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Old 07-04-2016, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Renton - Fairwood, Washington
759 posts, read 378,663 times
Reputation: 875

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Before I go any further I do want to say that I am scheduling an appt with my doctor this week.

That being said, here's my issue... I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience.

A month or so ago I started to notice a tingling/pulsing sensation in my upper right arm/armpit area... A few days after that it turned into my pinky/ring fingers being numb... along with that side of my hand leading up to my wrist. It has been like this every day since then... those 2 fingers and the right side of my hand feel like they are asleep. It hasn't changed. I can't remember the last time they felt normal. I've done some googling and CTS was a popular answer for these symptoms... I talked to some friends and they also said Carpal Tunnel.

I am left handed... seems odd that I would have this issue in my non-dominant hand but a friend who was diagnosed with CTS had it in his left hand and he was right handed so I guess it's possible. I'm sure CTS isn't the only possible answer but it seems like it's a common one. This has not bothered me to the point of losing sleep or having difficulty doing my work... basically the only issue I am having is a lack of grip strength in that hand when I pick up grocery bags and what not. I am an excellent typist (100 wpm) and that hasn't been affected either... I can still type with these 2 numb fingers.

I'm a 41 year old male and in good health AFAIK... haven't been sick in years and regularly work out and am in good shape.

Any input appreciated!
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Old 07-04-2016, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
6,488 posts, read 6,596,921 times
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Pinched nerve or ruptured disc. Mine are always on the left side and I am right handed.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:11 AM
 
Location: Renton - Fairwood, Washington
759 posts, read 378,663 times
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Thanks for the response.... it sure seems like a nerve issue. I posted a question online and got a response from a neurologist.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulnar_...s_and_symptoms

In general, ulnar neuropathy will result in symptoms affecting the fourth and fifth —the ring & pinky—fingers, as well as various intrinsic muscles of the hand. Proximally, the ulnar nerve consists of a "mix" of both sensory and motor innervation, more distally separating into distinct motor and sensory branches in the hand. Thus, symptoms of ulnar nerve entrapment are variably either motor, sensory, or a mixture of both depending on which part of the nerve is affected. Motor symptoms are weakness in muscles normally controlled by ulnar nerve. Sensory symptoms or paresthesias include numbness or tingling in the areas of the hand that receive sensory input via the ulnar nerve.

Compression at the elbow, known as cubital tunnel syndrome, causes numbness in the 5th (pinky) finger, along the half (lengthwise) of the 4th (ring) finger closest to the 5th finger, and the back half of the hand over the 5th finger. Initially, the numbness is transient and primarily occurs in the middle of the night or in the morning. The sensation is similar to hitting one's "funny bone," but lasts a bit longer. Over time, the numbness is there all of the time, and weakness of the hand sets in. The "ulnar claw," or a position where the small and ring fingers curl up, occurs late in the disease and is a sign the nerve is severely affected.

The above is exactly what I've experienced. I'd be willing to bet my sleeping position with my arm curled is the source of this problem.
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Old 07-05-2016, 05:53 AM
 
Location: zippidy doo dah
893 posts, read 1,265,648 times
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Glad you're seeing a doctor. I started with a numbness in my mid/late 50's. Toes/fingers. Hands/feet. Not a big deal but I was aware of some sense of something about my extremities. Six years later, I have gotten used to it in my arms/legs / sometimes even in my face. Sounds so weird. I mentioned it to doctors when I was in for something else but my reflexes were good and lab work never showed anything too strange.
I just always am aware of somewhat a numb/not really pins and needles but just not the norm I experienced for the first 50 plus years of my life. It's not painful/and funny you mentioned arm pits because I realize it is in the upperarm/armpit area as well. My body just seems to "buzz" slightly. Torso is normal, LOL.

