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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  • Armel Lashley

    I am feeling tingling and needle like sensation in my left hand at night while sleeping. The arm will some time become numb. what type of physican should I go to see?

  • Jan Modric

    To Armel Lashley

    Neurologist will determine, if numbness is only due to your hand falling asleep when you lie over it, carpal tunnel syndrome, or nerve damage or disease.

  • James

    I am experiencing mild nerve numbness in my right middle finger due to repetitive use from shooting competitive archery. I hold 80% of the weight of the bow (45 lbs) using this finger. I believe it is the digitus? nerve that runs along the bottom of the finger.
    what should I do to treat this in order for it heal the quickest? Ice it down, heat it up, wrap it, or a combination?

  • Jan Modric

    To James:

    Your finger needs a rest. It means not carrying anything even close to heavy with the right hand until numbness disappears completely. It may take weeks.

    About immobilization – use common sense; it may help finger to rest. I can’t say if your wrist is also affected (carpal tunnel syndrome), and if it is, imobilization of the wrist can help rest the wrist.

    Nerves run by the sides of fingers…

    …, so if you’ll put anything there, don’t make it tight.

    Maybe some anti-inflammatory drugs can speed up recovering a bit, a sport doctor, ortopedist or neurologist could say.

    Cold compresses or ice cubs are used to reduce acute inflammation or swelling – when there’s any.

    I don’t think there’s anything you can do to treat the finger in few days, you’ll probably need to rest it at least for few weeks. Do not load a finger again, if numbness will cease significantly in few days – you need complete recovery.

  • xenakis

    I had a motorcycle accident in which I broke my right collar bone. I had surgery for this and they placed a plate with 8 screws. After the operation, the part just above my right bicep started feeling quite numb. A few days later my upper arm is also starting to be numb and I am quite worried and don’t know what to do. I am a musician so my arms are important.

  • robertbart

    After a injury 7 months ago my arm is still very weak and my hand and arm will swell during the night( do to no movemewnt and position of my arm when sleeping), Just the other week I was jogging emediatly this reduced the swelling in the elbow, Turns out my blood only required more presure to reduce my swelling and pain. The blood vessel requires more presure from my heart

    This will not resolve my injury however it does reduce the swelling and pain very fast.

  • Jan Modric

    To xenakis.

    Numbness is probably due to pressure on the nerve from brachial plexus, that runs under the collar bone.

    I recommend you set an appointment with neurologist as soon as posible, since constant pressurte on the nerve can furtherly damage affected nerve. Neurologist will then tell what to do.

  • Jan Modric

    To robertbart.

    It sounds like veins or lymphatic vessels that drain blood and lymph from your arm are compressed, or easilly get compressed during sleep at some level.

    I think this is something to be checked with neurologist, since it doesn’t look like resolving by itself.

  • JulieM

    I had surgery 3 weeks ago to remove a mass (benign) under my arm. Since then, my arm has become progressively tender and the tendon or ligament that runs from the surgery site down into my arm, forearm and fingers is very tight. I now feel numbness/tingling in my fingers. What can be done to correct this?

  • Jan Modric

    Neurologist should say, is there any nerve involved. Neurologic examination of the hand and maybe some test will be needed. Only then it can be said what to do.

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  • Jenn

    I gave birth to my son (natural child birth) about 5 months ago and I’ve had a tingling sensation in my hands ever since. I thought it was one of those things that would just go away after a little while as I recovered. But it happens when I use my hands. At first I thought it was only my right hand but then discovered it was happening in my left hand too. My husband suspects that I did some nerve damage while I was delivering my son. what could be the problem?

    Thanks so much for you time 🙂

  • Jan Modric

    it’s not likely that you’ve damaged nerves that innervate hands during delivery. Nerves for arms and hands come from the neck- and upper chest- part of the spinal cord.

    It sounds like a carpal tunel syndrome, but neurologic examination would be needed to confirm this.

    Resting hands as much as possible, avoiding repetitive moves that involve wrists, not carrying heavy loads…this is prevention.

    Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen (may cause burning in stomach) can reduce swelling in wrist tisues, if this is the problem. In this case signs of improvement would show in weeks.

    Hormonal changes (thyroxine, estrogens) may cause swelling of different parts of the body, including tisues in wrists. If you have low thyroxine, you’d feel cold, and tired.

    Neurologist, or rheumatologist can check wrists, endocrinologist is for hormones.

  • Worry,,,

    I am feeling a numbness and tingling on half of my left hand all the way to the elbow and then numbenss on the left side of my face; just the chick and part of my lip. Does anyone has any idea what could be the cause of it? I did not have any surgery or any injury that I know it could of cause it. Please advise.

  • Jan Modric

    Worry, from when you have this numbness? Did facial and hand numbness appeared at the same time? Droped eyelid maybe? Weak hand/arm muscles?

    One of the causes of tingling/numbness on one side of the body is a mini stroke – transient ischemic attack (TIA). Not saying, it’s this, in any case I STRONGLY RECOMMEND visiting a neurologist, since these type of disorders may improve considerably, if treated early.


    I have numbness & tingling in my left hand due to cervical spondilyes. But neck pain completely alright since 30 dys . But still numbness and tingling not gone . how long it will take to go . cervical soft collar still should use it ? how many hours should use it per day. any problmes if we remove some time for relaxation. pls advice me

  • Jan Modric


    hand numbness in cervical spondylosis results from pressure of deformed bones in cervical vertebra on the nerves that innervate the arm and hand.

    An image (MRI or CT) of the neck would be needed to confirm this pressure, and until this is not done, it is not possible to say if numbness will go away by itself.

    About removal the collar speak with your doctor, I can’t answer this.


    I had a tumor removed from the base of my tongue. I am 21 months out from radiation. I have had progressing numbness in 2 fingers of each hand, down both arms, chin, tongue and inside of mouth. Have had mri’s of spine and brain. Neurologist does not know where the problem is. Has anyone else had this or can you direct me to someone who might close to PA. Thanks

  • Jan Modric

    Radiation of the base of the tongue can damage spinal cord in the neck. From there, nerves to arms/hands go. From your description this sounds the most probable cause.

  • alex

    Im experiencing numbness and tingling sensation while siting infront of a computer. Ive been experiencing this for 5 days. It relieves when I lay down supine position. What would be its cause? and what medicines should i take?

  • alex

    tingling and numbness on my right hand and fingers due to prolong siting position

  • Jan Modric

    Alex, you my want to try this:

    Arrange your sitting position, so
    – your elbow(s) will not press upon the desk all the time. A nerve that innervates the hand runs on the inner side of the elbow:

    – your back and neck will be straight – this prevents bending of the spine, thus preventing eventual pressure on the neck/chest spinal nerves – that innervate the arm and hand
    – monitor will be in the hight of your eyes

  • Elise

    Hi I have numbness, tingling and burning sensation that started from my elbow area of my right arm travelling down to my hand and fingers. Tingling and burning sensation is random but consistent. Symptoms have been going on for a month now. The symptoms started when I first thought I had a bug bite in the elbow area now I’m not so sure it was a bug bite?? Is this serious??

  • Jan Modric

    – have you had any red rash after bug bite, or any other symptoms?
    – does your right elbow constantly rest on the desk during work, or do you use right arm a lot in some special way? Injury maybe?

  • junaid

    my sister has been complaining of no sensation in her left hand and following down to her left leg she is 26 years old her periods are irregular she has been hospitalised now her medication include vitamens and methocabamaline. it is now five days no improvment what to do?

  • Jan Modric

    I think your sister should be checked by neurologist.

  • shortNsweet

    I am having severe pain and numbness in arms. It occurs all day and I lose my grip on things, they get hot, tingle and hurt. Then it wakes me up in my sleep and I have to stretch my arms out, someitmes that helps sometimes I have to get up. I do have heart problems so I am wondering if that could be a syptom of a problem.

  • Lee

    Have sudden on-set of numbness and tingling in left little finger, left side of hand, and left ring finger. Have had previous surgery on C 6-7 and C 4-5. Possible cause of numbness and tingling??

  • Jan Modric

    – angina pectoris can cause pain in the left arm that radiates to the little finger
    – if both arms are involved, it’s possible that they are poorly perfused by blood, so nerves don’t get enough oxygen – it’s like your arms get asleep. If arms get swollen, tissues in the wrist compress to nerves that innervate hand – this would cause problems mainly in hands.

    Solving heart problems should help, I guess.

  • Jan Modric

    the picture in the article shows that little and ring finger are innervated by ulnar nerve that arises from C8-Th1. This is just below your operation site.

    Ulnar nerve may be also affected in cubital tunnel syndrome (read above), caused e.g. by constant pressure of the desk on elbows, if you work a lot with computer…

  • ANN


  • Jan Modric

    When did you have surgeries, and when did tingling start?

  • ANN


  • Jan Modric

    Have you repeteadly use your left elbow lately, or injured it? Your elbow rests on the desk when you work?

    There is ulnar nerve running behind the elbow in on the inner side, so it readilly get injured or pressed.

  • ANN


  • Ann M

    I woke up one night with severe numbness and tingling in both hands and feet — up to mid-forearm and mid-calf and my arms were shaking. The tingling lasted for more than a week. All labs/vitamin levels/thyroid are normal. I have sometimes experienced numbness since (no shaking), only when I sleep, and seems to be linked to drinking alcohol in the evening or getting hot when I sleep. My hands feel swollen and look veiny when I wake up. It goes away over a day or so. I am not a heavy drinker — maybe 3 or 4 drinks per week. But first night I experienced, I had more than usual — 4 drinks over 6 hours, and got really overheated under a down comforter while I slept. I’ve always had very cold hands and feet and felt like my circulation there was not good. Any thoughts? Am in my 30s.

  • MissC

    3 years ago i was pregnant and doing fast stretches in my arms/neck and during that time i started to get tingling in my right hand, pain in my thoracic/shoulder/neck/right side of back, my right arm goes numb sometimes if i sleep on it and i have constant tingling in right thumb tip and middle finger tip. I had an MRI on my neck and head but it was fine. My doctor didn’t do further testing. I saw a neuro and he said it was something i have to live with. I went to a chiropractor 2 yeas ago and did not relieve it either. However, i am thinking this is causing my neck and right side face pain i get once in a while too, as it is all related to the right side and has not gone away. What do you think this is, a nerve on my right side of thoracic area possibly? Any suggestions i can bring up to my doctor to do further testing? I have 2 little kids i chase around, as i need to stay healthy and on top of it all! Thank you!

  • Jan Modric

    Ann M,
    – hypothyroidism goes with: low appetite, low body temperature, gaining weight, and swelling (may also appear as puffy face). When tissues are swollen they may press on nerves what causes tingling.
    – heart disease goes with shortness of breath during moderate exercise, swelling of legs (shoes don’t fit)
    – alcohol on long term causes “peripheral neuropathy” with “gloves and socks” distribution of tingling/numbness. Liver enzymes are usually elevated at this point of nerve damage.

    If your hands and feet are actually swollen (shoes don’t fit) than the problem is in water retention.

    If this happened in a week before menstruation, it may be a part of so called pre-menstrual syndrome.

    If you have low blood pressure, that further decreases after alcohol, or when you’re hot, pessure may furterly fall, causing low blood perfusion of arms/legs.

    High salt intake also causes water retention.

    So think, realistically, what symptoms beside tingling you have, or what are possible causes.

    Morning body temperature, blood pressure, in which part of menstrual cycle you are, and which drugs are you taking – these are few of things a doctor will ask.

    Otherwise – it’s neurologist who can check if your nerves are affected.

  • Jan Modric

    the right side facial pain is mediated by 5th cranial nerve (N. trigeminus) that originates from the brainstem (that connects spinal cord and brain). It is not possible that you’ve injured this nerve, or brainstem with streching.

    If facial pain appeared at about the same time as shoulder/arm symptoms, than this speaks for disorder on the level of the brainstem or above (brain).

    Streching could separately or additionally affect brachial plexus (a net of nerves arising from C5-Th1 level of spinal cord) either on the site of nerve exit from the spinal cord (in the neck), or anywhere on its course (neck, under collar bone, armpits).

    I suggest you to visit a reliable neurologist.

  • ANN


  • Jan Modric

    To ANN.
    Interesting…In carpal tunnel syndrome usualy only wrist and hand are affected, but sometimes also the forearm.

    Now you might want to find out why this happened. Swelling of the wrist from inflammation, pressure, water retention, hypothyroidism, may cause carpal tunnel syndrome


    I have been having severe shoulder pain for about 3 weeks. It went away but was replaced by my right hand tingling. It’s almost a constant tingling senstation that runs down the wrist to the middle finger then spreads out from there. Today i noticed the left hand doing the same thing. What is causing this.

  • Jan Modric

    what happened three weeks ago – injury? Do you need to band your neck at work, feel neck pain?

    When shoulder is affected, and both arms are affected, the cause is likely in the spine (or brainstem or brain). Common cause is cervical disc hernia – protrusion of the cartilage between spinal vertebra, what causes pressure on nerves that innervate the arm(s).

    I suggest visit to neurologist, who may order CT or MRI of the neck.

  • Donney

    Last week, while on vacation, I had some pain in the left shoulder. Upon returning home, I took some aspirin and the pain went away. However, the pain has been replaced by a slight numbness from the back of my shoulder down to my wrist. I lift weights and although I did have some shoulder pain while lifting, I haven’t had that pain since the numbness started. What do you suggest?



  • MissC

    Thank you for your reply to my last quesiton, however i was thinking i am possibly dealing with two things. My back like i mentioned above, possible thoracic area. Like i mentioned its my right shoulder blade area causing the pain, i get shooting pains across my back there at times too. But the face part is what i thought i should bring up. When i was pregnant 3 years ago when this all came on, well i was also grieving and crying and “clenching”, and i am thinking that brought on the right facial pain, numbness around my ear, up around my eye i get tingles and right side of head. I did have the mri and it was fine of my neck and head. This had all tapered off after i learned how to relax my jaw and face with lots and lots of practice and then i was pregnant again and just had my baby 5 weeks ago and giving birth i noticed i “clenched” and since then along with some mastitus i had after birth, i “clenched” again due to the pain, it had caused the right side symptoms to all come back really strong. I am wondering if there is a nerve on that side, around the ear or jaw line that causes all this? And beteween the two problems, my neck feels kind of numb on the right side when the symptoms flare up. I do take advil which will help a little. I see my doc in May, i am thinking of asking if being referred to a jaw specialist can be of some help. Any suggestions? Thank you again!

  • Jan Modric

    The face is innervated by a pair of nerves (one for one side) that arise from brainstem (Trigeminal nerve). The nerve has thre branches – one for the jaw, one for cheeks and one for the area around eyes.

    Se picture here:

    From your description it is possible that temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder causes this pain. (Search for TMJ).

    Do you ever have upper right abdominal pain? Like after a fatty meal, and not directly related to your neck/arms movements? Right shoulder/shoulder blade shooting pain is typicall for gallbladder/biliary tract disorder (gallstones for example). Gallstones are often seen on abdominal ultrasound.

  • Jan Modric

    for me, it sound like pain and numbness are probably from a neck spine injury (like bulging intervertebral disc).

    MRI or CT of the neck can show that. Before this neurologist will examine you.

    You can wait for some time and see if numbness will go away, but you should NOT lift weights in this time.

  • MissC

    Thank you again for answering my question. The TMJ link sounds about right, the Trigeminal nerve i read up on is almost sounding as though i have possible TMJ. I will ask my doctor in May, if she can refer me to a jaw specialist and hope for further testing.

    Yes i have had pain under my right rib, but lately only since the birth of my daughter a month ago. However, i had episodes of shooting pain there and some was so bad, like a stitch pain that i couldn’t move. But has since tapered off too.
    I did have pain under my right rib with my last pregnancy too and after i had my daughter, 3 years ago, was tested for galbladder but came back negative. On another note, the same pain was there about 4 years ago, i had a ct scan of my abdomin and the doctor then told me my abdomin on the right side was kind of narrowed, possible slight herniated. My doctor now doesn’t seem too concerned about it as i’m not in a whole lot of pain constantly, it comes and goes it seems.
    Is it possible the most recent pain i had under ribs and back were galstones and now gone away since the pain in that area has tapered off? I know you are just offering possible suggestions and again, thanks for listening to my complaints!

  • Jan Modric

    gallbladder pain may appear suddenly and goes away for long periods of time, and typically radiates in the right shoulder and shoulder blade. The cause may be in the gallbladder or in biliary duct which is not the same.

    Ultrasound or CT of abdomen reveal big gallstones, but often miss small stones. Sometimes a dense crystalline bile (biliary sludge) is formed in the gallbladder, causing the same symptoms as stones. This is hard to detect with imahing, so HIDA scan is needed to evaluate gallbladder function. The test shows what portion of bile is ejected from gb during contraction. This is reliable test of gb function. All gallbladder tests are done by gastroenterologist. Read some article about gallstones maybe…

    TMJ – either stomatologist or neurologist deals with it.

  • Kim


    I had a stroke last year, resulting in the left side of my body being weaker than the right. I had been recovering well, with little pain, when one day I fell off the couch. A well-meaning friend yanked me up off the floor by my weak arm before I could stop him. That was five weeks ago. Since then, my entire left arm has felt like it is half-asleep. I still have the same range-of-motion as before. It’s really painful, and sensitive to cold. I am wondering what could be the problem, and what are some things I can do at home to help it feel better and heal faster?


  • Jan Modric

    I can only speculate what happened.

    If there is any swelling in your left arm (or arm/hand appears pale), and if someone touches both of your arms and says that the left one appears cold, then it’s likely a problem with circulation – due to affected sympathetic nerves that innervate vessels.

    If there is no swelling/paleness, then it’s likely that one of the nerves from brachial plexus was streched.

    Call people (both doctor AND physiotherapist) that helped you in rehabilitation after the stroke, and ask if you need to immobilize the arm, have special exercises, vitamin B injection, or other.

    Don’t start with some exercises before that, and avoid lifting anything heavy with the left arm. In short – rest the arm, until you get proper advice.

    DO call the doctor SOON, you probably know that time is important in stroke-related nerve disorders.

  • terri

    Hi I have a mild stabbing/tingling pain in my right index finger and right bottom lip on face at exactly the same time about once a week, it only lasts less than a minute each time

    Thank you

  • eric

    for a few months now, i’ve noticed a slight numbing in my thumb and extending to surrounding areas in the hand.
    tonight i felt the sensation up to my elbow.
    not really tingling, but the forearm feels slightly ‘asleep” with a slight “cold sensation.
    fwiw, i was diagnosed with optic neuropathy about a month ago, though it has cleared up about 80% since then.
    i don’t have the money to do the mri’s and so forth.
    thank you,

  • Jan Modric

    how old are you? Do you have any idea what might trigger the pain?

  • Jan Modric

    optic neuritis with neurologic symptoms in other body parts often appears in multiple sclerosis.

    MRI of the head and lumbal punction are two basic investigations to prove MS.

    Arrange an appointment with a neurologist, he can at least examine you and tell his opinion.

  • Lily

    Hi, I have numbness that started from my thumb, index and middle finger which then spread to my other fingers, palm, arm and even the shoulder. I feel a tingling sensation in my whole arm. Is this serious; will it cause paralysis? How can it be treated? Can it be because I force repeated movements?

  • zakaria

    i’ve been suffering hand and fingers numbness for more or less one year what is the best treatment for this?

  • Jan Modric

    it seems that your symptoms arise either from the neck, where a bulging cartilageous disc between vertebra may press on the nerve that innervates the arm, or the pressure (or extension) occurs somewhere lower in the course of the nerve.

    As things go, you are at risk of serious damage of your arm nerves. I suggest you to visit a neurologist, that will examine you and will be possible to give you some opinion even before CT or MRI of the neck spine.

    One of the first measures is stopping repeating movements. After examination, doctor will tell you what exercises to do, or he will suggest you a physiotherapist. If you have bulging disc in the neck, operation is one possibility, but CT or MRI has to be done before saying anything further.

  • Jan Modric

    if it is the excessive wrist movement that caused your symptoms, then the first measure is a wrist/hand rest.

    There are several other causes of carpal tunnel syndrome though, including hypothyroidism, and arthritis.

    Withouth knowing the cause (neurologist can determine it), I can’t even suggest what exercises/treatment to try.

  • terri

    Hi Jan, I am 46. I have had Trigiminal neuralgia but in the orbital area on top back of head, and was on anti seizure meds for it, has not been a problem really but now I get the weird tingling below my lip right side at the exact same time my finger does, usually when I am at rest. (I did have an accident with my arm and wrist years and dislocated elbow) Thank you

  • Jan Modric

    Terri, I can only speculate about this connection.

    Lower lip is innervated by mandibular branch of trigeminal nerve, so this may be a part of trigeminal neuralgia that may be triggered by – your finger pain. Pain occuring at one area, and appearing at another area is called referred pain, and is known in angina (left arm pain), or gallbladder disease (right shoulder pain).

    I suggest you to try to fix your wrist issue – not sure what may be carpal tunnel syndrome (aggravated in swelling due to inflammation, or hypothyroidism…), or from overuse of the wrist…

    It’s quite possible that sensations both in the lip and finger will disappear, when you fix an arm issue. So, think what caused it…

  • Traci

    I am 28 and about a month ago had foot numbness for a few days, then after a few days I had and episode at night were my left side went completely numb and tingling. Sometimes spreading also to my right side. I have had basic blood tests and brain MRI completely clear. The feeling of severe numbness persisted over about 3 weeks and have now subsided to a little tingling in my left foot along with sometimes chest pressure and fatigue. Any ideas?

  • terri

    thank you Jan, it was a fall that caused the break and dislocation in the elbow and wrist. I appreciate your information and help! Have a great weekend! PS I do have a thyroid condition, I didn’t realize that could cause some problems with this too!)

  • Jan Modric

    if all: the face, arms, trunk, and legs/feet were affected, this speaks for central origin – if not the brain, then brainstem is (was) affected. MRI of the brainstem would be needed, but not sure what it would reveal now when symptoms subsided almost completely.

    Facial/head numbness:

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) has this come and go appearance. Brain or/and brainstem or/and spinal cord may be affected. Vision at one eye is often affected, fatigue is common.

    So, if you had no fever (infection), you may search for MS.

  • Erika Beursken

    I get tingling in my face and arms, and occasionally my throat as well as heavy breathing after running or doing any cardio. I was told I had asthma by my doctor (without any tests being taken) but my inhaler doesn’t make it any better. It feels like it hurts my heart a lot, and not my lungs. I was wondering if this is something a fifteen year old, healthy weight girl should worry about?

  • Jan Modric

    Erika, if you have to chose between tingling and itching to descibe your symptoms, you’d still insist it’s tingling? Any red bumpy rash or patchy rash (like hives) appear? For how long after exercise symptoms persist? Have you ever tried Benadryl (antihistamine pill) and what was effect?

    Itching/tingling, apperaing during or after the run (sometimes also after stress, or hot shower), and persisting for few hours, is a symptom of a physical urticaria. Symptoms you describe are not so innocent, and could possibly cause a severe reaction in some circumstances. I suggest you to visit a doctor (allergist, I guess). Primary doctor may not necessary be familiar with this disorder.

    Check for cholinergic urticaria:

  • angie m.

    my husband just started working as a call center agent and his shift is always midnight till morning…we all know that its really stressful.and now he’s having a numbness in his left arms and left hands…his ring finger and his little finger is it becos of his schedule at work or is there a possible problem in his heart?

  • Jan Modric

    if your husband had heart problems (angina) with chest pain before, then a stress from night shift can aggravate it, and arm /hand tingling may be related to heart.

    But there are other possible causes, like, if his left elbow is resting on the desk during work for a long time, or if he uses left wrist a lot, or if he developed a carpal tunnel syndrome for any other reason (wrist swelling from arthritis, water retention, etc).

  • angie m.

    is there any thing i can do to ease my husbands numbness on his left arm and hands? or if ever a medicine?

  • Jan Modric

    Angie, it all depends on the cause…

    -If he had heart problems before, it may be from the heart.
    -If there’s any constant pressure on the elbow, it may be “cubital tunnel syndrome”
    -If he had a lot of sitting work, or other work where he has bend a neck a lot, it may be from cervical disc bulging.

    Avoiding repeating movements of the neck or elbow may help (in some weeks), if the cause is there. Over-the-counter pain-killers like ibuprophen help ease the pain, and eventual inflammation.

    Again, if he had any heart symptoms before, he should visit cardiologist to get appropriate prescribed drugs.

    If he had not have heart disease, and if nothing above helps, then he should visit neurologist.

  • Lily

    Hi, I had numbness in my right arm and I can’t feel anything especially at my fingertips. I saw a neurologist who said I had carpal tunnel syndrome. Now there is numbness in my legs and right side of my body. I always feel tired, sleepy and my eyelids droop. I went for acupuncture for three sessions but there were no signs of improvement. What should I do? Thanks for your time.

  • Jan Modric

    To Lily.

    Find a reliable neurologist (may be your current one) and ask for MRI of the brain or brainstem, or spinal cord (whatever neuro decides). It may be a neurologic disease (like multiple sclerosis) arising from there.

  • bridget

    I’ve been treated for carpal tunnel syndrome in my right wrist/hand almost a year ago. Symptoms relieved via rest, ibuprofen, splint. Still currently experiencing painful throbbing, numbness and tingling mainly of three middle digits (or more) of right hand, and now left hand. Pain also on left hand pointer, from middle knuckle to base of finger (this noticeable in past few days). Symptoms noted more often after having slept on my side or with hand tucked under a pillow and wakes me often during the night.
    At times, symptoms arise from just from holding a book to read, or as I’m reading above responses from others, the symptomatic hand on my lap, palm down on thigh. Also, currently experience tingling when typing this comment.
    Any advise??
    Thank you!

  • Lily

    Hi, I had a CT and MRI scan, so, they found there was something between my neck and head but it isn’t confirmed what it is yet. They are still studying it. I’m on medication for two weeks till my next MRI in two weeks’ time. I feel it’s getting increasingly serious, will it lead to paralysis or will it be life-threatening? Please give me some advice. Thank you again.

  • Lily

    Hi, I forgot to mention: I always get tired and feel like I’m ‘floating’, I have lost my taste two months ago as well. Does it have anything to do with this numbness? Thanks again.

  • Jan Modric

    To Lily.

    Exact diagnosis must be made, before saying anything. Multiple sclerosis (MS) can be suspected from MRI,but often a lumbar puncture and investigation of the cerebrospinal fluid is needed to confirm diagnosis. MS course is different in every person – in severity, time course, symptoms, and disability it causes. There are also other neurological disease, you’ll need to wait what tests will show.

    Yes, taste loss, tiredness, “floating”, and numbness are probably all connected with a nerve disorder.

  • Jan Modric

    To bridget.

    So, symptoms in both hands, but not in other body areas?

    Carpal tunnel syndrome may be acquired from simple repeating movements, even from such “easy” ones, like typing – so, people that work with computers often get it.

    Often there is some additional condition in the wrist(s), like swelling from water retention – in hypothyroidism, or related to cycle (estrogen/progesterone imbalance). Rheumatoid arthritis or other “connective tissue diseases” may cause inflammation of tissues in the wrist and joints.

    If you think, you might have some of the mentioned underlying conditions, you may serach online for symptoms of each, and then, if necessary, ask your doctor for some testing.

    Also search for “carpal tunnel syndrome exercises” – some people get immediate relief…

  • MissC

    I will definitely be asking about my right side upper back pain when i see my doctor in May for my post natal appointment. I wanted to ask another question in regards to my symptoms. Can the right side of my facial problems be connected with the right back side shoulder/cuff or thoracic area that tends to hurt and feel unwell often? Such as a pinched nerve possibly, can that cause the right facial symptoms, possible it is all connected? I know this past week my right facial symptoms are worse, around my ear hurts and my neck and shoulder feel real tight. Like i mentioned prior, after i had my daughter i did a lot of clenching and it seems all these symptoms came with a vengeance and i have my good days and my bad days. It took me 9 months to get these symptoms to ease while i tried to control my jaw and facial movements. And since giving birth and dealing with much pain of mastitis after my daughter was born 7 weeks ago, the symptoms are really bad again.. Thanks for listening!

  • Anita

    Hi there. My left side from my neck to my foot, feels numb and weak at times. This started in March 09 and only occurred once a day for a minutes or so, but now it is occuring every hour lasting 30 minutes and is very uncomfortable. I exercise taebo everyday and I had a c-section with my sixth and last child in April last year. Look forward to your response.

  • Jan Modric

    To MissC.

    Pinched nerve in the neck (that would cause the pain in shoulder/back/arm) is not likely to cause the facial pain at the same time, since trigeminal nerve that innervates the face arises several centimeters above the location where shoulder/arm nerves do. It is highly unlikely that you damage trigeminal nerve with streching the arm, since the nerve arises from the part within the skull, not from the flexible spinal cord.

    To me, it sounds like your facial pain is due to clenching, muscle tighgtness, or local swelling (due to clenching, or other jaw condition) that may all irritate trigemnal nerve.

    If your arm gets numb in sleep, this is likely from cervical spine issue rather than gallbladder issue. Gallbladder related pain is like a spasm – it grabs you, holds for several minutes or ours and it leaves you – and it’s not influenced by your body movements. When the cause is in the neck spine, you would probably feel that neck/arm moves influence the pain.

  • Jan Modric

    To Anita.

    If the whole half of the body is affected, the cause lies somewhere within central nervous system. I strongly recommend you to visit a neurologist, maybe through emergency room, since, if it is some vascular problem (aneurysm, clot…), there’s no time to wait for a regular appointment. If your face is not affected, the problem probably lies in the lower part of the brainstem or in the upper part of the spinal cord and may extend furthrly down the spinal cord. MRI would be needed – but, neurologist should say.

    Your symptoms are not likely from some “minor” issue like nerve entrapment.

  • paulastewart32

    I am 42 yrs old and about 2 months ago I startes getting pain in my neck on the left side. I just thought I slept wrong that night. Over the last 2 months the pain which I can describe as numbness and like someone is shoving needles in my arm, has traveled all the way down my arm to my hand, mainly my thumb and middle finger but sometimes I noticed lately my palm part of the hand. The worse part is the “needle poking” / pain in my upper arm. It has got worse over the last 2 months. I cant turn my head, bend my head down, etc without the pain being severe in my upper mid arm only located on the outer part of my bicep which travels downwards which leads instantly to my hand going numb. I am not one for Dr.s but it is getting a little annoying and unsure if I need to see a Dr. I was tested about a yr ago for Carpel Tunnel in both hands which the Dr stated all was fine.

  • Jan Modric

    To paulastewart32.

    Can you think of any other cause beside “sleeping wrong”? Do you repeateadly bend or turn the neck during work?
    Your symptoms distribution in the hand is like in carpal tunnel syndrome, but in fact it only means that your median nerve is affected – at any level from the cervical spine to the hand.

  • Linda Mac

    I am 61-yrs-old and retired from coaching gymnastics about 3 yrs ago now work by computer. I am experiencing a numbness / tingling sensation which started with my left pinkie and now involves both pinkie and ring finger on both hands with a bit of the same sensation in both heels of hands and deltoids.

    I have a fusion at C6/7 and have had tendon releases in both elbows. (Over last 20 years) The sensations I have now are similar to those I had when I broke my neck but there is no pain.

    My neck hasn’t been x-rayed in 10 yrs but that one showed arthritis and bone spurs. So why is this just giving off symptoms now?

    Thank you.

  • Jan Modric

    To Linda Mac.

    Numbness/tingling in deltoid muscle(s) may be from the pressure of bone spurs (or changed position of fused part of the spine) upon the roots of spinal nerves that innervate the arm.

    Tingling/numbness in little and ring finger may be due to the pressure upon ulnar nerve in the elbow area (cubital syndrome). Ulnar nerve can be somewhat damaged from constant pressure of the table on elbows, what sounds likely due to your computer work…Good description with images here:

    Spine can be checked with X-ray or CT, elbow can be checked with neurologic examination. It’s likely that the problem is in both the spine and elbow(s).

  • TWebb

    Advice, please? I’m a 63 year-old female who took a fall on uneven concrete yesterday. I fell primarily on my left side, bruising the ankle and knee, and feeling some soreness in the ribs, wrist, and shoulder. Today, though, the fingers of my left hand are tingling. More so in the middle, ring and little finger than in the thumb and index finger. Should I have this checked right away, or wait a few days?

  • Jan Modric

    To TWebb.

    If tingling will develop further, go to the doctor.

    If tingling will persist for 3-4 days, also go to the doctor.

    The injury (pressure from the hit, pressure from eventual swelling, or streching of the nerve) can occur at different levels from the cervical spine to the wrist. Resting the arm, also the wrist, and maybe applying cold compresses few times a day for 10 minutes or so to the wrist may reduce eventual swelling in the wrist, and thus releasing the pressure upon the nerve.

    If you have streched your left upper arm, then the brachial plexus, containing all main nerves for the arm, and running through the armpit could be streched. In this case I recommend you to visit a doctor without waiting.

  • Carol Young

    I,m a 53 year old woman with tingling in both my hands and arms. It hurt real bad at night,while I,m in bed.I went to the docter about it two months ago.They said it was carpal turnal and probaly a mixture of artritis.I really don,t know which what to think.They gave me some pain pills to take.But the problem is worser.PLEASE HELP ME FIGURE OUT WHAT IT IS OR WHAT TO DO!!!THANKS A LOT

  • Jan Modric

    To Carol Young.

    Arthritis can cause or aggravate carpal tunnel syndrome.

    In rheumatoid arthritis, morning stiffness of fingers is characteristic, and other joints may be affected.
    I suggest you to visit a rheumathologist who can give you exact diagnosis.

  • mcharles23

    I am a 26 year old woman. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling tingling and numbness sensations in my left hand (pinky included), all the way up to my left shoulder. I have a three month old son that I fell asleep holding in bed at the time. I also started a home workout video six days ago and I felt like a nerve pinched in my shoulder doing one of the arm moves earlier this evening. Before I went to bed, I had a “floating” sensation that I still feel now. What should I do?

  • mcharles23

    The tip of my tongue is numb tonight also. Do you think this symptom is connected to last night’s previously listed tingling sensations in my left arm?

  • Jan Modric

    To mcharles.

    1. Why do you think you might have pinched nerve? Have you exercised and something happened?
    2. Where exactly is the floating sensation? You mean, you feel like you float?

    The tip of the tongue is innervated by trigeminal nerve (one of brain nerves, originating from the brain stem – a part of the brain between brain and spinal cord).

  • mcharles23

    1. Yes, while swinging my left arm in a workout video, I felt pain in my shoulder that radiated down my arm when I would extend it to do the “punching” motion again (the video was like kickboxing). I don’t know if it was a pinched nerve, it just felt like the injury had to do with the nerves in my left shoulder and arm.
    2. By floating, I mean my arm felt “lighter” than normal. It seemed to make me feel “lighter” all over.
    3. What should I do since the tip of my tongue is still numb?

  • Jan Modric

    To mcharles23.

    Trigeminal nerve that innervates the tongue, originates from the brainstem, that lies in the skull, so, it doesn’t seem likely that would be injured by a sudden neck move…

    So, one possibility is that both your arm nerves, and the trigeminal nerve that innervates the tongue were affected from the lesion in the brainstem/spinal cord/ even before exercising, and your arm move just triggered the pain in already affected nerves.

    MRI of the neck would show, if the nerve is pinched, and if there is a lesion within the spinal cord, caused by some neurological disorder that existed before your exercising.

    Your symptoms sound serious enough to arrange appointment with a neurologist.

  • Shannon


    Lately my left shoulder has been going tingly and then eventually numb when I sit or lie in certain positions. This has been happening for the last week or so maybe. The two I can think of are firstly when I am lying on my stomach, propped up on my elbows reading a book for example. The other is if I sit on the couch and am leaning slightly to the left with my arm up on the arm rest.

    No recent injuries I can think of. Many many years ago (I’m 25 now, so maybe when I was 15) I have broken my left wrist completely which may or may not have any relation. I started doing martial arts since january but only had a slight hyperextension of the left elbow that caused pain. Also, I’ve noticed the last week or two I’ve had trouble sleeping in any other position except with my left arm under the pillow and I usually wake up with a numb or sometimes unmoveable arm until it ‘wakes up’. Whether its related or not, the last two days there has been a slight tingle/twitch on the top of my scalp under my hair (but with no numbness).

    Could this be anything serious or something like a pinched nerve from the way I’ve been sleeping?


  • Jan Modric

    To Shannon

    It seems, like numbness in the left arm appears when you press on the ulnar nerve that runs along the back/inner side of the left elbow.

    This ulnar nerve was maybe preliminary affected by your old wrist injury, by your recent elbow hyperextension, hm, hm, pinched nerve in cervical region during sleep doesn’t seem likely to me….but…the top of the scalp is innervated by cervical plexus arising from C1 segment of the spinal cord, so it still could be somehow related to the way you sleep…

    Another possibility is that a lesion like from multiple sclerosis is affecting one part of your brain or spinal cord and causing numbness on both sites…MRI of the brain/cervical spinal cord can reveal this.

    Now, it’s really hard to say from here what it is, but two weeks of symptoms from no obvious reason, and not lessening, sounds serious enough to arrange appointment with a neurologist.

  • Shannon

    Ohhh… I just remembered one other injury I had. Very low speed motorbike accident that caused me to land on my left side. I was wearing full protective gear but ended up with what the doctor called soft tissue damage in the same region that the collarbone is located and had trouble lifting my arm because of the pain. It slipped my mind until now.

    Also, can ‘cracking’ your neck be an influence. I have had a habit for quite a while to crack my neck and I was wondering if maybe this was a problem.

  • Jan Modric

    Likely explanation is: during the motor accident the nerve to the arm was pressed, or streched, and the nerve to the top of the head was affected by whiplash injury. Now, leaning on your elbow(s) (ulnar nerve) is triggering numbness, because the ulnar nerve is still somewhat vulnerable. Prolonged leaning on elbows would cause symptoms in a healthy nerve either.

    During neck cracking, joints between vertebra crack. I’m not sure if this “helps” to your situation.

    Repeating symptoms after motorbike neck injury certainly speak for good neurologic examination or even MRI.

  • Shannon

    Well I’m please to inform you that the head tingling only lasted two days and has now completely faded away.

    Could the motorbike accident still be causing the numbness in the shoulder even though it happened around June last year?

    Anyway, I’m scheduling an appointment to have it all checked out. thanks.

  • kamil

    i felt numbness the 4th, 5th finger on my left hand for 2 days..i suspect it might arise from cold weather or from sleeping…can it be cure just by massaging ?? normally how long it’ll take to cure??

  • Jan Modric

    To Shannon

    Prolonged or repeating pressure on the elbow can cause numbness in shoulder, even if your ulnar nerve were just ok before that. But this should go away in few days at most.

    So, whatever the cause, prolonged (3+ days) numbness in shoulder should be checked, and treated if necessary to prevent permanent damage of the nerve.

    If only the shoulder is now numb, the problem may originate high in the neck (C3-4 segment, see picture in the article).

    During motorbike accident your cervical spine (bony part) or intervertebral disc (cartilage) was maybe injured, and after that only a minor additional injury, or even body posture can trigger the pain.

  • Jan Modric

    To kamil

    Numbness in 4th and5th finger is due to affected ulnar nerve. Usual cause is the pressure on the ulnar nerve in the elbow area, by straching an upper arm, or by pressure in the neck (cervical) part of the spine.

    If you had only slept on the arm, it should go away in few days. If not you should see a neurologist. Rest your left arm as much as possible (don’t lean on the left elbow, don’t strech your upper arm). Massage won’t help.

  • BobbyO

    I’m 46 and a former competitive swimmer. In early 2009 I started a daily routine of alternately swimming and lifting. In February I over did it one day. Since then I have had shoulder pain that has my pinkie and ring finger tingling. At times I have a shooting pain down the back of my upper arm. Sometimes the back is in the back of my hand. There’s spot under my arm towards my tricep where there is pain when pressed. X-Ray and MRI of my shoulder were negative as was a cervical MRI. Any ideas!?!?!?! I just want to get back to swimming. Thanks!

  • Pingback: Swollen Arm & Swelling of the Hand, Forearm, Fingers | Current Health Articles 2009()

  • Jan Modric

    To BobbyO.

    It’s possible that you’ve injured a triceps, or its tendon, or overstreched brachial plexus (a bunch of nerves coming out from the cervical spinal cord, and running through axila, and then at the back of the upper arm). Anything of this can be hardly detected with investigations you’ve had.

    Neurologist can determine exact site of the injury by examination or by some tests. If your tingling doesn’t go away in few days, you should visit neurologist to prevent permanent damage of the nerves.

  • Hieran

    I woke up today with a patch of numbness across the back only of my right hand. No pain, tingling or coolness – just a loss of sensation/numbness. Nothing has made it feel better – not rubbing, moving my hand/arm, etc. I seem to be able to grip things just fine and move my fingers. Any thought of what could cause this? I don’t have diabetes, but I do have rheumatoid arthritis and had thoracic outlet syndrome a few years ago. That felt different, though – it was mostly in my fourth and little fingers, and it caused tingling. Any ideas?

  • Jan Modric

    To Hieran.

    From the picture in the article above, you can see that yellow colored part of the back of the hand (on the thumb side) is innervated by the radial nerve, and the blue part (small finger side) by the ulnar nerve.

    Radial nerve is mainly affected by pressure in the elbow, or higher in the upper arm, like when an arm hangs over the back of the chair for some time…it’s actually called “Saturday night palsy”. Maybe your old thoracic outlet syndrome has renewed…

    If the blue part is affected, it’s from ulnar nerve; this is mainly affected in the elbow – it’s caled “cubital syndrome”.

    If numbness is still there while you’re reading this, go to the doctor (neurologist) – he might prescibe you some anti-inflammatory drug.

  • janet c

    Thanks Jan for taking the time to help so many people. My daughter was born prematurely, resulting in frequent feedings day and night. About a week after she was born, I woke up in the middle of the night with both hands completely asleep, and the painful period between that state and when they woke up lasted over 5 minutes. When that pain stopped, I had what I would describe as a serious case of capal tunnel syndrome symptoms in both hands and wrists, that took over 8 months of constant splint wearing, and chiropractors appointments, to get back to a normal quality of life. I was completely healthy before this, never had anything weird happen with my hands before this. I didn’t get really any good answers from the doctors as to why this happened. I had no health problems before this. The only clues I have is poor posture breast feeding for long periods of time for that first week (I had to stop because of the problems), and an MRI that showed the beginnings of a small bone growth in my neck/spine (spondinosis?). My daughter is 8 now, and when I do a lot of work with my hands, then it will act up, and I’ll go into the chiro, and be fine. But I usually see him 2x a month. I wonder what you think, and can I keep doing the things that I love (gardening, raking, house renovations, without risking causing serious damage…is this something that I should see a nerologist for despite it for the most part being managable? (I also get clumsy too when it’s acting up). I have had nerve testing done, which was useless, he told me I tested just within the normal range. I just feel like that the docs are passing me off as a carpal tunnel case, and that there might be more. They haven’t diagnosed me as that, but they sure don’t seem to be very concerned. It’s hard for me not to be more concerned because of how everything came on all of a sudden- should I be more concerned?

  • Jan Modric

    To janet c.

    I surely encourage you to visit a good neurologist who will be able, with the help of MRI of the spine and eventual other investigations, to tell you where your symptoms arise from.

