatic vessel from some reason. An important info is, was there any change in color (pale, bluish) in his hand at the time when this occured? Anyway, I believe it would be good to get that checked by a doctor, maybe an orthopedist or a doctor that deals with blood vessels.

  • Don

    Recently I had a bug bite on the backside of my left thumb. Since then there has been a slight numbness and severe burning sensation when I move my thumb or wrist in a particular way. I am assuming there is some minor nerve damage from the bite and that given time the nerve will grow back.

  • Jan Modric


    a bug bite can cause some underskin swelling, which can cause numbness and burning, but this should go away in few days. “Severe burning” lasting for several (?) days after moving the thumb/wrist does not sound like from some common bug bite. A spider or wasp can inject some poison under the skin, but this would cause some visible redness/swelling. If there is no swelling, the burning sensation could be from a physical nerve damage or carpal tunnel syndrome, for example.

  • Misti

    Hello Jan,

    Recently my husband has started working at a factory where he has repetitive arm motions and picking up 40lbs or less repetitively. He is starting to complain that both his arms are falling asleep frequently, especially at night, fingertips tingling, and weakened grip. He also had a back injury a few years ago on the job which he was referred to a chiropractor for, he looked ok but had some pain. He also had a rotator cuff injury several years ago and has chronic shoulder pain from that, and also has TMJ, just to give some background. He drinks a lot of gatorade and gatorade type drinks on the job. He is otherwise healthy and well balanced. We do not have any type of insurance so seeing a professional is out unless it’s a matter of serious urgency, and he does not want to quit his job, so he cannot rest his arms.

    I have gathered from reading here that him taking ibuprofen, massage and creams with capacin, and possibly vitamin b13 can help, which is great to know. Do you have any more pointers or reccommendations for us?

    Thank you so much, your advice is a godsend.

  • Jan Modric


    unfortunatelly, I can’t say anything other than wrist rest would likely help. It’s possible he has a carpal tunnel syndrome due to inflammation and swelling of tissues in the wrist. Ibuprofen can reduce inflammation and pain, capsaicin does nothing but reduces some pain, so basically rest is needed for inflammation to subside. Ibuprufen alone will not likely treat the condition – it works mainly as a painkiller rather than it cures the condition.

  • TJ

    I am a soon to be 24 year old male. 5’7″ 125 lbs. About 4 months ago i experienced what the doctors called an “absent seizure” although I do not agree with the diagnosis. I experienced a shortness of breath, a terrible feeling something horrible was about to happen, shaking, extremely high heart rate, and finally my right arm swelled-up and was very painful. I was admitted to the hospital and they called it an “absent seizure” and/or anxiety/panic attack. Since then my symptoms have changed. they are worse in the morning but my entire left side (arm, hand, foot, occasionally thigh and calf) feels numb. Not to the point I can’t use it or it feels weak but its more like a detached feeling almost like it’s not there. As the day goes along I get chest pain on the left side, very short-lived as many as 5-7 times but sometimes not at all. I get “pins and needles” tingling in my left side as well as my right. Also get random muscle twitches throughout the day (could be resting, working, walking, etc). It has nothing to do with the position I am standing/laying/sitting in. I do not feel anxiety or panic during these “attacks”. I have had several normal EKG’s, a CAT scan came back negative, and all types of blood tests also negative. I also have trouble sleeping, putting on weight, and have moments of confusion and being lightheaded. I hope someone can point me in the right direction as this is very difficult to deal with as someone without insurance the doctors at the free clinic do a quick manual test and say I’m too young to have problems like this and they must be in my head. They are not I am convinced of this.

  • Maria

    ~Hello, I am 19 and I was diagnosed with bursitis in my left knee back in 07, I am not sure if what I am experiencing now is some other type of arthritis but this is what has been going on.~ I have been having pins and needles sensations with burning pain mostly in my arms and legs for almost 3 years now. I also experience the burning pain on the right side of my stomach, in the lower quadrant close to my appendix. The research that i may have some type of nerve problem or possible arthritis. I’ve always passed it off but now i am starting to worry because I have been having pain in my left arm from my forearm down to my fingers along with numbness and tingling. This has been accompanied with mild-moderate pain in my left ankle and foot. I mostly get the pain in my foot on the sole and inner side of it, while my ankle just hurts all around. The pain in my forearm to fingers does not get better with rest but it does get worse with movement especially if i stretch my fingers out, it makes my palm and fingers hurt really bad along with my wrist. I have had this pain since last week and I am not sure if I should just go to the doctors or wait another week to see if it subsides. What should I do?

  • Jan Modric


    so during the first attack, your right arm actually became swollen, and its diameter was obviously increased? And there was no swelling in the other arm? Can you recall any specific physical activity you had at the day or days before the first attack? Sudden one-sided limb swelling can be due to a vessel (vein or lymphatic) disorder, or something pressing on the vessels from outside, probably in the armpit or under the first rib, or the problem with the spinal nerves that control the vessel diameter in your right arm. You said it’s worse in the morning, so it could have something with the body position. Important question is have you experienced numbness/tingling in the face at any time?

    I recommend you to go carefully through this personal medical history questionnaire and put all symptoms in the time line, starting with your current symptoms, and then from the beginning to now. Also what are eventual triggers, relievers of the symptoms, do symptoms change as you lift your arms over the head for a while….

    From what I can think, it may be a neurological or vascular problem, and if you don’t have symptoms in the face, the disorder can be in the spine/spinal cord – neurologists deal with these.

  • Jan Modric


    I have an impression your pains arise from either articles and tendons (wrist, ankle) or pinched spinal nerves (could cause right side abdominal pain). It could be a neurological, orthopedic or rheumatic disorder, and it would be good to get an exact diagnosis from an appropriated specialist.

  • erika

    Ever since an accident almost a year ago where i fell and my right arm shot up to grab a pole stopping me from a serious injury though i had maybe pulled a muscle in my shoulder and along my arm my right arm only has been constantly slightly numb in places while atleast once or three times a week i awaken to find my whole right arm has gone numb and have to stare at my right hand as i concentrate on forcing my fingers to move again

  • lenzy

    Hello im 29 years old,i got a feelin of numbnes and tingling sensation first at my legs going to my arms up to my heart and head,got this feelin also of ive just feel got spasm on my veins..Ive got alredy ultrasound test and reveal that I have polyps in my gallbladder.Is this polyps have connections happening on my veins?what should I do to relieve this?

  • Wendy

    Sunday night I discovered I had a bug bite on my left upper arm outter side of bicep. Since Monday night I have been experiencing numbness from the tricep across the to the side of the bicep where the bug bite is at. I don”t know if the numbess has anything to do with the insect bite. I’ve been living with hypothyroidism since 2007 and take synthroid 75 mcg daily.
    What could this be?