In 2011, after a series of unfortunate events, I did start having pain in my shoulder blade which was odd as most of my complaints in life concerned my lower back. Chiropractor did some adjustment on my neck yada yada...........I had noticed my left arm growing weaker/reduced grip strength. Three months later, I woke up one morning in indescribable pain radiating down my left arm. I've had four babies/three posterior /natural childbirth and I have to say that the pain actually was worse than labor . (Maybe because it was not going to include a door prize at the end). I ended up in the emergency room that night/an orthopedic the next morning. I had two ruptured cervical discs (6 and 7) , compression on my spinal cord. Lots of treatment finally resulting in surgery to avoid permanent nerve damage.

Today, I am still numb/likely more places. Likely some of it is from the duration of whatever was gradually happening disc wise which did some permanent damage but why the rest of it, I don't know. I periodically read stuff on WebMD etc and am just relieved that it doesn't appear to be MS or something of that order. I'm not thrilled about it as I doubt it is normal but any pain I have is less with any numbness and more with arthritis and the assorted things of an aging body. It do happen, in spite of being Peter Panette.

But getting it checked out early may be a good way to get into a program that repairs any cervical spine issues you might have going on. I did not take good care of my neck apparently and I also have a genetic tendency toward neck issues , judging from my family. But I wish I had taken care of things proactively to reduce damage. I'm not good at taking care of myself/worked for the first 1/2 century.

Hope you get good news. Watch spending too much time on a computer/don't wear a purse on your shoulder/exercise your neck religiously. None of that may be your issue but seriously, all those things will help avoid neck problems.

And frankly, after all was said and done, I would never let a chiropractor adjust my neck. I was thrilled with the work they did on my lower back for years. Yeah, up and running faster than leaving it alone or taking muscle relaxers. But the neck is something that is not to be played with.

Don't anyone get hot and bothered with that/the neurosurgeon that ended up in the long run with me had good things to say about chiropractors but neck adjustments wasn't one of them. No, I didn't go for a lawsuit but I do know that the guy who worked on me should have lost his license. He never should have continued to work on me and not called in their staff doctor. Nuff said.

Keep the board posted on your resolution. I'm sure there are other people out there who are "numbed".....just hearing the news can do that.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Paradise
2,412 posts, read 1,803,438 times
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usually affects the thumb and forefinger. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome usually affects the pinky and ring fingers. And the pain can definitely travel up the arms (mine did with carpal tunnel). Both of these are repetitive stress injuries and can have an impact on the nerves in the arms/hands.


I hope it's something relatively simple.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Renton - Fairwood, Washington
759 posts, read 378,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mzfroggez View Post

But getting it checked out early may be a good way to get into a program that repairs any cervical spine issues you might have going on. I did not take good care of my neck apparently and I also have a genetic tendency toward neck issues , judging from my family. But I wish I had taken care of things proactively to reduce damage. I'm not good at taking care of myself/worked for the first 1/2 century.

Hope you get good news. Watch spending too much time on a computer/don't wear a purse on your shoulder/exercise your neck religiously. None of that may be your issue but seriously, all those things will help avoid neck problems.

Keep the board posted on your resolution. I'm sure there are other people out there who are "numbed".....just hearing the news can do that.
I injured my back about 2 years ago at work... it basically had me in pain for a week but I was still able to move around. The only issue I had was getting out of bed. I had to have someone pull me up by the arm. I never went to the doctor for it... just let it heal up on its own. I assumed it was a bad muscle strain/tear. I've been fine ever since.

Never had any neck issues although I do spend a fair amount of time on the computer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunetunelover View Post
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usually affects the thumb and forefinger. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome usually affects the pinky and ring fingers. And the pain can definitely travel up the arms (mine did with carpal tunnel). Both of these are repetitive stress injuries and can have an impact on the nerves in the arms/hands.


I hope it's something relatively simple.
That's what mine sounds like... I don't want to self-diagnose but everything listed in the ulnar nerve link I posted upthread are exactly what I am experiencing.

My thumb, forefinger, and middle finger are fine... no numbness at all. Just the ring/pinky fingers along with that same side of the hand leading to the wrist.