    If you have developed spondylitis, you may also have some artritis in the wrists. So, it can be vertebral bones or discs and/or bones in the wrists that press on nerves that innervate your hands. Chiropractor is not able to evaluate this without CT or MRI.

    Before seing a neurologist you can ask your personal doctor to run some blood test that can reveal artritis. He/she should be also able to judge if anti-inflammatory drugs would help you – these drugs can reduce some swelling in the wrists and thus release pressure on nerves.

    Hard to tell how damaging is gardening for your nerves; but in any case you should solve this isue with a neurologist sooner or later. If it is arthritis it won’t just go away.

  • Dena

    For quite some time now I have experienced numbness and tingling in both arms if I put any pressure on most any part of my arm. When I talk on the phone my hand goes numb from bending my arm. I haven’t found a way to sleep that doesn’t make my arms go numb. Even when I sleep on my side of course the side I’m sleeping on goes to “sleep” but also the one resting on my body. I know I’m overweight and retain water from too much salt intake, if that has anything to do with it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • Jan Modric

    To Dena.

    Possible causes of both side arm numbness:

    – low blood pressure
    – water retention and swelling of the tissues in the wrists what would case “carpal tunnel syndrome”
    – bulging disc (in the neck part of the spine) pressing on the nerves that innervate the arms.

    Salt restriction (not adding salt at the table) can reduce swelling, if this is the case. Excessive salt intake alone is not likely to cause swelling so you may consider to check your heart and kidneys by a doctor. Few simple blood and urine tests would give a lot of information abot the possible cause of the swelling.

  • Jody

    Recently I had a bladder infection. I tried to treat it myself by drinking plenty of water, drinking cranberry juice, taking a 500 mg cranberry capsule daily, and for two or three days in a row I drank one 8 oz. glass of water mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda and then one more a few days later (which is something I had seen in the home remedies section of a medical website). The infection did get much better almost to the point of going away completely and then returned somewhat but the thing that actually brought me to the doctor’s office was that my feet were swelling, my hands and feet were having mild pins and needles and my feet were cramping. This was a little frightening. I thought I might have a kidney infection that was damaging my kidneys. The doctor let me know that my bladder infection was a mild one and had in no way spread to my kidneys as I had no fever and no pain in the area of my kidneys. She said the pins and needles etc. might be the result of anxiety or an electrolyte imbalance from sweating. I have been on antibiotics and the infection has cleared up, however I still have some of the tingling in my feet and hands as well as cramping in my feet. Also when my blood pressure was being checked at the doctor it caused the opposite arm to begin tingling and become mildly numb all up and down the arm from the armpit to the fingers. (My blood pressure is on the low side but hasn’t caused me any trouble.) It has been four days since my visit to the doctor. I have been drinking Gatorade to try and balance my electrolytes yet my arm seems to be getting worse instead of better. It goes away early in the morning and then comes back later in the morning after I start drinking water. It increases throughout the day and is the worst at night. I am still wondering if my kidneys are involved and perhaps were damaged by drinking that amount of baking soda and water and also from repeated UTI’s I had about 15 years ago. I am planning to go to a kidney screening put on by the National Kidney Foundation but my question is this – if my kidneys are fine and the problem in my arm is just a result of an electrolyte imbalance and/or getting my blood pressure taken how can I relieve the numbness? Is it something that will just go away on its own? Is the tingling and numbness a sign of irreversible damage being done to my nerves? I am 48 and in very good health otherwise. Thank you kindly for your help.

  • Jan Modric

    To Jody.

    If the numbness goes away completely in the morning (if I get you right) then obviously there’s no permanent nerve damage.

    Swollen feet and tingling/numb feet arms may be from a combination of electrolyte disturbance and low blood pressure.

    Blood serum test for electrolytes, proteins and for urea and creatinin (kidney function), and probably some related urine tests will be needed to see what went wrong.

    Avoid drinking excessive amounts of fluid (but do drink regularly) and maintain a regular diet to provide all nutrients.

    Numbness will go away when your electrolytes will be normalized – it’s impossible to say without a blood test what would you need to eat or drink to treat this – so, I hope you’ll have tests soon. If anything dramatic occurs (arrhythmia, painful cramps..) go to emergency.

  • Jody


    Thanks for your help. It makes sense that if the numbness goes away, even briefly, it isn’t permanent. I hadn’t thought of that. I was kind of coming to the same conclusion about the electrolytes. If they are out of balance – how could I tell which ones I need more or less of without a test? I appreciate your response. It gives me some peace of mind.

  • Jan Modric


    swelling and cramps you’ve mentioned are quite serious symptoms. If you feel like all symptoms are lessening with the time then just stick with your regular diet and avoid drinking excessive amounts of water or special drinks like Gatorade and avoid excessive amount of salt.

    Baking soda can cause water retention and increased level of sodium in the blood.

    Do not try to self treat this with any minerals by yourself. If the disorder is mild it will go away on its own, and if it’s due to a kidney disorder it may persist and will require treatment by a doctor.

    If symptoms persist go to the doctor who can check electrolytes in the blood.

  • Jody


    Thanks for the information and your helpful suggestions.

  • melanie

    I am 25 years old and have never had any injuries. My left arm feels numb. It feels like I was punched in the bicep (but I haven’t been) and the pain/tingling runs up my neck at times and down my arm and into my hand continually. This has lasted only a couple of days. I can move my arm, but it feels heavy and weak. I work in front of the computer and typically mouse left handed, but like I said, no injuries, apart from occasional pulled muscle in my neck. Does this sound like something that will go away on it’s own, or should i see a doctor?

  • aziz

    Hi, I am having pain in finger joints of both hands. My both hands become numb specially when i am sleeping, & my left thigh is constantly numb. I am having pain in my lower back.i am taking pain killers(paracetamol & ibuprofen). I am out of my country & i cannot explain the same to a local doc here due to communication problem, please suggest.

  • Jan Modric

    To melanie.

    It depends what happened:
    1. If your left elbow rests on the desk then the pressure on the ulnar nerve could cause your symptoms (cubital tunnel syndrome).
    2. Additinally, and especially if it runs in your family (but not necessary), bulging disc in the neck spine could press on the nerve supplying the arm.
    3. What is with “pulled muscles in your neck”?

    If you can prevent your left elbow to press on the desk or if you can avoid using mouse for some days ( a week)’d see improvement if this was the cause. If this doesn’t help you should visit neurologist to give you diagnosis.

  • Jan Modric

    To aziz.

    One of the possible causes of pain in the finger joints at night (that goes away at least partially during the day, right?), lower back pain and thigh numbness (probably from the inflammation or bulging disc in the lumbar spine) is rheumatoid arthritis.

    I can’t by any chance say if it is this or not from here. Read about rheumatoid arthritis and you’ll see that one possible treatment is with non-steroidal antinflammatory drugs including ibuprofen. Paracetamol wouldn’t do in this case. Most of other drugs from this group or steroids are by prescription.

    Diagnosis is by blood test.

    If you’ll continue with ibuprofen take it with the meal and avoid acidic foods including vinegar, alcohol, soda, fruit juices, vitamin C to avoid getting peptic ulcer.

  • Jody

    Just wanted to give you an update. My symptoms are still hanging on but are very gradually getting better. My arms have more tingling and numbness at night. The numbness and tingling in my feet has gone away almost completely although I still have some mild swelling and cramping. I went back to the doctor just to be safe. My husband and I don’t have insurance so I appreciated that he didn’t want to do a lot of expensive tests if my symptoms are getting better on their own but he assured me that my kidneys are fine. He thought my symptoms in my arms might be a separate issue either carpal tunnel or a pinched nerve in my neck which makes sense because I do tend to tense my neck under pressure and these symptoms were a little unnerving. I think I sensed the potential danger involved. I am still planning to go to the NKF kidney screening this Thursday just to be 100% sure. Thanks again for your help.

  • elianaTCB

    Hi, im Eliana and im 20 yrs. old, and for the past two hours the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers of my left hand have been tingling, and a little on my forearm too. D

    Does it have to do with me practising guitar the past two days?

    ive heard that the left arm gets numb when having a heart attack so im pretty freaked out.

    Is it something serious? Should I go to see a doctor?

  • elianaTCB

    oh, and i use the computer a lot.

    *my fingers are still tingling, not that much but still*

  • Jody

    Thanks. I’ll let you know the results of my kidney screening and decide what to do based on what I find from that.

  • Jan Modric

    To eliana TCB.

    Carpal tunnel syndrome seems to be first possibility. Resist from playing guitar for some time…rest is the first treatment approach. Computer work can contribute the same way to your symptoms.

    Heart attack usually appears with severe chest pain and is really unusual before 40 years of age.

  • Jan Modric

    kidney disease don’t always cause pain over the kidneys so a kidney specialist can judge about this. A lot of information come from blood and especially urine tests before going into some imaging tests.

  • mcharles23

    I have ongoing numbness in my index finger of my left hand for two days that’s spread to the rest of the fingers except the thumb. The tongue numbness I was experiencing stopped after a couple days, so I never saw a neurologist like you suggested. Connection between the two? What’s the finger numbness all about? Thanks!

  • Ally

    I woke up last night with what felt like pins and needles in the fingers of my right hand. The main pins and needles passed quite quickly with movement, but some tingling remained in my little finger and also a strange heavy /tingling/burning sensation in the muscles either side of the elbow. It’s remained that way for the rest of the night and the whole of today. It’s not exactly painful, although it is uncomfortable, and it’s tender to press around the edges of the muscles that feel strange.
    A number of family members have MS, including my father. I don’t know if it’s relevant, but I’m also awaiting tests for recurrent miscarriages (the most recent was two months ago). I’ve had twitchy muscles on and off for the past few months. Do you think this could be a problem with the arm, or should I be worried about MS? I’m 34 years old.

  • Jan Modric


    a month ago you’ve reported numbness from the fingers up to the shoulder.

    Numbness in generally means one of two things:
    1. something is affecting the nerve from the OUTSIDE, like pressure of the bulging disc (in your case this would be in the neck spine) or pressure on the nerve anywhere along its course, commonly in the armpit (streching), inner side of the elbow (elbow rests on the desk for long hours) or wrist(typing, playing piano, holding heavy loads in the hand…). Impaired blood flow to the nerve is theoretically also possible like when you lift the hands above your head or when you sleep with the head on your hand).

    2. Nerve is affected from the INSIDE, either from streching (overstreching, injury..), from deficiency of vit B12 or folate or from neurological disease like multiple sclerosis. Some antidepressants or other medications could also affect nerves and trigger numbness.

    So try to think:
    1. are you doing some repeating moves with your shoulder, elbow or wrist or something pressures on your elbow or wrist…?
    2. Are you taking some medications?
    3. Did low vitamins or so were found with blood tests recently
    4….if not…neurologist should decide if you need a CT or MRI of the brain or neck spine to see if there is any disorder causing your numbness.

  • Jan Modric

    To Ally.

    MS can cause both this pins and needles feeling, muscle twitching and maybe even contractions of Fallopian tubes and uterus…

    Now, all these symptoms can also appear in prominent potassium, sodium, calcium or other electrolyte disturbance what can be checked by blood test.

    In MS, problems with vision are often…Diagnosis starts with examination by neurologist who, if MS will be suspected, will probably order MRI of the brain and spinal cord.

    Sleeping with the body pressuring on your arm can cause described pins and needles by itself but sometimes it reveals an underlying problem like MS. I recommend you to visit neuro soon.

  • Jessica F

    For about two months now, my hands and forearms have been tingly, like a pins and needles sensation. I also feel a bit numb where there is tingling. My hands and arms have been extremely weak, so much so in the last few weeks that I have trouble picking up the shampoo bottle in the shower or lifting my arms above my head. The left hand and arm are usually a bit worse than the right. My thumb and pointer fingers are also most noticeably tingly. The tingly has not stopped, even for a few minutes in the last two months. Do you have any idea of what this could be? Many thanks.

  • Bluto

    Tried submitting this earlier, but apparently it didn’t go through. Apologies if it shows up twice. I’ve had what could be described as soreness or discomfort (not pain) up and down the right side of my body for the past year and a half. I feel it everywhere from my feet to my head, at one time or another. The areas of concentration seem to be my mid back and corresponding side, hip area and lately my neck. I had an MRI on my neck and mid back and go in for the results on Wednesday. I just worry since this hasn’t been diagnosed yet and seems to be worse in the shoulder/head/neck area lately, that it might be something more serious. I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, so I hope the reality is better than what I’ve built up in my mind. But this morning I woke up with my right arm asleep and even when I was able to get feeling back in it, it took quite some time to feel anywhere near normal. The past few days, I’ve noticed a rubbing feeling, like maybe a tendon or nerve or muscle over my shoulder blade, when I make certain motions with my right shoulder. It could be from softball, but I don’t know. Also have had some soreness in my ear that is in line with neck soreness, but could be allergies I suppose. Any idea what could be going on here? Chiropractor says one leg is shorter than the other, so could this all be from that? Or hip? Or nerve? Am I looking at several issues here or are they all related?

  • Jessica F

    Oh, and I’m 22 years old if that is relevant.

  • Jan Modric

    To Jessica F.

    Only arms are affected? Do you have any other symptoms of any kind, problems with vision, headache, feeling unwell or anything?

    When both arms are affected the cause is obviously “central”
    – from the spine (bulging disc in the neck or spinal arthritis – spondylosis)
    – from the spinal cord or brain – neurological disease like multiple sclerosis

    2 months of constant symptoms is enough of waiting to see if it will heal on its own…I recommend you to visit neurologist to give you diagnosis – you can expect having MRI of the brain and spinal cord.

  • Bluto

    If you couldn’t answer my question, I understand. But you could have at least acknowledged it.

  • Jan Modric

    the first thing needed is that a neurologist, by neurological examination, checks if soreness and other feelings arise from nerves or not. This can be usually exactly determined. If symptoms are from nerves, neurologist will suggest what investigation to do – a MRI of the head is one possibility.

    Your symptoms could also arise from
    – joints or tendons due to asymetric body position (short leg)
    – muscle tension in your head/neck/shoulder area from anxiety
    – rheumatic inflammation of muscles or joints (this can be checked by blood tests).

    I answered on Saturday already but my comment obviously was not stored properly. It is a neurologist that can say if there is any nerve disorder, and rheumatologist that can say if there is any joints/muscle disorder. Orthopedist can say what to do with the short leg.

  • Bluto

    My apologies, Jan. I’m just about at my wit’s end trying to figure this thing out. I don’t know if it’s one thing causing everything else, or multiple things. The neurologist diagnosed me with spinal stenosis at C5,6 & 7. I’ll be starting physical therapy, but I still can’t help but think there’s something else going on here. Would I be better off seeing an orthopedist or a podiatrist, regarding my foot/leg issue? My chiropractor recommended I wear a heel lift, which I’ve done off and on for the last year. But I’m starting to think that made things worse, not better.

  • Jan Modric

    spinal stenosis at C5, 6 and 7 can cause soreness in shoulder/shoulder blade/neck area and arm (could go up to the ear if nerves at C3,4 would be also affected – this can’t be always clearly seen from MRI). One (or sometimes both)sides are usually affected.

    By the same mechanism, spinal stenosis or/and bulging disc(s) at lumbal (L) or sacral (S) level could cause your leg pains, but MRI of this part of the spine would be needed to confirm this.

    Again, your hip/leg pains could be from asymetric posture.

    In any case you can assume that pains arise from different causes or at east from different segments of your spinal cord.

    What you can do?
    Maybe exercises can help you. You should find a reliable physiotherapist, or “back doctor” or orthopedist, or (registered!) chiropractor – the one with university level education, or neurologist. One of them can tell you about exercises.

    For the leg part – hardly say anything without MRI, but orthopedist can maybe say more without MRI.

    So, which doctor – it depends how health care is organized at your place and which specialist deals with what.

    In long term – if exercises won’t help, spinal stenosis and bulging discs can be in most cases successfully repaired by surgery.

    Here’s one picture showing which nerve innervates which part of the body:

  • tina

    i’m 32 years old and have recently developed alot of episodes of numbness and pin & needles feelings in almost evey area of the body at different times. mostly in hands, feet, legs & arms but even in back, genital area, buttocks and chest. i tried to see a doctor today but when i mentioned to the receptionist that i also had a slight pain (more of a tight or heavy feeling) in my chest and a deep ache in both arms they insisted that i go across the street to the hospital instead. of course the er doctor also focussed on the chest pain and did an ekg that he descibed as “beautiful” and with no further tests other than listening to my breathing diagnosed me with a viral upper respritory infection and said that the chest pain was probably just from coughing. i have been coughing up a clear to white foamy substance but its not a bad cough i just force it occasionaly to expectorate this foamy mucus when it bothers me. so i was given 2 shots something for pain & inflamation and a steroid to clear my sinuses and i was sent home. i did ask about the pain, numbness, tingling & swelling (i’ve also had pretty severe swelling in my hands & feet and noticable swelling in my face, legs & arms mostly in the morning) but he basicly told me that he didn’t want to bother with any of that and reffered me back to the drs office. so in the mean time i am starting to get worried that there is something more going on….any ideas????
    oh, i have also gained alot of weight recently mostly in the abdomen to the point that even close friends have mentioned it and even asked if i’m pregnant (i don’t think that’s the case and i do have an iud). just in the past few days i have also had alot of stomach pain, nausea & loss of appetite. i’ve also been told i look pale & i’ve noticed that i’ve been urinating much more than usual and still feel as if i need to go even just after going and i am tired alot and have a very hard time waking up! sorry the list is long but i figure you need as many details as possible….actually i’m sure there’s even some i’ve probably missed & i will remember later as my thinking and memory seem to be affected also. thank you i appreciate any ideas!!!

  • Jan Modric

    To tina.

    You will need blood and urine test as soon as possible.

    I can only speculate what is happening.

    Frequent urination, nausea, swollen face, hands and feet may all arise from a kidney disease (infection or inflammation). Affected kidney may be or not painfull, but if it is, pain is on the left or right side of the back just below the ribs. Urine color or smell is often changed in kidney disease.

    Foamy mucus probably arise from lungs. It may be infection (pneumonia) but in this case you’d probably had at least slight fever. The other possibility is pulmonary edema – fluid is being filtered from vessels into pulmonary bubbles from several reasons – one is failure of the left side of the heart…another reason could be lowered blood proteins (lost in urine due to kidney disease) what, according to physical laws, forces fluid from the vessels into the lungs. Heaviness in the chest, short breath, pale skin together with foamy mucus go with pulmonary edema.

    Tingling could be from a change in electrolyte levels in the blood (kidney disease). Pale skin is probably due to anemia or pulmonary edema – both go with kidney disease.

    Weight gain may be from fluid retention.

    What to do?
    You need physical examination by a doctor, and you need (at least):
    – blood test: complete bloodwork, kidney function, liver enzymes
    – urine test for infection, proteins, etc.
    Insist to have these tests, you appear seriously ill.

  • gkacs

    I started having pain in the L elbow about a month ago (felt ike tendonitis but no overuse) this has progressed to pain in the left shoulder down the arem (deep aching) and numbness in left ring and little finger. Around the same time I had pain in the right chest just below my ribcage radiating from my back around to the front….not sure if related or not? At any rate, I am wondering what may be the cause of the left arm pain and numbness in fingers.

  • Jan Modric

    To gkacs.

    If there is a constant pressure on your left elbow (computer or other work at the table), your symptoms may be due to irritation of the ulnar nerve (cubital tunnel syndrome).

    If above is not the case, the next possibility is bulging disc or spinal arthritis (spondylitis) in your neck spine. A part of spine presses on the nerve that innervates the arm and causes symptoms as You’ve described. It’s a CT or MRI of the neck part of the spine that can confirm this. This type of pain would change at least slightly after changing body position, like several minutes after you stand up and start walking…

    Pain below the ribcage is cramping pain that comes and go?
    Gallbladder pain (gallstones) often appears shortly after the meal around the middle of the lower right rib and may last from minutes to several hours. It may radiate to the back and right shoulder.

    Pain from the right kidney may appear below the right ribs in the front. In this case, hitting the back on the right side below ribs (over the kidney) moderatly with the fist would cause pain.

  • gkacs

    thanks Jan for your fast response. I don’t beleive the arm pain is from the ulna–he numbness never goes away (5 days now) amd the pain doesn not improve no matter how I move it–nothng I tke really helps either.
    The pain in my rt side didn’t feel like GB (i’v had that before) or kindey pain. It was vey deep sharp pain radiating fromthe back around my side. Funny thing is when I would get up in the morning it would be totally gone–thenafter being up around 2 hours it would gradually start and get worse thru out the day until evening it was 10/10 and I HAD to lie down. I didn’t mention I have DDD, bulging disks (l5/S1) , SI joint entrapment and facet arthrosis. SO far akk of my problems have been in my lower back. I have an intrathecal pump after all else failed to get my pain under control.
    Anyhow…wanted to thank you and clarify those thngs in case youhad any other ideas. I am schecduled for a neck x ray but not sure how much good it will be.
    thanks again

  • Jan Modric

    I can only speculate but spine disorders as you have on the L/S level can appear in the neck and causing arm pain. Not sure what X-ray “only” will be able to show though.

    Anyway, what happened 5 days ago? Any special effort at that time, were you carrying something heavy, bent your neck in some special way…? Have you held your arm over the sit-back? Or streched your arm in the shoulder?

    Right upper abdominal pain apearing and disappearing suggests pressure upon a nerve comming from thoracic spinal cord. Maybe you’d need a MRI of the complete spine… Pleurisy pain changes with body position, breathing and coughing…

  • egyptianeyes77

    i recently had a 4 cm x 2 cm x 2 cm sebaceous cyst removed from between the base of my neck & my scapula on my left side; the surgery was done on june 16. unfortunately, about 4 days later, the tissue above it became avascular (cosmetic surgeon used subcuticular resorbable stitches & cauterized any remnants of the cyst). i went back to the hospital & had a general surgeon look at it as the cosmetic surgeon was on vacation. without talking to me, he decided to lancet out the tissue & place a drain; i personally objected to the drain as it is a 2-way street & was worried it would become infected as it was now a circular hole the size larger than a US quarter. a couple of days later i went to see another cosmetic surgeon as i was fed up with the drain & was concerned about how the wound edges would ever approximate due to its circular shape. the cosmetic surgeon removed the drain & is having me place bacitracin ointment on gauze to cover it & take cephalexin qid. i’ve been doing this now for about a week, but have noticed that my left upper limb is symptomatic; i have shoulder pain above the wound (near the base of the neck) & below the wound (above the scapula); in addition i have pain & tingling in my both my little & ring finger & thumb; tingling on my forearm & also pain in my elbow. i am worried that this numbing & pain may be due to either injury of the brachial plexus during surgery or compression of the brachial plexus by the granulation tissue building up in the wound. my question is, is this normal & if so, how long can one expect to have these symptoms? if this is not normal, should i wait until it heals fully, then seek the help of a neurologist or is it better to seek one now while it still open? thanks

  • Jan Modric

    To egyptianeyes77.

    I don’t think these symptoms are something “usual”, especially not pains and numbness in the arm and hand. Your symptoms below the elbow suggest that your ulnar nerve is affected (among other).

    Yes, I recommend you to visit neurologist without waiting.

  • dainag

    Hi, for about 2-3 months every morning i wake up and my right hand/arm being numb like it has “fallen asleep”, this also happens when i lean on that arm for more than a few minutes and while i was biking. i’m a pastry chef and use that arm/hand dominantly and it doesn’t go numb during work unless i lean on it with my weight. i always go to bed not sleeping on that side.

  • Jan Modric

    To dainag.

    Your whole arm (from the shoulder to fingers) gets asleep?

    I guess something pressures on the nerves that innervate your right arm (likely in the spine, in the armpit or behind the elbow).

    If you think that this is not due to overuse or injury of the arm and symptoms don’t seem to lessen, you should see a neurologist.

  • jimm

    For the last few months I have had numbness in my left arm and hand during the night. It wakes me up several times a night. When I flex and move it arount it lessens so I can get back to sleep, but it is always numb again by the time I wake up. This happens every night. No problem during the day.

  • funinthesun33

    I am a 33y/o female. I have been experiencing lt arm discomfort for 5 days. Today, day 6, I have constant lt arm and hand paresthesia. Also my left foot is affected today. Upper epigastric burning present. My hx is positive for bicuspid heart valve.

  • Jan Modric

    To jimm.

    Do you or any of your family members has problems with the spine (spondylosis, bulging disc, etc.)? How old are you? Have you streched your arm/sdhulder or neck before this numbness started? One side numbness may be a symptom of a bulging disc in the neck – CT or MRI of the neck spine would reveal it.

  • Jan Modric

    To funinthesun33.

    Would you say that “epigastric burning” is from the stomach? In this case burning would worsen after the meal and would also appear in the thorat or behind the breastbone as an unpleasant acidic feeling (heartburn).

    Have you ever head any heart related symptoms like chest pain or difficulty breathing? Chest pain and left arm/hand discomfort often appear in heart disease.

    Next possibility is bulging disc or spondylosis in the neck and lumbar spine.

    Multiple sclerosis affecting the right brain may also cause left side paresthesia.

  • D mac

    hello, i am a 41 year old male…i had sugery on right shoulder(decompression)1 year ago, pheso has given me exercises and am getting tingling and numbness in both arms and small fingers wen i sleep..only? have been doing exerciess he gave me two weeks? thank you

  • Jan Modric

    To D mac.

    When did numbness start – soon after the surgery? Why exactly did you need shoulder decompression?

  • D mac

    hello Jan, there was some numbness before surgery, and have had it come and before! I had a spur, and do have a slap lesion witch surgeon said if it not broke don’t fix? second apinion surgon said he would have fixt it?
    long rehab u no…o and they say i have frozen shoulder! right thumb and right big toe joints real sore don’t no what that is….thank you so much Davie

  • Jan Modric

    you’ll need to solve this with surgeons. Listen the one you trust. If you’re reluctant to have another surgery you may speak with a chiropractor – a doctor that can manipulate with the spine and has a school and license to do this.

  • Not only have I experienced numbness in my arm, from elbow to finger tips, my hand itches a lot…I guess the conscience is to see a neurologist..any help could help

  • jamieg2000

    I had a parascapular and trapezial tear in my should in may from coaching fast pitch softball. i keep getting knots in my shoulder which causes alot of pain. in the last week i have experience my right hand from elbow to my hand and from my right knee to my top of the foot feelingh heavy, shakey and hard to life. I have to see a Neuro but i am concerned since the doc wouldn’t give me a Cort-shot b.c. of the foot now and not just my hand. what should I do and is this serious, its really bothering me.
    thank you in advance

  • Jan Modric

    To Franci.

    Lower arm numbness often results from constant pressure on the ulnar nerve that runs along the inner side of the elbow (cubital tunnel syndrome), elbow injury or elbow overuse like in tennis.

    Numbness often goes with tingling – when you feel like ants would crawl within your skin. Tingling doesn’t force you to scratch but itching does. So, are you sure it’s itch?

    Seing neurologist is a good idea, since he can prescribe you some meds that speed nerve healing. You will probably need to rest your arm (elbow) and maybe you will need a splint.

  • Jan Modric

    To jamieg2000.

    If injuries affect your work and daily life you can go to the urgency – there they may give you medications you need.

  • Karens

    For several years I have dealt with sporadic numbness, tingling and weakness in both hands, wrists and fingers (also my toes). No one ever finds anything to diagnose. The issue that is really affecting my quality of life is that I clench pretty much everything all night long (at least everytime I wake up I am clenching my jaw, fists and toes). I am noticing now that my knees and elbows are bent tight too. I don’t get good sleep and am in a good bit of pain. A nightguard does not stop the jaw clenching. Antidepressant meds (trazedone) seem to help some but cause (I know this is backwards) RLS.

    Please some one …no one has ever heard of anyone clenching hands and toes, and I can’t seem to get any answers. I really don’t know what to try next. Relaxation exercises do not help.

    Today my hands are still tingling and numb at 3 pm after a painful, fitful night.

  • jaz6

    I have had constant pain extending from my right shoulder, through back or outside of funny bone(elbow), down to hands and fingers for some time now and i getting worse.
    I am already on pain killers and anti inflammatories due to osteporosis. I understand that sleeping with my hands under my head or pillow increase the numbness.
    Sometimes, the pain from my shoulder seems to go through to my front clavical area. I did fracture some ribs about 6 years ago…could this still be causing problems? My gp has suggested Carpel Tunnel, but because the elbow and shoulder are so painful I feel there is something else going on?

  • Theo

    Some 10 days ago suddenly my arm and hand went numb. After a couple of minutes just my fingertips were numb. Some times I feel the numbness on the fingertips, other times the numbness extends to the finger, others I don’t feel the numbness at all. Also some times I wake up and my whole hand feels numb. Then it fades away, however it stays for a little longer on parts of the palm, the 4th and the 5th finger. Profile: I use to type a lot on my PC because of my job. Also 8 months ago I had a shoulder repair with arthroscopic surgery for an anterior dislocation (Bankart repair).
    Thank you in advance

  • Jan Modric

    To Karens.

    When you say “sporadic” does this mean that numbness goes away completely in the meantime? Symptoms in your wrists/hands/fingers are like in carpal tunel syndrome that may arise from their overuse (clenching).

    If the cause is organic, it is a neurologist that should make a diagnose.

  • Jan Modric

    To jaz6.

    Read above in the article about “thoracic outlet syndrome”.

    Either your old injury or new injury or stretching of the brachial plexus (that runs from the cervical spine, under clavicle, through the armpit..and then splits in separate nerves..could cause your symptoms. Maybe you’ve streched the arm excessively in the shoulder or your upper arm was hanging over the sit-back for some time in some occasion…

    Pinched nerve due to bulging disc in the cervical spine could be another cause. In carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms usually don’t spread up to the shoulder.

  • Jan Modric

    To Theo.

    Typing can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. After arthroscopy maybe some fibrous tissue has developed around the shoulder and now affects some of adjacent nerves. Neurologist can, by carefully examining sensitivity in all areas of your arm, estimate do symptoms arise from the wrist (typing) or shoulder.

    Symptoms may “suddenly” appear in disc hernia or arthritis (spondylitis) or degeneration in your neck spine. CT or MRI would be needed to diagnose this. Long term work at the desk can cause these problems.

    If it is “only” carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist rest (weeks..) would help.

  • Mary

    Tingling in my left hand/fingers/lower arm started about a week ago — mostly in bed and at my desk. 3 wks ago I started a “boot camp” type exercise program (5 days/wk strenuous workouts). 2+ years ago had orthoscopic surgery on my left shoulder to repair torn tendom and remove bone spur. Shoulder is fine – have full range of motion. Any suggestions?

  • Jan Modric

    To Mary.

    Your symptoms are like in carpal tunnel syndrome possibly due to “excessive use” of the left wrist. In this case you would need to rest the wrist as much as possible. Antiinflammatory drugs like ibuprofen would help to treat inflammation of muscle tendons.

  • This is an excellent article, very informative. When I was suffering from Cervical spondylosis, I used to feel lot of numbness in my hands and arms but it was accompanied with severe neck pain. Is it possible to have numbness of hands as a result of Cervical spondylosis without feeling any pain.

  • beccalong

    my mom is experiencing a numbness in her left arm and sharp pains and a burning sensation in her left shoulder. she refuses to go to a doctor, but i am worried. she claims it isn’t anything more than a pinched nerve, however i feel as though it is more. shoul i be worried it’s a possible heart attack?

  • Jan Modric

    To pinky11.

    When something presses upon the nerve, different nerve fibres may be affected. When fibres that mediate pain are afected you feel pain, and when fibres for sensation of touch are affected you feel numbness or tingling. All these symptoms may appear at different times on different parts of the affected area (neck, arm, hand).

  • Jan Modric

    To beccalong.

    Left shoulder/arm pain may be spread from the heart due to narrowed coronar heart arteries – in this case your mom would have repeated pain behind the breastbone, especially during exertion. Pain would last only some minutes though and she would possibly feel pain/tingling in the left shoulder/arm/hand that would also last only some minutes. This type of pain occurs mainly after 50 years of age. Diagnosis is made by cardiologist by ECG. Heart attack is usually an obvious one time event with a strong chest pain – she would probably be aware of it.

    Pinched nerve that causes left shoulder/arm pain is usually caused by a disorder in the neck spine. This pain lasts for hours, is aggravated by arm/body position…so it obviously differ from heart pain. Diagnosis is made by neurologist or orthopedist or “back doctor” by MRI of the neck spine. This is not something to wait since a long term pressure on the nerve can permanently damage the nerve. She should see a doctor – I believe even her primary (general) doctor will be able to guess a diagnosis – this would need t be confirmed by a specialist then.

    You are doing right – convince her to visit her doctor.

  • shontell

    I have had numbness in my right arm for about 2 full months now. I find that I was at first feeling it while at work; then it later became a regular occurance. If I just hold my arm a certain way I can feel the numbness rising up. I am really afraid because I need to work. I love my job and I find during the day I am consistantly using this side. I am right-handed and I returned to using the keyboard tray they gave me. I at first was using the desk. Now inaddition to that, I have this small lump on my right wrist. Tears. Please help me…

  • yesuf

    I am 47 years old. I am feeling numbness on the limd and fingers of my right hand including weakness in suporting it. The pain more serious when I start using my hand for some activities mainly computers and even hand writting. I have noted this problem since the last one month. I really appreciate for any advice you may give me.

  • Amy

    I am a 3o y/o wf who is having increased arm numbness and tingling. It is my pinky finger and all the way up my arms. It can be both at the same time or just one arm. It varies. I have had an MRI of the head and C spine to no avail. I am wondering what you think this could be. No accidents or injuries to report. The numbness and tingling is not associated with any certain movement or strain. No family hx of MS.
    Please Advise

  • Amy

    I wanted to add that blood work came back that I was low on iron and B6. I have had my gallbladder removed, do you think this could be vitamin deficiency?

  • Jan Modric

    To shontell.

    Lump, if on the inner side of the wrist, can press on the nerves that innervate the hand. This would cause numbness in the hand and possibly in the lower arm. Overuse of the wrist can cause the same symptoms. The condition is called a carpal tunnel syndrome (read in the article).

    Another cause of arm numbness related to work is pressure upon the ulnar nerve where it passes along the back/inner side of the elbow – when your right elbow rests on the table for prolonged periods of time. This is a cubital tunnel syndrome.

    It is neurologist or orthopedist that can tell what the lump in the wrist is and give you diagnosis.

    Treatment is with rest, using a splint or antiinflammatory drugs.

  • Jan Modric

    To yesuf.

    Your condition sounds like carpal tunnel syndrome – possibly from overuse of the wrist. Treatment is with rest, antiinflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen or corticosteroids if needed) and eventual using a splint.

    You will probably need some rest from using a keyboard.

  • Jan Modric

    To Amy.

    Yes, it could be vitamin deficiency, especially vit B6 deficiency. You would need vitamin supplements and also iron pills. It is also important to find out the cause of vit deficiency (irregular food, small intestinal disease like celiac or Croh’s disease..)

  • Amy

    I don’t think I have any symptoms of Crohn’s disease. I don’t have any bowel or intestine discomfort. Should my PCP be testing me for this or a specialist?

  • Jan Modric

    it is a gastroenterologist that can test you for Crohn’s, celiac or any other disease of the small intestine. Primary doctor can re-check levels of vitamins and minerals in the blood when necessary.

  • bkobrien


    Been experiencing tingling on the inside of my right elbow, at the “median” vein. (The big fat one where blood is typically drawn from). The tingling extends occasionally an inch downward. My right hand is drastically colder than my left. I am 25 y/o female, work at my computer all day. Any ideas?

  • Jan Modric

    To bkobrien.

    If your right elbow rests on the desk for prolonged periods, your ulnar nerve that runs along the inner/back side of the elbow may be under constant pressure and is causing tingling (cubital tunnel syndrome). Coldness may be from the same cause but it could also be from impaired blood flow. If the problem is only in the nerve, changing sitting position or having a complete rest from computer for some days should bring some relief. If not, a neurologist can prescribe you an appropriate medication or splint.

  • clobland

    I was seen my a nerologist about 5years ago and she determined that I had two bulging disc (next to my shoulder blades). I hadnt had any trouble until about a year or so ago I started having a pain in my neck and when I moved it back slowly it felt like something popped into place and made a fizzing sound. A few months ago I started getting a feeling like my right arm, down to my hand is being tickled but like a tingling pain. I am still having the neck pain and I am starting to have alot of pain in between my shoulder blades. Any clue as to what is going on? I plan on calling my nerologist within the week.

  • Jan Modric

    To clobland.

    Pain beetwen shoulder blades could be caused by bulging discs in the thoracic spine. Symptoms in the arm/hand are probably from bulging disc(s) in the neck spine. Neurologis will probably suggest you to have an MRI of the spine.

  • ket

    For the past six nights I have woke up with a painful tingling/numbing in both arms and hands. My hands also cramp-up like they are deformed. It was only at night for the first 4 days, but now it has been all day yesterday during the day and today. The hand cramping does not happen during the day, just the painful numbing and tingling. I walk around at night and day shaking my arms and hands to try to get relief. At some times during the day it feels like it’s going to go away; then it all comes back instantly. Gripping things are becoming difficult and I’ve dropped my drinks twice. As of yesterday I can’t open jars and it seems like my hands don’t want to do what my mind is telling them. I have at least ten cysts in each arm and thought that maybe they were giving me problems by pressing against the wrong nerves or something. But, it seems odd that both arms began doing this at the same time. I am a 29 year old female. I do work-outs 3 to 4 times a week with light weights, but last week I played boxing on the wii game with my son and husband. Do you think that maybe this could have resulted from the activity of playing a game? I’m not sure what my be causing this. It is a huge inconvenience since I also have two toddlers.



  • vperu

    For the past year I experience numbness on my left arm feel hot like a rubberband around my arm that stops the blood from rushing it hurt mostly when I retire for the night sometime I get up with severe pain and I getup and pace the floor trying to shake it there is time my right arms does the same but not as severe pain as the left arm.When I get up I feel my hand swollen and it takes a while for them to move. Somedays I feel like I have the flu whole body hurting hard to get out of bed. I was told I have carpal tunnel in my left hand then I was told I was retaining water took water pills, now I have been diagnoised with Helicobacter Pylori in which they think that is what is causing my body to hurt like I have a flu in the
    It seems to relive the pain at night when I put my neck back and rest it like that but that is so uncomfortable. I did have surgery in my neck I believe C5-C6 and I wore a neck brace after surgery for about 3 weeks. Sure need some advice.

  • Jan Modric

    To ket.

    Any other symptoms like dizziness? Does tingling ever appear in the legs or face?

  • Jan Modric

    To vperu.

    If you have carpal tunnel syndrome your left arm/hand would need rest. You would also need to find and eliminate the cause (repeating use of the wrist, water retention…). Bending the neck during work or prolonged sitting may result in pressing on the spinal nerves by eventual additional bulging discs from C5 to Th1 segments (see picture in the article).

    What to do:
    1. find the cause of water retention (kidney disorder, hypothyroidism…)
    2. Avoid prolonged sitting or work with bending the neck
    3. Avoid repeated wrist or elbow use and don’t allow your elbow press on the table for prolonged periods.

    H. pylori usually does not cause fever and flu-like symptoms but treating it is recommended since it may cause gastric ulcer.

  • ket

    Thanks for your reply. When my legs tingle, it is usually from being crossed and one leg has fallen asleep. The only tingling I ever get in my face, is on the left side of my bottom lip and chin. I lost feeling there in 1998 when I had my wisdom teeth cut out. I just figured that I was beginning to get feeling there again. I do get dizzy and light-headed constantly, but lately I’ve chalked that up to dehydration. This morning I woke up and the numb and tingling feeling isn’t as painful. However, my left jaw is some how crooked or something. (Like I can’t close my teeth together) Also, my left eye is very red and watery, and I can barely open it. My eye has been doing that though for two years. (I have an “episode” about once every one to two months). Those episodes started happening after the dentist tried to do a root canal, and it took almost a year. He couldn’t reach the end of the nerve to make sure it was dead. (or something like that) Anyhow, what concerns me is the numb and tingling; and now the thing with my jaw. I do have a very mild case of TMJ, but it only bothers me usually if I chew gum or something. Hopefully I’ve answered your questions, any advise would be appreciated. PS. I also have a freakishly unusual and irregular menstrual cycle.



  • Jan Modric


    wii boxing quite probably triggered arm numbness but it’s not likely an original cause.

    Water retention could have something with adrenal (aldosterone), thyroid (thyroxine) or pituitary (TSH, ACTH) hormones, and irregular menstruial cycle with hormones LH or FSH. The common origin of all this problems could be in the hypothalamus or hypophysis (pituitary gland) that control thyroid, adrenals, ovaries and other hormone-secreting glands.

    Blood test for hormones: TSH, ACTH, cortisol, aldosterone, estradiol and prolactin and minerals: potassium and sodium…and whatever an ENDOCRIONOLOGIST would suggest, seems reasonable.

    Arm tingling/numbness (and other nerve-related symptoms) could be from low levels of potassium (controlled by adrenal hormone aldosterone).

  • asis

    i am suffering pain and burning experience in my whole neck,finger,feet,all muscles,arm,etc.also experiencing pinning like experience in my whole age is 28 m.i am not feeling comfotable.some times vain and palm &feet is paining.what should i do?

  • Jan Modric

    To asis.

    When did your symptoms start and do they appear on both sides or only on the left or right side?

  • estherg

    Over the last few of years I have experienced various symptoms related to pain and numbness on the right side. It started with pain in the lower right side of my head near the base of my neck. This lead to headaches which were relieved with massage or ibuprofen. Since then I have given birth to my son which left me with diagnosed bilateral carpal tunnel on both sides. More recently I have been experiencing on the right side of my neck often stemming from the lower portion of my head, leading down my right arm, a bit in my shoulder blade, and sometimes to my foot. Sometimes I feel slight numbness in both arms, but mostly my right side. Occasionally it feels as though this slight numbness is also in my right ear and cheek. A two weeks ago I experienced a sharp pain on the right side of my chest that radiated down my arm and up in to my head. I’ve been to my general internist who did an MRI of my cervical spine. It showed a “hemangioma” on near my spine (not sure exactly where) and that I may have a slight bulging disc. I experience occasional dizziness, but my internist is treating me for a sinus infection along with some allergy medications. My dizziness is not too bad at the moment, but the occasional numbness and pain in my lower portion of my head (on the right side), neck, and arms is still present. I am a florist and work a lot with my hands. I also sometimes carry around my 35 pound child. Do you think this is something beyond what has been checked? Thank you in advance for your advice.

  • Jan Modric

    Carpal tunnel syndrome causes symptoms mainly only in the hands. Overuse of the wrists is the main cause.

    Pain in shoulders, shoulder blade and arm probably arises from pinched nerve in the cervical spine. Hemangioma and bulging discs (one or both) are likely cause. Neurologist or neurosurgeon should give an opinion what to do.

  • ruth

    Numbness in toes, sometimes lower legs, hands, sometimes lower arms. Always have some upon waking from sleep, some mornings more than others. Sometimes experience numbness during a long walk or hike, mostly in toes. If I am biking, I may experience some in my fingers. I have tried to see if there is a correlation to foods, usually there is more numbness if I have something like ice cream before bed. I swim fairly regularly and have had to stop doing the crawl because there is pain in my left upper shoulder -it was worse and it was difficult to turn my head. I had some cranial-sacral work done. I also have low blood pressure and have wondered if it could be related to that.

  • Jan Modric


    how old are you and do you have some chronic disease? Have your symptoms appeared abruptly or have they developed slowly and when did it all start?

    Neurological symptoms appearing in both legs and arms may be from:
    – overuse of wrists (biking) and ankles (walking) what can result in carpal or tarsal tunnel syndrome.
    – spondylitis – inflammation of spinal bones – vertebra…or…degenerative disc disease (DDD), which both my result in pinched spinal nerves that innervate arms and legs.

    Food allergies cause itchy skin and diarrhea, food intolerances like lactose intolerance may cause bloating and diarrhea..but usually not numbness or tingling.

    I suggest you to arrange an appointment with a neurologist who will perform complete neurological examination and will liekly suggest you an MRI of the spine.

  • smith28

    i have numbness in both of my arms, hand & fingers…. i started getting it a couple of months ago… sometimes while driving my car to work & now i get it all the time…… even when i sleep, it wakes me up at night i dont know how to sleep comfortable & i dont know what to do! please help!!!!

  • Jan Modric


    nerves that innervate arms originate from the cervical spine. It may be bulging or herniated disc or inflamed and deformed vertebra (spondylitis) that press on nerve roots (pinched nerve). In this case physiotherapist could show you certain exercises and this might help. If not, MRI of the spine would be needed to see what’s wrong.

  • Miguel

    vperu I have the SAME symptoms as you, and I have diagnose recently to helicobacter pilory infection, I need to speak with you cause I think our disease is the same.

  • boomr49

    I golf once a week. About a month and half ago after playing a round I noticed pain or tightness from my foot up to my hips (back of leg) Since then, I have tingling/numbness in my big and second toe as well as the outside of my calf. At night I would sometimes elevate my knee to relieve some discomfort from laying my left leg flat. I also noticed that while sitting and crossing my left foot over to I feel a pinching or pressing of the nerve at the leg and hip juncture. What could the problem be? I have not experienced any loss of strength and continue to golf with no apparent problems, although my toes do hurt after I walk 18 holes.

  • Jan Modric


    my first tought is pinched sciatic nerve, possibly from bulging or herniated disc in your lumbar spine. Neurological examination by a neurologist might be enough for diagnosis. Playing golf may severely aggravate your condition.

    Resisting from golf, avoiding prolonged sitting, finding appropriate sleeping position (also hard matress) and continuing with daily walks can all help you.

  • Sandra

    DESPERATE NOW! About 7 wks ago I whilst moving I picked up a box and felt something ping in the inside of my right arm, 1/2 way between the elbow and under arm. It immediately went numb, got better then from the elbow to the wrist on underneath side went numb. Followed by severe pins & needles in the palm of the hand. Now I have lost the feeling and strength in the middle, pointer and thumb fingers. Pain is out of the window. Hand surgeon says Brachial Neuritis but I feel Ulnar????Nerve entrapment – Help please

  • Jan Modric


    did that ping sound like a crack? In this case an X-ray of the arm would be maybe needed.

    Ulnar nerve entrapment (cubital tunnel syndrome) typically affects 4th and 5th finger…

    First three fingers are affected in carpal tunnel syndrome (median nerve entrapment) or when radial nerve is affected.

    Brachial plexus injury or nevritis may cause different symptoms, depending which exact part of the plexus is involved.

  • trace

    On an average of about 1 or 2 times a year this occurrs. I forget and sleep with my arms under my head. Not on all occassions but on some my entire arms goes numb/lifeless. It’s not discolored so I figure it’s getting some blood supply and I physically have to pick my arm up with the other arm and shake it to get the blood flowing again.. no pins or needles just goes back to normal function. I’ve learned mostly not to sleep with my arms under my head, but recently it’s been occuring mildy when my arms are not under my head. Could I have nerve damage or something? This has been happening for the last 20+ years.

  • Jan Modric


    if your arms go numb for 20 years only when you have them under the head at night, and not at other occasions, and if you don’t have any other problems with arms, then this doesn’t seem to be caused by any disorder but normal physiological process. Arm become numb or tingling when you press upon arm *nerves* with the head and/or when they don’t get enough *blood* (like you can raise your arms above your head for less than a minute). It may be enough that you raise your hands above the level of your heart and you’ll start to feel numbness or tingling. Your body may also press on your arm nerves during sleeping, so it is not necessary that they are above the head to get numb.

  • FlorentineHaun

    Okay so my friend is a normal functioning Citizen now but I have concern and its important. He 23 years old and male, tall and skinny. When he was a kid for 8 years he was prescribed to daily ritalin but stopped in his teens. years later Later in 2007 he eventually struggled badly with about a once-per week heavy intranasal binge of that stimulant that rhymes with “solfane”. He also smoked lightly and enjoyed random other stimulants in very high doses. One night this past April when his drugs ran out he decided to ingest what he said was about 5 tablespoons of instant coffee straight. This made part of his left hand suddenly weak and numb… He did not go to ER but somehow managed to IMMEDIATELY quit EVERY drug he did up to that point did even smoking and coffee. This induced major anxiety of course in spite of his lack of interest in further drug usage. He sought help and was returned onto adderall for his ADD (which he does not abuse) and this has helped keep him 100 per cent sober and free of anything but his medication… HOWEVER since the coffee overdose, before and after his adderall began, he has been getting periods of sudden leg fatigue and light headedness, and mild tingling or numbness in random spots of his body like the fingers and my right foot. Sometimes the left side of his head will lose some feeling to it. TWO ER visits for this have yeilded that his brain CT scan, liver/thyroid/kidney and EKGs are “perfectly normal” and he was given some sort of benzo for panic disorder. He almost always has constant pain-less muscle twitching everywhere in his body but one spot at a time. Occasionally but not always he gets obvious and erratic arrythmias and palpitations not caught on EKG. Cardio Excercize makes him feel much better and his diet has dramatically improved… but in contrast any sexual activity leads to another “dizzy-numb-breathless-scared-attack”. In conclusion over the course of the summer His symptoms as a whole are becoming more infrequent but when stressed or when his meds kick he’l get it again. The last scary new development was that he said his right foot started this weird redness and toe swelling earlier this week when he was resting but it went away soon after. Does he need to hit the Cardiologist? He said his cholesterol is perfect BUT he never had ANY hint of these insane symptoms before his 2 year habit and while he is high strung, he has no prior history of panic as a kid. Im confident any drug problems he had in the past are permanently over… As he is very traumatized by his past stupidity where he is often even afraid to take his meds now as it is. It would make me so sad if after he so bravely put every form of drug behind him abruptly without even rehab.. If his 2 years of mistakes has caused him heart failure anyway. What does it sound like to you? Please give your thoughts. Thanks again

  • Jan Modric


    pretty much all symptoms you’ve described are listed as side effects of Adderall here:

    I do not recommend stopping Adderall abruptly without doctor’s approval however, these symptoms are considered as serious side effects, and as recommended in medication description, doctor should be visited.

  • spjcbjp

    Question: For the past couple of years, with no rhyme or reason, both arms become numb, tingle, goes from the shoulder down thru and including my hands, simultaneously. My hands are “paralyzed” for about 15 minutes until this feeling subsides. I get extremely hot, and sick to my stomach, but do not throw up. I never know when this will happen. It happned at work last Wed, and company policy meant they had to call 911. The doctors zeroed in on the heart, did angioplasty, absolutely not my heart. Now I’m scheduled for outpatient cervical MRI. Can anyone tell me what this is, and what kind of dr to see? I mentioned it to my primary care, but he just blew it off as anxiety, but I have no anxiety in my life, so to speak, and there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to these episodes. Any response is welcome.


  • spjcbjp

    PS: I forgot to mention that I do not have constant numbness….Just a 15 minute episode that could be a day apart, and not again for a month or two…In betwen….I never think about it…..??

  • Jan Modric

    To spjcbjp.

    Are you male or female, how old are you, do you smoke?

    During the event, do you:

    – feel pain or burning in the stomach, behind the breastbone, in the neck, shoulder blade or chin?
    – feel dizzy or lightheadened; blurred vision, ringing in the ears?

    If yes, this would speak for a heart disorder.

    – your hands become pale?

    If yes, this could be a neurological disorder arising from the cervical spine. Ideally, neurologist should examine you before an MRI.

  • spjcbjp

    Response to your questions: I am a 57 yr old Female, and I am a sometimes smoker. I never drink. I can not connect these episodes to any time I’ve every smoked a cigarette. I do not have pain or burning in my stomach, breastbone, chin, shoulder, anywhere…Just a profound numbness that starts simultaneously in both arms at the shoulder, and moves down into my hands. If I am holding an object, a pen, pencil, cup of coffee, anything, I have no ability to continue to grasp that object. I do not feel dizzy, or lightheaded. If I am standing, I feel the need to sit down. My hands do not become pale. It is just very uncomfortable, not painful, uncomfortable because it’s like my arms and hands are “asleep”. It has that feeling.A very deep numbness. I truly appreciate your comments, and have a question…Why should I see a neurologist before I have an MRI? Thank you sooooo very much!! 🙂

  • Jan Modric


    would you say that you have to sit down because of week/numb legs or legs are not really involved in such an event….? Why you have to sit down?

    You get extremely hot – is this like a flush, fever, sweating or just a heat associated with nausea…only some parts of the body become hot…?

    They are these type of questions and physical examination, which can help a neurologist to figure out where your symptoms arise from and to order appropriate investigation. It may be the spinal cord, brain…so, an appointment to be sure if your scheduled MRI will catch all possibly affected areas.

  • spjcbjp

    Hello again, Because these episodes are so sporatic, I’m having to really think about the indepth questions…I need to sit down because I just feel weak, Whether that comes from being so sick at my stomach I just don’t know?? My mouth waters, like our mouths do sometimes when we thnk we ar going to throw up…I get s hot I find somehing to fan myself with. I went thru menopause 20 years ago, so I know it isn’t that..HMMMM I think I’m just hot all over, much like a hot flash, but my coworker said I was not flush….apparently I didn’t outwardly change at all. Even though ths had been going on a minute or so, she was confused as to why I was trying to get up so quickly to go to the bathroom, and thought I was joking when I said I was about to throw up….so strange…Maybe these non descript symtms was the reason my primary care blew it off…and since he did, so did I. Are you a physician, neurologist? Can you think of a reason this would be so intermittent that I forget about them, until here it comes again?


  • spjcbjp

    PS: I think I sit down because this “episode” just takes over and I really have no say in the matter…Maybe subconsciously I feel “safer” if I’m not on my feet???

  • spjcbjp

    PS again: I am not clamy or sweaty, just hot….Hope this helps you to hep me…

  • spjcbjp

    PS yet again….Your questions are prompting me to think. I have the beginnings of catarcts in both eyes, says my eye specialist in an of09, but thisweek, I can not see very well out o my left eye,,,,,very bluurry, and the right as well, but now as bad….does that play into th symptom log?

  • Jan Modric


    you need to write down all such symptoms as watery mouth, anything, even if they seem to be completely non-related to numb episodes.

    The following questionaire may help you to recall other symptoms:

    Not all symptoms are there, but it may help. Use your own words but be as exact as possible. Also write down your complete health history from birth and family history.

    I’m not a doctor but I have a medical faculty, so I know what all may be important. It may ba an epileptic attack and it may be some lesion in the brain that triggers it once in a while.

    Nausea, heat, numbness, salivation..write all symptoms down. Are you able to talk and are you completely clear minded during an event? Do you feel week after it goes away? And so on.

  • NeONGeneSAr

    male, 35, 120 lbs, seasonal allergies and reflux. 5 weeks now with constant numbness but intermittent tingling in dorsal aspect of left forearm and first 3 fingers of left hand. just last week, able to reproduce symptoms with neck hyperextension. no pain either in neck or arm. remote history of shallow water diving incident without residual effects back in ’82. family history that seems noteworthy: mother borderline diabetes, maternal grandmother significant CAD with CABG, paternal grandmother diabetes, sister rheumatoid arthritis. i’m away from home for 4 more weeks, but didn’t think i need to go to urgent care or the ED, so i made an appointment with neurosurgeon rather than neurologist given reproducible symptoms since i’m able to see a specialist without PCP referral, but still made my PCP aware. sound appropriate?

  • NeONGeneSAr

    sorry, i failed to mention above that no immediate precipitating/traumatic event occurred before symptoms. well, maybe lifting a 17-lb baby above my head counts (which i only do 1-2 times a day)?

  • Jan Modric


    neurosurgeon should know pretty much all what neurologist knows…

    An old injury in combination with spondylitis or bulging disc are likely causes of your symptoms.

    Lifting a baby may trigger symptoms when injury or damage has occured from other causes.

  • sjs87

    One week ago, I worked overnight and lifted a lot of boxes,(40 boxes), (gripping handles on the sides of box). When I got off work that morning, my hands hurt really bad and felt sore. The day after they tingled badly and were still sore. Now 5 days later, I am still experiencing mild tingling and/or numbness in my hands, especially my right hand and my wrists and thumb sometimes hurts. I also experience pain in my right elbow, at times, and right arm below elbow into wrist will burn or tingle and cause more pain in hand. Is this normal after doing a lot of lifting? Should I see a doctor or wait it out a little longer?

  • Jan Modric


    if your symptoms are lessening, you should just wait, rest your wrists and avoid this kind of may take several days for symptoms to go away completely. You are probably suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. Pain in the elbow and forearm may be from irritated nerve that runs along the inner side of the elbow.

  • sjs87

    That is what I thought because I have had trouble with my right wrist for several years. Thanks!

  • Donna

    I am 46. I have tingling sensations in both of my arms and hands. Also, I have muscle knots in my shoulders and back. I had this before. At that time, my doctor prescribed steroids which help get rid of the muscle knots and tingling. However, it has come back in the last few months. I recently been diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency, too. Do you think this is from a poor working environment (work at a computer all day), or do you think the vitamin D deficiency is a cause?

  • Jan Modric


    have you ever had an X-ray or CT or MRI of your lungs? I suggest you to ask your doctor to make tests for sarcoidosis. In sarcoidosis lymph nodes in lungs are commonly enlarged. Both muscle knots and low vit-D appear may appear in sarcoidosis.

  • Keliiakamai

    Im 22yrs old and am experiencing slight numbness in my left pinky and half of my ring finger. It happens throughout the day. I can simply have my arm bent and resting in my lap and the numbness comes back. It seems that when ever i bent my elbow at a 90 degree angle i get numbness in only those two fingers. I have had no injury to my arm. What do you think the problem may be?

  • Jan Modric

    click on this link, and you’ll understand:

    It’s probably a cubital tunnel syndrome. If your elbow rests on a table a lot, then a constant pressure upon your ulnar nerve may cause symptoms you have. Even having an elbow constantly in a bent position could cause these symptoms. So, if you can avoid bending and pressure upon your elbow, symptoms may gradually cease…it may last several days or weeks to disappear completely. If no improvement, see a doctor who can tell, if you need antiinflammatory drugs or other terapy.

  • steve

    i was cut with glass from my shoulder blade to my sterum,it was very deep and my left peck muscle was cut in half. since i have recieved shooting pains down my left arm and my little finger second finger and my arm to the elbow is numb and tingly,its worse at night when i wake up during sleeping. also at times i cant judge how hard i am grippig things when my left arm recieves the numb tingling pains shooting down it

  • Kathy

    My husband, 48 yrs old, non-smoker, does not drink, 200 lbs, 6’1″. Takes allergy shots every three weeks and allergy meds and nose spray daily as well as Ibuprophin. Sleep apnea was diagnosed years ago – had surgery but still stops breathing during the night. (i’ve stopped counting how many times he has to be turned over during the night….)Has OCD tendency of moving and popping hand knuckes and fingers repeatatively.(every 30-60 seconds) Moving and hyper extending shoulders, neck, chin and elbows. (Turrets Syndrom-like movements that have become more frequent in the past year) He’s experienced hand swelling, numbness and pain in both the right and left hands as well as pain and numbness in the right arm – for the past 3 years (he has been treated for carpal tunnel by our Family Dr. – the brace has had little effect) In the past 3-4 months symptoms have worsened. The pain is so intense, it wakes him up. When he is awakened by the pain, his right arm is numb and aches “down to the bone”. The only releif is to soak his arm in hot water for 30-45 minutes. (This can happen 2-3 times a night) Symptoms of pain and numbness come and go and are becoming more frequent – but his finger joints stay swollen and achy. (Dr. said arthritis) I think he needs to see a neurologist. I went to the link provided here for the Medical History Questionnaire and will have him look it over. Any suggestions??

  • Jan Modric


    it is a neurologist or neurosurgeon who can tell, what can be done here.

  • Jan Modric


    it is a rheumatologist or maybe an endocrinologist who can find out what is the cause of the swelling, which probably cause neurological symptoms.

  • shelby

    I fell down and landed on my right shoulder, the ball of it. Much pain, and unable to lift my arm. The pain like that has mostly gone, like it was broken, however, my from the elbow to the tips of my fingers and numb and tingling and hurt so bad, I can’t hardly stand it.

    No money to see the doctor, I take my vicoden as I have that handy for the RA. I just don’t know if waiting is going to make things worse. Can you advise?

  • Jan Modric


    neither you, nor I can say what happened, what tissues were injured and which nerves and to which extent were injured. Only neurologist or orthopedist would be able to say more.

    Maybe you know some doctor, or you know someone who knows someone…Hospitals have some budget to cover expenses for those without insurance or money. Ask about Medicare or other cheap or free insurance possibilities. If necessary, do not hesitate to contact some charity organization.

    If something is pressing on your arm nerves or certain nerves were directly damaged, and if this lasts for some time, you may suffer from permanent complications. I believe you can go directly to Emergency Room, you might solve the money issue somehow. There are caring people elsewhere.

  • Lily

    Hello, I have a bone spur on the 5th and 6th disc. I went for chiropractic and physiotherapy for 5 months as well as Decompression Traction System. There was only a slight improvement. I have a pulling sensation from my neck and spinal cord and also a tingling sensation on my hands. Now the last option is nucleoplasty. But apparently, only patients who have pain are recommended to go for this. But I’m not experiencing any pain. Should I go for this nucleoplasty?

  • Jan Modric


    you’ve mentioned a bone spur – this is an outgrowth from the bony part (vertebra) of the spine. Nucleoplasty is done when a cartlagineus part (disc) is bulging or herniated.

    So, you should ask your neurologist, what exactly is causing your symptoms – a bone spur or bulging/herniated disc.

  • jank2468

    hi, I’ve been having shoulder pain, numbness & tingling in left hand & fingers the past 3 days.Also started ringing in my ears 2 days ago. Any suggestions for me. Starting to get worried. My brother passed away 2 weeks ago.

  • Lily

    Hello, thank you for the last reply. According to my neurosurgeon, it is the bone spur poking or compressing the nerve and he suggested that I go for surgery which I didn’t want to. So I went somewhere else to see a chiropractor. But my chiropractor (after seeing him for 5 months without much improvement) suggested that I go for nucleoplasty because if my nerve gets compressed for too long, I’d be paralyzed. Can you please give me some advice? Thanks.

  • lindsay

    Hello. Just found this site and it seems really helpful. Here’s my problem. Over the past 2-3 weeks, I’ve been having very fitful sleep including night sweats, and yes, I am menopausal. The weird thing is the sudden numbness in my hands. If I lie on my left side and sleep I wake up with my free and clear RIGHT hand numb & cold, and the same for the opposite side. This really has me spooked out and is making the sleep worse … Any suggestions? I’m 54, and a smoker (for 30 years). I’m worried that it’s got something to do with my heart, and is not ‘menopausal’ at source. Otherwise, my health is good for my age. I don’t experience the ‘numbness’ during waking hours, though I do have periodic ‘pain’ in the arches of my feet …

  • Jan Modric


    bone spur can not be repaired by nucleoplasty, but by surgery. In general, spinal surgery to decompress the nerve is safe and successful.

  • Jan Modric


    have you changed your diet lately, maybe not eating or drinking enough? To help you recal eventual other symptoms , you can check:

  • Jan Modric


    I imagine that when you are sleeping on the left side, your right arm rests on the level above your heart. This requires additional force from the heart to push the blood into your hand. It may be a weak heart, but they may be atherosclerotic (and thus narrowed) arteries in your lower arms and feet.

    During hot flushes, when blood pressure falls, blood perfusion to your “upper” hand would reduce additionally making your hand numb.

    So, a combination of hot flushes and atherosclerosis is one scenario that would explain all your symptoms. It is smoking that causes or aggravates atherosclerosis in limbs – condition is called “trombangitis obliterans”; check these images to get a quick idea. I STRONGLY recommend you to stop smoking – atherosclerosis of this type can be debilitating, preventing you walking…there’s currently no treatment for this.

    Any malaise, feeling generaly week or unwell, any cough or vague pains, changed bowel habits or anything? Night sweets also appear in thyrotoxicosis, infections, like tuberculosis, in lymphoma, etc.

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  • Lily

    Hello, thanks for the advice.

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  • Steph

    My 46yo husband has been complaining about tingling, aching, warmth, tightness, and reduced ability to grip or make a fist as quickly as usual in both hands x 1 day. Says he woke up this am with these symptoms. Has tingling in glove-like pattern (palms and all fingers). Shaking hands rapidly relieves some of symptoms, but they return when he stops shaking them. Says he’s had these symptoms before, but very sporadically and never all day. Last time he had them was ~3 months ago. Has no other symptoms. Does have a degeneration of a cervical disc and bone spur which causes neck pain, but no numbness or tingling or radicular pain. If his symptoms were unilateral I would attribute it to this, but both… and in the glove pattern?? The only med. he takes is for GERD. Healthy otherwise. His mom has MSA. (I’m sure he’s worried about this.) His dad has Coronary Artery Dz. He is not really at risk for Carpel Tunnel. Spends some time on computer, but not too much. Planning on making an appt. for him to see a Dr. I know you can’t speculate too much about what’s going on without further testing, but what do you think would be the most common causes of this? Does MS or MSA ever present like this in BOTH hands?? Thanks…

  • Jan Modric


    1. Cervical radiculopaty CAN cause symptoms in both hands, and pain is
    not mandatory. Certain forced or prolonged body (neck) positions, sleeping in a certain way could aggravate radiculopathy. Lessenning of symptoms after certain neck exercises as instructed by neurologist or physiotherapist can suggest a cause.

    2. Carpal tunnel syndrome from typing can cause symptoms in both hands. CPS can arise from any disorder causing swelling (edema) in lower arms. These disorders, like heart failure or hypothyroidism would have obvious other symptoms, though. Certain wrist exercises can relieve symptoms of CPS quickly.

    3. Long lasting diabetes, alcoholism, malnutrition or vit B12 deficiency (in vegetarians) can cause peripheral neuropathy in both hands (often also in both feet) – again, the cause would be obvious. Omeprazole can reduce vitamin B12 absorption; this should be mentioned on a drug-info leaflet of a particular anti GERD medication your husband uses.

    4. Atherosclerosis can be geneticaly predisposed, but atherosclerosis in arms mainly occurs in smokers…symptoms would also be more regular…

    5. MSA would probably cause fainting, problems with bladder, sweating, digestion…and muscle stifness as a part of the syndrome (but I’m not sure if as an isolated symptom).

    6. In MS, numbness wouldn’t likely go away with hands shaking…Both hands affected in MS? Possibly but not commonly.

    7. Combination of mentioned causes: cervical neuropathy + atherosclerosis + overuse of wrists…


    It would help a lot, if your husband can figure out what different he did the night or day before symptoms appeared: extra hours at computer, stretching the neck…

  • gnewton

    For some weeks now I’ve had sporadic tingling (very slightly painful) and slight numbness on left hand between little finger and ring finger, about where they meet the hand. It doesn’t seem related to using computer as it occurs on weekends also. Thankk you!

  • Jan Modric


    area you’ve described is innervated by the left ulnar nerve, which can be affected by injury or constant pressure of your left elbow (cubital tunnel syndrome). Symptoms can last more than one day…and would be relieved by arm rest.

    Another common cause is a pinched nerve caused by bulging or herniated disc or bone spur(s) in your neck spine; CT or MRI can show this.

  • dwayne yoesting

    I recently had a left total hip replacement. After being on a walker a couple of weeks, I developed tingling in my little fingers and ring fingers. I believe I have put too much weight on the walker. I can thump my right elbow with my left hand and a shock will run down my arm to my fingers as if I just jammed my funnybone. What can I do?

  • Jan Modric


    what you can do, is avoiding using your left elbow as much as possible: not bending it excesivelly, not carrying anything heavy with the left arm, not resting the elbow on the table…Maybe an elbow splint could help you, but your doctor should tell you how to fix it.

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  • Sally

    Hello there, it’s very kind of you to reply to our messages. Around 2-3 weeks ago I noticed my right hand had pins and needles, I put this down to using the computer more than usual that day. Since then my right arm has felt numb off and on or simply strange – as though it isn’t there. There doesn’t seem to be any trigger, it’s simply has been like that lately, wherever I am or whatever I’m doing. I’m left handed and don’t do anything strenuous. The only thing I can think of is the fact that I had a lot of surgery in my right hand in 01, 02 and 04 following an accident where 3 fingers were severed off & needed lots of reconstruction etc. Don’t know why, so many years down the line this should be a problem. I suppose there were many hours of blocking blood supply to the arm or having a brachial plexus block. I have no other symptoms but can’t figure out why this is happening. Any suggestions?

    Many thanks,

  • Jan Modric


    which exact parts of your arm/hand were injured, and was your neck part of the spine also injured? Surgery was done only in the hand/fingers or also in the wrist/arm? Symptoms are only in the hand or also in the arm, if yes, up to where?

    A disorder in the neck spine would likely cause symptoms in the arm and hand. If your right elbow rest on the table when typing, pressure upon the ulnar nerve can result in the pain or numbness from the elbow down to the fingers.

  • Sally

    Hello again,

    Many thanks for your rapid reply. Injury was simply to my index, middle and ring finger (2,3,4)- nowhere else. Surgery was almost exclusively to the hand except when the surgeon took a tendon from my wrist to graft into the finger.

    Symptoms are of my entire arm, the muscles feel a bit weak too. The numbness seems even to creep up to my face – on the right side, but I definitely don’t think it’s related to stroke. Only my hand has felt pins and needles, the rest just feels odd. The last operation was September 04, I can’t seem to connect the two.. I did think my right leg was sometimes feeling a bit numb but maybe I’m imagining it…

    Many thanks for your suggestions or comments,

  • Jan Modric


    I recommend you to visit a neurologist, since it’s possible that a disorder is in the cervical spinal cord, brainstem or brain. Not necessary a stroke or multiple sclerosis; a bulging disc in the cervical spine can cause symptom in the arm and leg.

    Symptoms in stroke are constant and may slowly improve with time. Symptoms from bulging disc or spondylitis (compressing upon spinal nerves or spinal cord in the neck) can change on a daily basis.

    Facial numbness/tingling does not likely arise from the spinal cord but from the Trigeminal nerve, brainstem or brain.

  • Sally

    Many thanks for that 🙂

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  • melriz2002

    For the past 2 weeks my fingers on both hands are feeling numb also they feel like they are burning. I have had someone feel them and was told they are very warm. Now along with that my hands are aching and get sharp pains through out. I have had carpal tunnel laser surgery on both hands about 7+ years ago. I do remember the feeling of carpal tunnel and this is not it. I have placed the tops of my hands together with tips of fingers facing down and no numbess occurs that way (carpal tunnel test) I have not been in any accidents in the past 4+ years. No injuries. I do get pinched nevers in my neck/back occaionally but nothing for awhile. What could this be?

  • Kellie

    Dr. I have been to the dr. several times for numbness in both my arms, wrists and hands. The numbness usually occurs at night and in very painful no matter which way I lay. I have had an MRI,normal, and an EMG which determined I have carpel tunnel in my right wrist. I dont feel that the diagnosis is correct because the pain is in Both arms. It starts at the elbow and goes down to the hands. I also have bad upper back pain. I have been given antiinflammatory and pain medication, but neither help. I am losing alot of sleep at nite due to this and am starting to lose my mind from lack of sleep. Please help with any diagnosis or follow up treatment that my Dr. is not catching.

  • Jan Modric

    To melriz.

    Do you feel this burning pain along the entire finger lenght, or maybe only on fingertios? Are all ten fingers, including the 5th (pinky) finger? Is the pain constant or it comes as an attack? Is it triggered by cold, like you want to take something from refrigerator? Any rash or redness or swollen finger joints? Does pain worsens or lessens through the day? Have you been ever diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis?

  • Jan Modric


    you should consider visit a neurologist (here is a medical history form> to help you prepare) and discuss about investigation of your upper spine (CT or MRI) from where your arm symptoms possibly arise. Having a thin pillow or sleeping on a hard matress can sometimes prevent inappropriate bending of the spine and resulting arm symptoms. The original problem can be in the vertebra, discs, spinal cord…or in the arm…but I guess you would need some imaging investigation.

  • djohnsto

    On Oct. 26, I awoke with numbness in my hands. As of now, I only have numbness/pinlike, asleep feeling strongly in my left pointer finger, basically just the tip. I saw my doc and I am scheduled to see a PT/Massage Therapist as we suspect a pinched nerve, etc. I also began taking Vitamin B.

    I type constantly, 47 years old Female. I just find it odd that it has settled in my finger tip.

    Any help is appreciated.


  • Jan Modric

    To djohnsto.

    If you check the image on the start of the article above, you can see that Median nerve (red areas) is innervating the back side of the tips of the fingers and the palmar side of the hands. Median nerve is typically affected in carpal tunnel syndrome, so it’s likely that the cause of numbness in your case is an overuse of the wrists.

  • joyjoy

    On Sunday (4 days ago) the area near my elbow felt tingly/numb and sometimes sensitive to the touch, this strange sensation has now spread up my arm and on my back. I also feel there’s itching on my back but it’s under my skin. There are no rashes. Any ideas? Thanks!

  • Jan Modric

    To joyjoy.

    Are sensations there all the time , do they change at night or with arm position/work?

    If rash will appear in the next days/week, then it can be Herpes zoster (shingles).

    If no rash, pinched nerve in the cervical spine is possible. If symptoms will appear on the other parts of the body, you should consider a neurological disease arising from the spinal cord or brain.

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  • John


    For the past couple of weeks the tip of my right thumb is feeling strange to touch. (Feels sort of like pins and needles when touched)

    I also feel pins and needles from time to time in this thumb, but can also run up my arm.

    Occaisionally I have felt pain in the muscle on top of my right arm, running from wrist to elbow, when picking things up. e.g. cup of coffee.

    Current History:

    Type 1 diabetic from Aug 2004. Habc1 is 7.7, taken last month.

    Addisons disease since July 1995.

    Underactive Thyroid, brought on by the Addisons at a later date.

    Additional Info.

    40 year old male.

    I work and play, a lot, with computers.

    Asking here as I work away from home and wont get back to make an appointment with my GP for another two weeks.

    Tnx in advance.

  • Jan Modric


    a tip of the thumb is innervated by the median nerve, which runs through the wrist, where tissues, swollen because of low thyroxin, can press on it. Additional factor can be an overuse of the wrist. So, it is likely you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome. Wrist rest can (in few days) bring you symptoms relief.

    Addison disease, if not well controlled, can cause changes in concentration of sodium and potassium in your blood, what can directly affect nerves and cause or aggravate abnormal skin sensations. Eventual resulting low blood pressure can also worsen symptoms.

    I can’t say from here if the cause of your symptoms is only overuse of the wrist or also low thyroxin, or changed levels of minerals in the blood.

    If you think, any of your diseases went out of control, you should see a doctor.

  • John

    Thanks for that Jan

  • salha

    ihave numbness in my left shoulder anterior and posterior area radiating to my arms becoming more severethis days especially when i happened wake up in between my sleep.i am very much worried of my health now .i am now 50 yrs. old.And the most concern i have now is the severe pain in my right hip and groin i can not abduct my right leg at all i also can not crossed my right leg over the left at all.initially before 1 month physio i can not open my leg, never’ please i need your kind adviced thank you

  • Ajit

    I am 21yr old male. Well i would like to begin from my past. It started 5years ago when I had a disease(sorry i don’t know its name) which affected my plasma and i had to go to plasmapheresis treatment. Its symptoms were numbness in hand and fingers, pain in legs and i couldn’t even lift my body after 5-6days after i started feeling its symptoms. Had problem in even lifting 2lt water bottle. I couldn’t perform sit-ups and push-ups. Climbing/descending stairs was a big problem. But after the treatment i was fine in 2-3weaks and awesome within one month. Back to present, 3days before i was fine until i stopped playing badminton(Played for 2hrs). I had a bit of weakness on my thighs. However i continued playing next day and now i am feeling a bit of pain on my left leg below knee(muscle behind). And i have a bit of weakness on both of my thighs. Also m feeling a bit weak on both of my hands finger when i try to do some work. Though i don’t find loss of power when i use my palm. There is no numbness in hands nor in legs. Also my small finger on left hand bents on it owns(i.e I have 2 force it a bit to straighten it up).
    Here are the few things i would like to Tell:-
    1. I don’t drink water a lot after or before playing.
    2. I was playing after 2-3 weeks of break.
    3. I am a bit overweight but have a good stamina.. So i usually exert myself a lot when playing.
    4. I don’t feel the symptoms has worsen. But reduced at some places.
    5. I have no problem in sit-ups/push-ups.
    Also no problem in climbing/descending stairs except a feeling of bit weakness on legs.
    So i would like to know is this related to my past or any new problem. Or due to overexertion. Or something else. Hoping to find some solution. TANKYOU.

  • Jan Modric

    To salha.

    It can be joint inflammation, like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid athritis…

    Orthopedist would probably need to order an X-ray of the joints and some blood tests to give you a diagnosis.

  • Jan Modric


    I’m sure you know how muscle tiredness or pain after exerting feels like, and in what time it goes away. I suggest you to call your doctor and ask what exact name your past disease has. I believe even the nurse can check this. It could help a lot in finding a possible cause of your current symptoms.

  • Ajit

    Sure i will ask about it. Also i wanted to know whether the stiffness of muscle between my elbow and wrist causing a bit of weakness on my hand?? Does it normally happen when playing excessively?? Though i play badminton with my left hand is it possible to have muscle stiffness on right hand?? Also we have a bit cold temperature here around 20 degrees.. Hope this is not a cause of concern(Though i have found weakness on my hands improve a bit. Still some weakness is there). And i hope this is not a big issue..!!!

  • Camalee

    I’m 18 yrs old and have been experiencing some pain in the lowest joint on my middle finger, right hand, for over a year. I am right handed. The pain is varying in degrees- some days I only feel it if I stretch my fingers back or something and other days it just aches. At night and sometimes in the morning I’ve been experiencing some numbness that feels like the numbness that precedes your foot or arm falling asleep- this has been in the last 2 months. There is some slight pain in between the middle and ring finger on occasion. I play several musical instruments, but I find that when I play cello for prolonged periods of time I get “electrical shock” sensations in my wrist down to the middle finger. I’ve been taking a break from all music now for 3 weeks and doing ice massages on my wrist, but it doesn’t feel any different. Time to visit a doctor? I am too young to have problems, it seems!

  • Jan Modric


    from skin areas yo’ve mentioned, the problem can arise from the wrist, armpit or the neck spine. 3 weeks of rest not helping is a good reason to see the doctor, yes.

  • dagr8one

    Numbness in Arms- biceps fore arms and specific fingers
    Face and Muscles Twitching
    Sharp Electric like shoting pain from back of neck to middle of spine
    Sweeling of hand and fingers
    Pain breathing hurts in lower back
    Loss of feeling in right leg

    Has had a Neck MRI : okay medical clearance
    No Accidents/Falls
    Persistant for more than 1 month

    Please give me feedback
    My doctors are lost

  • Jan Modric

    To dagr8one.

    1. How old are you, male/female?
    2. Did symptoms appear suddenly or gradually, and did they appear at all sites at once? Are BOTH of your arms/hands affected?
    3. What triggers and what relieves symptoms, if anything. Are symptoms constant or fluctuating. Do they migrate through the body?
    4. What are your physical activities?
    5. Any other symptoms, like impaired vision, fatigue, fever, dizziness?
    6. Have you checked blood levels of potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium?

  • Ajit

    I found out i was suffering from Acute Motor Axonal Neuropathy. Can you now give me some insight of my problem now. Well i would like to add i am having weak fingers i.e i have feeling of weakness while pulling/holding some things. But i don’t have numbness or pain on my fingers. Also my little fingers on both the hands are bent due to weakness i suppose. Though the degree of bent is more on left hand than on right hand. Can this also occur due to fatigue? Its been a week now. Though my fingers feel little better, its not significant to say its improving. I hope this is not serious. Should i see a Doctor or wait for some more time?

  • Jan Modric


    acute motor axonal neuropathy affects muscles, causing weakness and likely bending of the little fingers. You don’t feel numbness or pain, since sensory fibers in the nerves are not affected. Bent fingers are not likely from fatigue. Symptoms in the right arm after playing with the left arm also don’t appear just like that. So, I guess you will know what to do.

  • tripleb

    The tingling started ont he side of my hand and arm that felt as if it pulls on the muscle or nerve where we call it the funnybone then gradually the middle fingers will tingle and it feels like a pulling sensation when moving my arm when straighted out and It hurts like a nagging pain all the way up my arm to the shoulder when I try to sleep btu i have a habit of sleeping on my arms, what could possibly cause the pulling sensation and tingling?

  • Jan Modric


    the “side of my hand”, if you mean the side toward the little finger, is innervated by the ulnar nerve and this can be affected by overuse or injury of the elbow; maybe your way of sleeping could do something with it. Pinched nerve in your neck spine is another possible cause.

    Try not to sleep on your arms and avoid overusing elbow(s) and see if this helps. If not, neurologist can say what to do next.

  • Judy

    I lay on my right side with a pillow under my left arm due to the fact that I have knee and back problems. I have trouble sleeping every night. I now have soreness on my front left side, above the breast bone, left shoulder blade, burning sensation under the left arm pit, and some numbness in the last two fingers of my left hand. I have had this for about a day now and it has been steady, although, if I lay in a relaxed position it I do get some relief. My back and neck feel tired and stressed out along with it.

  • jbaker

    i take the drug attipla and having stiffness on my left side, the baby finger can’t move alone

  • Jan Modric


    these can be side efeects of the drug or eventual disorders affecting your elbow (cubital tunnel syndrome) or neck part of your spine. Your symptoms seem strong enough to visit a doctor.

  • Jan Modric


    what is the exact diagnosis of your knee and back problems?

  • Judy


    The cartiledge on my left knee gave out about a year and half ago. I need to have it operated on. It has, in my opinion, problems with my sacroliac. I have been seeing a chiropractor. Some of the symptoms I had have gone away. Some soreness above my left breastbone still remains. My back was so stressed out from being over tired. It just wasn’t funny. It was tight not only where I mentioned, but also in the middle of my back as well as across my shoulders. I orginally thought that I was having a heart attack. I just saw my primary this last Wednesday. He listened to my heart and everything was fine.


  • Jan Modric

    Judy, have you being considering having some imaging (MRI) of your spine and shoulder?

  • Xiao Ping

    Dear Doc., I’ve been having this numbness and tinkling on my left arm and hand. I took some sleeping tablet to help me rest, but it did very little help. Now the pain is more numbness, concentrated on my thumb and when I lie down it is both on my thumb and my marriage ring finger.

    Thank you in anticipation of a favourable response.

  • Judy


    No. I have a very good chiropractor that has been in business for many years. I am due to see him on Monday, 12/16/09. I go for monthly treatments. I was just wondering if this could be a pinched nerve in my shoulder blade. Would that pain also radiate back to front, under the armpit, and also give me a burning sensation?

  • Alison

    This site (and the responses within) is very useful. I think I know what the problem might be, but I’ll throw it out there anyway.

    My right hand is always cold, and when I sit at the desk w/ my laptop, it tends to get cold as ice. I’ve had occasional numbness in the right pinky and the side of my palm (along the pinky edge). Right now, it is almost frigid and it’s hard to feel things with my fingertips…the left hand is not cold like this at all.

    Doing some digging it looks like that is pretty much the area involved. I’m just confused about the ice-cold part…I’m 24 years old, a very, very occasional (1 or 2 times a month) smoker, who gets plenty of exercise (walking/moving for 8 hours a workday) and is in generally good shape.

    Right now the left hand is warm and a normal skin tone color, and my right hand is icy and slightly reddish/pink. Any thoughts or advice would be gratefully appreciated.

  • Jan Modric


    nerve(s) that supply upper back and upper chest arise from the thoracic spine and travel in pairs around the trunk toward the sternum. This nerves can be pinched on the site where they leave the spine (and not at the shoulder blade). So one possible cause of your upper body (back, shoulder, arm, armpit, chest) symptoms is a disorder in your thoracic and cervical vertebra or discs. Possible symptoms include pain, burning, tingling or numbness that can extend from the back to front of the trunk.

    To evaluate an extent of eventual spinal disorder, doctor would need to order a CT or MRI.

    Nerves to the arm could be also affected by forced streching of the arm (like when you fal down – read about brachial plexus injury above in the article). Yet another cause could be a pressure upon a nerve somewhere between clavicle and the armpit (thoracic outlet syndrome, read above)

    Doctor should also check your armpit and neck lymph nodes.

  • Jan Modric


    according to your symptoms, cubital tunnel syndrome is highly possible. It seems that symptoms worsen when you bend your right elbow or put it on the desk.

    If only the pinky side of your right hand becomes cold, it means nerve fibers responsible for warm/cold sensation in the same ulnar nerve (that passes behind the elbow) are affected. In this case your right hand would only feel cold, but if you check it with your left hand (or if you touch the face), you would see it is not really cold.

    But if your hand actually becomes cold (and pale) this speaks for a circulation problem that may arise from the same nerves (that innervate vessels), or arteries get directly affected when you bend the elbow.

    To me, your symptoms seem serious enough to recommend you to see a neurologist.

  • Judy


    I finally went to the ER this morning. I have been diagnosed with the shingles. I have broken out with bumpy, ichy, little sores along the nerve line. I have been given a prescription of Valtrex. I assumed it was a pinched nerve. So, for anyone who reads this, don’t assume that you have something just because of how you feel, have yourself checked out.

    Thanks for your help, Jan.


  • Jan Modric


    thanks for sharing. It’s a good example how a characteristic rash in shingles may appear some days later as pain.


    Hi, I started with slight numbing in my right arm, its increased when I extend or do anything that has my arm in a typing position, mouse use, anything… I think its related to doing pull ups at the gym. THe numbness is pretty intense, with lots of tingling.

  • Jan Modric

    To hrdmoney.

    It can be anything from bulging disc in your cervical spine to stretched or compressed nerve anywhere along its course. If your symptoms will persist for few days, see a doctor.

  • Carol B

    Hello, I am 48. For many months, maybe even up to a year, I have had tingling and numbness in my hands with pain radiating up my arms. These symptoms are much more pronounced at night. They occur during the day but inconsistently. During the day, I get this numbness when I am talking on the phone, using a hair dryer, etc. I notice the tingling and numbness when on the computer mostly due to the position of my wrist and hand, and not necessairly due to the repetitive movement of typing. At night, I wake up from the pain. The pain and numbness will go away rather quickly when I change position or put my arms by my side. However, if I resume the initial position, the pain comes back rather quickly too. Lately I have noticed a slight numbness in the pad of my left thumb (I am left handed). Confusingly, there have been several nights without any pain or numbness. I have self diagnosed my problem as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. My father has had surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. However, everything I have read do not really say anything about arm pain. I spoke to a doctor about it many months ago. He mentioned that it may be due to a similar “tunnel” in the shoulder that nerves pass through. I cannot recall the name of it. He did not mention Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Do you know what he could have been referring to and do you feel it is more likely due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Thank you for your input. Carol

  • Jayden

    Dear Doctor,
    I have been having a tingling feeling in both of my hands at the same time for 3 days. The tingling feeling happens suddenly and last for 3 seconds. It happens once in 5 minutes. Please help me.

  • Jan Modric

    Carol B,

    it seems your symptoms appear when you bend your elbows. This occurs in “cubital tunnel syndrome” (read above in the article) in which the ulnar nerve(s) is affected on the site where it passes the elbow. Numbness and pain in the little finger side of the hand spreading up to the elbows are typical symptoms. Symptoms relief when you put your arms beside the body furtherly speak for cubital tunnel syndrome.

    Numbness in the pad of the tumb may be a part of additional carpal tunnel syndrome.

    If you’re positive your doctor has mentioned shoulder, then he was maybe talking about “thoracic outlet syndrome”. In this case your symptoms would also appear in the shoulder and worsen during stretching the arm in the shoulder.

    Neurologist or orthopedist would be probably able to give diagnosis even without extensive investigations.

    In meantime you can contact some physiotherapist for practical solutions, like a splint…

  • Jan Modric


    – have you had any special physical work before your symptoms appeared?
    – is there anything (certain moves of the hands) that trigger your symptoms?

  • Carol B

    Jan, Thank you for your input. I will investigate and look into getting a splint as you suggest. I do not have any pain or numbness above the elbow so I think it is not “thorasic Outlet Syndrome”, although that does sound vaguely familliar. Again, thank you! Carol

  • Angel

    Hi I have been having of and on a numbness and tinglin feeling in the last two fingers of both hands.. It comes and goes and when i sleep they go completely numb.. It started after the birth of my son 3 months ago.. i dont work. i am a stay at home mom.. Thanks for your input.

  • Jan Modric


    does numbness worsen when you bend your elbow(s), like when you’re using the phone or comb your hair? It’s possible you have developed a cubital tunnel syndrome, maybe because of frequent lifting a baby. Rest: avoiding lifting things and having arms by your side when you sleep may help. For more, I recommend you to visit physiotherapist or neurologist.

  • skiltobil

    Hi, I fell off a ladder and landed directly on my butt…so to speak…..and as soon as I fell my hand automatically went numb….its been almost 2 months now and now every time that I sit down my shoulder gets a pain in it and part of my left arm and fingers get numb…its an annoying pain and it wont go away, I mean it comes and goes throughout the day….but basically its pretty much always there…..Does anyone know what I should do about it? Meaning specifically what kind of doctor I need to see?…Thank you.

  • Geegay

    I’m feeling excruciation pain beginning as numbness and tingling but then excruciating painful unti I am unable to sleep at night. Irrespective of sleep position it does not go away. The pain only comes when I’min a state of rest, or relaxation as soon as I begin moving around it stops. It is more intense in the cold season’s.

  • Jan Modric


    you should visit a neurologist.

  • Jan Modric


    in which body part exactly do you feel the pain? When did you notice symptoms for the first time?

  • skiltobil

    Tyanks Jan Modric….I guess I have no choice to do so because I cant take it anymore…its quite painful and even more so annoying….so thanks for your help, I appreciate it.

  • Laura R

    I’m a 46 yr old woman and I fell in a parking lot in early Sept 09 and broke my elbow. I now have a plate, pin and 9 screws. I have completed physio and have complete movement of my arm forward and about 20% left to straighten it. My problem is the severe pain I experience when I lift my arm over my head. I also wake each morning to excrutionating pain. I’ve been back to the surgeon and he says my elbow is healed and I have a lot of equipment in my arm and it’s going to take some time for the pain to go away and that it’s best to leave the plate in. I’m definately going back to my doctor, but I’m going to ask to see another surgeon for a second opinion. Can you comment on what may be causing this pain?

  • chandra

    I am having cervical problems and wearing collar.I am using the home traction unit for traction. Is there any danger of excessive traction.
    Because when I sit in certain posture the tingling starts and runs through left elbow to small finger and stops after few secs.
    After several minutes again the same posture will start the tingling. whether this should be practiced or not?Is the Tingling, the process of blood circulation or neuron circulation.
    How long the traction therapy can be taken.

  • tlee

    I fell down some stairs a month ago. I injured my right foot. Not my ankle, mostly the top of my foot and 2nd and third toes. This is where it is noticably still bruised and swollen. It hurts alot still, especially at the end of the day or when I get up after I have been laying down. I didn’t go to the doc until just a week ago, as I was hoping it would have healed by now. He took xrays and sais nothing is broken. Just last night while sleeping, after being on it all night, it hurt a lot. It actually felt tight and tingley and like it was swelling by the second. My right arm and hand kept getting numb and tingling all the way down to my fingertips. I took notice of it and made sure I wasn’t laying on it and that it was not above my heart and it continued thruout tbe night. I woud stand up, shake it out and it would happen again within minutes. First, what could be wrong with my foot if xrays don’t show fractures and second, is the numbing in my right arm related?

  • Jan Modric

    Laura R,

    obviously a part of the equipment presses upon certain tissue in your elbow, when you raise your arm. The question is for how long equipment is planned to be in the place. If it is meant as a permanent solution, you will probably need some adjustment, so getting another opinion from a reliable surgeon can be a good move.

  • Jan Modric


    you can adjust the extent of traction and see. Symptoms, you’ve described can be also triggered by leaning your elbow on the table (from pressure on the ulnar nerve).

  • Jan Modric

    To tlee.

    Symptoms in your leg and arm could be related or not. They could arise from separate injuries of the arm and foot or may, at least in part, arise from injured spinal vertebra or discs. CT of the spine could show this.

    Swelling could be from injury of vessels – a traumatologist or a doctor that deals with vessels should check it.

  • Brian R


    I’m a video gamer, guitar player and use a computer all day long for work and been doing all this for 20 years. I’ve had physical therapy for pains, tingling in my hands and arms.. i do all the stretches etc.
    Recently symptoms have sprung back up and I notice when watching movies I extend my arm out completely on the couch (just a mild stretch, not anything extreme) and within 5 minutes (not ring and pinky) fingers/thumb are numb/tingling etc. I wear wristbands (on my forearms & wrists) and that seems to intensify the tingling more sometimes. I remove the wristbands and stop stretching and it all goes away. I think I was officially diagnosed with some form of tendonitis?

    My question, is this form of stretching while watching movies helping me? Hurting me? Should I continue to wear the wristbands or not?
    People told me for reduce inflamation to eat pinneapple and tuna fish. Any other home remedies or suggestions to help with my cause? thanks

  • Jan Modric

    Brian R,

    symptoms in your hands are possibly a part of carpal tunnel syndrome, where the median nerve is affected. It’s likely you overuse the wrists during using computer and playing guitar. This causes inflammation of tendons in the wrist, and swollen tendons then press upon the median nerve. Additionaly, if you lean on your elbows, when at the desk, there may be a constant pressure on the ulnar nerve that passes behind the elbow – this may cause pain or numbness in the lower arms.

    The solution is in as much wrist rest as possible. Avoiding wristbands can also help. There are some specific exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome, you may find some videos online – but you should use this only if it helps immediately.

    I’m not aware of any noticeable effect of any food on carpal tunnel syndrome. Anti-inflammatory drugs as prescribed by the doctor could help, though. Resting wrists is what you need first. Certain types of wrist splints could help you in preventing unwanted wrist movements – physiotherapist may give you advice about this.

  • Phil

    I have has numbness in my fingers (most noticable in my thumb, index and middle fingers), on my left hand for the last week or so.This also runs up my arm and around to the shoulder blade area on my back. I can trace the start of this back to the day after I spent some time hitting a punch bag with my brother. I do not have any real pain just numbness so suspect nerve injury. Can you advise on what treatment I should seek?

    • Jan Modric

      one possibility is a bulging or herniated disc in your cervical spine pinching the nerves that innervate your left arm. You would need to visit a neurologist and probably have a CT of the spine to confirm this. Stretching of the nerves on other spots (armpit, elbow, wrist) is also possible. In any case, rest your arm/hand as much as possible.

  • Brian R

    thanks for the advice.
    I did the electrographs and doctors determined I didn’t have carpal tunnel two years ago. I think they actually called it tendonsondis? A varaiation of tendonitis. I don’t recall exactly. I’ve read many articles stating that pineapple has natural anti inflam traits just like some fish.
    I dunno for sure but just browsing forums and message boards like this one, other musicians always wear and suggest wristbands for intense playing. Drummers and guitarists especially. Its the equivilant to a hot pack almost on your aching back.

  • Jan Modric

    Brian R,

    can you recall *where* your tendonitis (inflammed tendons) is supposed to be – in the wrists, elbows or shoulders?

    What exact stretching causes symptoms: lifting your arms up when lying, stretching them forward in shoulders or, stretching in elbows)? Holding hands above the level of the heart would cause numbness practically in anyone.

    Tendinitis in the wrists can cause carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Syndrome simply means a combination of symptoms (pain in the wrist(s), numbness or tingling in the hand and first three fingers, symptoms aggravated by wrist use and relieved by wrist rest or specific exercises). If you did not have CTS two years ago, you can have it now.

    Additionally, some symptoms could arise from eventual bulging disc(s) in your cervical spine; CT of the spine could show this.

    Wristbands – you have experience with them, so what to say.

    Many fruits and vegetables have slight anti-inflammatory properties, which can relieve a slight inflammation, like chamomilla tea can relieve a sore throat a bit. But an usual aspirin or ibuprofen would be at least 100 times as effective.

    If it is tendinitis, rest and anti-inflammatory drugs can help you.

  • Brian R

    basically while I’m lying on the couch watching a movie, I simply extend my left arm (we have an L shaped sofa) straight out with my palm facing down. The muscle/tendon directly above the elbow (forearm) seems to the tendon area thats inflammed. This in turn after about 5 minutes will bring numbness/tingling to my fingers.

    When I do my stretch routine from therapy I can feel it in my chest, armpit and forearms. Basically the entire path of the tendons I’ve abused for so many years.

    I was basically asking you am I doing harm or good by doing this while watching a movie. I view it as a good time to stretch out my arms and I have even started to switched laying positions to allow me to do it with my right arm as well. I do like 15-20 minutes on each arm and rotate.

    FYI, I have removed the arms to my computer chair, 1 of the first things my former therapist made me do. 🙂

    thanks again for all the help!

  • Mal


    Can the over use of a TENS machine actually cause tingling and numbness? Can the nerves become inflamed as a result?

    I had been receiving TENS treatment (as well as adjustments) through a Chiropractor from September through November, 2 to 3 times per week. I was receiving this treatment as a result of a pinched nerve in August. At that time I had Xrays and an MRI of my neck which showed mild degenerative disc desease at C3-C4.

    I experience the numbness and tingling in my right arm and down to my right leg and foot constantly now. This started abruptly at night of the day I had treatment at the beginning of November. I now have this condition every day and night. I have not returned to the Chiropractor since as I am afraid the treatment has caused my condition.

    I have seen a neurologist who could not find any specific cause and has referred me for an MRI of my brain.

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.


    • Jan Modric


      TENS itself is not likely to caue nerve inflammation, especially not prolonged one. It is true that brain lesions, like a small stroke could cause numbness and tingling on one side of the body, especially if you can’t recall any physical strain at that day and if symptoms appeared abruptly. If not tested already, I would also recommend you to have a blood test for thrombosis.

  • Jan Modric


    what exactly you want to solve or achieve with this stretching?

    For you, it would be important to get (or find in your medical documentation) *exact diagnosis*. Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon, and tendinosis is its degeneration. Also, which exact tendons are affected – the doctor should tell. Tingling in the hand is from affected nerve – this can be from pressure of an inflamed tendon, but inflamed tendon itself would not cause tingling.

    When you stretch the arm, tingling in the hand may be from compressing of the nerve in the wrist or stretching of nerves in your armpit, or pressing of the bulging disc in your neck spine to the nerves that supply your hand/arm. Pressure on the nerve in the elbow would cause tingling in your pinky finger and the same side of the hand. A certain uncommon position would cause tingling even in a completely healthy arm/hand.

    I can’t see relation between inflammed tendon near the elbow and tingling in first three fingers. You have not mentioned what actually does occur during playing guitar or using computer keyboard.

    I think easy stretching won’t do much – harm or benefit. Some weeks of rest, or exercises, if recommended by physio, and maybe some specific injections could help – again – depending on the exact underlying disorder.

  • Yusi

    Hello, I had a c-section almost 3 months ago and for the past three weeks I’ve been experiencing numbness, tingling, and burning sensation in both of my hands and fingers. I feel it the most at nights during the day is okay not so bad it also gets worse if I put my hands under cold water..warm water is not as bad but it still bothers. What can be the cuase of this.. Please help.



    • Jan Modric


      maybe bulging or herniated disc(s) have developed in your neck part of the spine resulting in pinched nerves that innervate your hands. If you overuse your wrists, or have some chronic disorder like rheumatoid arthritis or low thyroxin levels, inflammation in your wrists could press on the nerve innervating the hand and first three fingers (thumb to middle one). This is called carpal tunnel syndrome. Neurologist can check this.

  • B Wade

    I am a caterer and I have diabetes and during this holiday season I have been extremely busy having 4 and 5 events a week which I have to prep long hours at night to prepare. I now have numbness and tingling from my shoulder to fingers. I have had this before in the past when working so hard and it went away. This is the longest the numbness has stayed. What could possibly be wrong. I have an appointment to a Neurologist coming up. Just want some insight and possibly a remody for relief until I get to the doctor. Thanks in advance.

    • Jan Modric

      B Wade,

      it can be bulging disc in your cervical spine, or if you have stretched your arms in shoulders a lot, it could be streched nerve, or “thoracic outlet syndrome”. Read about it above in the article. Describe frequent body positions movements during your work, where exactly you feel numbness, what triggers and relieves them. Also, describe your long-term symptoms. This may greatly help your doctor to give you a diagnosis. I guess, avoiding positions you used at your work would help. Walking can also help, maybe swimming. Remedies won’t likely help.

  • deedeemarie

    Over the past 6 years, have experienced episodes where after starting a meal and finishing a couple of bites of food, I develop numbness in the lower part of my face, my lips and tongue. Then my arms get numb and tingly – my fingers swell and turn pink. After 3 to 5 minutes, these symptoms subside and as they do, i have cramps in the navel area sometimes followed by diarrhea. The symptoms have worsened recently – lasting 15 minutes or more and one episode included severe sweating and weakness. I do have a problem with the parotid gland on the left side also – and I do experience soreness between my shoulder blades which i believe is stress related. This never happens if I am not eating and have never had more than one episode in a day’s time. I average probably 12 episodes per year and never know when it is going to happen.

    • Jan Modric

      To deedeemarie.

      Would you say you have eaten fish or other seafood when you had those symptoms? It could be scombroid fish poisoning (read here). Or you are allergic to certain food. If you can’t identify a causing food, you might want to visit an allergologist to have food allergy tests.

  • soniakm

    I am 25 weeks pregnant and started getting numbness in my hands/arms 2 days ago. I have had numbness before but I guess that is because I have been sleeping on one arm and it goes after a short while. But today my arms actually hurt and feel heavy. I know it can be a side effect of pregnancy but I did not think it would be constant (same as painful calfs).

    • Jan Modric

      To soniakm.

      Arm numbness and calf pain may both arise from bulging discs in your cervical and lumbar spine, being aggravated by pregnancy and resulting in pinched nerves that supply your arms and legs. Avoiding prolonged sitting and lifting or carrying anything heavy may help. Calf pain may be additionally caused by eventual varicose veins.

  • dave w

    I’ve been reading this page for a couple days, i was comforted by the info, but now that my symptoms have gotten worse today, i’m a lot more worried. I’ve had the hand numbness for a little bit for about a week, forearm too, usually i wake up with it and it goes away eventually. Besides that i’ve had some all around poor circulation symptoms, leg/arm losing feeling just by being bent etc for a little while.

    ANYWAY so today when i was trying to relax and NOT worry about the hand numbing feelings, i could feel the numbing going to my left up, the back of it, and possibley up to the shoulder. And not too much longer later the back of my right hand got very cold. I then left with a friend in the hopes to distract from this stuff which i was hoping was mostly mental.

    But then i get home, and now things are even worse, i’m trying to relax for bed and now i’m feeling seemingly weird skin sensations everywhere, back of my neck, both backs of the hand, arms, tingling, weird sensations of hot and cold, and i believe some of what people on here were describing as ‘itchyness’ though, not so sure about that, just not ‘pain’ or tingling.

    Umm, i’m 37, i do use my laptop a lot and did do some weight lifting over a week ago. I am on simvastatin, bentyl and omeprozol. I’ve been going thru 4 months of a ‘non-hunger’ problem with pain in my left side. I do have lower back pain as well. So far just been told i have IBS with acid reflux disease, with high cholesterol and slightly high blood sugar.

    The only thing else i can think of is before these things lately, i did notice how easily my forearms were falling asleep from leaning on them etc, but it didnt alarm me. Other than that i have noticed some heartbeat anomolies either when i’m trying to go to sleep, or when i wake up. EKGS always seem normal when i’ve had them the past months.

  • dave w

    …AND if anyone ever responds to my post, since i first posted, i did have an episode yesterday where i in a very calm mood was cooking, and my foot/calf went semi-numb on me. I finally finished my Halter monitor today too, and scheduled an appt with my normal dr monday. The same dr i left a msg with about the numbness and ‘testing??’ who had an assistant call me back and say ‘no the doctor doesnt think you need any testing…’ So i will also chat today with another doctor in our towns free clinic.

    • Jan Modric


      I answered you twice, but comments haven’t kept “pasted” for some reason…so now again:
      Your neck-to-hand symptoms are probably from a neck disorder, like a bulging disc(s). Your new leg symptoms sound like a sciatica (even if no pain), possibly caused by a bulging disc in your lumbar spine. This both often occurs in degenerative disc disease (DDD). Symptoms appearing and disappearing with changed positions speak for that. Weightlifting was a likely trigger. CT or MRI of the spine would confirm bulging discs or other spinal disorder.

      Weird cold/hot, itchy sensations and some of your abdominal symptoms could be side effects of bentyl (check drug information leaflet or search on, so discuss with your doctor about this. Left side abdominal pain is often caused by trapped gas. If your abd. symptoms appear shortly after a meal and a relieved by having a bowel movement, it could be IBS. In this case you can try low-FODMAP diet.

  • dave w

    Ahh that explains it. It’s ironic, i just spent time with a friend tonight, who WHO-KNEW suffered from anxiety, and he claims he suffers from the same exact symptoms. I’m HOPING it is just anxiety, that would be great vs. some big physical disorder, i would love that haha. And i know it’s possible, i did have some arm numbness once before when i had my only bout of anxiety years ago, just not like this. I have noticed that at home it’s never that bad, but when i go out, specially now cause of winter, my hands feel EXTRA cold. But again, my friend said he gets that same thing from his anxiety.

    I don’t know, it’s all new to me…the other thing we did have in common my friend n I, was that i noticed today that i have VERY tense muscles in the back of my neck which is definitely a stress effect. So WHO KNOWS. Umm, I do have a doctors appt monday, i already know my doctor will want to wait on testing. She’s more the conservative type (rolls eyes).

    The ONE thing that would go against the DDD you were talking about, maybe, would be the fact i DID have back xrays about 4 months ago when the side pain all started, and my first doctor thought it was a back thing. I handed my new doctor the report from the xrays and she didn’t even bat an eye. So clearly there was nothing obviously there at least 4 months ago, not that something couldnt have happened since. And again, this numbness has only been going on for 7-9 days so…again, who knows, i’m clueless.

    But THANK YOU for your advice, I appreciate it.

  • karanchauhan1

    I am having tickling and weekness feeling in both my arms since yesterday. I had a party and a lot of beer the day before and had other hangover symtoms with this tickling and weekness in my hands.
    The feeling is not very intense and has reduced a bit, but it is still their today as well.
    I dnt have any medical problem and im 26, though I do drink like twice a week 4-5 drinks.

    Please help as this is really bothering me

    • Jan Modric

      To karanchauhan1.

      I assume your symptoms has lessened till know. If not, see your doctor.

  • vbrewer

    My son is 24 and has tingling on the tip of his left index finger. He has had it for about three days. He is a grad student and works in a office opening mail and uses the computer. He also has been playing the Wii. He claims he hasn’t played it for quite a few days and this sympton started about three days after he stopped playing. Could this be a delayed reaction and how can he treat the tingling?

    • Jan Modric

      To vbrewer.

      Excesive use of the wrists can result in carpal tunnel syndrome – read above in the article. If he has this, she should rest the wrist as much as possible. It may take several days or weeks to full recovery. If symptoms will continue to worsen, he should see a neurologist.

  • Tinah0505

    I read through all posts for my exact symptoms and now feel as if I have a little bit of everything wrong with me! I started having neck pain approximately 8 years ago which traveled down to my lower back forcing me to go to the doctor approx 7 years ago. I was prescribed muscle relaxers which I took very briefly. I continued living with the pain (only in my neck again) for approx 4 more years until it started really bothering me. I finally went to a physical therapist who gave me a print out of exercises and sent me on my way. Nothing ever helped. Since then my neck pain has gotten severe. I frequently wake up in the middle of the night in so much pain and cannot shift positions. I have to slowly use my hands to push myself straight up but sometimes I feel like I just can’t do it (feel paralyzed). I cannot use any type of thick pillow- I use soft feather pillows that contour to my head/neck. The neck/upper back pain is now constant. I now noticed that it is interfering with my driving. I have a hard time turning to look at my blind spots. Merging in traffic is a nightmare! Just about a week ago I started feeling numbness and tingling and also extreme pain in my right arm/hand. My right hand is also cold to the touch at certain times. If I attempt to lift my arm up or out, it really hurts (unless I take a pain reliever). Sometimes it hurts to breath. Right now I’m at work and it doesn’t hurt (took some ibrophen) but the numbness and tingling is constant.
    I am 32 years old. Recent smoker again after quitting for 7 years (I know!). Occasionally drink – probably more than the average person when I do drink. I have noticed that when I take a lunch/smoke break, I get that sick burning feeling in my stomach just about every day. I always chalked it up to being hungry. I don’t have the best eating habits (soft pretzel for lunch EVERYDAY- cheap and filling). I also experience bouts of lightheadedness and dizziness.
    Do you think my symptoms are all related or could I have more than one issue? Where do I go from here in terms of diagnosis and treatment? You have recommended a neurologist on many occasions. Is that where I should begin?

    • Jan Modric


      neck pain together with all your arm symptoms probably arise from a disorder in your neck spine. A neurologist or orthopedist is an appropriate doctor to check this. You can expect CT or MRI of the neck spine. Before visiting a doctor, be sure to re-think all your medical history and write down all symptoms, triggers, relievers, does dizziness comes together with neck pain or together with stomach pain.

      Stomach pains sound like they are from gastritis or gastric ulcer. Smoking and alcohol can really aggravate it, also acidic foods, especially fruits, vinegar, aspirin, vitamin C, carbonated drinks. A pretzel itself should not be a problem, I guess. Tums (acid-absorbing drugs) could help you, but together with smoking and alcohol that would be only a bad joke. If your stomach burning persists after diet adjustment, you might want to visit a gastroenterologist and ask for an “urea breath test for Helycobacter pylori”. This bacteria often causes or aggravates gastritis/ulcer. Treatment is with antibiotics.

      Dizziness may be related to a neck disorder, stomach pain, eventual hypoglicemia. Checking your blood glucose level can reveal more.

  • aysim

    I used to be able to type pretty fast. But now I find myself losing strength mostly with my ring and pinky finger. I lose strength and it feels like they are working slower than usual. Sometimes my neck feels stiff and my arms around the elbow area feel numb and clumsy, please help I have no idea what this is.

    • Jan Modric


      it could be a combination of a disorder in your neck spine (like bulging disc) and elbow (cubital tunnel syndrome – read above in the article). If you type a lot, all this could be caused by forced neck position and pressure of the desk upon your elbows. It could help, if you can afford to have some break, avoiding sitting and typing, having daily walks…If not, you can ask a physiotherapist to show you some exercises. If all this does not help, I recommend you to visit a neurologist.

  • Daz Collins

    Our 15 month baby’s right arm has suddenly gone limp and it seems to distress him when I gently squeeze the elbow.
    This is the second time this happened. The last time, about 6 weeks ago, we went to A&E on the advice of NHS direct and before we got to a doctor the arm suddenly started working again with 100% movement. We still waited for the doctor who told us that some children and babies get an elbow that partially pops out and rights itself again and that such children sometimes get repeated systems up to 5 yrs old.
    Therefore since this is the second time I have put him to bed in the hope that it will right itself again by the morning.
    I cannot find anything on this by searching the internet, do you have any advice / opinion?
    Many thanks,

  • Daz Collins

    Hi Daz again, I just followed this:
    _very gently_ of course, and it fixed the problem. Obviously was Nursemaids Elbow.

    Links I found:


  • karanchauhan1

    Thanks a lot for your response,

    I did visited a Neurologist nn he made me do some test for B12, folic acid, and Nerve test, everthing was fine and the symptons have alomost gone after 3 -4 days, but still i need to know can this happen normally after a heavy drinking episode, or did this mean their is already some minner harm to my nerve?

    • Jan Modric


      if your symptoms will go away completely, and, as I assume, you’re not a heavy long- time drinker, then it’s not likely you have a permanent nerve damage, especially regarding to your blood results. Still, it’s good to know that alcohol causes dehydration and can lower blood pressure, resulting in your symptoms. It’s also possible you’ve overextended your neck, or was sleeping in a certain forced position, eventually resulting in a temporary bulge of the disc(s) in your neck part of the spine, resulting in pinched nerves that supply your arms.

  • brittanydoc

    numbness in the hand and then if it moves to another part of the body in a few minutes may be the cause of a migraine. i know that before i get a headache i get numb for some reason. its normal but scary

    • Jan Modric

      To britanydoc?

      Numbness has preceeded migraine, but there was no reason for numbness?

  • Charlie

    Hello, I’m a 50 year old male. Approximately 3 years ago a high frequency tinnitus developed in my right ear. Occasionally the left ear also becomes involved but it’s mostly unilateral. One year ago I had a “burning” pain sensation across my mid back with feelings of tingling and pinching on and off throughout from eye level down. Since then, the tingling (electrical type) pain is mostly felt from the lower thoracic spine area up into the right shoulder blade. Additionally, I have symptoms similar to CTS in both hands.

    MRI’s of the brain and thoracic spine within the last year are negative. Cervical spine MRI shows small disc herniation at C5-6 with mild canal stenosis.

    I take no meds other than dulcolax due to unrelated hemorrhoid issues.

    Advice and commentary appreciated. Thank you.

    • Jan Modric


      CTS-like symptoms and upper back pain could be from stenosis of the spinal canal in the neck. Tinnitus could arise from the ears (has an ENT examined you?) or from a disorder affecting the nerves suplying the ears (nerves themselves (8th cranial nerve), brainstem or brain could be affected). Not sure if the brainstem is shown in any of your MRIs.

  • reneepb

    I had microdisectomy on my c5,c6 and c7 and carpal tunnel release on rt hand – ended up with hematoma in hand and went back next day for another surgery. My hand up to my shoulder has been numb, tingling and painful – with cold sensation in thumb, index and middle fingers. I have had an mri that now shows I have c7-c8 problems ( dr said this is new problem) They want to do nerve block but was told this wouldn’t help my hand numbness. I can’t find anyone to help me and I need my hand back. It has been 3 1/2 months since I had surgery. Do you have any ideas?

    • Jan Modric

      To reneepb.

      I suggest you to find a reliable surgeon (neurosurgeon or orthopedist), who will give you a correct diagnosis of all your current problems in the neck and wrist. You will need to show him/her a complete medical documentation.

  • Ronper

    About 11 years ago I injured myself trying to take up old floor tile and was diagnosed with three bulging disks in the cervical area. I have had some numbness in my left third and little fingers for some time, but not severe. Just before Christmas, I was having trouble with a knot in my back between the spine and right shoulder blade(which I attributed to too much computer mouse usage). The stiffness and pain eventually led to tingling and numbness in my right index finger and middle finger, and tinlging and occassional pain from that spot, running under the shoulder blade and down the backside of my arm to the index finger. I have also lost considerable strength in the right shoulder area when doing pushing type movements. Went for PT that did relieve pain, but weakness and numbness/tingling remain. My Dr. wants to give it three months and see where it stands then. Do you think this is related to the bulging disks, and might you have any recommendations?

    • Jan Modric


      it’s likely symptoms in your right shoulder and hand also arise from the spine – not necessary from the 11 years old injury, also not from the exact same spot, since it’s on the other hand and other fingers are affected. Forced sitting position and overuse of the mouse could contribute to the symptoms. Also, you probably have a degeneration disc disease (DDD), meaning that old bulging discs may aggravate with time. If you are positive that you’ve lost strenght in the shoulder, this furtherly speak for a disorder in the spine.

      If you won’t notice any improvement in the next weeks, I wouldn’t necessary wait 3 months, but would ask for examination by a neurologist. I guess, PT showed you some exercises. Avoiding prlonged sitting and using computer could help.

  • mslcjl

    I have recently got back into a heavy weight lifting program and over the past several days have experienced numbness in my finger tips and my arm.. to the point where it wakes me up at night in pain. Should I assume the two are related and how should I treat this? Any help would be appreciated

    • Jan Modric

      To mslcjl,

      numbness and pain can be from a pinched nerve in your cervical spine. You should stop with weightlifting to prevent further damage of spinal discs. Then the symptoms might go away by themselves – if not, see a neurologist or orthopedist.

  • RogueExtance

    I was in a car accident in 2006 and a couple days after I started to experience tingling and numbness in my right elbow and forearm. I was sent to a orthopedic doctor and x-rays were taken…he said nothing was found and told me the sensations should eventually go away. Well four years later I am still having the sensations along with burning. It feels like someone is squeezing my arm as hard as they can and I can not move it. Would just like to see where I should start to help get whatever this is under control.

    • Jan Modric

      To RougeExtance.

      Your symptoms may arise from an injury of the elbow (cubital tunnel syndrome) or the cervical spine (bulging/herniated disc). Describe to your doctor (orthopedist or neurologist) on which exact areas of the forearm and hand (?) you feel tingling. This may help the doctor to find out, is it an elbow or neck injury. An X-ray of the arm was taken? Maybe you would need a CT or MRI of the arm that may reveal eventual damage of the soft tissues. X-ray shows only the bones.

  • Sonya

    Hi, I have had numbness and tingling in my left hand, the last 3 fingers only along with my palm, and pain up my arm to my elbow about a week now, and growing more uncomfortable, I can’t rub it to make it comfortable because the tingling is a big discomfort. Just wondering what I can do or why I have this..

    • Jan Modric


      this sounds like a cubital tunnel syndrome (read above in the article), which occurs if you lean your elbows on the desk constantly or you have injured the left elbow. It can help, if you can avoid leaning your elbow(s) on the desk and rest your elbow as much as possible. Aspirin or ibuprufen can reduce eventual inflammation. If not better in a week, see a neurologist.


    I have had sudden numbness exactly like a sleeping limb awakening primarily in my left arm and shoulder but also in my right arm and shoulder and to a lesser extent but always together. It has occurred 12 or so times in the last 6 weeks or so, walking, sitting, standing climbing stairs, there does not seem to be a pattern. It lasts 20-45 seconds and sometimes I can feel a residual ache for another 30-45 minutes but only slightly.

    • Jan Modric

      Steven Hubbard,

      this probably arises from a spinal disorder in your neck. It might be solved by some exercises (physiotherapist should tell), if not, a neurologist should examine you and order CT or MRI of your neck spine, if necessary.

  • twharris

    My wife is suddenly experiencing numbness through out her whole body. She found that taking benadryl regularly (which she was for hives) can cause this numbing. My question is whether the numbness will go away now that she has stopped taking the benadryl, or if it is permanent?

    • Jan Modric

      To twharris.

      Numbness from Benadryl can persists for a while (days?), but is not likely to be permanent. If numbness doesn’t go away or lessen in a week, she should see a doctor. If numbness worsens (from eventual other cause) she should see a doctor right away.

  • Andy

    Hi last night for the first time i woke up a couple of times with shortness of breath and the went back to sleep, and then i woke up struggleing to breath with my heart racing and very strong throbbing and pins and needles in my right hand which got stronger then went away and then i went back to sleep and then i woke up again struggleing to breath with pain in my left arm! would appreciate any advice (i have mild asthma and take zopiclone sleeping tablets if thats to do with it) thanks

    • Jan Modric


      either zopiclone or eventual other drug you have taken that day, or something other, like some new food could trigger an allergic reaction (even after several hours), causing dilatation of your vessels, blood pressure drop, and hence rapid heart beat and tingling in the hand. Shortness of breath was probably also a part of the same allergic reaction.

      I recommend you to speak with your doctor about zopiclone immediately, since it could cause even stronger reaction next time you take it. But dropping zopiclone abruptly may also result in some side effects, so ask your doctor what to do. Also think carefully what have you eaten the day before the attack.

  • Diana

    I have throbbing/striking feeling in my left and right arms the feeling comes and goes sharply I haven’t had any injuries or surgeries and have always been healthy, any suggestions on what this pain can be??

    • Jan Modric


      I sugest you to visit your doctor as soon as possible. From your short description, it’s hard to tell is it nerve related (pinched nerve in your neck spine) or vessels or blood related.

  • Parul Gupta

    My mother suffers from numbness of right arm and hand. She is a patient of cervial spondilytis and mitral valve damage as well. She is suffering from mild diabetes and her uric acid levels are also high. She has started her physiotherapy sessions again. Can you suggest a possible treatment for this

  • Parul Gupta

    The pain is quite sharp in the night but tolerable during the day. We are not able to decipher the exact cause and what stream of treatment should we go in for? Any help in this regard would be great.

    • Jan Modric

      Parul Gupta,

      cervical spondylitis can result in a pinched nerve(s) that supply the right arm and hand. Diagnosis is with CT or MRI of the cervical spine. If physiotherapy does not help, she can consider to have a surgery. In meantime she can try using a thin pillow and hard matress.

  • BZ

    So I got muscle twitches as symptoms first. Started in my right deltoid. I thought it was nothing …stayed for a few days with random twitches in other parts of my body. I have also gotten paresthesia in my right foot, and both hands. Sometimes My hands, arms and feet feel like they don’t have circulation in them although they do (checked my dorsal pedal pulse and its normal)..
    I have no idea whats causing it. I went to the docs and he brushed it off and said i was over exercising, that I’m a young healthy girl ect. I’ve eaten bananas and gatorade to see if it was me being low on potassium, and dehydration, i’ve cut down on caffiene, take my vitamins, In the summer my thyroid was fine… so I dunno if this is stress related or if I need to go back to the doc. Any ideas?

  • BZ

    oh and the twitching has stopped.. a few random ones here and there, but not to the same extent as they were before (where they lasted minutes , a few times a day)

    • Jan Modric


      it would actually be a good idea to check blood levels of potassium and other minerals and vitamins. Regular drinking and cutting down caffeine are good measures. Treating yourself with Gathorade may be dangerous, if you don’t know blood mineral levels.

  • Parul Gupta


    The MRI has not directed any diagnosis. However, her physiotherapist is of the view that her muscles are extremely weak and have recommended hot pads to be used for 15-20 mins daily. Could you suggest some other options to improve the levels of strength in the muscles??

  • Jan Modric

    Parul Gupta,

    It is a neurologis or orthopedist who can say what is the exact cause of the muscle weakness.

  • SMH

    Found this article and read it through, it is very interesting!

    I’m 41 y.o. woman and have suffered tension neck symptoms for many years, so as headache (back of the head), also frequent migraine. My upper back is slightly scoliotic, and there is often burning and pain between my shoulder blades (I use computer a lot). Facet joints in thoracic spine ‘snaps’ very easily, now also in neck. Sometimes there is facet locks, and they are very painful. My lumbar spine and SI-joints are said to be hypermobile and the area gets easily achy. There is also other joints in my body which are hypermobile.

    I tryed to start stretching and exercising my neck a few months ago, but got middle neck very sore, never has it been so sore before, hardly could move at all. First day was toughest and in week or two it was ok. Now I have had 7 times fysiotherapy, and tension neck has get a little bit better: I can now turn my head on left better than before, and there is no pain when I bend my neck. I can hear some crackle sound from my upper neck specially when I turn my head on right.

    For two months ago I noticed some numbness in my thumb tips. Nowadays there is slight tingeling sensation especially in my entire left thumb area and index finger, no pain or weakness at all, so it doesn’t bother very much.

    Neck X-ray was taken, and found cervical kyphosis, and some degeneration in C5-C6 space. Findings were ‘mild’.

    Is cautious exercise what should I do to get my stressed neck and upper back better? Is there any harm of this tingeling? All these neck and back symptoms effect my ability to work and quality of life.

    Sorry for my poor and clumsy english, I’m from Finland, and thank you very much for your answer!

    • Jan Modric

      To SMH.

      If exercises, as instructed by a physiotherapist, help, this sounds like an appropriate treatment. Sleeping on a hard matress and using appropriate pillow (either soft and shallow or certain specially shaped pillow) can help a lot, also sitting on an appropriate chair (or a sitting ball); I believe your physiotherapist can tell more about this. Having breaks with (if possible) some exercises during periods of prolonged sitting can release muscle tension in the back.

      Numbness and tingling in the thumbs due to spinal disorders usually arises from a pinched spinal nerve(s) (L4-L5-S1) – and are symptoms of the so called sciatica (other possible symptoms are burning, pain, muscle weakness or cramps). Tingling itself is not harmful, but it reveals there is something pressuring upon the nerve root(s) in the lumbar spine. So: matress, pillow, chair, exercise..until it works.

  • Frank


    About two weeks ago I noticed numbness and tingling in my right hand pinky/ring fingers. I was practicing the guitar at the time, so I assumed it was because of that. The numbness was mild and intermittent, but didn’t go away so I went to the doctor who said it was ulnar nerve neuropathy – most likely compression between the wrist and elbow where the forearm rests on the guitar. She recommended seeing a hand specialist if it doesn’t go away soon. In the meantime, I had acupuncture treatment on my right arm (after reading about Western medicine’s poor success rates with ulnar nerve problems). The funny thing is that my right hand has improved, but in the past 24 hours I have developed numbness in my LEFT pinky/ring finger and pain in my LEFT elbow.

    What are the odds of developing ulnar nerve damage in both arms at about the same time? I’ve read everybody’s comments and, in the absence of clinical evidence, I feel that I have pretty much all of the possible risk factors (bending elbows during sleep, repetitive motion with guitar, resting elbows on desks while using computers at work, poor diet, possibly undiagnosed IBS, drink more alcohol than I should, etc…) Could this just be coincidental or might this be a sign of something more serious?

    • Jan Modric


      yes, it could be coincidental – pressure on the ulnar nerve on both sides. Another possibility is a disorder in the neck spine, like arthritis or a bulging disc.

  • sara

    A few days ago I banged my “funny bone” or ulnar nerve. I didn’t think i did it that hard but now on that arm I am sensitive to touch and temperature. Its freaking me out a bit. You think it will go away? how long should I wait to see a doctor? Is the sensitivity normal when you bang it sometimes?


    • Jan Modric


      it’s possible you have hit the ulnar nerve directly, or the resulting swelling presses upon the nerve. I think, if it does not get better in 2-3 days, go see a neurologist or orthopedist. It may take several days for symptoms to go away completel, though.

  • pixiewickle

    Hi, I am 26 year old female. I had open heart surgery in 2008, and have been doing light exercise since. Walking only. Prior to my surgery I used to Dance – Ballet and had done so for years so had good movement/flexibilty in the upperbody, shoulders and arms. Recently I have been trying to increase this movement, but have been encountering strange twinges in my ribs, under my arms, down the inside of my arms and across my chest and neck. I can touch my scar which runs down the centre of my chest and feel an intense sensation on either side of my neck. Given the likelyhood of nerve damage from open heart surgery, what can I do about these sensations or is this something that I will need to live with?

  • pixiewickle

    Sorry – I also forgot to mention, that I have also in the last few years started to get a lump at the base of my left hand which is very visible when i flex my hand backwards. So that it is bent at the wrist. My left hand will ache at night. Is this something connected or is this most likely a wrist injury from Computer Use and Playing instruments?

    • Jan Modric


      I can’t reliably answer about twinges in chest. Try to ask the surgeon who has operated you or a neurologist.

      The lump in the wrist could be a ganglion cyst. There’s some description and link to more details above in the article. It is usually caused by wrist overuse, but I can’t exclude relation with your post-operation symptoms.

  • Connie

    Hi, I am 41 and pregnant with my 4th child. I recently noticed that my right hand often gets that tingly/numbness sensation. Is this related to the pregnancy? I am feeling nausea and not able to take in much water as well.

    • Jan Modric


      right hand numbness/tingling can be caused by swelling or overuse of the wrist, or something pressuring on the nerves in the elbow, armit, shoulder or the neck spine (like bulging disc or arthritis). I recommend you to visit your doctor soon.

  • Terra

    My husband has had numbness and tingling mostly in his right thumb and arm, but somewhat also in his left arm as well, for about a month with very little if any relief. He has been to a few treatments with a chiropractor who now says he should see a neurologist since he hasn’t helped him much. This seem to have occured after he lifted some roofing shingles. He is miserable with this and cannot lay on his arms, wakes up rubbing his arms and thumb a lot. Any ideas?

    • Jan Modric


      visiting a neurologist is a good idea, since he can use CT or MRI to make a diagnosis. One common injury while lifting heavy loads is a bulging or herniated disc (in the cervical spine). Another common cause is carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • farid007

    i have numbness in my both hands fingers and both legs fingers on continusly since to weeks what could be the problem help me plz

    • Jan Modric

      farid 007,

      do you have any chronic disease, like diabetes? Anything special happened two weeks ago?

  • Larry

    Just lately I’ve been experiencing tingling or numbness down my right arm from my shoulder all the way down to my ring and small fingers. The numbness runs underneath my arm then runs on top of the forearm to my fingers. If I put my hand on a desk to do computer work my whole hand and arm goes numb. I have not been injured and I’m only on the computer for 2 or 3 hrs per day. What could be my problem or what course of action do I need to take?

    • janmodric


      tingling/numbness in 4th and 5th finger and all the way up to the shoulder after placing forearm (elbow) on the table speaks for an involvement of the ulnar nerve. Besides pressure upon the elbow, a disorder in the cervical spine can be a cause. I recommend you to visit a neurologist or orthopedist.

  • JODY D.

    Hello there Jan, I was involved in an airplane incident turbulance, about a year and a half ago. I was lurched from a sitting position to the ceiling and then slammed down to the floor, then back to the ceiling and the floor again, like a “Rag Doll”. The impact effected the entire right side of my body. After a litany of examinations (including 11 MRI’s many X-rays and CT’s) I am experiencing numb and tingling hands and toes, extremely ice cold hands and feet. The fingers (thumb, index and middle fingers) feel like they are “broken”. It hurts to put them in my pockets and have no strength anymore. When I rise out of bed in the AM or after sitting, I almost fall to the floor, with extreme pains in the bottom of my feet. I am now breaking out in an itchy rash with welts and hair loss on my calves from the knees down to my ankles and neck down to waist on the backside of my body. My skin on my hands and feet swell and look shiny at times, the turn white, red and blue at times. There is also an arched shaped red rash on my upper chest. I was also put into the ER December 08 for Heart Palpitations, which occur even to Today when I feel stress.
    Here is a list so far of my diagnosis’s:
    -Sciatica, both legs.
    -Closed fracture of one rt. Rib.
    -Sacral FX x 2, Lumar Radiography.
    -Heart Palpitations, last week at Dr.’s office Heart Beat at 140.
    -Hip Strain/Sprain.
    -Fracture of Upper End of Humerus, Cl.
    -Rt.Rotator Cuff Impingement and Strain possible Internal Derangement.
    -Significant Axial Loading Injuries of the Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Spine.
    -Herniated Cervical Discs C4-5, C6-7.
    -Stenosis and Herniation at C5-6 and a Herniation to the right at C6-7.
    -Cervical Root Irritation.
    -Strains of entire Cervical Spine.
    -Bulging Discs of Cervical Arena.
    -Mild Anterior Wedging that is Chronic in nature, with some Disc space narrowing also seen in Mid Thoracic region T6,7 and 8.
    -Thoracic Chronic Compression Deformities.
    -2 levels of Compression Fractures at T6 and T8.
    -Arrhythmias T6-T8.
    -Decrease in Height of the Intervertebral Discs at T7-8 and T8-9.
    -Thoracic Spine with a Wedge.
    -Lumbar Disc Herniation.
    -3 Bulging Lumbar Discs.
    -Pubic Rami Fractures (Pelvic) front and rear.
    -Nerve Slowing to both Hands (NCD Test). Median Distal Motor Latency at the wrist, upper limits 3.8 ms.
    -Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with positive Tinsel’s, some Sensory Diminishment to the Thumbs Bilaterally.
    -Bilateral Neuropathy to the hands, possible Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, possibly related to the Cervical Spine.
    -Raynauds Phenomenon discussed possible RSDS/CRPS.
    -Bilateral Plantar Fasciitis.

    Jan I need help in coming to a conclusion as to what is going on with me. I feel my body getting weaker by the day. As I type this I can’t feel my 2 index fingers and my hands are ice cold. yesterday I went for another NCD with an EMG test and the Dr. said I only have a mild Carpal Tunnel in my left wrist???
    About a year ago, a Doctor, a friend said it looks like a possible Brachial Plexus injury (rash, etc…)and the Dr.’s since do not believe this to be true. I realize everyone involved, including myself is trying to figure out what is wrong.
    I have not had any operations to date, but know that they will be coming in my future.
    Jan, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Jody

    • janmodric

      JODY D.,

      if I get you right, all what you have written above is confirmed by appropriate tests?

      Symptoms in arms/fingers can be caused by injuries in the neck spine and brachial plexus.
      Sciatica means irritation of sciatic nerve, possibly caused by disorders in the lumbar spine. Pain, tingling, weakness, skin color changes, cold limbs can all result from mentioned spinal disorders.
      Plantar fasciitis can result from direct injury of the feet and will likely need to be treated separately.
      Palpitations can arise from injury of symphatetic nerves for the heart that originate in the thoracic part of “sympathetic plexus”.

      It looks that a team of doctors, probably a neurologist and orthopedist will need to make a good plan to make operations in your spine (and maybe shoulder and feet), one by one.

  • JODY D.

    Hello again, I forgot to mention that I get really bad headaches on occasion and I can actually feel a grinding in my mid back spinal area. At times when I am showering (with difficulty…lol) and I am facing the warm water, I get an icy feeling, like somone is pouring ice water on my back. On occasion, I feel spasms to different parts of my body.
    thanks again…Jody

    • janmodric


      most of these complaints can be related to spinal disorders you’ve mentioned precisely. Such injuries can be often successfully treated by surgery.

  • JODY D.

    Thanks so very much Jan, Yes all of the tests done so far were written verbatim diagnosis’s. I will ask my Orthopedic Doctor to send me to a Neurologist asap. I have moved and do not have one here. I understand that this will be a long road to travel.
    thank-you for letting me “pick” your brain.

  • VickiG

    Hi Jan, I have been experiencing right hand and arm pain, numbness and tingling for about 2 months now. It started with my fingers “spliting” and bleeding and with a very painful sensation to heat and cold. Then my hand began hurting, getting numb and tingling. Now it is going up my right arm and is hurting constantly. Any suggestions? Thank you.

    • Jan Modric


      it sounds serious. I recommend you to visit your doctor right away — it can be an infection, vascular disorder…no point to discuss here, if I can not provide any treatment.

  • JR

    About four years ago I woke up with both hands like they were on fire and extreme tingling. Never had this problem before. Ever since both hands continue to tingle except for one whole 24 hr period 3 years ago where the tingling like a miracle disapeared but the tingling returned the following day and has been with me everyday. Now in the last 15 days my hands get cold very easily, find myself using gloves to keep them warm around the house,also find my heart is beating very fast quite often but returns to normal,keeps repeating cycle. One week ago stopped drinking coffeinated drinks and over the counter allergy sanus medications.Everything is continuing. Any suggestions on what is going on?

    • Jan Modric


      I recommend you to visit a neurologist. It could be a problem in your cervical spine or a neurological problem affecting your heart, or a heart problem. Blood test would reveal if you have normal levels of vitamin B12, iron and glucose.

  • JR

    To Jan Modric: Thanks for your very ethical, professional medical advice.

  • SistaC

    Hi, Lately I have been having some pain and numbness in my left shoulder/arm area. I use my arm working. So I think this is coming from work. There is also another co-worker that complains of both her arms and fingers. Right now it is just the arm. I tend to pop my neck but not as much as I use to. I have no other injuries/surgeries.
    What do you think this is?

    • Jan Modric


      in repeating arm use, numbness can arise from a pinched nerve in the cervical spine (bulging disc) or shouder area (thoracic outlet syndrome) — read more above in the article.

      A neurologist can decide, which investigations might be necessary. Some rest and exercises, as instructed by a physiotherapist, may help.

  • Flea

    Hello, I have just read many posts and wanted to share my story. 20 years ago, when I was in 1st year university, I had started getting sharp shooting pain in my thumb. Nothing I could physically see, nor feel where the pain was coming from. Then it the pain started to move into my index finger and in the area between the thumb and index finger, up my forearm and eventually into my armpit and my right jaw area. This is the short version but basically for 10 years, I suffered a lot and had every test in the book, except an MRI. In fact, I almost had a Dr. perfom surgery for Thoracic outlet syndrome(he did not send me for an MRI fyi)When I was pregnant with my first child, the pain was so severe I begged them to induce me 2 weeks early. During that time, I had gone to see a PT who suggested that I get an MRI. A month after my son was born, I went for an MRI and it showed I had a shwannoma in the brachial plexus. By the 10th year, my Right hand was always HOT, burning, and I had pretty much become a hermit because I couldnt go out anywhere with out an icepack attached to my hand.My Veins were very enlarged and very very painful, especially the vein that run on the inner side of the lower arm, from the wrist. I had the tumor removed and after about 6 months, slowly my symptons went away. I still have an unusual sensation in the area where the tumor was removed(it was benign btw) but for the most part, I have been able to lead a normal life for the past 10 years.
    My point is, that if you have unexplained pain, and you feel it is nerve or even vein pain, request an MRI.
    Save yourself a lot of waisted time! If my original Dr. had sent me for an MRI in the earlier years, it would have saved me a lot of pain and suffering!
    All the best!

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  • JR

    Now, this needs to be investigated!Interesting….found out that my hands stopped being cold 5 days AFTER I TOTALLY STOPPED EATING POTATOES! I rarely eat potatoes but someone gave me a free 10 pd. bag and went on a binge. Any scientific reasons to this??

    • Jan Modric


      you have reported that cold hands started about March 5th and now stopped. The feeling of cold is mediated from hands to brain where it is interpreted. If there is any disorder along the nerves that supply the hands (in your case probably in the cervical spinal cord or above), tingling, burning, pain and various temperature sensations can appear. A slight change in this disorder can result in a change of one or more symptoms. If cold hands were a symptom of an allergy to potatoes, you would likely notice other symptoms of an allergy, like tingling lips, itchy skin, hives, diarrhea.

  • Joan

    For the last two months I have been experiencing some very strange pain in my arms – most of the time my right arm. There is a constant pain/burning in my right upper arm- that extends to my elbow, down to my middle finger.My arm feels numb at times-like I fell asleep on it and I sometimes have sharp pain when I lift it, or reach for something. Overall I have not felt well either (tired, boughts of diarrhea). My dr. did ‘basic’ blood tests, tests for arthritis, x-rays, and they were negative. I am a bit concerned as last year I was diagnosed with Ehrlichiosis which I was treated for. I also was diagnosed with Shingles last year. I have Epstein Barr, and had a bad round of mono 5 years ago. My dr. wants me to have an EMG but I have a feeling this could be of a viral nature.
    Any suggestions as to what type of dr. I should pursue this with, and what the problem could be?

    • Jan Modric


      have you had stool tests for bacteria and parasites? Have you had white or colorless stools?

      Symptoms in the arm, aggravated by moving the arm, are usualy from a disorder in the cervical spine (in discs or vertebra). CT or MRI would be needed; X-ray can show only rough changes in bones. Shingles are also possible. A neurologist should check your arm.

      Supposedly, some immunity develops after ehrichiosis, lasting for 1 year or more…Is there anything what reminds you to ehrlirhiosis?

      Do you have elevated EBV antibodies? Are some of them of IgM type? IgG type antibodies often persist for prolonged time after mono and they usually mean only that an infection has occured in the past.

      I recommend you to visit a neurologist, and to have stool tests.

  • Jes

    Hi, I woke up today and my left hand felt numb but only half of it,my pinky and ring finger. Also, I stretched out my leg and I got a really strong pain in my calf. Then a little while ago by hand started to quiver a little. I thought the numbness would go away but it still hasn’t. I’m starting to also feel it a bit on my elbow. I don’t have any injuries and don’t have any illnesses that I’m aware of. Is something wrong with me? or am I just being paranoid? I also felt really dizzy last week, and it felt unusual because I never usually feel that way. Is that even relevant to what’s happening to my hand?

    • Jan Modric


      all what you have written is relevant. I suggest you to visit a neurologist. Here is a personal medical history questionnaire that may help you prepare for the appointment. All your problems may be symptoms of a neurological disorder. Even if your symptoms lessen, I recommend you to visit a doctor. Dizziness and numbness from no apparent reason is not normal.

  • haycasso1

    Hi. i am 25 week pregnant and a few weeks ago, started to experience tingling and numbness in my right hand, from my little finger half way through my ring finger.
    I have done some research and found that it could be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but yesterday, I started to get a pain in my right wrist, forearm then spread to my upper arm and arm pit.
    If this is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (midwife due to visit for a diagnosis hopefully Monday) will I still have it when my baby is born?

    Thanks for reading.


    • Jan Modric


      symptoms affecting both hands/arms often arise from the spinal cord, like from a bulging/herniated disc. It could be related to pregnancy (change in posture). I recommend you to visit a doctor to get a reliable diagnosis.

  • chrisd

    I lift weights 4 days a week. Over the last two months a growing amount of pain developed around my left elbow to the point where I had to stop. Took 2 weeks off and went back even though the pain did not go away. I’ve lightened the load on that arm in the hopes that it will get better, it hasn’t and now i wake up with numbness and thingling in my arm and hand. Of course I should see a doctor but is there anything I can do on my own?

    • Jan Modric


      yes, you can stop weightlifting. There can be a repeating pressure on the nerve, either in your cervical spine or in the elbow.

  • haycasso1

    I did think, initially, before I read about CTS, that it could be spinal, or the baby putting pressure on a nerve.
    But then i also read that swelling wrist tissue can cause these symptoms. Although my wrists are not overly big anyway.
    But yes, I think I should see the doctor, rather than wait for my midwife. For piece of mind.. and a pain free nights sleep also.

    thanks alot for your reply.

    Brilliant site, fast response too.

  • ookk

    Hi, I’m 29/f, 5’8″, 228lbs (have lost 26lbs since Christmas due to change in diet and exercise). I have hypothyroidism, but it’s regulated with Synthroid. I don’t have diabetes, high blood pressure or anything like that. My cholesterol was a little high, but has dropped to normal since my lifestyle changes. My triglycerides have been high (last checked 160), but my Endocrinologist says they will decrease as I continue with my lifestyle changes. I work on the computer 8 hrs a day.

    I have 2 things that I’m not sure are related. In the last week of Dec I sneezed really hard. Within the next day my right ear started hurting. I wasn’t sure if it was from the sneeze or if I was getting an ear infection. The ear pain continued several days, my hearing was also affected. It hurt to hear high pitched sounds, to the point where I would cover my ear and I couldn’t use the phone on that ear. On Jan 3rd I realized I had sudden facial weakness on the right side of my face. My right forehead, eyebrow, eyelid, nostril, mouth could not move properly, but they were not completely paralyzed. The right side of my forehead and into my scalp felt kind of like it was asleep. In fear of a stroke I went to the ER, had a CT scan, came back fine. Was diagnosed with an ear infection that caused the facial weakness. The next day I went to the ENT, she determined I actually did not have an ear infection and thought that the sneeze irritated the nerve that runs through the inner ear or maybe I had some kind of bacteria in there. I was put on antibiotics and Medrol. My Endocrinologist thought it was Bell’s palsy. So I had 3 different diagnoses. Over about 6 weeks it all went away gradually and everything is back to normal.

    Last month my fingers began to feel asleep and they have stayed that way. It was a 4 day progression, 1st day-R pinky, 2nd day-R pinky and R ring finger, 3rd day-R pinky, ring and middle fingers and L pinky and ring fingers, by the 4th day they all felt the same way, “asleep”. After about 2 weeks I went to the orthopedic specialist. He thumbed on my wrists, I didn’t have any shooting pains, but determined that more than likely it’s carpal tunnel, gave me an anti-inflammatory & night splints. 2 weeks later I went back (I had no relief with either the medication or the splints) and he scheduled an EMG. I had the EMG 2 days ago. People I’ve talked to said the EMG hurt, that it felt like shooting needle pains going through their hand and out their finger tips. Well I did not experience any pain, the shocks felt funny and sometimes tickled, sometimes it made me laugh. Because of this and because I’m not experiencing any other typical carpal tunnel symptoms, I’m doubting that it’s really carpal tunnel, but I’m not sure what else it can be and I don’t know if it’s related to the facial weakness that I experienced in Jan. I don’t have any pain at all, not aching, not shooting, not pins and needles, nothing. My fingers simply feel “asleep”, to me that means, I can feel with them but the sensation is different, they feel funny. I have all of my strength and movement. Sometimes my palms feel asleep too. They sometimes feel a little worse when I run on the treadmill and they sort of feel better when my hands are cold, but the degrees of better and worse are small. It doesn’t seem to be better or worse after sleeping and it doesn’t wake me up at night. Actually I’ve stopped wearing the night splints because they don’t seem to be making a difference. I will get my EMG results either tomorrow or next week.

    I’m just wondering what else this could possibly be and if you think it truly sounds like it could be carpal tunnel and is it possible that the 2 things could be related? Thank you for your time!

    • Jan Modric


      in a carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve is affected and symptoms appear in the thumb, index and middle finger on the affected side. In an ulnar nerve disorder (like in cubital tunnel syndrome – see in the article) the pinky and ring finger and related part of the hand, and sometimes forearm, are affected. If you lean your elbows/forearms on the desk during computer workk, this may be the cause. Both hands symptoms can also arise from a pinched nerve in the cervical spine. CT or MRI of the spine can show this. It does not seem to be related with ear/facial symptoms, which probably resulted from sneezing. Ideally, you could take a week of rest or so, avoiding computer work, bending elbows and carrying any heavy things and see if it helps. Your EMG results will tell more.

  • ray

    hi my names is ray well my step dad woke up today and his ring and pinky fingers on his left hand are numb and the numbness is moving up his arm what does this mean????

    • Jan Modric


      numbness in pinky and ring finger spreading upwards toward the elbow can be caused by several causes, one of them is an injury of the elbow. Even prolonged or repeated leaning of the elbow upon the desk (like during computer work) could cause this.

  • PJ

    I woke up in the middle of the night with a numb, tingling, burning, itching sensation in my right index finger. I have never felt anything like this before and I can’t pinpoint anything that would have caused it (no injury, etc.). I do have an ongoing issue with my right pinky finger in that the nail has a fungal infection that I haven’t been able to resolve for about a year. It’s unsightly but doesn’t affect it’s function or anything.

    My right forearm feels a little numb as well, but nothing like the index finger.

    I work on a computer all day and have for years, but have never had any trouble that seems to be associated with that.

    I have occasional back pain and neck pain, which I have seen a chiropractor for about a year, but stopped a few months ago as it didn’t seem to much good.

    I am a male, 42 years old.

    • Jan Modric


      regarding your computer work, the cause could be slightly inflamed tissues in your wrist (from overuse), pressing upon the median nerve. This is called carpal tunnel syndrome and would likely resolve with some wrist rest…The other likely cause is a pinched nerve in your cervical spine. Maybe a physioterapist can help.

      A fungal infection is not likely related. If ointments have not helped, you can ask your doctor for an oral anti-fungal medication.

  • aaron

    i was in a car wreck in October. They did x-rays and found that i had a wedge fracture in my thoracic spine (around the T-11 T-12 area). Here recently I have had times where I get a sharp pain in my right shoulder that while last for some time and usually after a while my right arm starts to tingle as if asleep. I’ve also had it where i had no shoulder pain and it seems as if my lateral side of my right arm is falling asleep (through my tricep and elbow and my ring finger and pinky) a couple of days ago i started having pain in my left shoulder and tingling sensation in all parts of my left arm only it took the tingling in my left arm about a hour and a half to go away (this was shortly after waking up) where as it is usually only temporary in my right arm. I then had an instance where i was lifting something and both my hands suddenly went to sleep, and then today i was working out at the gym and i was doing push-ups and i was finishing the exercise my arms started to fall asleep. if you could give me any guidance it would be much appreciated. (I have talked to my doctor about the tingling in my right arm and he told me it was because i smoke and it is cold)

    • Jan Modric


      symptoms in your shoulders and arms may arise from pinched nerve(s) in your cervical spine. I can’t say if this is related to car accident. It could be from a degeneration disc disease resulting in a bulging or herniated disc. I recommend you to arrange an appointment with a neurologist. It should be a freezing cold or you should have a severe atherosclerosis for cold or smoking to cause your symptoms, which does not sound likely to me.

  • lizanjheitz

    I have been experiencing heaviness and mild pain in both of my arms for several days. I especially notice it at night when I am trying to go to sleep. My hands seem to have the veins dilated. When I raise my hands above my head, the pressure stops and the veins don’t bulge as much. I have the pain which is a heavy pressure with tingling in both hands and arms, but it seems to be worse in my right hand/arm. Do you think it is vascular or neurological?

    • Jan Modric


      are veins in your hands more dilated than usually? One possible cause is a week heart that can not pump the blood from the veins efficiently. Other possible causes: venous thrombosis, inflammed lymph nodes in your armpits. You can read about swollen arms here:

      In a neurological cause (pinched nerve), symptoms would likely worsen rather than disappear during arm lifting. I strongly recommend you to visit your primary doctor who can refer you to an appropriate specialist.

  • Abcmtz

    I have all over joint pain and swollen joints, mainly in my hands, wrists, and knees. Then when I lay down I get that numbness and tingling feeling to the point where it hurts uo and down both arms. The only way I can relieve it is if I sit straight up. I havent been in an accident or anything, it was a sudden onset last weekend.

    • Jan Modric


      this sounds like arthritis (maybe rheumatoid arthritis). I recommend you to see a rheumatologist.

  • lizanjheitz

    That is interesting. My arms aren’t swollen. It is just my veins that are dilated. My rings don’t fit tightly or anything. I should have told you, I have adhesions in my chest. My omentum is stuck to my liver and wrapped around my duodenum. I just hope that the adhesions aren’t trapping circulation too. The adhesions are quite extensive. This was the result of having a bile leak after galbladder surgery. Do you think this might have something to do with my symptoms? I have been very fatigued lately as well. I also have been having frequent infections. Another symptom I noticed is that when I do deep breathing and relaxation exercises, my hands get more tingly with pins and needles. I find it difficult to bend my fingers sometimes like they are locked up. Is that still a weak heart, or the adhesions cutting my circulation off?

    • Jan Modric


      from these additional symptoms, you’ve listed I’m even more convinced you should see a doctor. Frequent infections and fatigue can be, for example, from a heart disorder (well, this would go with leg swelling at least) or from a blood disorder, like anemia or leukemia. Even your primary doctor can order some basic blood tests. I encourage you to check this personal medical history questionnaire and write down all your symptoms in a time line. This may help your doctor a lot.

  • lizanjheitz

    Thank you very much for your input. I hope it is nothing serious.

    • Jan Modric


      if infections, fatigue, prominent veins and heavy arms will not go away in few days, I encourage you to see a doctor, since it CAN be something serious.

  • tamilou

    My problem is my hands stay swollen, burning sensation, tingling in (R)middle, ring and thumb, (L) thumb, and index fingers, severe pain in hands, losing grip and dropping things and at night the pain wakes me up it is so severe in my shoulders, arms and hands. I don’t have RA. Drs. have me on neurotin 100mg 2x daily, predisone for the third time for this. I also take Lorcet 10 for degeneric diease in the lower part of my back. The MRI shows I have lost 2 dics in the lower part of back I think it is L4 and L5. Please need some advice nothing helps the pain or any of the other problems. Went to the neurologist the other day but they wouldn’t see me because my insurance wouldn’t pay for test and I didn’t have $1300.00. I do have plague build up in heart, under active thyroid on meds for these.

    • Jan Modric


      underactive thyroid can cause swelling in the wrists resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome. Blood tests for TSH and thyroxine can reveal, if the levels are normal. When degenerated discs are present in the lower back they can be also in the cervical spine – these can then cause symptoms in the arms. A neurologist can say if a physiotherapy can help in pain arising from the spine. Avoiding prolonged standing and sitting, and having regular walks can help.

  • abcmtz

    I left a comment a couple of days and just like you I figured I had RA. Well, I got my blood test results back today and was told I have Lupus. My ANA Direct was was positive, my Anti-DNA (DS) Ab Qn was 17 when 0-9 is normal, and my C-Reactive Protein, Quant was 11 when 0-4.9 is normal.
    I am going to see a rheumatologist to do more tests. Is Lupus a good diagnosis or should I get another opinion?

    • Jan Modric


      lupus can cause arthritis. I believe, rheumatologist will know, which additional tests to order, if necessary.

  • Jessica23

    I am a 24 year old female, 5’4″ 128lbs. I am quite active where I work (lots of walking) and I like to jog daily. I have been dealing with Lower back pain (left side mostly)which is sometimes mild and sometimes more acute – varies, for about a year now. Many times the pain will run down my buttock and someimes into the thigh. About a week and a half ago I noticed some tingling in my left foot, mostly toes. That has gone away for the most part (it lasted about a week). When the tingling started to go away in my foot, I noticed a cramping sensation, and that subsided and now my foot is feeling quite good. I went to an appointment with the doctor yesterday to discuss my back and foot symptoms, and also my irregular bowel movements (constipation). I was so nervous about the appointment and what my symptoms might be caused from, that my left hand was literally shaking. I was so fearfull and scared, extremely tense and unable to eat or sleep well. (I get anxiety very easily and often, and some mild panic attacks). After the appointment, my doctor diagnosed me with sciatica and constipation (she gave me a miralax regamin to try). Last night when I was on my way to bed, I noticed that my pinky finger and part of my palm on my left hand was a bit numb (not totally) and it was slightly tingling. When I woke in the morning my whole arm had a weekened sensation and felt warm and tense, same symptoms with the left hand numbness and tingle. Again, I went into panic mode because of the symptoms. Could any of the numbness in my arm and hand be related to stress/anxiety?
    Other things to consider:
    I have an enlarged lymph node under my right arm…had it for about 2 years. Blood tests and ultra sound found nothing unusual. Blood count normal and no infection present (went on antibiotics just in case).
    I wake up in the morning and the first few steps I take my feet are a bit swelled, but it goes away imediately. I sometimes have night sweats (not severe, they don’t soak the sheets or my clothes).
    Any input? I’m scared I have MS

    • Jan Modric


      symptoms in the left arm may arise from the cervical spine (probably from the same reason as leg smproms), but theorhetically, both leg and arm symptoms could arise from the brainstem or the right part of the brain. CT or MRI of the neck and head can be done for diagnosis.

      When all tests are negative, a biopsy of the lymph node can be done. It is important to mention leg swelling and night sweets to the doctor.

  • Jessica23

    The arm and hand feels much better today, I don’t notice any numbness.
    I also forgot to mention that I have scoliosis.
    You don’t think stress or anxiety could be a factor in any of this?

    • Jan Modric


      anxiety can result in muscle tightness and this may result in some pressure to nerves as they arise from the spinal cord and scoliosis could contribute to this. A disc degeneration in the cervical spine is still possible. Anxiety itself, without other disorders, does not likely cause prominent tingling limited to one limb. The enlarged lymph node and night sweets – it’s this what the doctor should check.

  • catlady

    hi my name is cat i am here because my dad who is 87 yrs old has numbness and pain and sometimes swelling in his hands and feet ive been in and out of hospitals nobody seems to know what is wrong i cant put my poor dad threw anymore test for them to say we didnt find anything they pretty much blamed it on a med.he has an appointment on may 6th of this yr i hope i get the right answers he is also takeing nerotin twice a day and i put hot and cold packs on him what else can i do?i also see avtised gloves to help stimlize your blood flow how well does that work well any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jan Modric


      to start with an effective treatment, the cause of the swelling has to be found. The main question seems to be where swelling arises from. A weak heart (heart failure), kidney failure, hypothyroidim, electrolite imbalance in the blood, arthritis, certain drugs are some causes of swelling. Numbness and pain can be then a result of the swelling. Warm compresses can help in pain, but cold compresses reduce swelling, so I can hardly judge what would be appropriate. I would not buy any remedies before he gets a diagnosis. He should take all the drugs he is taking with him, so the doctor can see if any of those cause his symptoms. A detailed history (questionnaire) of his problems (what, where, from when..) can be of great help. Any known underlying disease? Any resembling diseases in the family?

  • timc

    hi there, im 25 and have been having a tingling in my right hand fingers(worse at night). It feels like my fingers have swollen 3x their size. Then just recently my whole right arm started to feel weak including my hand and fingers.

    • Jan Modric


      if fingers only feel, but not actually look swollen, the likely cause is a disorder in the cervical spine. A neurologist or orthopedist can determine the exact cause. If fingers are actually swollen, there can be a blockage of the lymph vessel or a vein. If not sure, your primary doctor can tell.

  • nikos

    hello i am 28 years old and i exercise a lot during the last 6 months that i lost 11 kg, mostly jogging and weight lifting and i can say that i am pretty fit. during all this time as usual i had muscle pains pretty much everywhere in my body because of the training.3-4 days ago i felt a pain that i consider it to be normal in my shoulder.yesterday i woke up and i was feeling my left arm and shoulder slightly numb, so slightly that it took me a little while to identify i was worried the whole day and didn’t sleep well at i woke up and the numbness was still there.any thoughts what could possibly cause the numbness?
    P.S. i never had any medical problems in the past.

    • Jan Modric


      I guess numbness in your shoulder and arm can arise from a slight injury in your cervical spine, probably acquired during weight lifting. A small injury , like a bulging disc often resolves on its own, but I recommend you to stop with weight lifting for a while and see if it helps.

  • timc

    hi there jan, the feeling in the arm and fingers are joined by a few other symptoms like nausea and chest pain and a few other little nigles. i was just wondering in your opinion could this be anything major or not. At hospital i was told i had GERD but they did no tests, just listened to my chest and took in what i was tellin them. the medication they put me on is no help.

    • Jan Modric


      major things could cause small symptoms and vice versa. Heartburn (if this is a problem) can be from GERD and this can be from stomach infection by Helicobacter pylori. Blood and breath tests exist. All details are important. You might want to check a personal medical history form to recall all symptoms. What have you described in your first posts sounds quite serious. A neurologist can tell more.

  • nikos

    hello again,yesterday the numbness(more like a tingling this time) spread to my whole body , i mean i was numb in my right leg then in my right arm then in my face e.t.c. but still the feeling was not ??? annoying. today when i woke up everything was o.k, i felt nothing, but now from time to time i notice again slight numbness in my left side of the face my left arm and left and right leg. but not as distinct as yesterday.
    thanks in advance for any answer.

    • Jan Modric


      a neurologist can determine the cause of such widespread numbness and I recommend you to arrange an appointment soon. Facial numbness is not likely from a pinched nerve or exercises..

  • jessica23

    How often is a vitamin deficiency (such as b6 and b12) linked to a tingling or numbness sensation in limbs and extremities? Do many people have a vitamin b deficiency? I have had trouble over the years with anemia, and now I’m wondering if my experience with tingling could be linked to a vitamin problem. I was doing research on what might be the reasons I have been having some tingling symptoms and read where vitamin b could be the issue. I heavily upped the dose with a multivitamin along with vitamin b supplements, after a week of the vitamins, my tingling has all but vanished. Could the vitamin deficiency be my problem? I have an apt. scheduled with the doctor next week to talk to her about some possibilities.

    • Jan Modric


      blood related causes of tingling include: anemia (low iron or vit B12), other blood abnormalities, low vitamins B (probably not only B6), low potasium, low calcium, hypoglycemia, uremia (in kidney disease), low blood pressure. Other causes: hypothyroidism, diabets, other hormonal abnormalities, menopause. You might want to check for other causes of chronic paresthesia.

      Vitamin B deficiency is a realistic cause of tingling in limbs, but appropriate tests should be done.

  • timc

    Hi again Jan,

    I took your advice and seen the neurologist yesterday, he was happy there was no need for a CT scan yesterday but said if the problems persist to go back and see him and they will carry one out. Thankyou for the advice.

  • Scuba Steve

    For the past three months or so, I’ve been waking at night with problems with tingling in my arms. It started with just the arm I was laying on so I would turn over…then it started to seem like it was both of them. The last few weeks, when I wake up the hands are sore, itch and feel swollen while things used to just feel tingly, but my ring still fits the same.

    I’m a 40 year old male, don’t smoke, drink occasionally and have been rear-ended twice in major accidents. I do eat quite a bit of salt (sea salt, if that matters) and have been diagnosed in the past as pre-diabetic, but I am seldom over 135ish on blood sugar even when eating very poorly. The diet isn’t terribly well-rounded and I do drink a ton of diet soda, to the point where I am frequently seeming dehydrated based on urination.

    I work exclusively at computers when not doing this remodel, so carpal would have come to mind (especially since it exacerbates when typing) if it weren’t seemingly so caused by lying down.

    During the day the hands get better, as I am in the process of remodeling our house, so I’m working physically. I still feel the tingly numbness in the hands when I do certain things like type or use my hands a great deal or in the hands/arms when working above my shoulder/elbow levels.

    Sometimes I have a few days where it doesn’t happen, but it’s been pretty consistent otherwise.

    Any ideas?

    • Jan Modric

      Scuba Steve,

      one hypothesis could be that your neck spine was injured during the car accident, then a bulging or herniated disc has developed with time, maybe with the “help” of sitting work – and symptoms are now aggravated by lying down and typing. A carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) may be an additional issue. In CTS, hands, wrists and sometimes forearms are afected, but not likely the arms up to the shoulders.

      Occasional hypoglycemia or dehydration can aggravate the symptoms. Long-term hyperglycemia (mostly in untreated diabetes) can damage the nerves.

      What might help:
      – hard matress and thin pillow
      – water insted of (caffeinated) soda
      – making breaks during prolonged sitting work
      – diet for diabetes
      – physiotherapy
      – physical examination by an orthopedist or neurologist who can judge if any investigation, like imaging of the neck, is necessary

  • Fai

    I sometimes get a burning sensation on my hands and arms (usually, it’s more intense near the hands). The sensation is like my hands are on fire. Usually it happens once every 2-3 months, but this can also sometimes occur twice in a month and sometimes no occurrence for 3 -4 months straight. Still, whenever it happens, boy it’s UNCOMFORTABLE.

    Ok, to clarify a few things, this NEVER happens when I am awake during the day. It always happens with me trying to sleep in the night after a rather ordinary day. Starts with me not being able to fall to sleep after laying on the bed for 2-3 hours, and then when I am on the verge of falling asleep, the burning sensation starts, slowly and gradually my hands and arms start burning up. Now the strange thing is that when this happens, I am almost on the verge of sleeping, and the more I try to sleep, the more this burning sensation worsens, and because of it, I start feeling hot all over, regardless of what the room temperature is. If I try and wake my self up, which by the way is extremely hard cuz of the drowsiness, the burning sensation slowly starts to go away, and it does go away if I stay awake. But, as soon as I start drifting back to sleep, this burning sensation returns.

    Unfortunately, this lasts for 1-2 hours until I somehow go to sleep, and when I wake up the next day, the burning sensation is gone, I feel absolutely fine and the next day goes by very much normal.

    The first time it happened, I thought nothing of it and ignored it, but since then, this thing has occurred once every 2-3 months on some cursed night!!! …

    My background: I am 23 years old, 171cm, 164 lbs, and have no other health problems. Did have some acid reflux problems 2-3 years back, with stomach endoscopy results showing moderate gastritis for which I took some meds back then for 6-8 months (Proton Pump Inhibitors, Nexium and Losec). Since then, I am completely off all sorts of medication and manage my acidity problems with a slightly controlled diet.

    • Jan Modric


      if you overuse your wrists during work, this could be from carpal tunnel syndrome. A disorder in the neck, like a bulging disc or arthritis could result in pinched nerves that supply the arms – this could happen with a certain neck position, especially if you use a thick pillow.

      Other disorders without pressure on the spinal nerves, like low blood pressure, slow heart rate at night, hypoglycemia…usually result in numbness or tingling rather than burning.

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  • Scuba Steve


    Thanks for the feedback…it’s greatly appreciated.

    A little more info:

    I already use a rather firm bed with a TempurPedic (bought with money from one of those drunks that hit me) and I normally used two TempurPedic pillows but dropped to one last night, so we’ll so how that goes.

    I’m downing about 5 24oz glasses of water a day, so that should help the other problem and “only” had 4 diet cokes yesterday.

    The breaks during prolonged sitting I have always done, as my wife used to work for an ergonomic chair manufacturer. I also use a chair with 17 adjustments set for me but I do have a shelf under my desk I cant seem to avoid using as a foot rest even though I know its bad. I do tend to lean on the desk with my forearms a lot.

    Blood sugar is still maintaining around 135ish (check it regularly), so I don’t think it is anything diabetes or hypoglycemia/hyperglycemia related.

    I have had back problems in one spot or another since the second wreck in 2000, so I’m inclined to lean towards the pinched nerve ideas. My wife usually walks on my back whenever the pains start getting bad in whatever position and in a few days the back is better, but we haven’t seen that with this, obviously. It might be time to see the chiro?

    With regard to carpal, I have seen where you have advised people that that affects the pinky and fourth fingers particularly, is that correct? I seem to feel my problems more in the thumb and first two fingers, particularly of the left hand. One caveat, though, is that I burned those three digits with a soldering iron a month or so ago, so they are a bit nerve-affected going into the problem but the burns aren’t large and the tingles/itching are.

    • Jan Modric

      Scuba Steve,

      the first three fingers (thumb to middle) are innervated by the median nerve (Picture 1 in the article), which is usually affected in the carpal tunnel syndrome – CTS (from wrist overuse, injury or swelling). Symptoms usually extend from the fingers to wrist. Specific “exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome” exist (online..), that may bring immediate temporary relief, but I can not suggest this to a particular online person, since it may be potentially harmful if there is an injury present. When lying down, blood pressure in the hands falls, providing less blood and hence oxygen to nerves in the hand. Plus, heart rate may decrease considerably during sleeping. This plus eventual swelling of tissues in the wrist (not necessary visible) can affect the median nerve running through the wrist.

      Pinky and ring finger are innervated by the ulnar nerve which can be affected on the spot where it runs near the elbow – funny bone (cubital tunnel syndrome from leaning on elbows, or injury).

      Still, both of above patterns can result from a pinched nerve in the cervical spine.

      If it is a carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist rest would help in….days. Only I’m not sure if carpal tunnel syndrome disappears just because you have waken up.

      It’s still possible that something ‘slips’ in your neck every now and then and presses on the nerve.

      ‘Chiro’ is a wide term…

  • Scuba Steve

    Yes, wide term indeed.

    I do have a very good chiropractor of the non-quack variety…it was a necessity after the second accident.

    It isn’t the finger tips, as shown above, but rather the yellow area of the hand. I am beginning to think it is, as you said, a bit of both CTS and a pinched nerve or cervical issue.

    • Jan Modric

      Scuba Steve,

      burning, *limited* to the back side of the hands (yellow area) would mean only the radial nerves are affected. Radial nerve also innervates the muscles that extend the hand in the wrist and first three fingers, so an isolated disorder of the radial nerve could also (not necessary) result in a ‘wrist drop’ during the ‘attack’.

      Burning in both yellow and red area would mean that radial and median nerve are affected and since nerve fibers for both nerves arise from C5-C8 of the spine, a disorder at this level could be the cause.

      OK, the point of all this discussion is, that it may greatly help to the doctor, if he knows exactly which parts of your hands were affected, and how far up in the arm symptoms go. Doctor himself might not be able to identify these areas during examination when you don’t have symptoms.

      Disorders of the cervical spine can be diagnosed only with an imaging investigation (CT, MR).

  • Scuba Steve

    I’m glad you mentioned back of the hand because I didn’t look at the drawing as closely as I should have…it’s definitely (and only) the pink area because its only on the palm side.

    Last night when laying down, I turned my left leg over my right at a 90 degree angle in that old hip/low back stretch and had a large pop. Got the best sleep I’ve had in weeks after that. Woke up only once with numbness and popped the same direction and went back to sleep.

    Now that I’m awake and typing the feeling in the hand and some of the wrist is back like mad but stops when I stop typing, so it looks like it was two problems.

    By the way, I’ve never had burning…always felt like numb/cold at night with pins/needles in the entire arms and pins/needles in the hands/wrists with numbness during the day.

    • Jan Modric

      Scuba Steve,

      symptoms limited to the thumb side of the palm and wrist, and obviously dependent on wrist use speak for carpal tunnel syndrome. Typing, carying heavy objects in hands, using screwdriver, hammer…can all aggravate the condition, even if you do not notice anything shortly after the work. The main thing to “do” is a wrist rest.

      A disorder of the neck spine *alone* would not likely result in wrist symptoms aggravated by typing. Long-term prolonged sitting may aggravate a pre-existing degenerative disc disease (DDD) in bith lower back and neck, though.

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  • katfarris

    My husband was inflating balls at work-one of them blew up in his hands. Denies pain, now c/o numbness and cold 3rd finger left hand. Any ideas cause/treatment, etc. Occured only 1 hour ago.

    • Jan Modric


      we can’t comment first aid issues online. If there is any cut, he should see a doctor immediately.

  • AuroraUSF

    I have been having arm numbness for about 2 months now, It is the worst when I wake up and usually takes an hour before I can feel again. Throughout the day I also have numbness but if I move it around it seems to prevent it from becoming completely numb. I also get this in my leg as well. It’s only the right side of my body. Any suggestions?

    • Jan Modric


      if the numbness is clearly limited to the right arm and leg, the disorder may be in the cervical and lumbar spine (like a pinched nerve). If the numbness is alsoin the trunk, the disorder may be in the left half of the brain. I believe you might want to visit a specialist, like neurologist.

  • AuroraUSF

    I am also a 30 yr female. Exercise at least 5 days a week. I am 5 ft, 125 lb with no medical history and am good health.

  • travandsan

    Hi. I am 40 years old, female, in good shape, and for the past 2 years, I have noticed that when I take a deep breath, I get a tingling sensation down both my arms, all the way to my fingers. -every single time I take a deept breath. I used to be a collegiate athlete and now go see a chiropractor for upper neck pain and headaches for probably weightlifting injuries.
    I cannot find anywhere online about deep breathing & tingling of hands. I do sleep with my arms under my pillow. But I don’t think breathing is a part of that. Please help!

    • Jan Modric


      one possible cause could be thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) affecting subclavian artery (arterial TOS). During deep breath, this artery that supplies the arm could be compressed a bit on the site where it passes the first rib and clavicle.

      Online search for “deep brath numb arms” leads to one forum where some people with multiple sclerosis report about the same symptom – numbness in hands during deep breath.

  • pip

    hey there, just wondering, i have tingling in my fingers after holding a bowl of cold cereal or ice cream what does that mean? also walking to school, my ears get red and itchy, and really hot. This is in the winter so i find it weird.

    • Jan Modric


      symptoms in fingers and ears you’ve described may be a Raynaud’s syndrome or disease; they are triggered by cold or stress. In some cases this is a “primary” disorder, meaning the cause is not known, but sometimes the cause can be found by investigations performed by a doctor.

  • pip

    oh and the balls of my fingers( my finnger tips) swell a little and go a tad red.. it is really strange feeling and no matter what i do it doesnt stop, it eventually goes away.

  • trikky

    My right hand/wrist/fingers are numb/tingling, its a wierd sensation mostly coming on during the night. Its disturbing my sleep and i looked a few things up and just wondered if clubbed fingers could cause this feeling or anything like that. Its primarily in my right hand but sometimes in my left hand just not as severe, what do you think?

    • Jan Modric


      clubbed fingers (nails having the shape of watchglass) and tingling could have the same cause, like a heart disorder or hypothyroidism.

      Tingling/numbness in the wrists, hands and fingers (from thumb to middle) is usually a symptom of a carpal tunnel syndrome due to wrist swelling (not necesary visible) due to wrist overuse, rheumatoid arthritis, etc (see article above).

  • trikky

    what do you mean by watchglass? Is clubbed fingers usually assosciated with tingling in the hand so r not?

    • Jan Modric


      here are some images of clubbed fingers looking like watch glass.

      Clubbed fingers by themselves are not necessary associated with tingling. Tingling appears when nerves are affected by direct pressure (swelling in the wrist), lack of vit B12, uncontrolled diabetes, lack of blood oxygen in pulmonary disease, or other disorders. You might easier find the cause of your symptoms if you search for “finger clubbing causes”. This may be a challenge even for a doctor, though, and some investigations might be needed.

  • noreggo

    Starting yesterday I have had three problems. First of all my neck has been sore for a month. Then yesterday my mouth, face and then each finger one at a time went numb( all on left side) whole process from face to palm took about 30 minutes. When it gets to the palm it quits, then I just feel a little dizzy. It occured again 3 hours later yesterday and again this morning. Any ideal what this might be.

    • Jan Modric


      numbness in the face usually arise from the brainstem, and numbness in the arm/hand from the neck part of the spine (in your case probably from the spinal cord). I realy think this should be checked by a neurologist.

  • Slate

    Last week I fell asleep with my arm up over my head, for the whole night I believe. When I woke, I had pins and needles in my pinky and ring finger (left). Its been a week and it hasn’t changed. They’re functioning fine, but numb. I try to keep them moving during the day in the hopes it will go away, how long does this last for? Did I do serious nerve damage? Thanks!

    • Jan Modric


      pins and needles in pinky and ring finger usually arise from the irritation of the ulnar nerve at the point where it passes the elbow. If you lean the elbows on the desk a lot or you have injured it, this may be a part of “cubital tunnel syndrome (described above in the article). Sleeping with the arm upper the head alone does not likely cause severe nerve damage. If symptoms are lessening, they will likely go completely away on its I don’t know what time, days, weeks..but if symptoms persist, you might want to visit a doctor.

  • Paul

    I have back pain right below my left shoulder blade about 2 or 3 inches left of my spine. I’ve had if for a few days, thought it was getting better, went out and played some golf this weekend, and woke up Sunday morning to 7 out of 10 pain and back spasms (something I’ve never experienced). When I woke up this morning (Monday) my right ring and pinky fingers felt like they were asleep. I thought it was from how I was sleeping and that the tingling would go away but after being awake for 3 hours they are still tingling. Do you think these things are related? For my back pain should I just use ice and heat or go see a doctor?

    • Jan Modric


      symptoms in pinky and ring finger may be from golf – during which the ulnar nerve (running beside the elbow) can be affected (cubital tunnel syndrome, tenis elbow). Another possible cause is a pinched nerve in the cervical spine. Pain below the shoulder blade could be from a pinched nerve in the thoracic spine. Both of these pains could occur in degeneration disc disease (DDD) and, again, could be aggravated by playing golf.

  • ilenear

    I’ve been waking in the mornings with what I guess are panic attacks…very anxious and tense. Hearbeat ok. Physical showed nothing. Then the last few days I am also awaking with a numbness from left shoulder to finger tips. Take a while to completely fade away.
    I have been working out my arms hard, but with all my random stress symptoms, I’m worried it might be something more…thoughts?

    • Jan Modric


      “working out arms hard” can result in a bulging disc and pinched nerve in the cervical spine – this could cause numbness in the arm. A heart disorder (angina pectoris) would cause pain (rather than just numbness) behind the breastbone, possibly radiating into the left shoulder and arm (toward the pinky finger).

      A minor bulging in the cervical spine often resolves on its own; arm/neck rest is recommended, though. If symptoms won’t lessen within a week, you might want to visit the doctor again.

  • Dee Dee

    I have tingling, numbness, weakness and PAIN in neck, shoulers, elbows, arms, hands, fingers for several years. Recently (few weeks) also from shoulder blades and legs fall asleep easily and feel weak. I work on a computer all day. Had to quit playing video games at home. Also have diziness but that’s from Miniere’s disease and stomache problems but I also have IBS. What could it be?

    • Jan Modric

      Dee Dee,

      symptoms from shoulders to fingers could be due to a disorder in the neck spine. There are a lot of causes of leg swelling, hard to say more from this plain desrciption.

  • Dee Dee

    Sorry, also swelling in legs and hands from time to time. Been tested for carpal tunnel but they couldn’t give me exact dx. Have dr’s appt coming up.

  • sophiam1415

    1st was numbness on the left side of my face, my face was droopy then it spread to numbness of my left arm. Was admited to the ER on 2/12/10 and was diagnosed with epilipsy I was told that I had and abnormal electrical discharge on the right side of my brain that was causing the numbness with my face and arm.Was out on 200gm of carbatrol. Eversince then I have constant headaches and it has gone from bad to worse. Now I have numbness in my feet and on my right side both arm and face. Horrible head and neck pain. Dizziness and my hands are starting to tremble. I have no idea what is going on with me? Any ideas?

    • Jan Modric


      carbatrol has side effects one possible side effect is headache. Epilepsy can have an organic cause in the brain, so you might want to discuss about these possibilities with your doctor. Numbness in all body parts could arise from the brain.

  • karanchauhan1

    Dear Jan, pls refer to my privious message-
    am having tickling and weekness feeling in both my arms since yesterday. I had a party and a lot of beer the day before and had other hangover symtoms with this tickling and weekness in my hands.
    The feeling is not very intense and has reduced a bit, but it is still their today as well.
    I dnt have any medical problem and im 26, though I do drink like twice a week 4-5 drinks.

    After this I got checked by a neurologist who conducted Nerve test (something with giving shocks), B6, B12, Diabities and blood pressure all was perfect and he declared me FIt and also the feeling went after 4-6 days.

    Over the last 10 days it has started to reoccure but with less intensity but also I have a slight neck pain

    I still drink but lesser then before, pls suggest what to do, or what to try

    • Jan Modric


      alcohol causes dehydration – even if it seems there’s a lot of water in the drink, after drinking, during hangover, you have less water in the body than before drinking. Dehydration can result in low blood presure and weakness and tickling sensations in hands. Alcohol itself can be toxic for the nerves, and if you are facing these problems, you may want to reduce amount of alcohol.

      Neck pain can be connected with tickling hands. A bulging or herniated disc or arthritis in the cervical spine can pinch the nerve(s) that supply the arms and hands and cause symptoms. Sometimes an imaging investigation (CT, MRI) of the neck is necessary to find the cause. A neurologist can say if physiotherapy would help. Prolonged sitting without a break can aggravate neck pain.

  • TheyCallMeRyan

    I’m 22 and have been having numbness and tingling in my right arm (elbow down), thumb, but mostly in my index finger. It started about a week ago and really bothers me in my sleep. One night I woke up and my entire hand felt my blood circulation was cut off…I had to shake my hand to get the feeling back. When I extend my arm out, palm down, and rotate I really get a tingling sensation almost like if your entire arm was asleep. My index finger feels like swollen…it doesnt look swollen but when I touch it with my other hand it almost feels dead (if that makes sense)…I can still move it everything fine, no problems with any of that. When I press down on my finger…it almost feels sore a bit. I am worried though cause it doesnt seem to be going away. I’ve also been experiencing what feels like heart or chest pains on my left side…not horrible, maybe once or twice a day. Maybe it’s in my head but I’ll reach down and feel my heart and I can barely feel it (I’m a small guy and usually I can feel my heartbeat pounding no problem). Does any of this relate to a heart condition? Or is it just a nerve that’s pinched? I feel normal otherwise…I’m NOT feeling lightheaded or low on energy or anything…I’m just wondering if it has anything to possibly do with my heart not pumping enough blood to my arm cause I feel like my circulation on my right side isn’t right…

    Thanks for any help!

    • Jan Modric


      heart pain usually radiates into the left arm, and it’s a pain or tingling, not likely numbness. A nerve that supplies the arm below the elbow may be pinched in the cervical spine (like from a bulging disc) or in the wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome), for example. There still can be a problem with the heart, only I can’t say if it’s related to the right arm…A neurologist can tell more.

  • karanchauhan1

    Dear Jan
    Thanks for ur instant reply!
    SO nice that u sit and answer all our queries

    My pain has reduced n so has the tinkling but its still there, slightly, pls suggest if I SHd visit a nero, last time I went I end up having test worth almost $200 n everthing was fine, He suggested B12 n folic acid tablet though my levels were normal (after the test) shdould I have them or should I go to the nero again.

    Thanks again

    • Jan Modric


      I do not know what is the cause of your symptoms, but one possibility is that you have a pinched nerve in the cervical spine, and symptoms are aggravated when you get dehydrated after drinking alcohol or otherwise. Vitamin B12 “normal level” has a wide range, and taking supplements in “low normal” level could be reasonable, if you already had payed for them. The same for folate.

      If symptoms mainly occur after drinking, this should be considered as the main trigger. If symptoms persist even after few weeks with no drinking, a cervical spine should be maybe considered as the cause (regarding you mentioned neck pain). In short: if symptoms seem to resolve, there’s probably no need to see a doctor now, but avoiding drinking and vigorous exercise and avoiding carrying heavy objects may provide enough rest for your spine and nerves.

  • gago

    Greetings Jan,
    Great site!! I’m a 59 year old male that has had tingling/numbness down my left arm and into my index finger (primarily) for the past 3+ weeks. Saw my PCP (a GP) last Tuesday and he had me take an x ray and gave me a perscription for diclofenac and cyclobenzapari as a muscle relaxant for sleeping. One of his nurses called on Friday with the results of the x-ray. Degenerative Disc Disease. Didn’t hear back from him before closing time Friday and have been left to stew over this for the weekend! Last night I got very hot (101 temp), my lower back area (kidneys) began throbing, and my heart/pulse began pumping quite strongly till 0230. I am also taking lisinopril (blood psi), protonix (acid reflux), and simvastatin (cholesterol). I have a neurologist I’m seeing for migrane’s/dizzyness. I’ll be seeing one or both of the dodctor’s next week concerning this but would appreciate your thoughts in the mean time. I’m wondering if the migraines could be tied in with this disc disease?? Thanks for your help Jan!!

    • Jan Modric


      numbnes in the index finger may be from degeneration disc disease (DD) in the neck. Migraine has a lot of possible triggers, stress (physical, psychological) is one of them..diseases and medications can contribute to stress…Dehydration, hypoglycemia, skiping meals, and other migraine triggers may be involved. DDD could also contribute. Fever with throbbing in kidneys and racing heart could be from urinary infection, for example, – urine test would reveal it. You can think, if you had change any medication combination on the day with the fever and discuss about all with an urologist.

  • gago

    Forgot to say that I stopped taking the diclofenac and cyclobenzapari today thinking there may be an interaction problem? Because of the fever, back pain, and racing heart/pulse I’m beginning to wonder if I may just be coming down with something unrelated to these medications??
    Thanks again!!

  • matbar84

    I cut my left palm open a few days ago. Today the cut hurts more than yesterday and I also started to have tingling sensation in both of my arms and hands as well as

    • Jan Modric


      to prevent complications, I recommend you to see a doctor as soon as possible.

  • joyjoy

    my mom is constantly feeling numbness in both arms especially at night. We thought it was carpal tunnel but I think it probably is related to a pinched nerve. She is very stubborn and continues to work even though we encouraged her to rest her arms and stretch. Her doctor indicated it might be partially carpal tunnel and gave her cortisone injections in her wrist a few times, but that only relieved the pain and numbness for a few days. She has interrupted sleep due to numbness and has to wake up and swing her arms back and forth. I’d like to take her to see a specialist, but don’t know where to start. Any suggestions on what might be causing this and who I should take her to see to get this corrected?

    • Jan Modric


      they are a neurologist and orthopedist that deal with numbnes in the arm. In carpal tunnel syndrome, symptoms are mostly from wrists to fingers (thumb and index), and in a pinched nerve in the cervical spine the whole (or a part) of the upper limb from the shoulder to (any) fingers can be affected.

      Carpal tunnel syndrome may be caused, for example, by arthritis (she would be likely aware of it) or from wrists overuse, and a wrists rest is the first required measure. A cervical disorder resulting in a pinched nerve can be diagnosed by a CT or MRI of the neck.

  • Natalia

    I am a 34 year old female.I started using Zoloft recently for depression and anxiety.I did have a low B12 count several months ago.I went for test after extreme tingling in the face and scalp would not leave!I also have severe PMS and started a progesterone tablet daily with the Zoloft.My emotions seemed to have stabilized but I still have tingling in the face and ears during the day or when I am teaching.I do not kbow if its serotonin,low progesterone or B12.I take a sublingual B12 daily.Not sure if I should just increase the dosage of B12?It has been a trying time and thank goodness I feel loads better.Not as sleepy,memory is better.It’s just the darn tingling and earache in my right ear which comes and goes and pains even I walk on a windy day!!! Any advice???Please help!!!!

    • Jan Modric


      low vitamin B12 levels can be easily improved by vit B12 injections. Eventual low levels of other vitamins (folate?) or minerals (iron?) can also result in tingling. Hypoglycemia and dehydration are next two common causes.

      Earache my be caused by some other disorder, which could also contribute to tingling, so you may consider to visit an ENT doctor.

  • Rickeoo

    I wake up every morning for the last two months with my left arm hurting from elbow to hand and fingers,some numbness,tingling, and swelling in fingers,I can sit up for about 20 minutes and pain goes away, I fall back asleep and wake up 30 minutes later hurting again,no pain through the day.I started blood pressure medicine about three months ago [exforge 320mg-5mg} and was curious if this could be the cause or is it something else probaly causing this. Doctor says its not the blood pressure medicine, but I’ve read alot on the internet saying this medication can cause carpel turnel. Sorry for the spelling. Thanks in advance for any reply.

    • Jan Modric


      exforge can, among other symptoms, cause swelling of joints, hands, feet, which could result in tingling. So, yes, carpal or cubital (at elbow) tunnel syndrome are possible, even if not mentioned with these terms. You can search for exforge side effects on and print the page and show it to the doctor. I cannot say that this is the actual cause in your case, since you do not mention any other circumstances (injury, exercise, arthritis?).

  • Jacisipmac

    Hi, I’m a 23 y/o Male 5’4” 125lbs.

    I’ve been experiencing some strange neurological symptoms lately and it has me fairly worried. I also think I’m a hypochondriac. Since this started I’ve been having extreme anxiety and I can’t stop myself from self-diagnosing (Brain Tumor, Spinal Tumor, ridiculous things based on my mundane symptoms.) Hence here I am on the internet looking for advice.

    I have an appt. with my primary care doc on Tuesday to discuss my anxiety and the following symptoms, but wanted to make sure this wasn’t more urgent as I have to go out of town Thursday-Sunday with my band and would hate to keel over on stage…

    A few weeks ago I was suffering a “strange,” feeling in my right groin area, and occasional twinges in my right abdomen. No noticable lumps on testes or scrotum or in inguinal area. It subsided.

    Earlier this week I was suffering dull nagging extreme low back ache that extended into the right buttock and hip and what seemed to be some mild muscle weakness in my right leg (like I had been working out or was sick or dehydrated). It doesn’t effect daily activities like stair climbing, walking, or lifting, my calf, quad, and ankle just seem tired or stiff- I dont know… weird.

    The condition seemed to be worse after standing for a long period of time and was bothering me yesterday during work. I took some Ibuprofen and the ache seemed to fade away but before I got off work I started experiencing strange feelings in my arm, It started out as a sensitive area under and outside of my right shoulder blade and traveled down the back of my upper arm, the outside of my forearm and to my wrist, outside palm and little finger. kind of tingly, but not like it’s “asleep,”.

    I just can’t stop freaking myself out. I’ve never had any neurological problems. I feel like I’m dying! Like I need to dive into an MRI machine right this instant. I’m trying to stay calm and wait for my appt. Tuesday but I’m finding it increasingly difficult. Now i have a little catch in my neck that causes a bit of a shooting pain, very mild, on the left side of the back of my neck near my skull and only every now and then.

    I think I’ve successfully convinced myself that brain cancer is trying hard to end me while I type this.

    I have no other alarming symptoms.
    No mood changes (the paranoia and hypochondria aren’t new I did this a few months ago when I thought I was having heart episodes.) no loss of bladder or bowel control, vision or hearing problems, headaches, numbness, no weakness other than the weird feeling I described earlier.

    Just strange feelings in my right arm and right leg.

    I guess I’m really just begging for qualified reassurance. That I’ll survive the weekend and be able to talk to my regular doctor on Tuesday.

    Even that this is an emergent situation and I need to seek help Immediately would be better than not knowing. I think…

    Please help,

    • Jan Modric


      One likely explanation is that all described symptoms arise from the spine. A pinched nerve(s) in the neck can cause symptoms in the neck and in the arm/hand. A pinched nerve(s) in the lumbar spine can cause symptoms in the lower right abdomen and groin, and in the leg. Prolonged standing typically aggravates symptoms in the leg, which are collecivelly known as “sciatica” (from affected sciatic nerve). All mentioned symptoms may be aggravated by lifting heavy objects, prolonged sitting or standing, or sleeping “the wrong way”. Such symptoms in most cases arise from bulging or herniated discs (as the part of degeneration disc disease – DDD, which is common even in young people) or spinal arthritis (spondylitis).

      Diagnosis of spinal disorders can be made by CT or MRI (X-ray is not enough), ordered by a neurologist or orthopedist. A doctor can then say, if physiotherapy can help, and physiotherapist can recommend some exercises.

      I can’t exclude other neurological disorders from here, but symptoms in brain tumor or multiple sclerosis, for example, do not likely change with body position, or prolonged standing.

  • wlkent67

    Last night I woke up w/ severe stomach cramps—I have been diagnosid w/ IBS—I was very sick to my stomach cause the pains were so bad–sweating alot—then my arms and legs started tingling—and then my fingers on both hands started cramping up like I was paraliyzed—this has never happened to me before–and I do suffer alot from stomach problems and diarraha—It really scared me–after about 10 minutes it went away—please let me know what this was and should I be concerned????
    wendi kent

    • Jan Modric

      Wendi Kent,

      with a repeating diarrhea quite some potassium can be lost – this could be one possible cause for tingling in the arms and legs, and cramps in fingers and in the bowel itself. Dehydration is also possible. You can discuss with the doctor about dehydration, mineral imbalance and the basic blood tests.

  • susie

    one night while i was sleeping…i feel asleep on my right arm. the pain woke me up. since then my arm and hand falls asleep at all hours of the day. numbness and tingling arm continues to fall asleep even when im not leaning or laying on it. my left arm is starting to fall asleep as well but my right arms hurts the most. squeezing or putting pressure on my arm and fingertips is the quick solution. but it comes back hours later

    • Jan Modric


      telling when have you slept on your arm and how far up to the arm(s) you feel the tingling could explain the situation a bit more. Symptoms relief after squeezing the arms (?) and putting pressure on fingertips speak for a pressurte on the nerves somewhere in the arm (check for cubital or carpal tunnel syndrome above in the article). Sleeping on the arm sounds lik a trigger of symptoms, but the real cause seems to be an underlying condition, like arthritis or swelling in the wrists…

  • galleon

    My knuckles and toes and ankles first started getting red and swelling a few months ago and my doctor said I had osteoarthritis but I’m only 34 yrs old. Then my fingers and toes started tingling and became numb. When I work (in construction) sometimes I’ll look down and I’ll be bleeding all over because I have hit a knuckle or have a splinter and not realized it. I’ve been sweating alot and am weak and stiff. I don’t think arthritis does this?

    • Jan Modric


      another form of arthritis – rheumatoid arthritis – does occur in young age, and can cause swelling and redness and stiffness in small joints. A rheumatologist should be able to give a diagnosis.

  • KRB

    Over the past 2-3 weeks, I have woken up 2-3 times to have either my entire left or right arm numb.

    I have had periods of time throughout my life where my hand would be numb, and it would take a few minutes to get the feeling back.

    With these recent episodes, though, the feeling comes back almost immediately after I reposition (although the shock of the situation resulted in me getting out of bed each time — it really is a weird feeling to have the total arm numb). I have not noticed any other numbness throughout the day. When it happens I am numb from the shoulder down, and it will go away (without the usual tingling effect) in 3-5 seconds. Could this just be sleeping to long in one position?

    • Jan Modric


      yes, numbness in the arm could be from certain sleeping positions. If the problem worsens with time, you can consider to visit a neurologist, since a bulging disc in the cervical spine, for example could be an underlying disorder.

  • tiim

    Hi there,
    Over the past few weeks my right hand has a like weird sensation in it, mainly the wrist and back of hand. Sometimes it radiates over to my left but not that often, sometimes to my right foot as well. It used to come and go but now its here pretty much all the time. The sensation sort of makes my hand feel weak and is a mix between a sort of ache and tingle. Its starting to worry me now and i cant get in to see my GP for 2 weeks and wondered on your thoughts, just so i could have a bit of inside knowledge before i see the doc. All i can seem to find on the net is either, brain tumour(which scares me the most to be honest as i had a lung cancer scare a few month back), carpell tunnell syndrome and anxiety or MS.

    • Jan Modric


      brain tumor is usually a one-side lesion and so are its body symptoms; also in brain tumor, the shoulder would not likely be tender to touch.
      Next, anxiety itself does not likely cause a weakness or sharp pain in the limbs. Multiple sclerosis rarely causes pains in limbs.

      Likely causes include:
      – spinal arthritis or bulging disc(s) resulting in pinched spinal nerves that innervate the arms and legs
      – fibromyalgia
      – arthritis
      – carpal tunnel syndrome (but this does not explain symptoms in the legs). CPS itself has to ba caused by something: wrist overuse, arthritis…Another possibility is a cubital tunnel syndrome, in which an ulnar neve is affected at the spot where it passes behind the elbow (due to leaning to elbows, overuse or injury).

      I can’t exclude any cause from here, but a neurologist can.

  • tiim

    Also jan my left elbow or arm is pretty stiff and when i touch into the tops of my shoulders there is a sharp pain but only when i press it

  • sgterry

    My left hand was broken about 10 years ago. Now the doctor said it did not heal well. Now when I excerise in the pool and my hand and arm will go numb when I go beyond 5 feet. So I walked up to 4 to 3 feet and the numbness will began to go away. I notice this alot, I am 6’0 and weight 350lb, could my weight and the level of water cause this. Could this be a mini stroke?

    • Jan Modric


      the bone that has “not heal well” sounds like a possible cause. Symptoms in stroke are constant and in mini stroke (TIA) they go away within 24 hours and are not likely affected by the body movements in the way you’ve described it. Increased body weight can have other consequences with time, like arthritis and heart problems.

  • lyham


    I hit my elbow really hard approximately one month ago (I think I hit the nerve that’s called the “funny bone” because my entire forearm, hand and fingers went numb immediately after hitting it) and now it seems to be extremely sensitive – whenever I touch my inner elbow, the palm of my hand and my fingers go numb/get a tingling sensation and those sensations will remain for a few minutes. The affected elbow also feels swollen compared to my other elbow – or at least something in the area around the inner elbow is swollen. Any ideas and/or recommendations about what may be causing these symptoms?

    • Jan Modric


      your symptoms seem to arise from an injured ulnar nerve or from swollen tissues pressing upon the nerve. This is called cubital tunnel syndrome. I suggest you to see a neurologist, since long lasting pressure on the nerve might cause its permanent damage.

  • BerkBird

    Recently I bought a new desk that sits pretty high. My chair doesn’t quite measure up so I ordered a much higher sitting chair. Anyhow, ever since this desk, my right hand, specifically my pinky and middle fingers feel funny. They are almost numb and aren’t as easy to control. It looks exactly the same as my left hand and figure once the new chair gets here and I sit up higher, it’ll be better.

    The problem is this has lasted about two weeks and doesn’t seem to subside when I do other activities away from the desk or sleep. It gets better but doesn’t go away. Is this a pinced nerve as my middle, index finger and thumb aren’t affected? It feels almost if you bite down on your pinky finger and get that numb sensation.

    • Jan Modric


      pinky and ring (?) finger are affected in cubital tunnel syndrome – where the ulnar nerve is affected on the site where it passes the inner side of the elbow, possibly by leaning the elbow upon the desk. Elbow injury or overuse, like in tennis or repeating elbow movements can also be a cause.

  • Shine777

    I’ve been having a numbness, heavy, slight tingling feeling in both arms from shoulders down, off & on for about 2 weeks. It comes and goes. Also I have been having stiffness and aching in legs and ankles after sitting or laying for even short periods of time. That goes away fairly quickly after I start moving around. I have pain somedays in the area that my legs go into my body and I am sore to the touch over different parts of my body–lower & upper back and upper arms. I am tired for no reason some days. Have been having gallbladder (not working properly–no stones) issues since Dec and am scheduled for GB removal this coming Thursday. I take Toprol XL & Norvasc to regulate my heartbeat and BP runs around 90/65 now–used to be a straight 120/80–has never been high. I also take Nexium for symptoms of Gerd. Had a slightly herniated disc(L5)in my back (not severe enough for surgery) 2 years ago and hurt down right hip and leg for almost 2 years–now I only hurt occasionally. Sometimes my whole upper body seems to tighten/tense up and I have to tell myself to “relax”. I have experienced most of these symptoms for quite some time but the arm thing is new. I am 46 and I do smoke–used to smoke heavily but am down to about 15 a day. Last period was Dec 09 but all hormone levels are normal. I do have a burning aching pain off and on in right side ovary area that goes straight through me from front to back. All of my problems seem to be on the right side–I tell my Husband that if I could just be cut in half, all would be good because the left side feels normal. Does any of this add up to anything to you? They just seem like crazy all over the map symptoms to me–at least the gallbladder will be gone after Thursday….Thanks for your time 🙂

    • Jan Modric


      spinal arthritis (spondylitis), degeneration disc diseases (DDD), rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia are some possible causes of pains and stiffness in the limbs. Gallbladder pain can radiate into the back and right shoulder. After the surgery, you will see, if any of pains will go away. Symptoms worse on the right side suggest pinched spinal nerves from mentioned spinal disorders.

  • ali

    Over the past month I’ve had numbness in my right arm on and off. It has been constant this past week. I also have neck pain where the base of my neck joins my head. In addition, I have spells of nausea and lightheartedness. I had a Brain MRI and CT. Both are normal. Neck CT showed a few bone spurs classified as normal. The neck MRI showed mild arthritis and classified as normal. Any recommendations or advice?

    • Jan Modric


      if a doctor says, spinal chenges are normal (meaning, by his opinion should not cause any problems) it still doesn’t mean arthritis is not the cause of your pains in the neck and right arm. There could be some additional pressure on the arm nerves where these pass the clavicle and enter the armpit (thoracic outlet syndrome). A CT or MRI of that area could show more. I would ned to know more circumsatnces to comment your nausea and lightheartedness (pains in the chest?, symptoms related to meals?).

  • quackidoo

    I had my son by c-section 9/09 and soon afetr started having numbness in my legs when I would sit on the floor to play with him. my feet would get tingly and then my toes and fingers began to draw together and my lips and nose went numb. I felt like I had a rubber band holding my fingers together and then to my wrist. In November 09 it got so bad that thougth I had had a stroke or something and went to the ER and they ran labs and found I was dangerously low in magnesium potassium and calcium. I was in the hospital for 3 days and have not had problems since. they could not explain why my kidneys were suddenly not functioning, but I later found out the exact same thing happened to my friend who had had gastric bypass surgery.

    • Jan Modric


      yes, when numbness affects the face, causes other than spinal disorders should be checked. Mineral deficiences after bypass surgery occur quite often.

  • tingly

    approx. 4 months ago, tried to move the sofa to clean the window. I felt something pull between shoulder blade and stopped. then a month later i noticed weakness in both arms and intermittent aching hands. now both hands are numb and my neck and shoulders hurt. I have had 2 laminectomies L5-S1 30 yrs ago and L4-L5 20 yrs ago.

    • Jan Modric


      as you probably already guessed, this could be from a bulging/herniated disc in the cervical spine resulting in pinched nerves.

  • Lynne

    I have been suffering from back pain for about a year now, not severe just annoying. The severity can increas and decrease, or subside altogether from time to time. (Lower left back pain that runs down my hip, butt, and sometimes leg). I also suffer from neck pain, usually on the left side. It’s more of a dull ache than a sharp pain. However this comes and goes as well.

    The past few months I have been noticing a strange sensations in my left foot and calf. It’s sometimes tingles depending on my standing position and what type of shoes I’m wearing. My left hand and arm also has a strange sensation sometimes, and it has been more prone to falling asleep at night. Sometimes its just my left pinky and ring finger. When I wake up, I am able to “shake” it awake.

    My job requires standing and lots of walking. Needless to say I am on my feet 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and this makes my back very exhausted. Is it possible that I could have multiple areas of pinched nerves in the neck and back? Or hurniated Discs? I don’t think it’s a tumor or MS, because my symptoms change depending on standing, sitting, walking, and sleeping position. Is there any alarming symptom that I should look for that would indicate it’s not a pinched nerve?
    -one more thing to add, I do have a mild case of scoliosis.

    • Jan Modric


      like you’ve said, multiple pinched nerves in the lumbar and neck spine are possible. All symptoms you’ve described may appear in “sciatica”. They can be bulging/herniated discs, or spinal arthritis which result in pinched nerves. An ortopedist can give you a diagnosis.

      In multiple sclerosis, symptoms move, appear and disappear without any apparent reason. In MS, brain tumor, stroke or other disorders affecting brain, symptoms often appear in the face. Clogged leg arteries would cause pain during walking and would disappear during sitting…

  • 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.

    • 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…

  • 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


      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)

    • 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.

  • 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


      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…….

    • 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.

  • 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


      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.

    • 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.

  • 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


      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

    • Jan Modric


      an orthopedist or neurologist can determine if there is any muscle or nerve injury.

  • 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?

    • Jan Modric


      is the numbness one- or both-sided, and how exactly do vein spasms feel or look? When did your symptoms start?

  • 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?

    • Jan Modric


      numbness could be caused by a bug, but not likely by hypothyroidism or synthroid, since you say it’s clearly limited to the upper arm. If it doesn’t go away in few days, or it gets worse, visit your doctor. One possibility would be an allergy to certain bugs…

  • Brad

    Hi Jan,
    I’m 45 male good shape and have few question to ask. For the last few days I have notice my left arm & fingers feeling funny.. Somewhat like a foot falling to sleep, also my neck & chest area feeling like stiff soreness at times..

    When I lift my arm, my neck and chest area on the left side has this feeling of stiff and kind soreness – not all the time.. But sometime..

    I been getting these little like muscle spasm in the left chest area, left arm, left jaw, and last night right side of my back. It kind of jumps for a second then go away.. Like if someone was blowing bubbles..

    I work on the computer 6 to 8 hours a day and I don’t get much sleep at all, on a average 3 to 4 hours a day. Any help would be much appreciated.

    • Jan Modric


      first, try to have a good sleep, and be sure to get enough food and water.

      If that does not help…pinched nerves from bulging discs or other disorder in your cervical and thoracic spine could cause symptoms in the arm, hand, chest and jaw. An orthopedist or neurologist can give you a diagnosis.

  • fareedoon

    iMy wife is 25 yr old she suffer from right arm, leg numbness and pain now, before that it is numbness only but now pain also added to it . we do EMG they said Neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome but she has not symptoms of this syndrome . we do blood test, mineral just she has iron deficiency only, she has long menstrual cycle 9 days. We do x- ray of cervical its normal. Please help us.

    • Jan Modric


      thoracic outlet syndrome does not explain symptoms in the leg…Are all her symptoms on the right side? Does she have any symptoms in the trunk (chest, abdomen)? If it’s only the arm and leg, symptoms can be due to a disorder in the cervical and lumbar spine (like pinched nerves de to bulging discs or spinal arthritis). Normal X-ray does not completely exclude cervical spine disorder…Disorder in the lumbar spine could be confirmed by CT or MRI…Arm symptoms could still be caused by thoracic outlet syndrome, though.

  • bruce

    my girlfriend has been experiencing temporary numbness in her left arm/hands. She has also been mentioning brief spells of dizziness as well, do you think the two are connected, as she just started having this problem for a little over a week and a half now.. Any recommendations on who to talk to?

    • Jan Modric


      yes it can be connected. I recommend she visits a neurologist.

  • Allyson Pascua

    hi can i ask.. my father’s hand always feel pain and numbness when in upright position like when he is eating.. he needs to put it down just to ease the pain.. he works at the market and chops meat until noon.. what it could be??

    • Jan Modric

      Allyson Pascua,

      it can be carpal tunnely syndrome, but his doctor can give him an erxact diagnosis. In case of CPS he would need to rest the arms/hands, and maybe a doctor will prescribe some antiinflammatory drugs..

  • Amy

    Hi. I am a 30 year old female. I am a smoker. Last week I started having a weakness/hand and toe clenching in my left arm and left leg. This only happens within a few minutes of me standing up from a sitting postion. It does not happen at all when standing or walking. Also my period is very late with a negative pregnancy test. Not sure if this is related or not.

    • Jan Modric


      It could be related and it could be a gynecological problem.

  • mother

    what can i do about my lefy for=arm tingly feeling and numbness in the arm pls help me

    • Jan Modric


      you can visit a neurologist to get a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

  • Mechelle

    My husband is 45 with no health problems. We have been married for a year and over the past 6 months, he has started to intermittantly (and increasingly) have severe “pins and needles” feelings and tingling in both arms and hands just before and during orgasm. It is stronger in his left arm usually, but affects both. His hands and fingers tighten. He says he feels it building in his shoulders and when it gets to about his elbows, it feels like the ends of his arms and hands are going to “blow off”. It is strong enough to be painful at the same time it “feels great”. This is the only time he experiences any tingling or numbness. It doesn’t matter what position he is in. It seems like this is just the sudden change in blood pressure, adrenaline, etc., but he’s never done this in his life. Should we be worried?

    • Jan Modric


      it sound to me that vessels in his arms and autonomic nerves that innervate these vessels are involved (something like Raynaud’s syndrome…). A neurologist may have an explanation. It would be good to know what’s happening to avoid constant worries.

  • Mechelle

    Thank you!

  • nameiabby

    Feb 2009,I noticed my right lower leg was numb.March 2010 my right arm from my shoulder to my fingers suddenly went tingly like a pins and needles feeling is how I describe it.It goes tingly numerous times throughout the day as does my leg at the same time .My fingers are also affected when the tingling starts up,especially my thumb goes numb,but has a tingly cold sensation.My left middle finger is also affected with the same feeling,but not my arm.My right side is only affected.I’m not in pain,it’s just bothersome as it happens at anytime.This has been going on everyday.

    • Jan Modric


      this sounds like a neurological problem that could be caused by a spinal or brain disorder, or a local disorder in the wrists and the knee, for example. I recommend you to visit a neurologist.

  • annie

    Lately, my right hand has been tingling for no reason that I can figure out. Over a month ago, I had what I thought was a bug bite on one finger on my right hand, with swelling and itching in other fingers. Over several days, the small blisters I started with grew, looking more like a poison ivy reaction for a couple of days, but then the blisters grew larger until they merged into one large blister. The affected area itched and was tender. The blister eventually went down and the itching went away, but my hand is still red everywhere it was affected and tingles at random times throughout the day. Any ideas what is going on?

    • Jan Modric


      it sounds like a local inflammation or infection. A dermatologist may give you a diagnosis.

  • pskeim

    I am a 42 year old woman in good health. 21 daygs ago I noticed numbness/tingling/pain in my left arm and hand. My thumb and forefinger are numb but next 3 fingers fine. Web between thumb and forefinger numb. Outer part of my forearm numb from wrist to elbow, inner part ok. Upper arm numb on outer part from shoulder to elbow, inner ok. Underarm is completely numb as well as upper portion of left breast. Had a cervical MRI that was normal plus an EMG that was normal. Now the doc has order an MRI of the brain plus left brachial plexus. I did not injure myself, this just came on suddenly. Also, for past 4 days, top of left foot numb and tingling affecting first 3 toes. Should I be thinking MS?

    • Jan Modric


      did symptoms appear during exercising or carrying something, and was it a sudden onset (like an event)? Does the doctor know for this new foot symptoms? Are foot symptoms affected by body position (sleeping, walking…) or is it constant tingling? It is an MRI of the brain that can confirm/exclude multiple sclerosis – I can’t say how probable is it, but the onset is usually more vague and symptoms may fluctuate slowly with time, but not likely with body position…

  • Bev

    I am a 44 year old woman who has spent most of her life working on computers. I’m also in the early stages of menopaus. Over the last, probably 5 year, I’ve noticed that generally after a weekend of hard, manual work (work that has put some strain on the shoulder blades & neck area) – that the next few days I experience numbness in my fingers, usually occuring during the night. I also have an odd time, even when I haven’t done any manual work that I get this numbness but usually not as bad.
    Should I look into this? thanks

    • Jan Modric


      common causes of finger numbness in computer workers are a carpal tunnel syndrome (overuse of the wrists) and bulging/herniated disc in the cervical spine. A Rest from wrist use and prolonged sitting could help.

  • H20Fitnez

    I had a ring on my finger that was very tight and after trying to get it off had to cut it off. Now I have tingling in my hand and forearm. What should I do?

    • Jan Modric


      you can wait for some days to see if tingling will lessen. If not, you may visit a neurologist.

  • jimmers

    To start with i had i guess was a kidney infection or kidney stones ,although i never felt like i passed one. It was a cycling pain on my lower left back around to my front lower left side , the pain seem to move around it only lasted about 2 days a nd went away as quickly as it came. Then a couple of days later {dont know if its related}i have a pain on my right shoulder towards the bottom of the joint , through my triceptto the outer part of my elbo and to my fore armthe outer and center to my index finger only. the pain comes and goes . But the index finger tingles all the time especially on the tip. im 46 in good health male 5″7 173 lbs Also had a blood test 2 weeks before all this startedit said my triglcerides was 189mg/dl ,total bilirubin 1.3mg/dl ,and adult creatinine 323.6 mg/dl were all said to be to high … i have no insurance so its costly to me .. should i let time take care of it or would recommenda doctor visit …thanks !

    • Jan Modric


      arm pain as you’ve described it often arises from a pinched nerve(s) due to a bulging/herniated disc in the cervical spine. An orthopedist or neurologist can decide which investigation to use – usually this is a CT or MRI of the cervical spine. An experienced physiotherapist may recommend some exercises that could relieve the pain. Some of your test results could mean you have a kidney or other disorder, so I recommend you to ask the doctor for the explanation and eventual exact diagnose he/she has made and how serious it is.

  • myeyez007

    I am a 32 year old female. I woke up one morning and all 5 fingers on my right hand felt like it was asleep. After 4 hours, it was still there. Then after the 2nd day, my entire palm was numb and felt a little tingly. Then on the 3rd day, I could feel a little bit of my forearm go somewhat numb. It has been 5 days now and most of the numbness has gone away except my thumb and part of my pointer finger. What can this be? I have been advised to go the ER but not sure if this is something that is life threatening. Thanks!!!

    • Jan Modric


      can you recall having any hard exercise or injury the day before the symptoms appeared? I want to say, these symptoms may arise from wrist overuse or a pinched nerve in the cervical spine. I can’t exclude any brain disorder like a small stroke or multiple sclerosis, though.

  • Loma

    Numbness and tingling sensation? If it is in your hand it could have something to do with carpal tunnel.

  • 10USNUT

    I woke up from a nap with my right arm totally numb. I was sleeping on my left side. I occassionally get numbness in either arm at night, but this was more severe than normal, and on the arm that was not under me. I checked my BP, which was 130/85 on both arms, but that was after numbness had disappeared. Any thoughts? I do use my PC a lot, but I keep my right arm resting on my desk to minimize pressure on my arm and wrist.


    • Jan Modric


      the arm may get numb if it rests above the level of the heart. FRom one event it’s hard to say if there is any disorder behind, but if this will repeat, the problem could be a pinched nerve in the cevical spine.

  • manuel928

    Hi I’m a 20 year old male at 6 foot tall weighing 172 been lifting weights for about 2 years now…for the past few months I’ve been experiencing a very annoying feeling on my left arm, leg and left chest and arm pit. My arm and leg will get really numb stiff and feel like its one whole muscle that cannot b stretched out if that makes any sense…I took a month off to see if I would heal but didn’t get better…when lifting a dumble I also feel a tingleing sensation on my inner forearm. Also on my outter forearm it is constantly bothering me and always staing in a bent angle…can anyone help out on suggestions…thanks

    • Jan Modric


      I suggest you to visit an orthopedist or neurologist, who can gove you the exact diagnosis. It could be a pinched nerve in the cervical spine due to a bulging disc, or a nerve or muscle injury.

  • Carlos Roberto

    Quando acordo de manha sinto meus braços e dedos e (etc)começarem a duer. Oque eu faço para isso nao acontecer mais?. Nao suporto mais essas dores e formigamento .Me encomodam muito d+

    • Jan Modric

      Carlos Roberto,

      Your symptoms may arise from a pinched nerve in the cervical spine or a disorder in your elbows or wrists. I recommend you to visit a neurologist or orthopedist.

      In Portugese: Seus sintomas podem surgir a partir de um nervo pinçado da coluna cervical ou uma desordem na sua cotovelos ou pulsos. Eu recomendo que você visite um neurologista ou ortopedista.

  • manuel928

    Hopefully its nothing serious…how about a chiropractor would that do me any good?

    • Jan Modric


      “chiropractor” may be a wide term…I personally would not likely visit a chiropractor without full medical education and some known success in treatment.

  • Sereen

    Hi, i usually sleep in restless way. I grind my teeth and i stick both knees together that i they hurt when i wake up. 2ndly, i’ve been facing a situation where my pinky finger goes numb and my whole arm feels stuck all the way up, what would be the reason…

    • Jan Modric


      Numbness in a pinky finger and the arm fallen asleep are probably due to your arms position during sleeping, for example elbows bending. By grinding you may severely damage your teeth, so I recommend you to ask a doctor about how to solve this.

  • Terry

    My girlfriend called me from work, her fingers and whole left hand has been tingling going up to her elbow for over an hour. This is the second time in awhile this has happened.She gets a lot of headaches, to the point where she gets sick,stays in bed for the whole day and doesn’t move. No injuries to her neck or arm and no repetitive movements involved. Hard to get her to do anything about it. Any home remedies to test and narrow down what it could be? Thanks

    • Jan Modric


      I strongly recommend you to convince her to visit a neurologist. Maybe there is something in her elbow what presses upon the nerve that innervates a part of the forearm, and a headache could be from some unrelated cause, but a disorder in the brain or cervical spinal cord, like multiple sclerosis or brain tumor is also possible. I didn’t want to scare you, but an early treatment of severe neurological problems may result in much better outcome that late treatment.

  • John

    Hi Jan,
    Impressive amount of work here – thanks.
    I did some rather strenuous physical labor over the past week (have an office job, so this is not my day to day). After the 5th or 6th day of work on this project, I started noticing dull pain and tingling/numbness in my left arm/hand mostly at night that would wake me from sleeping. It does recede when I change positions, or when I apply pressure to my arm in certain places, almost like I feel a rush of blood running back through my arm. What would this be? Thanks.

    • Jan Modric


      a bulging/herniated disc in the cervical spine is possible, if abnormal sensations occur in the entire arm/hand. If only the arm below the elbow is affected, it could be from an elbow injury or overuse.

  • brittanyb

    About 1 1/2 months ago I think I got a bruise under my nail hitting it on something and 2 weeks ago it turned into an infection with white cloudy puss under the pinky nail. I tried the paper clip burning through technique.. didn’t work. My nail came 90% off now and the puss finally leaked out. Above the nail its red and really puffy. My fingers and arm are now starting to have shooting pains and numb/tingly feeling probably from this infection. I don’t have insurance and can’t afford to go into a walk in. Is there anything I can do? I put clindamycin on it from a previous infection prescribed by the Dr. Today the tingly started and I’m really starting to worry. Help!

    • Jan Modric


      I strongly recommend you to go to emergency room as soon as possible. You obviously have an infected finger and this should be treated by appropriate antibiotics (not just any random antibiotic would help). Such an infection can be life threatening.

  • adriana

    Having been diagnosed with Costochondritis 7 years ago, about a month ago had a recurring bout. It’s been a month now after taking apo-naproxen 500mg. and the pain has gone from the central chest to left side of the chest and back, shoulder, neck and left arm. Very painful on the arms and cannot raise arm without getting a spasmic pain. Three docs have diagnosed this condition, but I wonder if the progression of it is more than Costo. Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Jan Modric


      I’m not sure if costochondritis can “spread” to ward the arm. It’s possible you (additionally) have some disorder of the supraspinatus tendon in the shoulder.

  • clina

    I combined carrot, spinach, onion, celery to make a detox juice. Upon drinking, I noticed my face itched so badly. Then, hives appeared on my neck and redness and rash on my chest and shoulders. A couple of days later, I had a celery curry soup. A few hours later, I had tingling on the center of my chest then spread throughout my chest, arms, shoulders,neck, face, and tightness on the jaw. Was seen @ the emergency room and Dr. ruled out cardiac. Saw my primary Dr. and I was told that all tests showed negative for cardiac. She concluded that it was an allergic reaction and that I must watch what I eat. No prescription was given but, a stress test was ordered (?). An acquaintance that I may have had an anaphalactic shock. What did I just experienced? Dr.s say it’s not cardiac, but one orders a stress test. Is there a name for this symptom? Thanks in advance!

    • Jan Modric


      what you have experienced sounds like an allergic reaction to one or more foods you have taken. It is a skin test performed by a allergist, which can show to which exact foods you are allergic. Anaphylactic shock is a severe form of an allergic reaction with difficulty breathing, pounding heart, dizziness, weakness and eventual fainting. If you have not experienced these symptoms, it is not likely you had an anaphylactic shock. Allergic reactions can be prevented by avoiding triggering foods. When the reaction occurs, OTC or prescribed antihistamines or steroids may reduce the reaction.

      Stress test can show if any heart symptoms (like chest pain) appear during certain extent of physical effort. What you had does not sound to be related with any heart disorder, so I recommend you to speak with your doctors about necessity of the stress test.

  • MsRody

    I already have been tested and know that I DO HAVE CARPAL TUNNEL in both arms. Mild to Moderate on the left and severe (surgery needed)on the right. It’s weird though…cuz my left hand is the one that gives me more probs!!! I have not had ANY feeling in my left pinky finger in months!! The left outter side of my left wrist has the same numbness to touch. This pain just seems like it’s just too much to be just carpal tunnel. I’m worried!!!

    • Jan Modric


      in a carpal tunnel syndrome usually the first three fingers (thumb to middle) are affected. Pinky finger and the outer part of the hand can be affected in a cubital tunnel syndrome (overuse or a disorder of the elbow). Any part of the arm and hand can be affected in the disorders of the cervical spine, resulting in pinched nerves.

  • saffronv

    Hello, Im a 27 year old female and i have been experiencing tingling with no numbness in both of my hands all my fingers are affected and the best way i can describe the sensation is the feeling you get when your arm falls asleep and then starts waking up but they don’t get the falling asleep part just sudden pins and needles. It makes it very difficult to do even simple tasks that require my hands. It started about 2 months ago and has been happening more and more frequently usually about 3-4 times a week now and lasts for up to 3 hours. I have not had any recent surgeries or accidents the only health issue i have had is migraines since i was a teenager. Any advise would be appreciated. thank you.

    • Jan Modric


      I recommend you to visit a neurologist or orthopedist soon. One likely cause is a carpal tunnel syndrome (due to inflammation or overuse of the wrists, for example), or some other disorders. If you think the overuse of the wrists could be the cause, a wrist rest could help. You can also ask about carpal tunnel syndrome exercises.

  • Sonnie

    For about 2 weeks I have been having a tingling (like right before your arm/fingers fall asleep) in my lateral antebrachial cutan. and the tips of my proper palmar digital (skips over dorsal digital area) on my right side. This happens when I have my elbows bent at a 90 degree or more angle. It doesn’t matter if I’m resting it on something like a table or if it’s bent free in the air. It all goes away once I straighten my arm out again.

    • Jan Modric


      in a cubital tunnel syndrome, something (inflamed tendons, swelling, injury…) pressing upon the ulnar nerve (that runs behind the elbow) may cause pain/tingling in the lateral side of the forearm, hand and 4th and 5th finger.

  • Faraz

    I believe I have got none of the symtoms described above. Infact, physically and health wise, I believe I am and have always been in superb condition. However my hands start swating excessively at times for no reason at all .. even at times when i am fully relaxed and calm, it starts to swat. However, when I am carefully focusing on anything, such as giving interviews or examinations, it starts to swat/numb at a much greater rate. I am 26 right now (in perfect health) but have been facing such excessive numbness for almost 10 years or so. Would really like to have your advice.

  • Dee

    I received a flu shot in my left deltoid on 10-02-10. Four days later, I awoke with a stiff neck on the left side and my left upper eyelid twitching off and on. The next day, it had moved to my left shoulder. The whole shoulder joint was achy, with pain going down to the elbow. Another week later, my index and middle fingers have a numbness and the left hand will get tingly at different times. Sometimes the muscles of my forearm feel like they are cramping up and I have to stretch it out. I have been to a general practioner physician and she’s just taking a wait and watch approach, but I’m wondering if I should go to a neuro or ortho. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you for your time 🙂

    • Jan Modric


      regarding the time that already passed, I would see a neurologist.

  • Annyingrid

    I have for the past couple of weeks started to feel a tingling sensation on mostly my legs, but also my arms before I go to bed (sometimes a tiny bit during the day too). It feels like a tiny bug is crawling on me. I have had some weight problems but lately managed to gain 10 pounds. Greatly appreciative for any information on this!!

    • Jan Modric


      have you ever had any problems with the spine, arthritis or any other chronic disorder? Do you take any medications and have you changed your diet lately?

  • olhao1971

    I have been taking Carbatrol ER 200mg at bedtime since 9/14/10. Shortly after starting the medication I started having really dry mouth and lips and a metal kind of taste in my mouth. I could not tolerate drinking sodas specially anything citrus flavor. That got better however over the last week both of my hands started to feel numb, pin and needle sensation and I started noticing changes in my vision like difficulty focusing on the computer which I use at work all day long. Wearing my glasses did not help. I am also feeling a kind of numbing pin and needle sensation on my tongue along with warm burning sensation. I called my doctor and he told me it could be from the Carbatrol to go ahead and take it every other day and see if it got better. It has now been 72 hours since I have taken any Carbatrol, left hand remains the same, and tongue sensation the same, eyesight better and right hand has resolved. If it’s from the medication when should I expect the symptoms to go away completely. Iam on the medication for mood disorder and not seizures. Unfortunately I seem to have weird kind of reactions to these medications. I did not want to stop it because I feel much better and I have lost 11 lbs since starting on it. I also have high blood pressure and Iam on Metropolol 50mg. I guess my questions is if you think this could be related to the meds or something else.

    • Jan Modric


      if you check the Carbatrol information leaflet, you can find most of symptoms you’ve mentioned as possible side effects of the drug. I personally have a lot of doubts, if this drug will help you maintain good mood on the long term. If any of side effects persist, I would not recommend you to take this drug. Some of your symptoms (weight loss, blurred vision, pins and needles…) could be from dehydration also possibly caused by Carbatrol or its combination with Metroprolol.

      It’s possible you have some genetic predisposition to react on various drugs. I’m not sure if HLA-B27 is commonly related to HLA-B1502, anyway, it’s possible you have both of them. And even if not, there could be some other (genetic) reason for overreaction to the drugs you’ve mentioned. Before eventual testing, it would be good to ask an appropriate specialist what exactly should be tested.

  • olhao1971

    My other questions is that Iam Western European and a carrier of the HLA-B27 gene, Iam wondering if this as any relation to the HLA-B1502 gene and if this could be the reason that I keep having adverse reaction to medications such as Lamictal, Lithium etc..If so sould I get tested? I was tested for this HLA-B27 because my mom was found to be a carrier.

  • sidorak

    my arm has been going numb from time to time for the past 3 days. ive not had an injury to it and its beggining to worry me.

    • Jan Modric


      How old are you, man or woman? Do you have a sitting work or you lift heavy objects often? Have you recently had chest pain or any problems with the heart? Any pain in the neck or shoulders? Is your entire arm, and hand affected?

  • sidorak

    18 yrs old, male, unemployed and yes my left arm hurts from time to time.about a yea ago i went to hospital with pains in my chest and aparrently everything was fine i just had skeletalmusculur pains.

    • Jan Modric


      the arm and hand going weak and numb at random times could speak for something pressing upon a nerve(s) that innervate your arm. A spine (a bulging/herniated disc) and the part between the clavicle and the armpit are two common places where nerves can be compressed. Symptoms arising from the spine are often worse in the morning or after prolonged sitting or carrying heavy objects. If there was a problem with vessels, your arm or part of it would be likely swollen. In a brain problem symptoms would be likely more constant. If it is a part of “musculoskeletal pains” symptoms would be likely obviously related to trunk/arm movements.

      It’s important you find out eventual triggers or relievers of the symptoms, since this can narrow down the possible causes. A simple examination performed by a neurologist could reveal what’s going on.

  • sidorak

    my whole arm and hand just go weak and i feel as if its not part of my body if tht makes sense

  • nida

    I have been experiencing shoulder pain for few months now, after I had a muscular tear. after a few months rest I though it was better and started using it more, however now the pain is geting more constant whenever I move it ever the slaties movement. Heat helps with the pain. Im not sure what to do to get my shoulder back to normal.

    • Jan Modric


      an orthopedist should be able to find out what’s wrong and what to do.

  • Jay

    My father is 70, has been a diabetic patient for almost 10yrs but under very good control. For the last 6 months he has been complaining about a slight swelling in the left cheek and he says the swelling started spreading from the left upper chest area to arm pits to collar bone to left side of the neck and now to left cheek. He also suffers from spondylitis and hypo thryodism. We have been to couple of neurologists they said no problems there. My father got CT scan for the neck that didn’t show any problems. He was prescribed to take carbamazepine which gives temporary relief. My father is concerned about the spreading (light)swelling may be to brain. We are also not sure where to go. Any guidance or help is greatly appreciated.

    • Jan Modric


      is it visible swelling or just a sense of swelling? Swelling could be due to an obstruction of the vein that drains blood from the affected areas (from the inside of the vein, like from thrombosis, or compressed from the outside by the clavicle or enlarged thyroid gland or lymph nodes or tumor in the chest). I’m talking about the veins in the upper chest (and the area around them), and it’s possible these veins were not included in a CT of the neck. A specialist that deals with vessels should be able to tell more. Before continuing with further investigations, the doctor should check the existing CT and tell if eventual enlarged thyroid can be excluded as a possible cause.

  • Jay

    Thank you very much and i really appreciate the timely response. My father said the swelling is not really visible from outside but he feels it and Dr’s said it wass minor. We will go back and ask for information from the Dr and will try to find a blood vessels specialist.

    • Jan Modric


      if it is a real swelling, it can be caused by a compression of a vein or a lymphatic vessel that drain blood and lymph from the affected area. It is not necessary that a vein or lymph vessel themselves are affected, but there could be something pressing upon them, for example, eventually enlarged thyroid or inflammation of tissues near the clavicle. So your doctor may know better which exact specialist would be appropriate.

  • Felicia

    My fingers go numb with a variety of things; holding the phone while talking, holding a book to read, braiding hair and driving a stick shift truck. Should I be concerned or just keep switching hands to relieve the numbness?

    • Jan Modric


      this sounds like a carpal tunnel syndrome, where nerves that supply the fingers are compressed in the wrist. Common causes are repeated wrist use, arthritis, hypothyroidism, injury. Wrist rest or treatment of the underlying cause may help. I recommend you to try to find the cause and treat it to prevent permanent damage of the nerves.

  • Simon

    Hi, so glad I found this site and I am really hoping you might be able to help. About 7 weeks ago I woke with tingling left hand and elbow (ulnar nerve/funny bone). It persisted on and off for a few weeks with all fingers in my hand affected and tingling or going numb at times. 3 weeks ago my right arm has now also become affected, same sensations of pins and needles in all fingers that comes and goes.

    In the last week I have been feeling discomfort under the bicep where it meets the armpit in both arms with the discomfort and tingling shooting down my arm to elbow and also forearm and continued tingling fingers.

    I cannot understand what is causing this however I was thinking back to the night before I first experienced the left arm problem. I was at a bar that evening and this particular bar had an assistant in the mens room who massaged you as you are washing your hands. This guy grabbed my head and twisted it forcefully left and then right (it really cracked loud) in a similar fashion to how you see people break peoples necks in movies.

    I am just wondering is it possible this might have caused some nerve damage in my neck leading to these nerve symptoms ? Occasionally I have also had shooting tingling from buttocks down to my feet. Hope you can help, thanks.

    • Jan Modric


      I recommend you to see a neurologist. It’s possible that the head/neck manipulation has caused or worsened some preexisting disorder in your cervical spine, such as a bulging or herniated disc or spinal arthritis resulting in pinched spinal nerves. This would explain symptoms in your neck, shoulders and arms, and possibly headache. The same kind of damage could (from some reason) occur in your lumbar spine thus causing symptoms from the buttocks to feet (sciatic pain). The spaced out feeling could theoretically arise from deranged brain blood perfusion due to a compressed vertebral or basilar arteries that run in the upper neck and supply the blood for one part of the brain. Such a feeling would be likely triggered or worsened by tilting or turning the head toward the left or right.

      Please, visit a neurologist. You can expect the doctor will recommend a CT or MRI of the neck.

  • Simon

    I forgot to mention some details about myself.. 35 year old male in otherwise good health. Have experienced headaches, tense neck/shoulders and occasional days of feeling ‘spaced out’ or drunk (without drinking) also during this time.

  • Jay

    sorry i didn’t see your last response. My has made appointments. I will update you soon.
    It is really great of you. You take the time to answer the questions on this topic.

  • Izzy


    I have a minor surgery today to remove a plate and 5 screws from my ankle. Was feeling nausea post-op. So they gave me some anti nausea through IV. Now that I am discharged and resting at home. I have a feeling of numbeness in both my arm. Is there something I should be worried about?


    • Jan Modric


      numbness in the arms, but not in legs (?) could arise from eventual pre-existing disorder in your neck spine (bulging/herniated disc, spinal arthritis..) aggravated by (I guess) spending more time in bed as usual…Numbness could also originate from eventual low blood pressure after operation, or side effect of either anesthetic injection (?) or the drug for nausea (should be mentioned in the medication information leaflet). With usual meals and drinking enough water (just to prevent dehydration) and with effects of the IV drug weaning off you might feel better. If any other symptoms, like swelling, appear, call the doctor.

  • anand


    I have a problem in sleeping habit, i keep my either left or right hand under my head while sleeping, which i am finding it difficult to avoid. this is causing severe pain in fingers. How to over this. Thanks in advance

    • Jan Modric


      I don’t know. Maybe you can try to get a smaller pillow and put hands besides it, not under the head.

  • Claire

    I’m twenty three years old and have been experiencing pain and numbness in my right arm for over a year now. It started in my lowar arm, and has spread up to my shoulder and neck. I’m a self-employed artist/ painter, and it all started after stretching canvases last year. I’ve been undergoing physio-therapy since April, doing excersises for an hour every morning, getting acupuncture and ultrasound treatment, and although my symptoms occasionally alleviate, they always come back worse than ever. I’ve also undergone intensive massage, but this hasn’t helped either. I haven’t painted for two months now. I tried painting with my left hand for a few days last week (only for an hour or two a day – and my work day until all this started consisted of 7 hours a day) – and now my left hand is numb and sore too. Even writing an email means I’m in pain and discomfort often for days afterwards. I’m on the waiting list on the nhs to see an orthepedic specialist, but I’ve been told it could take up to four months before I see them. Do you have any advice about what to do until then?

    • Jan Modric


      it’s possible that symptoms in your both arms arise from a cervical spine disorder, like a bulging or herniated disc or spinal arthritis. It is a neurologist or orthopedist who can confirm diagnosis by ordering a CT or MRI of the neck spine. Avoiding prolonged sitting, carrying heavy objects and lifting or other prolonged use of the arms may help. You can also try to use a shallow pillow at night. Other than that, I don’t know – spinal disorders can be often successfully treated with a surgery.

  • Claire

    Thanks Jan,

    I really appreciate your advice, thanks for getting back to me.


  • anand

    thanks jan, for ur advice, some how now i am able to avoid keeping my palm(specially my finger would be under more pressure)under my pillow. But the pain in my index lower joint(close to palm) towards facing the palm is still there(it is bit severe when i especially bend it down towards the palm) & all other joints are also in pain but very less, past few days, i am getting pain even in my foot joints. what could be the reason for this.
    i dont have sugar(but i had checked 6 months back), i am 40 yrs old.
    thanks again in advance for ur kind response

    • Jan Modric


      pain in several joints in fingers and feet could be from arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis or other type of arthritis). In arthritis, you would probably notice some joint stiffness, swelling or even redness. I recommend you to visit a rheumatologist or orthopedist.

  • Raghavendra kumar

    I feel numbness in my arms and near the shoulder position. Normally i drive alot and carry a bag will this result in some serious disease.

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Raghavendra

      No this should not result in any serious disease unless there is some other underlying condition that you may have or may be at the risk of developing. This could be related to muscle strain (neck and shoulder) and could also be inflammation of the shoulder muscle tendons. It is common in students who carry heavy bags. Nevertheless you should get it checked up by a doctor to exclude other underlying problems or involvement of the shoulder joint.

  • Tara

    About 3 days ago I started having some neck/shoulder pain near the base of my left neck side. It has since spread down my entire arm and hurts most at the shoulder, elbow and last two digits of my left hand. It seems to hurt less with heat pad on shoulder but more at night. i assumed just muscular but continues to cause pain and I’m having trouble sleeping. I do not have insurance. Will this get better with time or should I see a doctor? If they can’t do anything for me I’d rather not waste the money I don’t have. Any ideas? At first I assumed I’d kinked my neck but now it hurts to do almost anything with my left shoulder/hand. Advice? And thank you.

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Tara

      It is likely to be muscular from what you describe as this is the more common cause of neck/shoulder pain. Spasm can ultimately cause the vertebral column to “shift” in a manner that impinges on the nerve giving the symptoms you are experiencing as well as irritating the nerve along its course. This may explain some of yoru other symptoms. However it is worth having it assessed by your doctor and possibly seeing a physical therapist for treatment to ease the muscle spasm (if it is muscular). Avoid massaging and so on as you can aggravate the condition further. Neck exercises, as prescribed by your physical therapist, will help to prevent further recurrences after treatment.

  • Paree


    I am 31 year old male and have a computer based job of 7-8hours a day. I have been suffering from neck and shoulder pain on my right side for over a week now. I am unsure how I got it in the first place but it may be due to some jerk in the neck or improper sleeping posture.

    The pain was intense in the beginning but was gone in 2days leaving only stiffness behind. However I feel its affecting my right arm/hand movement a great deal as I am not able to move arm freely.

    The biggest worry is I am feeling the weakness in palm and fingers. As a result I am not able to grip or hold or lift anything heavy(like a half full kettle). Another example, I can lift the tennis racket easily but not able to hit a shot with any power at all.

    Please could you advice what exactly I need to do.

    Many Thanks.

  • cheryl

    Hello my name is Cheryl, I have serve arthritis in both knees herniated disc in back curvich of the spine bulging disc, that turn into athirist my shoulder arthirist and, early stage of menopause age 50 and numness and tingling in right arm.

    • Hello Cheryl. It’s not clear as to what your question is exactly. The arthritis in your knees and shoulders is very likely osteoarthritis (OA) but you should see an orthopedist to confirm the type of arthritis. The treatment can differ between OA and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

      A bulging disc can cause compression of the nerves. This may account for your tingling and numbness in the arm. But nerve root compression does not cause arthritis. A bulging disc, like osteoarthritis, gets more common as you become older. Given your menopause as well, these conditions need to be properly managed by your family doctor or a specialist. Do not try to self medicate.

  • thomas b kuc

    Hell my name is Thomas and I have bin having ringing fillings
    in my figer tips in both hands and a buring filling from my bouth rust up
    to bouth of my elbow and I can’t sleep that good becose of the filling an
    I wake up with the same filling and its not going a way. Can you tell me what
    I can do for this
    . thank you thomas

    • Hello Thomas. We had some difficulty in understanding what you were trying to say. We assume that you mean a “ringing” feeling in the fingers and a burning feeling from the wrist to the elbow.

      Thomas, as you can see from above there is a host of conditions, from a bulging disc causing nerve root compression to specific nerve diseases and conditions like diabetes which cause nerve damage over time. Identifying the exact cause in your case would be difficult, especially since you have not divulged any personal or medical information that could serve as a guide to possible conditions.

      You should see your doctor an preferably consult with a specialist like a neurologist. Further investigations may be necessary and then a diagnosis can be reached.

  • Jeannie carruth

    My right arm and hand keep going numb hurts so bad at night cant sleep in morning I have to soak in b hot water to get fingers to bend.mist of time I have no strength in my right hand barely hold cup coffee. Whats wrong

    • Hi Jeannie. Both the numbness and muscle weakness (loss of strength) could very likely be a nerve problem, although a muscle condition could account for the weakness. The stiffness, if its emanating from the joint, may be a condition like rheumatoid arthritis. The types of nerve problems that may be causing this issue can vary – anything from a compressed nerve, root to nerve inflammation and some even a group of nerve conditions known as demyelinating nerve diseases. And there are other possibilities as well. We do not diagnose online but we would strongly recommend that you see a neurologist as soon as possible. Further investigations like a nerve conduction study, etc would be necessary.

  • Beth

    I was putting my 3 yr old to bed this evening, I was bending over his bed that has a side rail. When I stood back up, I noticed I had tingling on the top of my right foot, and top of Right arm into my fingers. Also some down my leg and back, all primarily on the right side of my body. My lower back has been sore the last week or so, and I slept weird last night, but was fine until this evening. Any thoughts? Something serious, or something a chiropractic visit could help? It’s not horrible, slight weakness in arm, sort of like when your waiting for a body part to come fully ” awake”. No pain, and it does change in intensity when I change my position. Thx!

    • Hi Beth. The concerning part is that it was one sided and affected both the arm and the leg. This could have occurred with changes in blood pressure with the change in position or even compression of an artery with your movement that could have altered the blood flow to the brain momentarily. It is difficult to say through an online platform and yes there are other possibilities. But such changes can be more serious and lead to fainting and so on. It may even be a prelude to a stroke if there is some disruption in some way to the blood supply to your brain and this being the early warning signs.

      Of course, this is just one possibility and one of the most serious. Sometimes it is important to bear the most serious possibilities in mind and undergo the necessary tests to exclude it as a possible cause before investigating less serious conditions.Either way we cannot say for sure but you should see your family doctor as soon as possible. He/she may feel that a specialist opinion may be warranted (possibly a neurologist) and if you have the all clear then you can see other practitioners.

  • Beth

    I will definitely take what you said in account, unfortunately, I don’t have insurance, so of course I don’t want to go to te doctor unless I need to. Some additional info if it matters, I am 36, overweight with a hx of GERD, IBS and hypothyroidism. Also, it went away after sleeping and I had some in my left leg today as well. When I woke up this morning and stood up, I had some pins and needles in both feet, and then it went away. I know you gave me worse case scenario, but could it be pinched nerves, or something else? This evening when I sit, I feel a little tingling, but on the left side, and only in the leg. Thx

    • Yes, hypothyroidism could definitely contribute to some of these symptoms that appear to be nerve-related. Alterations in thyroid function has far reaching consequences on almost every system in the body and is not just an issue with weight gain, bowel function and other common symptoms. A pinched nerve is also a possibility but it is unlikely to account for both the leg and arm symptoms occurring simultaneously unless there is nerve root compression at multiple points along the spine.

      As you can see the possible causes are exhaustive. Without seeing a doctor and having necessary tests, it would end up being guesswork. I understand the issue with not having insurance but if you do not seek professional medical advice, the consequences of some of the more serious conditions that could be causing these symptoms may end up being life threatening in the worst case scenario. If not, it could lead to lifelong paralysis.

      Of course these are the worst case scenarios and let’s hope that these serious conditions are not the cause of your symptoms. But without proper medical evaluation, there is no way of knowing that for sure.

  • Alysha

    I have Raynauds in my right fingers but this year i noticed it in my left finger as well. My right arm always feels numb, like it is going to sleep. Wondering if Raynauds would have anything to do with my arm numbness? I dont hang my arm over chairs or have any kind of pressure on it when it goes numb. It goes numb at work “work in packaging”, numb when im just sitting or walking around. Its really bad in the mornings when i wake up. My fingers also go numb at that time & it can last up to a few hours.

    • Hi Alysha. Yes, Raynaud’s could definitely cause this numbness. And it can affect both hands. Milder Raynaud’s may not present with such symptoms, at least not as prominent as you report it. But more severe cases of Raynaud’s can definitely account for the numbness.

      While the numbness may extend beyond the fingers to the hand and slightly beyond, it should not cause numbness of the entire arm in the majority of cases. This article on Raynaud’s may give you more insight into the condition –

      There could well be other causes of your symptoms like cervical spondylosis and so on but there is no way of saying for sure until you have been assessed by your doctor. It is worth looking into this further before more complications arise. Speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Jane

    My right arm numb before I sleep and Early in the morning, i woke up because the numbness that i felt became worst. I wasn’t engage to any activity that can be a cause.Do I have an undiagnosed disease.?

    • Hi Jane. Firstly, the way you sleep could be a factor to consider. You may be applying too much pressure on your arm by distributing more of your body weight on that arm. However, this would not explain why it happens even before you sleep.

      It is likely that the problem lies with the root of the nerve supplying that arm. By lying down, your spine may be applying more pressure on the nerve root as compared to when you are standing. This could account for the numbness when lying down.

      You should see a doctor who may conduct further investigations like an x-ray to see if there is any problem with the neck portion of your spine (cervical vertebrae). This is just one possibility for your symptoms. You could have other undiagnosed conditions that needs to be investigated. Your doctor will advise your further.

    • Hi Jane.If the symptom is recurrent as you describe then it is very likely due to some as yet undiagnosed disease. One possibility is that the way you are sleeping puts more of your body weight on your arm. The pressure can lead to numbness but this is unlikely to occur before you sleep.

      Another more likely possibility is that the root of the nerve to the right arm is compressed at the level of your spine. There are many different spinal conditions that can cause nerve root compression. It is possible that when you lie down the compression on the nerve is greater than when you stand up.

      However, there is no way of saying for sure. You need to a see a doctor who can assess your symptoms and run further tests like an x-ray. It is possible that there are more serious diseases causing these symptoms. Your doctor will be able to advise you further.

  • GabbySummers

    About a year ago I developed numbing and tingling along left arm and thumb and index finger. Doctor deduced it is cervical neck pinched nerve. I never got the MRI because of money issues, and it would get better off and on. Now, the right arm is doing the same thing, it just started a few days ago. My neck now feels stiff, hurts sometime and feels unsteady. However, I have been under a great deal of stress related to family trauma. Now that both arms are acting up, can I still wait to get the MRI?

    • Hi Gabby. It is not advisable to wait. The MRI will allow you doctor to verify whether it is a pinched nerve and then plan the appropriate treatment, possibly even surgery. If the problem is not accurately diagnose then treatment cannot be commenced. As it is a year has passed from the time when you should have had the MRI. Waiting could further complicate the condition rather than clearly identifying the problem and treating it at an early stage. Speak to your doctor though. He/she is more familiar with your case and give you the correct advice.

  • Tina Gries Pederson

    I have been having numbness, tingling and pain in my index, middle and ring finger for last four months. Had EMG it as normal, had MRI have lots of cervical issues. Had steroid injection in wrist and lastly a C7 nerve block. Has not changed anything with the my left hand, now I am starting to get numbness and pain in my left forearm. Have no idea what to do now? Unable to find a doctor to help.

    • Hi Tina. You do not mention if the fingers affected in the last four months were on the right or left hand. As you have said you have many issues with your cervical nerves and this will account for all of your symptoms. You should see a neurologist at this point and may need to also consult with an orthopedist (if it is a problem arising from your vertebrae). Speak to your current doctor about a referral to a neurologist.

      • Tina Gries Pederson

        Only my left hand and arm are affected. I have already been to a neurologist, she is the one that ordered the MRI, since the results are in she referred me to pain management. Pain management are the ones that ordered both injections.Yesterday the pain is getting worse, now whole hand is painful and pain going up forearm and back of upper arm.

        • Hi Tina. It is difficult to say what exactly may be going on. The neurologist knows your case well and has the skills to manage this condition. If your symptoms are worsening then you need to go back to your neurologist ASAP. It is possible that the current intense pain may not just be your cervical problem but something else, like a clot in the arm or an infection. We cannot say for sure so you need to go back to your neurologist for now.

  • dcgirl

    I have degenerative disc disease, a history of a previous blood clot in my right arm,hepatitis c/liver disease, etc . For the past 2-3 weeks have been having numbness in my right hand,and 3 fingers. I notice it most first thing in AM and it takes 10-30 mins till I regain the feeling. I have tried to exercise that arm morebefore bedtime in case it was circulation but it hasn’t helped. I do see a neurologist/pain management doctor monthly…should I bring it up next month? Any ideas what this is????

    • Hi Mrsdmk. Yes, you should inform your doctor. This is most likely due to compression of the nerve root (pinched nerve) in the upper vertebrae (back bones). It is a common condition and give your history of degenerative disc disease, it was bound to occur at some point or the other.

      Basically the back bones are now squeezing the nerves that come from the spinal cord. These nerves run all the way down your arm to the fingers. You will feel strange symptoms (tingling, prickling, numbness or pain) and sometimes even muscle weakness in the hand.

      Your doctor will be able to advise you further.

      • dcgirl

        Thanks for your response. I also now have been having pain in many left hand and elbow especially . I don’t know if they are related. I also have a blood clot history but since I have no discoloration I doubt it is possible. I am going to my pain management /neurologist tomorrow morning. Will let you know how it goes.

        • Hi mrsdmk. Yes, a blood clot could form in the arm and cause many of these symptoms. A change in color of the skin on the arm may not be evident if there is only a minor occlusion. However, a pinched nerve seems more likely. Discuss this with your doctor as well. Good luck!

      • dcgirl

        I did go to the doctor . He does think it’s spine or cervical related. About a year ago he did various tests including an ENG test with most areas in my legs having ?5 damage plus motor skills /sensory also really bad among other things. I already have DDD & last I checked have 6 fractured vertebrae. The doctor wants to do tests in my upper body…neck & spine at my next appointment on August 4th. Hopefully it will show what’s causing this. Its getting worse too. Any ideas what will be the treatment for this? Thanks Debbie
        Sent from my Window’s Phone ?

        • Hi Debbie. Surgery is usually necessary but let your doctor advise you on the treatment of choice for your case after further investigation. The other tests that he wishes to run may reveal additional information. He will then advise you accordingly.

  • Ryan Reed

    I am an RN in the emergency department and work bending over alot. I also have to type most of my day at weird levels. During my day i usually have back pain over both my shoulders and armpit pain/fullness. When I get home my arms tingle and so does my ring/pinky finger. I am wondering if these are related to eachother and what I need my doctor to order.

    • Hi Ryan. The fullness and armpit pain is most likely muscle strain while the arm tingling could be nerve root compression. Both could be a consequence of your posture. Also remember that tingling is not always neurological. Sometimes limbs don’t just feel sore and aching after a long day of strain. Tingling may also arise when at rest. Many people do not realize that stooping over when typing can eventually cause radiculopathy. It is often due to muscle spasm from strain leading to nerve compression. Correcting your posture would help. Of course cutting back on work and having periods of rest in between would also be helpful but is not always possible. Speak to a physical therapist.

  • Arina

    I have degenerative disc disease, as well as graves’ disease. Which means I am struggling
    with my weight, can’t exercise and it is really challenging. My whole
    life I use to be thin and always very active, but with the disease I have picked
    up over 20kg in the past year. I know I have to loose the weight and am hoping that someone can give me good advice.
    I believe once I loose a few kg, it will put less stress on my back. My left leg has needles and pins and my right arm started to have needles and pins
    as well.
    Been on medication for the past three months and it doesn’t seem to
    improve my overall health. Loosing weight is also a big challenge for me as I cannot exercise and my thyroid is not functions as it should. I started walking again for exercise but it is challenging and after a long walk I am exhausted and my leg starts paining again.

    • Hi Arina. Actually with Grave’s disease your thyroid is producing too much thyroid hormones and you would lose weight even without increased activity. Grave’s disease is the leading cause of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland). Understandably the less active lifestyle with degenerative disc means you are burning less calories with physical activity but at the end of the day it is also about the amount of calories you are consuming in food. If you consume only what you need or slightly less then you should not be gaining this much, especially not with Grave’s disease. You should probably speak to your doctor and consult with a dietitian because it is strange that you are gaining weight with an overactive thyroid gland (Grave’s disease).

  • John Ruiz

    For the past few days I have been getting sudden pain, tingling, and numbness in my right arm. It radiates from my upper arm to all of my fingers and can last for hours at a time. Is there something that I need to worry about?

    • Hi John. This is most likely a compressed nerve, maybe at the root where it emerges from the spine, or anywhere between the shoulder to the upper arm. While a pinched nerve is a common problem and may be acute (associated with muscle strain, poor posture, etc), it is always important to have it checked. It could be the start of a chronic condition like degenerative disc disease. Sometimes it may not even be a pinched nerve problem. It is not entirely for cardiovascular conditions to present in this manner. Let your doctor assess you further.

  • Zal

    i am 54 yo and i’m experiencing numbness in my right arm and tingling from middle to index fingers. i felt this the whole day. ??

    • Hi Zal. It is very likely to be related to compression of the nerve supplying this area. As you can see above in the diagrams, the approximate region that you are complaining of in terms of the middle and index fingers are supplied by the same nerve. Degenerative disc disease, severe neck muscle spasm and so on can cause this compression. However, this is not the only possible cause. You need to have this assessed by a doctor who can the run further tests in order to diagnose the cause. Only then can the appropriate treatment be commenced.

  • phiphi

    Hello HealthHype. Lately I’ve experience some numbness & tingling ( at the same time ) on all my fingers tip. And the feeling traveling up to the wrists and the arms. I’m 49 years old & have high blood pressure ( taking Amplodipine 5 mg once nightly ) Please help. Thank you

    • Hi Phiphi. Some of these symptoms could be side effects from the drug you are using. Numbness is known to sometimes occur with this drug but this does not mean you should stop it. Hypertension is a serious condition with life-threatening complications if left untreated. So first speak to your doctor before changing the dosage or stopping the drug. However, it is possible that this is not related to your medication. In this case it may be either due to compression of the nerve supplying this area, or due to circulatory problems in the arm. Once again you need to discuss it with your doctor who may conduct further diagnostic investigation.

  • Nathancano

    Hello! ive been experiencing timgling,numbness, and aching pains in both hands and arms from my finger tips to my elbows. Ive been going to the doctors to get this fixed because i need my hands for work (tattoo artist). ive had to take 3 weeks off already as of today because i cant draw for more than 5 minutes with out the pain increasing to uncomfortable levels. I definately shouldnt be tattooing under these Circumstances… anyways the doctors have conducted nerve tests, hand xrays and a spine mri and says everything looks fine? theyve ruled out carpel tunnel and spine related issues. what could it be? my doctor is ready to send me on my way without even a proper diagnosis?! im 21 years old… what can it be? what should i do? i go to Kaiser in woodland hills california… the doctor also ran a blood test which she says looked Phenomenal…. as of now the only treatment ive received is a prescription for hydrocodone(pain relief) and some wrist splints(which have done little to nothing to help me)… Ive also been having jolts (sort of like an electric shock) in my palms when doing anything remotely strenuous (opening a tight bottle cap off a glass jar). Thank you so much for any help or advise you can provide… even typing this is causing me pain as we speak :///

    • Hi Nathancano. This does sound like carpal tunnel syndrome, especially given your age and profession. However, as you mention this has been excluded. Your doctor has probably also excluded cubital tunnel syndrome / ulnar nerve entrapment and any nerve root compression in the neck so the lack of a diagnosis is quite baffling. The symptoms do most likely indicate a nerve problem and if the underlying cause cannot be identified, you should try resting the arms from its usual activity for about 10 to 14 days to see if the symptoms subside. Painkillers are only a temporary measure though and you may need to have your condition reassessed by a neurologist at this point.

  • Lauren Joseph

    I have been having numbness and tingling to both the ulnar and radial side of my hands, sometimes ulnar, sometimes radial and sometimes both whenever I lift my hand chest high or higher like over my head, and it has been getting progressively worse over time. There is no pain so far. At first I thought nothing of it, but since it has been getting worse I’ve begun to wonder if I should be more concerned. It happens to both hands, but more often on the right. I am a home health nurse with a pretty good balance of activity of driving, seeing patients and charting on computer. I also do knitting and crocheting, but have begun to have numbness with those activities as well. Should I be concerned or will it go away on it’s own? I also have fibromyalgia. Thanks.

  • Kathleen

    For about one week now I have had a weird sensation in my right arm and armpit. Random tingling and numbness in my fingers and random aches in my chest. Now I get pains in my shoulder, shoukder blade and sometimes neck. This morning I started getting some weird sensations on the left side but they have disappeared. My right arm doesn’t hurt, just having it at my side feels awkward, I am very aware of my right side. I am a 46 year old woman and I think I am premenopausal. Of course getting into the doctor has proven to be difficult. They have nothing for me until November. I am worried it could be something in my breast! Although, I have been research in line crazy and gave myself a panic attack and a visit to emergency room. I had CAT scan of head and neck, chest xray, EKG and blood work. Nothing was found. I would imagine if I has breast cancer something would show on xray and they would tell me to get checked right away. This is starting to take over my life! Any help?

    • Hi Kathleen. Do not assume the worst just yet. Firstly it is very likely to be musculoskeletal (muscle, joints, bones) or neurological (like a pinched nerve). It is the most common causes of your symptoms. Given your age it is also important to look at cardiovascular conditions such as coronary artery disease as well. These conditions need to be confirmed or excluded with the appropriate diagnostic workup. The ER team seems to have done a thorough job but it is important to follow up with your family doctor or a specialist physician. Only if the doctor feels it is necessary will additional tests be done, possible for breast cancer. But there are other more common possibilities as well which also need to be confirmed or excluded.

  • Austin

    My body feels like its behind in my movements and also my body in numb and tingly.

    • Hi Austin. You seem to be describing slowness of movement which is medically referred to as bradykinesia. There are several possible causes, one of which is Parkinson’s disease. The numbness and tingling could also be associated with PD. However, if it is isolated to just one part of the body, like maybe an arm or leg, then it may be other neurological (nerve) disorders. You should see your doctor as soon as possible and ideally consult with a neurologist.

  • Victor Valkyrian

    Hi there. Thanks for all the information. I’m 43, 6 ft, 145 lb. I eat as healthy as I can, drink alcohol regularly, smoke sometimes, no drugs. I use a lot my computer, play guitar and sax, and I wanted to share what happened to me 10 days ago: I woke up and my thumb and index fingers of the left hand felt numb, I thought it was just because I slept over my left arm, but didn’t disappear, after a few minutes I began to worry, I couldn’t even hold and empty cup, and when I tried to pick up something reaching up above my head my wrist twisted a little to the inside and couldn’t really control it. It didn’t shake, just couldn’t help it going that way, but I felt no pain, just a little tingling and numbness, whe I tried to wash my face my fingers and hand twisted when I tried to reach the other side of my face. Needles to say I got really scared. I did some research and found videos with physical therapy exercises and did a lot of them many times of the day and tried to do most of my activities using my left hand so I could move it and exercise it, also I tried a squeeze ball, but just couldn’t really squeeze it, I couldn’t do most of the things I love, like writing, play guitar and sax, so I had to recover full movement and strength. I did all the exercises I could, bought vitamin b12 tablets and take 1 a day. Today is the 10th day and everyday I feel better and my movement is back 100% and strength is back 75% I’d say, I just feel my forearm as if I did a lot of exercise but that’s it. Please could you tell me if I did the right thing and what is the best way to recover? Is it physical therapy exercises or rest? Is it hot water or cold water, does b12 really helps? and was it Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)? Thank you.

    • Hi Victor. It could very well be CTS given your long hours of computer use and playing the musical instruments. When the symptoms started up the best approach would be to rest the hand, ice it if necessary (cold water may help) and see a doctor for anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers. Only once the acute inflammation subsides should you start exercises. You should see your doctor even though your are feeling better at the moment so that he/she can keep a record of this incident, which will help to determine future courses of treatment if the symptoms recur.

  • Lyle

    I’m having a serious problem here. Its with my left hand/wrist. I couldn’t figure out what it is exactly just by researching on the internet. When its time to go to bed, there’s a strong tingling sensation in my left hand/wrist and makes me very uncomfortable. I literally can’t sleep because of it. I either have to be in a really cold place or use a strong ointment that I call ‘spicy’ when applied just to be able to sleep. Some says its because of too much intake of salt. Sometimes I think of RLS but in my case, its my left hand/wrist. So, I have no idea what this is. Anybody know what I might have?

    • Hi Lyle. Although tingling and other sensations may very often be due to nerve-related conditions, it could also be muscular. One of the common symptoms of muscle strain, especially if it is prolonged through the day, is tingling like you describe which is more prominent when the arm is resting.

      There may not be the obvious achy, cramp-like soreness in every case as we tend to think of muscle strain. The fact that it responds to cold and topical applications, like the ointment you are using, further supports the idea that it may be a muscle problem, and muscle strain is common with the limbs.

      Of course, you may also need to rule out nerve related problems like carpal tunnel syndrome which is common these days, or even nerve root compression in the neck spine although this should cause more extensive symptoms in your arm. Speak to a doctor. While it may seem like nothing to worry about, this could be the early symptom of a serious nerve, muscle or joint problem. It is better to have it assessed by a doctor.

  • Seraphina

    Hello HealthHype! I have been experiencing some peculiar symptoms over the past few months and Im not sure if there is anything to be concerned about. Firstly, I am a twenty year old female. I dont do any drugs or drink alcohol but I am about fourty pounds overweight. My mom also suffers from MS and I have had numerous back and neck injuries of varying severity. So I have noticed at work (retail) sometimes when I extend my forearm there is a sharp feeling right in the fleshy part between my elbo and wrist that feels almost like Im being shocked or electrocuted which quickly disperses away from the point from which it seems to originate. This will happen three or four tines and then it seems to subside. Other times I am just standing when it feels like I lose balance and momentarily am standing on a rocky boat- thats the only way I can describe it! I just get dizzy. I also get headaches daily; sometimes it seems to be related to something I eat, others I wake up with one and a sore neck and it never goes away. Im wondering if any of these are worth investigating and perhaps if they might be diet or previous injury or ms related! Thank you

    • Hi Seraphina. It is definitely worth investigating further. These symptoms are commonly seen in conditions like MS and given your family history you are at a higher risk of developing MS. Hopefully it is not the early start of MS but do not delay in seeking advice. There are other possibly causes but the concern right now in your cases is whether this is MS or not. Your doctor will be able to advise you accordingly.

      • Sam Lapriore

        I just woke up at 4 am I’m laying on my back and all of a sudden my right arm froze up all the way from my elbow to my hand so my fore arm and I COULD NOT move it and I had a loss in vision and my fingers were numb and when I put it under water it helped but my fingertips are numb and I have a loss in breath

        • Hi Sam. It is strongly recommended that you see your doctor as soon as possible. There are many possible causes such as having slept on your arm or having a neck problem that is compressing the nerve to the arm. These are more likely causes if this occurs once off. However, the concern here is about other more serious conditions like a muscle or nerve disease, or even a stroke (maybe in this case a pre-stroke also known as a TIA). You definitely need to consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Geetha

    Hi. I am now in 8th month of pregnancy. For past 2,3 weeks, when I wake up in the morning, I feel a pain at the finger joints(especially in a finger next to little finger) and hip joints(at the bottom of spinal cord).Finger pain remains constantly throughout the day. Hip joint pain occurs whenever I am idle at the rest position for even few minutes. When I consulted a doctor, she advised to do joint exercise by folding and stretching the fingers after wake up from bed. But still the problem exists severely. Can u suggest a solution for this?

    • Hi Geetha. The hip joint symptoms are not uncommon for pregnancy in the last trimester. The finger joint problems are a bit concerning as it could be related to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis which are sometimes triggered or worsened by the hormonal changes during pregnancy. Of course, there could be other reasons for the finger symptoms so it is difficult to say just yet. The finger exercise are obviously a better option for now seeing that medication would want to be avoided since you are pregnant. You may want to consult with a physical therapist for further assessment.

  • deb evans

    I am 48 and have had 3 numb tingling finger on my left hand for 3 months the feeling hasn’t came back. I thought it was carpo tunnel but now not sure .I am a diabetic and have high blood pressure as well as hypo thyriod

    • Hi Deb. The fact that you have these three conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism) raises many concerns. Tingling and numbness can actually occur in all three of these conditions. It has to be checked by a doctor. It is also possible that the cause is neither of these three conditions. It could be something like nerve root compression in the neck and so on. This can only be conclusively identified by various diagnostic investigations which need to be requested by a doctor.

  • Kate

    It started with a stiff neck with pain at the base that worsens with chin up. Now I have numbness and tingling on right side of upper back extending toward the shoulder blade, pain and weakness in right forearm and top of hand into thumb. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Kate. It’s difficult to say for sure but you may be looking at nerve root compression at the level of the cervical (neck) vertebrae. This means that the nerve may be ‘pinched’. The compression on the nerve can account for all of the symptoms that you are experiencing. Your doctor may sugggest further investigations like an x-ray, MRI and so on to confirm the diagnosis. You may want to read more on this condition here

  • Na_na99

    My left arm and hand have so many problems with tingling that I have to sleep on my right side because it almost feels like the blood hasn’t been flowing well. I take iron pills (sometimes) and don’t drink or smoke. I’m 40 and have been overweight all of my life. I have diabetes on both sides of my family and I eat well (Nigerian, Mexican, Indian, fried seafood, etc.) but don’t drink sodas. My weight doesn’t change up or down regardless of how much I might eat or diet (so I’ve given up dieting, and no amount that I eat causes me to gain weight). I will go to a doctor, but I’m wondering what I should ask the doctor to look out for. Are these symptoms of early diabetes? My hands are often cold as well, but the left is worse than the right one. Also, I have had problems with anemia and hypoglycemia in the past.

    And I crochet. I have to sometimes put the hook and yarn down and move my fingers to get the blood flowing to the finger tips.

    • Hi Na_na99. There are many possible conditions that could account for these symptoms and you should not leave it unattended. Nerve root compression is one of the possibilities, as well as pressure on the nerve along it course down the arm. Yes, diabetes could also account for it although it would not be sol isolated for so long. Another factor to consider here is a condition known as Raynaud’s phenomenon where the blood vessels to the hand goes into spasm. This causes the hand to become pale to white, cold and tingle or sometimes even lead to pain since the blood flow is restricted. People who do have anemia may also complain of similar symptoms in the limbs but it would not be isolated just to one hand. Of course there is always the concern that tingling in the left hand could be related to coronary artery disease (a heart related problem) and so it needs to be investigated thorough. The fact that you do not smoke, drink and you are not overweight does not necessarily mean that you are not entirely at risk of CAD. Your age alone is a risk factor. But speak to your doctor for further advice.

      • Na_na99

        Thank you!

  • Zoey

    hey I was wondering if anyone could help me out a bit? I have numbness/tingling in my hands and wrists almost all the time. I self harm, and this started recently after i tried to commit. i smoke weed occasionally if that helps any. this has never happened before it recently just started happening. please help its really weird and sorta scary

    • Hi Zoey. Most people who self harm target their arms/hands. Some people cut, others burn and so on. So we are assuming that you are doing one of these actions. Your tingling and numbness could be related to this behavior. It may even be related to underlying psychological issues. However, it is also possible that this is totally unrelated to your self-harming and may instead be a symptom of some underlying disorder like carpal tunnel syndrome. You should see a doctor as soon as possible. Not just for the tingling and numbness but also because of the self-harming behavior. Do not leave it unattended.

  • Wendy Lever

    For the last 19 mths I have had numbness in my ring finger and pinky finger, pins and needles in my hand and nerve pain in my left arm like you wouldn’t believe sometimes. I’ve been tested for ulnar nerve entrapment and also for the nerves further up the arm. I’ve had an MRI and I’ve seen 3 neurologists who all say something different. 1st one said brachial plexus injury, 2nd one said peripheral neuropathy and the last one said it’s one of those things that we just don’t know the cause and there is nothing to do in terms of treatment.
    I am most inclined to believe brachial plexus injury as I’ve always had neck trouble since a whiplash injury 37 yrs ago, The pins and needles is becoming worse and I’ve now overused the specialists (the last one said, there was no point in continuing to see specialists as there is nothing can be done)
    My gut tells me there must be a pinched nerve/s somewhere but I’m now at a loss as to what to do about it. Any suggestions please?

    I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2011 which I think the specialist has gotten hung up on even though my symptoms for each are quite different. I think because of the fibro they are too eager to put my left arm down to this as well.

    • Hi Wendy. Yes it does sound like cubital tunnel entrapment (ulnar nerve) but since no abnormality has been detected on the MRI it is difficult to say for sure. You are correct that these symptoms are suggestive of a pinched nerve somewhere along its course. It is unfortunate that none of these 3 neurologists have offered further input on the matter or suggestions on possibly starting physical therapy and so on. A nerve conduction study may not usually be necessary in this case but it may be considered since no specific cause has been identified. It is difficult to advise you any further on the matter. You may want to look at more conservative measures such as physical therapy and identifying possible trigger factors and avoiding it.

  • Lonnie B

    I’m only 25. I had surgery repairing my left bicep that was ripped, also reattached my tendon n also repaired some of the tissue around my rotary cuff. I had hurt it in a high speed car accident. It has been over 3 months since the surgery, up til today I have had a fairly quick recovery n just completed PT a couple weeks ago. Today out of the blue my forearm, hand and finger tips started having painful tingled and numbness when I move certain ways or touch underside of wrist…what’s wrong?

    • Hi Lonnie. Cannot say for sure what’s wrong but it would be advisable that you consult with your doctor as soon as possible. Firstly it is possible that your current symptoms are not related to your previous injury. It could be a clot in the arm, pressure on the nerves and so on. However, it is also possible that this is related to your prior injury and these symptoms are worrying for having finished PT and being 3 months after the surgery especially if you never experienced before. See your family doctor to have it assessed.

  • Marty Charlton

    Hi i have a question for ya i have a bad back and for the last few months my left armpit arm and fingers all on the left side keeps going numb and getting a tingling sensation it comes and goes but when it gets like that i cannot do anything with that arm does anybody have any idea what that could be i am thinking i have some disc in my neck that may be messed up

    • Hi Marty. Yes, it is very possible that compression of one of the cervical nerves on the left side would cause these symptoms. However, it is also important to rule out other possible causes like a TIA which is momentary blockage of the blood flow to the brain. It gives you stroke-like symptoms for short periods of time and then resolves. However, it is a prelude to a stroke and one day you could end up having a stroke unless you start treatment. This is not to say that your current symptoms are indeed a TIA. It could very well be a back issue in the neck region. It would be advisable to see a neurologist at this point.

  • Kate

    Since around the time that I had my daughter 2 years ago my dominant arm which is my left has been tingly and almost numb/burny like from my shoulder down my arm. It isnt totally bothersome as sometimes I completely forget about it but when I have to use it to bear weight it is quite noticeable and makes me nervous to carry anything with it. My doctor did a mri on my cervical spine and that came back with a very small to small c3 c4 herniation that isnt impeding on anything. It also showed a more than likely benign cerebellar tonsil ectopia of 5mm. Next thing I know my dr is ordering a brain mri. Not sure why to be honest as nothing really came from the cervical mri. Of course this has me terrified and I cried today when I went in for the brain scan. Anyways, do you have any idea on possibilities on what is causing this? I have had whiplash since my daughters birth and an injury resulting in a pretty big hematoma about 4 years ago in my upper arm. It’s just tingly from my shoulder down to my fingers. No pain. I am very thin because gaining weight isnt easy for me so I wonder if being too thin can cause these problems. I am 5 5 and I teeter between 105-110lbs.

  • Nic Williams

    Hello for the past 3 months my left arm has been going numb a lot, as much as 8 times a day. The feeling only comes back when I raise my hand. What do you think it could be?

    • Hi Nic. Although we cannot say for sure it may indicate a nerve problem. In all likelihood the nerve supplying this arm is compressed somewhere along its course and the change of position may be relieving the compression. This is just one possibility. If it was related to a disrupted blood flow then hanging the arm down would instead help because gravity could improve the circulation. And then there is the possibility that this could in fact be related to TIAs which may be a prelude to a stroke. TIAs usually present with episodes of numbness on one side of the body and usually raising the affected part would not relieve it. Nevertheless it is a consideration. The only way to say for sure is to see a doctor and preferably a neurologist.


    I’ve kinda been having this problem for a while now. I put my hand under my head and pillow while I sleep and it will become completely numb. I really dislike the feeling and would love it to stop. Also to ad when I go snowboarding and put my boots on my feet will go numb and I can only ride for a few runs until the pain is unbearable. I even loosen the boots and it doesn’t seem to help. Its really frustrating! Also While I’m at it when I’m going number 2 and exerting myself my nose will start leaking fluid really badly like I’ll have to wipe my nose every single time then blow when I’m done. Any help? 29 years old. Just quit smoking 2 weeks ago. Drink twice a week on average. I’ve gone to the doctor and don’t seem to get anywhere. Maybe I should see someone else.

    • Hi Colin. Momentary numbness is not usually a cause for concern in your age group. Sleeping with with your hand under your head will cause compression of nerves and blood vessels which can lead to numbness. Your boots may not be loose enough but it really is difficult to say for sure through an online platform. If any of these symptoms persist or get worse over time, or if other symptoms like muscle weakness or a bluish tinge to the skin appears then it may be worrying and needs further investigation. Also take note of swelling or paleness of the skin which may be indicative of a circulatory problem.

      • COLIN

        Thank you. Still have no desire to smoke and Im losing weight and eating healthy. So I hope this will just get better! You know anything about the constant runny nose under exertion?

        • Hi Colin. As a matter of interest many people who quit smoking do experience unusual symptoms. Some find that they tend to yawn more often or feel like they missed a breath and so on. A runny nose after exertion could also be related to your smoking cessation as the nasal mucosa is less dry and the tiny hairs known as cilia grow again in the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Of course you should keep an eye on it. We cannot say for sure that this is related to you quitting smoking. Maybe follow up with a doctor or ENT specialist if need be.

  • Lily

    Hi my right arm from the inside of the elbow all the way up to my shoulder is sharp tingly feel. The vein I have been told a lot on the inside of the elbow blows a lot whenever they try to get blood. Which the last three years I have had a lot of health issues so a lot of blood taken. Could my pain be from my veins blowing a lot of the years?

    • Hi Lily. This could be what is known as a collapsed vein which can occur in your situation. There is also the possibility that a clot or some other blockage may be impairing blood flow. An infection could be another cause. There are many possibilities as you can see so it is important to have it checked up. It is also possible tat this is not arising from the vein but that it is a nerve, joint or tendon problem. You have to see a doctor who can assess your arm and symptoms.

  • kazymich

    I wonder if someone could help. I have had shoulder pain for a good few months now which feels aching and also feels aching down my forearm. Pins and needles throughout the day in my thumb and index finger. Slight numbness with mild aching in my palm towards thumb. The shoulder pain really aches even changing position of my arm doesn’t help. Sometimes feels like I can locate the pain on my scapula but then pain moves under arm. I’ve been waiting for it to go away before I bother the doctor but does anyone have idea if it will go away.
    I’m not sure if this anything related but my spine at the coccyx feels as if it crushed down when I try to stand from sitting which is also painful. I’m female in mid forties

    • Hi Kazymich. The fact that this has persisted for months means that you should be consulting with a doctor. A neurologist would be the medical specialist at choice for your situation. Even though you are experiencing the pain from the shoulder onwards, it is very possible that the problem lies in the spine (the neck and upper back region). The most likely cause is a pinched nerve (compression of the nerve root at the spine). The article above explains which nerves are more likely to be affected in order to correlate with the symptoms you are experiencing. Yes, it is possible that what is occurring at the upper part of the spine can also be associated with a problem in your coccyx. However, given your age and gender the coccyx problem may be a separate issue altogether. You should consult with your family doctor and get a referral to a neurologist. Hopefully it can be treated with medication and physical therapy, or surgery may be necessary. Delaying can worsen the prognosis.

  • Shauna Carter

    Hi last night My arms and legs just went numb and started tingling. This morning they are still the same. I do have neuropathy from back and neck injury. I take Lyrica 100mg tid for it. However, I have NEVER had feelings like this!!! Feel worried!! Does anyone have any info that would help?

    • Hi Shauna. The sudden onset of these symptoms definitely need to be investigated. Even though have had relief from the medication your conditions needs to be assessed by a doctor. While it is possible that these symptoms are related to your previous injury there is also the possibility that this is an entirely new condition. Your doctor will be able to advise you accordingly after running further investigations.

  • Anna Carter

    I recently had a subcutaneous cyst removed in my left arm, right around the bend of the elbow. Since having it removed, my whole arm goes numb randomly. Could this be the result of the healing of the skin tissue? It looks to be right next to a vein, if that helps.

    • Hi Anna. This is unlikely related to the healing. If there was nerve injury/damage while the cyst was removed then this may be the problem but it is unlikely to have occurred. You should consult with your doctor. It is possible that your numbness is not related to your cyst and may instead be due to compression of the nerve anywhere from the level of the neck through the course down the arm. Of course there may also be other conditions. Your doctor will advise you accordingly.

  • Ashley White

    Hi there… I am curious what my issue may be. I’m making an appointment to be checked out, but the last couple of years I’ve had numbness occasionally in my hands (all fingers and palm- more on the left side, but both are affected) and my hands and feet are always ice cold and I can’t really feel them. I can’t get them warm without a lot of work too. I have some problems with my eye sight getting worse, I have been diagnosed with IBS, and also numbness in my legs and feet occasionally. My grandmother was diagnosed with MS when she was in her 30’s…but she swears it isn’t true. My entire family tends to have the same issues… could I just be experiencing an issue with a nerve being obstructed or does this really sound like MS? She doesn’t want me getting tested, but at this point, I need to find out why these things are happening. It’s very frustrating to deal with.

  • katie

    My arms and hands go numb when raised and when I cross my kegs or put pressure on any body part for only a few seconds goes numb. I get really dizzy when my arms are raised followed by numbness and tingling. Can you help me understand what’s might be wrong with me.

    • Hi Katie. It could be a nerve problem but it could also be a blood circulation issue. Raising the hands above the head when standing hampers blood flow to the hands and fingers. It may not be a problem for more people but if you have some underlying heart or blood vessel problem then it could occur even with raising your arms for a short period of time. Nerve issues may to be considered here. It could be be nerve compression either at the level of the spine or somewhere along its course. You would also have to consider a possible heart condition or chronic nerve diseases. The only way to know for sure is to see a doctor who can assess you and then advise you further.

  • don rasile

    Tingling and numbness in right hand after bowling. I had not bowled for 30 years prior to this event. No symptoms or pain all day. However, that night, severe discomfort, pain in arm and hand. Every 10 minutes I awoke, made motions with arm to regain feeling.

  • Racheal

    Hi There, My numbness started when I was pregnant 4 years ago and has never really gone away. It is in both hands but mostly my left. When I am sleeping I wake up several times a night with numbness and tingling in my whole hand. It also feels sore in my armpit and elbow when I wake up. I do notice when I have been very active with my hands the day before, it gets worse. Holding phone, painting and writing for long periods of time trigger it as well.

    • Hi Rachael. There are several spine, joint and muscle conditions that can cause these symptoms by pressing on the nerves, and some nerve diseases can also be responsible. From what you say it sounds a lot like a problem emanating from the cervical vertebrae but we cannot say for sure. Follow up with your doctor and it may be advisable to consult with a neurologist as well.

  • Aleena

    Around 3-4 times a month all of my fingers on both hands go numb for anywhere from 1 to 12 hours. I have been having this problem for a couple years now. I am only 21 years old. I don’t smoke, drink alcohol occasionally and don’t do drugs. I have absolutely no pain in my hands when this happens, it is just very annoying! Do you think something is really wrong? I am getting kind of worried.Thanks for your help!

    • HI Aleena. The cause of arm numbness varies as you can see from the article above. In your age group it is unlikely related to narrowed arteries to the brain (which could cause a stroke), or other such conditions. However, it could stem from nerve compression (pinched nerve) somewhere along the course from the neck to the hands. It could also be due to a condition like Raynaud phenomenon where the blood vessels in the hands suddenly narrow for a few hours and then eases but this is usually limited to the hands. Rather be safe than sorry and have it checked by a medical professional. While it is unlikely to be a serious disease in your age group there are some uncommon serious conditions with these symptoms that can affect young adults.

  • Craig

    Hi. I am constantly getting pain and numbness in my upper left armpit, upper left breast and this usually results in tingling in my inner, upper arm and left hand. Sometimes I will also get the sweats and what feels like pain in the bones in my head (rare). I do have reactive arthritis and I am taking Enbrel.

    Any ideas what is the problem?

    • Hi Craig. When left side arm pain occurs, especially with sweating, the first and most important condition that needs to be excluded is heart disease. Even if you under 40, a non-smoker, eat healthy and within a normal body weight it could still be heart disease. You should speak to your family doctor. Only once heart related conditions have been excluded conclusively will other possible causes be considered. Your doctor will advise your further.

  • Connor

    I have problems with my ring finger and pinkie finger (note i am a hypercondriact so i may be overthinking things)
    At first i thought it was carpal tunnel, but i dont think it is. All it is, is restricted movement in those fingers
    I touch type and use a computer regulary.

    • Hi Connor. It may not be carpal tunnel syndrome but could be cubital tunnel syndrome. Compression of the nerve could lead to restricted movement. Tendon problems could be another cause as well as joint disorder that are limiting movement. Difficult to say for sure through an online platform but it is advisable that you speak to your doctor about it.

  • Cynthia Lynn Hoaglund

    Hello I don’t know what to do about my numdness it started in 5 months ago In my right arm. At night it would go numb and then hurt like crazy. I started going to a chiropractor he took x-rays said I had a rib in my back out of place. So he put it back in. My arm didn’t hurt as much but it was still there. I stoped sleeping in my bed so i couldnt hurt it any further I’ve been sleeping in a chair that lays back. Over time it got better but not completely. Now the right side upper back next to my shoulder blade goes numb and hurt and so does my right hand. And most of the time I can’t feel my ring finger on that hand. What can I do please help!!!

    • Hi Cynthia. It sounds a lot like nerve root compression or a pinched nerve as it is commonly known. While manual therapies can help it may not always ‘fix’ the problem. It really depends on the underlying cause. Sometimes the only treatment may be surgery. You should consult an orthopedist. However, there is also the possibility that this could be something else possibly even related to your heart which may need to be excluded with further tests. Start with your family doctor and take it from there.

  • Brittany Dixon

    I get constant numbness and tingling in both arms and I have not had feeling in my finger tips for 3 years now I have mentioned this to my doctors but they look at me funny how do I ask and actually have them look at it to help its beginning to become painful and have a burning sensation that is constant please help

    • Hi Brittany. The symptoms you are describing may point either to a nerve problem or a circulatory problem in your arms. The former may be due to a pinched nerve from the spinal level where the nerves to the arm arise. It can occur with abnormal bone growths or a collapsed disc among other possibilities. Sometimes there can be nerve damage to this area with conditions like diabetes. The circulatory problem can occur when the blood supply to the hand is restricted as is seen in conditions like Raynaud phenomenon. These are just some of the many possibilities and the exact cause can only be diagnosed with further investigations. It is advisable to seek a second opinion from another doctor or consult with a neurologist if possible.

    • tammy

      Sounds like you could have small fiber peripheral neuropathy. Those are common symptoms of that. I have it very bad and they can’t find the cause which is not unusual. Look it up, then find a neurolgist, there is a skin biospy they can do right in the Dr. Office. Good luck brittany

  • Fernando Alvarado

    Hi my names Fernando am 27 5′ 10″ 295 I started working in masonry work about 2 months ago, I weighted 325 when I first started, I knew I would drop weight but my issue is that both my hands are numb & tingling all the time for 2 weeks straight now what can be the problem? I had a diabetic test about 6 months ago & everything was fine, except for my cholesterol was slightly high

    • Hi Fernando. It is possible that your symptoms are related to your masonry work. You may have sustained what is known as repetitive stress injury from overworking your hands with the same types of tasks. You will need to see a doctor who will confirm whether it is a repetitive stress injury or maybe a pinched nerve or some related condition. Only then can the appropriate treatment be prescribed.

  • anna

    hi i have been going num on my right arm to the point where i cant even lift my arm up the pain will shout up my neck and to my fingers. I cant sleep i have try’d everything and nothing helps what can it be it has been about 3mounths now.

    • Hi Anna. You should speak to your doctor and possibly consult with a neurologist. Your symptoms sound a lot like nerve root compression. Most people know of it as a pinched nerve. From what you describe, the nerve supplying the arm is ‘pinched’ most likely at the point where it branches out from the spinal cord. This is a common condition. Your doctor will have to confirm the diagnosis and then discuss the treatment options with you.

  • Angelica Guizar


    I tend to lay on my stomach as i use my phone at night. When doing this i start feeling numbness from my elbow to my middle finger? Also when I accidentally sleep on my arm, I wake up to a completely number arm from shoulder to fingers. I of course dont do this on purpose. It worries me because it’s happening more frequently. Is this normal?

  • Lori Fergusson

    I had a fall last night on my right side. My right shoulder blade feels bruised, broke last 2 toes on right foot, and this morning and four 4 hours now my middle finger and thumb on right hand are numb. Any ideas?

  • Lori Fergusson

    Will it get better on its own?

  • Jade

    I woke up this morning with pins & needles sensation from the tip of my pinky all the way down to my wrist. I have had it all day, and its now accompanied by a burning sensation. & Now for the last hour it has been doing spasms…… any idea what it could be from?

    • Dina Drovetto

      Have you taken an antibiotic drug called cipro, avelox or levaquin? So drugs will do it to you long after taking them.
      Horrible painful side effects.

  • Madison

    For going on 3 months my arms have gotten progressively worse. It started with my hands, I woke and it was hard to open and close them, then my forearms stared getting a tingling sensation and staying numb/ a sharp pain randomly throughout the day, now I can’t sleep at night because of the pain. It feels like my arms are burning( mainly my right) and I have to physically shake my arm to find some sort of relief. The pain is sharp, tingly, and almost like a burning sensation. But I’m worried because it’s progressively moved up my arm the past 3 months.. Now it’s effecting my sleep, when I drive both go completely numb, and it effecting my everyday activity. IA this serious?

  • Daina

    Hi. I have juvenile idiopathic arthritis, am 39. I also have a host of other conditions. Secondary to that, so I have many specialists in my medical team. Midday yesterday, my left ring finger started to get tingly. Then the pinky and middle finger joined the party. Today , pain started in my shoulder, thumb and inner forearm (close to inner elbow). I would describe the inner forearm/inner elbow pain as the feeling you get when someone tries to take blood and the vein blows. I’m trying to figure out which specialist I should call?
    Thank you,

  • nervousq

    Hi I was in a car crash nine months ago, I have sre neck arms constantly going numb but lately the left side of my face it getting puffy, could this be related to the crash / whiplash of something else,
    its bloated now and i have pain in my left arm and swollen numb fingers, I am already on strong anti inflammatory drugs but still hurts

    • Hi Nervousq. It could possibly be related but it is unlikely. Swelling after an injury is usually related to inflammation or bleeding and is the most acute shortly (hours and days) after the trauma. Your symptoms are appearing 9 months later. It is possible that this is due to another condition altogether. However, it is possible that the condition now causing this could have been triggered by the car crash all that time back. Difficult to say for sure. You should speak to your family doctor and have it investigated further.

  • Jessica

    My left arm, up the shoulder, both hands and fingers are numb, swollen, and hurt when I wake up. No matter how I sleep. I have a, long time getting them back to normal. During the day my toes and fingers will go numb, even when I’m sitting down barefoot.

  • Tiffani

    Hi! I know this is an old thread but hope someone will see & be able to help me. My symptoms are like Victor Valkryian’s but its in my right arm/hand & my numbness/tingling feeling is in the top of my hand, up my middle & 1st finger about 1/2 way & wraps around my thumb. My wrist also starts bending in as I extend my fingers or try to straighten them out. I can grab if I concentrate but no grip. Cant point or type with that hand at all. Trying to do anything with my fingers immediately makes my wrist bend inward. I know I slept on it funny last night, sitting up with my wrist holding my bodyweight up, so know I had to have had it bent backwards. But there isnt any pain!! I wasnt thinking cuts because of where the numbness is & what my hand is doing. I was thinking more ong the radial muscle possibly?? Im not sure. Would love some feedback & opinions!! Just woke up this morning with it & hard to do anything cor myself let alone my toddler son! HELP!! No pain, slight possible swelling around fingers & back of wrist. Just noticed my upper arm muscle does hurt like I hit it on somethin but it just follows the muscle on the back of my upper arm. Thanks! Tiffani

    • Dina Drovetto

      Im asking everyone if theyve taken the antibiotic: cipro, avelox or levaquin. Your symptoms are like mine. Check out fluoroquinolone toxicity. Good luck .

  • Amy Nelson Wilson

    Hi, for the last 2 weeks whenever I lay down my right arm wakes me up. I can’t really describe how it feels. The best way to describe it is u know how when u hit ur funny bone you get this tingly pain through your arm well that’s how it feels. But it also is in hand. It wakes me up 7- 12 times a night. Even when I’m not laying on it it does it. I’ve been sleeping on my left side.the thing is whenever I sit up in bed the pain stops within mins but as soon as I lay back down starts again. After I get up in the morns my hand and arm is weak and hurts to use it. If I try to pick something up it shoots a pain thru my wrist and elbow. My fingers are swole. It’s only in my right arm. What could this be? I can’t see a Dr til my insurance goes into effect in January. Please help. Thank you.

    • Hi Amy. There are many possibilities for the symptoms you are experiencing as you can see from the article above. There is a good chance that what you are experiencing is a pinched nerve. This means that the nerve is compressed somewhere along its path from the where it exits the spinal cord. For the nerves that run to the arm, this is usually around the neck level of the spinal cord. It may be pinched at the back or anywhere along its course, with the more likely areas being the elbow (you may want to read up on cubital tunnel syndrome) or at the wrist (like in carpal tunnel syndrome). The fact that the symptoms seem to worsen when you are lying does further point towards a pinched nerve at the level of the neck. However, we cannot say for sure. A doctor will have to assess you and possibly run further tests before confirming a diagnosis.


    Hi my name is John. so on the 25th i fell asleep for about an hour on my left arm and when i woke up my thumb and index finger were unable to bend to full capcity. i have full wrist motion and movement. i can make the ok sign, the hitchiker thumb, and im able to touch my thumb to my pinkie finger. so im thinking its from the way i took a nap and compressed my median nerve and am now having a bit of a temporary palsy of the median nerve. There is no pain or swelling just a numb like tingle needles and pins feeling. i just want to know how temporary this is and what i can do to make it recover faster if anything because im a lead guitarist and well i would like this to be as temporary as possible.. please help if you can. Thanks, John

    • Hi Jonathon. It is difficult to say for sure. The compression caused by laying on the arm would only cause temporary symptoms that would last for a few minutes, or hours at most. The fact that this is persisting most likely indicates a more serious pathology. The compression may not have been the cause or at most could have been a trigger or exacerbating factor. There are several possibilities to consider but this should only be done under the supervision of a medical professional. Consult with a doctor as soon as possible. It may not be anything serious but there is no way of knowing for sure without further investigation.

  • Sue

    Hello, my name is Sue,

    My right hand twitches very slightly all the time. and when I hold my right arm and hand straight out my middle finger drops down.

  • Nicole Mcnamee

    I have a fullness numbness feeling on the top of my forearm and its in between my elbow and thumb. Im not an active person and i sleep in a chair and im a 25 year old female.

  • IndependentforFreedom

    Suddenly while sitting at my desk my left arm and shoulder went numb but no pain – within just a few minutes — say 5 minutes, my arm came back to normal after wiggling it around. I sleep in the fetal position and on top of my arms every night – a habit I cannot stop. When I awake I have to unfurl my body from holding it so tight in the fetal position. Hopefully this is why I had this happen. I am a heavy computer user at work also. It felt like I turned at my desk and suddenly this came on. TY for any information.

  • Den Fernando

    my both arm is numbing and tingling i don’t know why, it just started a 5days ago, i’m 16 5’4 i’m 80pounds female been eating healthy foods and taking exercises like jogging, but i stopped yesterday because of this numbness/tingling in my both arm and hands, and its worse right now. after my jogging every night (well im just doing it in every 6pm to 7pm) i’m using my computer playing games on it, well i spend more time playing in my phone maybe like 2hrs to 3hrs, when im waking up everymorning i dont feel the numbness/tingling in my arm and hand i just feel it when i’m doing something. please what can i do to stop it? i’ve been worrying im scared, and i think i’m the only one who’s young here. im only 16 turning 17 this april 29 2016.

    • Dina Drovetto

      Any chance you took an antibiotic in the past called cipro, avelox, or levaquin. ?
      If yes… check out fluoroquinone toxcity group on facebook. I had your symptoms, too. I eventually got worse 2. Years after taking the drug cipro. I only took 4 pills and quit because i got sore tendons. Good luck!

      • Hi Dina. Thank you for your input. Your question is valid but there are so many possible causes of arm numbness and tingling due to far more common conditions. Nevertheless you have a valid point. Your assistance to our community is appreciated.

  • Debbie

    Please help!
    For about a month now my Right arm feels like it’s asleep in the morning while I’m on my computer…..Now….for the last week-when I wake up in the morning-my right arm has pain…and right arm, hand and fingers feel numb and tingly also…..I’m reallllly afraid! What could this be?

  • Stacy Miller

    My left middle finger and index finger stays tingling all the time now. It’s very hard to grab something using those fingers. It has started to get worse by hurting instead of just tingling. If I have to stretch to pick something up I jump in pain, feels like my finger can’t stretch, like there’s not enough skin to stretch…I don’t know if I’m making any sense but it’s been going on for several months. I thought it was a pinched nerve….? Any thoughts?

  • Mike J Sharp Sr

    I have numbness in left arm and. Hand .when I’m working I get this numbness on both and I get weak and don’t have any strength and I have to sit down for a moment what causes that?

  • Harman singh

    Hi I got punched at school in the arm I told the teacher so the person that punched me is in trouble,however my both of my arms feel numbness and it hurts when I pick up stuff what should I do?

    • Hi Harman. You should speak to your parents and they will take you to a doctor. It may be nothing serious but the only way to know for sure is to have a doctor assess the injury. This could be soft tissue injury but it may have severely injured a nerve. Your doctor will be able to advise you accordingly.

  • Vicky Baxter-Dalmer

    My right arm at the elbow is in so much pain. I had an operation on my hand and arm for carpel tunnel release and everything was fine up to 3 weeks ago. The pain and tingling in my arm is almost out of my pain level tolerance. I’ve taken pain killers, anti depressant also anti inflammatory and nothing is taking the pain away.
    I dont know much more to do.

  • Hi Nicole. Third degree burns could have damaged the superficial nerves and blood vessels and may also have affected normal blood flow regulation to the arm. This could account for your symptoms. However, it is also possible that your current symptoms are due to an entirely separate condition as 17 years have passed. You need to consult with a medical doctor as you will probably need further tests. We do not diagnose on this platform.

    • Nicole Telo Corleon Williams

      Thanks so much I’ve been to the doctor lately and the doctor put me on steroids for six day I didn’t have any numbness but since I’ve been off it stat back but in a week I have to go and take a nerve test

      • Hi Nicole. Glad to hear that you are receiving medical attention now. Hopefully your symptoms have eased.

  • Hi TripleB. Hopefully the numbness has passed by now. This type of temporary numbness can occur but it should not usually last for 3 days. This numbness could be due to some other condition and it would be advisable to have it checked by a doctor. It is possible that the numbness is due to compression of the root of the nerve which will occur around the level of the neck vertebrae. You doctor will advise you further.

  • Christopher

    All my body feels numb. When i pinch myself i feel nothing i scratch feel nothing.

    • Hi Christopher. Loss of sensation as you describe can occur for various reasons. It is more likely to occur with some damage or disease of the nerves. It can also arise with damage or diseases of the areas of the brain that perceive sensation. However, it is rare for this loss of sensation to occur throughout the whole body simultaneously with no other signs and symptoms. The only way to know the cause for sure is to consult with your doctor. Further diagnostic tests are most likely going to be needed.

  • Hi Linda. This symptoms can be concerning and you should have it checked up by a doctor even though it has not worsened in the past year. While we cannot say for sure what the cause may be in your case, one very common cause for these symptoms is nerve root compression. The nerves that run down the arms emanate from the upper part of the spine. So if it is being compressed at this point then it will cause symptoms like tingling. Lying down may be worsening it, and this can also be associated with your sleeping position, especially if your are using too many pillows. However, this does not mean that your sleeping position is the case. You will need to have it investigated further in case there are other problems like a herniated spinal disc. Speak to your doctor.

  • Jamie

    i am 37 years old i always sleep on my side lately when i try or even lay on my back my left arm goes numb use to be my leg to but noy now just my arm. and under my pit will even hurt towards chest. could this be signs of a heart attack or i have a vascular tumer hemangioma @ L3 my spine that was 100 percent growth andcentral disk bulging at the 4-5 and 5-1 levels SCIATICA AND SACROILLAC JOINT DYSFUNCTION. I RECENTLY LOST 40 POUNDS UNDER DOC SUPERVISION AND WAS WONDERING IF THAT MIGHT HAVE ANYTHING TODO WITH IT NO ROOM FOR TUMOR ANYMORE

    • Hi Jamie. We cannot assume what may be causing these symptoms and it would be best to speak to your doctor. Further tests may be necessary. Your current vertebral conditions would explain the leg numbness but not your arm symptoms. Considering your history, it is highly advisable that you seek medical attention to confirm a possible diagnosis.

  • Michele

    I am 34 weeks pregnant and I have been experiencing swelling in my hands and feet for a little over a week now. Two days ago though my right arm and hand started to tingle and feel slightly numb. Sometimes it feels similar to the sensation you feel when it “falls asleep”. Is this a sign of something more serious going on?

    • Hi Michele. As you can see there are many possible causes for the sensation that you are experiencing. It would be difficult to say for sure. If you are sleeping on the right, you may be unknowingly be placing pressure on the right arm. This is just one possibility. At this stage of pregnancy, the posture does alter due to the larger belly and this can sometimes contribute to a pinched nerve in the neck if there was a pre-existing problem. The only way to know for sure is to speak to your doctor who can assess it and possibly run further tests.

  • Catherine Cullinan

    I don’t play any sports but I do gardening and I haven’t been doing it lately because my left arm has been in pain, from my neck down to my hand, I have been to physio for a month and he cure it but when I went to my doctor she made it worst. Can’t use my left arm at all, been taking painkillers for it. Like I taught it was from lying on it but I been told it not from that. Been doing exercise for it but the pain is so awful it makes me so tired lately. I tied using a hand grip but my left hand couldn’t squeeze it not like my right hand. Don’t know what to do.

    • Hi Catherine. You should be consulting with a specialist like a neurologist at this point. It is likely that this is due to nerve root compression, meaning that the nerve to the arm is pinched where emerges from the spine. This is just one possibility. The neurologist will most likely have to conduct further investigations to confirm the diagnosis. Once the cause is identified then the appropriate treatment will be recommended. This is not a condition that you should ignore or try to manage on your own with professional medical assistance. Delaying could make the condition worse and lead to complications.

  • Roberto Sarmiento

    My pinky finger and a bit of my finger next to that one on my left hand has been numb. This has been going on for 2 days now. And the feeling goes all the way up to my tricepts.

    • Hi Roberto. If the numbness has not resolved by now then you need to see your doctor as soon as possible. As you can read from the article above, this is likely due to a problem with a specific nerve like compression of the nerve. The only way to know for sure is to have it assessed by a doctor and the appropriate treatment will then be prescribed.

  • Josephine Rose Feather

    i been having pains in my middle finger on my left hand..when i bump my middle finger on the side i get a big jolt of what feels like lightning going up my hand..ive had that for a month now…and a week ago i also started feeling the same thing on my right foot..once i bump the side of my foot (next to the big toe) i get the same jolt..very painful! i have had carpel tunnel surgery on both my hands before..i thought maybe thats what was making my finger hurt..but that dont explain my foot now?? starting to get worried..when do i go to a doctor? any idea what it may be?

    • Hi Jospehine. It is highly advisable that you consult with a doctor, and specifically with a neurologist. You are correct in that your previous history of carpal tunnel syndrome does not explain your current foot symptoms. It is possible that ths could be due to some neurological disease which may be affecting nerves anywhere in the body. However, it is difficult to say with any certainty. Therefore you should speak to your doctor about a referral to a neurologist.

  • Jess Wilson

    I highly suggest that anyone suffering from numbness or tingling in their hands or arms should look into trigger point release therapy. This is something simple you can do at home, for yourself. I was surprised at just how well it brought back the feeling in my hand. I have the frequent issue of sleeping on my arm, and every day I wake up with it totally numb. There is one simple exercise involving a lacrosse ball, and rolling it on the upper forearm against the wall…

    Blammo! Within a matter of minutes, I’ve got feeling back in my hand.

    • Hi Jess. Thank you for sharing your experience. Trigger point therapy and other physical therapy modalities can help with numbness and tingling depending on the underlying cause.For example if you had severe neck and upper back muscle spasm that was causing arm numbness/tingling then this modality may definitely be of benefit.

  • sarah

    i encountered a very weird situation last nite out of
    the blue. i was scrolling through my phone that suddenly my right hand went numb, i called my husband for help but i was just blabbing i could not speak properly. i took a deep breath and i suddenly knew how to talk and my hand was also gaining conscious back.. i was scared to hell.. then for a while i was not able to talk but could so after 10 mins..
    a day has passed my hand still feel tingly with numbness.. what happened to me?

    • Hi Sarah. Overuse of mobile phones can cause localized conditions with your hands and fingers but this appears to be more than just thumb strain. Since you also experienced a problem with speaking, there is a possibility that this could have been a TIA (transient ischemic attack). Quite simply, these are temporary episodes similar to a stroke. The blood supply to your brain was momentarily cut off thereby causing very mild stroke-like symptoms. In a TIA there is no permanent damage to any part of the brain and all the symptoms clear within minutes to hours. However it can be a prelude to a stroke. For this reason it is important that you immediately consult with a doctor as there are several tests that may be necessary at this point to prevent a stroke. In a stroke, the brain tissue that is affected is permanently damaged. Rather avoid this by seeking medical attention now. Hopefully this is not the case and your temporary symptoms were due to some other condition. It is better to be safe than sorry as TIAs are sometimes ignored by people who end up with a stroke which they could have avoided. Remember that when reading up on a TIA, not every person has all the symptoms that are listed. Don’t delay. Irrespective of your age and health status, a stroke can still occur. You can read this article on TIAs for more information:

  • Kisha Matthews

    Hey I recently started to notice about 3weeks ago that my hands get numb real quick. If I’m holding my phone or anything that I have to grib within 5mins I feel a numb tingling sensation.. what could be the cause of this?

    • Hi Kisha. Numbness and tingling can occur for many reasons as you can see from the article above. You do not mention any other symptoms, or other aspects of your health status. You may want to look at conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome (problem at the wrist) and even cubital tunnel syndrome (problem at the elbow). These are just two possibilities as these conditions are more frequently seen these days with excessive computer and mobile device usage. Your doctor will have to assess it and make the final diagnosis.

  • Melissa Kate

    OK my question is I have a tingly sensation in between my middle finger and my ring finger and it’s been hurting for like 10-15 minutes what do I do I can move it it just hurts and has a. tingly feeling

    • Hi Melissa. Assuming that you are not wearing a ring on any of those fingers and that you did not injure thee fingers, this could be a nerve problem that is causing this tingling sensation. You may want to read up on conditiosn like carpal tunnel syndrome as it can cause tingling, pain and even numbness in these fingers. Another possibility is that the tingling is from yoru skin and could be due to contact with some substance (contact dermatitis) or even a fungal infection in the web between the fingers. It is best to have a doctor assess it to tell you for certain what may be causing this tingling sensation.

  • Stacie Stuart Miller

    HI! My husband had a vertebral artery dissection 7 years ago. It caused a massive stroke and he had to have emergency brain surgery where part of the damaged cerebellum was removed. Initially the worst symptoms were the complete loss of balance control, the inability to swallow and double vision. As he began to heal and recover those became better, but other things showed up. He, sever sleep apnea, lost temperature feeling in his left side, lost pain (differentiate between sharp and dull) on his right side and the right side started shaking like a Parkinson’s patient. He has learned to deal with most things and is able to walk (although sometimes looks like he’s had a few too many) and swallow better. The thing that bothers him worst now (other than the uncontrollable shaking) is the tingling, pain, numbness he gets in his left arm especially at night. It wakes him up and nothing seems to help. He also has the sensation to bend it and then straighten it and then bend again. Is there anything that he can do to help with this tingling pain he gets? Thank you!!

  • Kriss Bauman

    Hi I’m Kriss and I weigh 270 I’m not fat I’m barrel chested and arms as big as most people’s legs but my arm numbness happens when standing up and hours after I’ve woken and it doesn’t matter how I move my arm or shoulder and lasts from 5-15 min

    • Hi Kriss. There are many possibilities as to why this may be occurring. It could be anything from a strained tendon to nerve injury or even a heart problem among a host of other conditions. It needs to be checked by a doctor. You don’t mention any other symptoms or your medical history which could shed more light on the condition. Speak to your doctor who can then examine you, run diagnostic investigations and guide you further..

  • Phoebe Schropp

    I am 13 and I was at school just sitting there and changed classes and realized that on my left arm the inner side below my thumb that stretches to mid forearm went numb but not tingly numb it is just off and I can feel pressure but not texture and it has been like that for over 5 days but I can’t affford to see the doctor. My arm looks normal and isn’t swollen or discolored.

    • Hi Phoebe. You need to speak to a parent or the school nurse if the numbness has not eased. At your age it is usually not a serious problem but could arise with strain or injury to the arm or pressure on one of the nerves in the arm. It is difficult to say for sure as to what could have caused this. However, it needs to be assessed as 5 days is a long time for it to have persisted if it is was a minor problem.

  • Pamela Jo Couch Petersen

    I have a torn rotator cuff . I took therapy but did not help. So surgery was recommending. I tried shot in shoulder did not help. I am unable to load ft my left arm but so high . Cannot raise it to fix hair or lift arm to n air. Now I have tingling and numbness in hand. Finders and travels up my arm to shoulder. Is this from the torn rotator? If so what can I do to help this?

    • Hi Pamela. We cannot say for sure whether all these symptoms are due to a torn rotator cuff as there may be other factors in your case that you may not be aware of or did not mention. It is therefore advisable that you speak to your doctor about these new symptoms and what the options are. Often surgery becomes necessary when other non-surgical measures fail to yield the desired results and also depending on the extent of the tear. Your doctor will be able to advise you further.