Thanks to everyone for the replies! I just made an appointment at my local Orthopedic office for Thursday afternoon. The doctor is actually out of town until next week but the PA is going to check me out and then most likely refer me for a follow up when the doctor gets back.

It's nothing I'm stressing over... I just want to get this taken care of sooner rather than later. Nerve damage/loss of use of my hand isn't something I am interested in.

Will post updates.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Renton - Fairwood, Washington
759 posts, read 378,663 times
Reputation: 875
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunetunelover View Post
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usually affects the thumb and forefinger. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome usually affects the pinky and ring fingers. And the pain can definitely travel up the arms (mine did with carpal tunnel). Both of these are repetitive stress injuries and can have an impact on the nerves in the arms/hands.


I hope it's something relatively simple.
I found this.

Ulnar Nerve Entrapment at the Elbow (Cubital Tunnel Syndrome)-OrthoInfo - AAOS

What is described there is exactly what I am experiencing... the pinky/ring fingers and that side of the hand. I can't really say that my issue started with the elbow... unless it came from a bent elbow while sleeping. This whole thing started around a month ago with a tingling/pulsing sensation in my upper arm/armpit area and has since moved to the fingers being numb.

Will post back after my appointment with the PA tomorrow. I don't expect much other than a referral but we'll see.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Paradise
2,412 posts, read 1,803,438 times
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I had an episode once where I experienced the numbness in pinky and ring fingers and found out about cubital tunnel syndrome. Basically I think I figured out that I was resting my arm on the edge of my desk just below the elbow and causing pressure on the ulnar nerve. Once I trained myself to rest my arms on my desk, it seems to have gotten better.


There are a lot of ergonomic exercises and gadgets that you can try to help with ulnar nerve pressures that might provide some relief over the long run.


However, my experience is that nerve pain takes a long time to heal. It could be weeks or months (depending on the amount of damage done to the nerve) before you see significant improvement.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Renton - Fairwood, Washington
759 posts, read 378,663 times
Reputation: 875
The PA did some checks and tests on my hand and they are sending me for an EMG.

Electromyography (EMG) measures muscle response or electrical activity in response to a nerve’s stimulation of the muscle. The test is used to help detect neuromuscular abnormalities. During the test, one or more small needles (also called electrodes) are inserted through the skin into the muscle. The electrical activity picked up by the electrodes is then displayed on an oscilloscope (a monitor that displays electrical activity in the form of waves). An audio-amplifier is used so the activity can be heard.EMG measures the electrical activity of muscle during rest, slight contraction and forceful contraction. Muscle tissue does not normally produce electrical signals during rest. When an electrode is inserted, a brief period of activity can be seen on the oscilloscope, but after that, no signal should be present.

After an electrode has been inserted, you may be asked to contract the muscle, for example, by lifting or bending your leg. The action potential (size and shape of the wave) that this creates on the oscilloscope provides information about the ability of the muscle to respond when the nerves are stimulated. As the muscle is contracted more forcefully, more and more muscle fibers are activated, producing action potentials.

A related procedure that may be performed is nerve conduction study (NCS). NCS is a measurement of the amount and speed of conduction of an electrical impulse through a nerve. NCS can determine nerve damage and destruction, and is often performed at the same time as EMG. Both procedures help to detect the presence, location, and extent of diseases that damage the nerves and muscles.


He said I showed some weakness in the right hand but my issue does appear to be in the early stages. One thing I do want to say is I've slept with a straight arm (towel wrapped around the elbow) and done daily arm and hand exercising that involve straightening and flexing and it hasn't made any difference.

The two fingers and that side of the hand are still numb... the severity varies from day to day.
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Renton - Fairwood, Washington
759 posts, read 378,663 times
Reputation: 875
EMG is Thursday morning.

Whoever repped me with "Please post, after the EMG, about how much it hurt. I need to have one done but have been postponing it because so many people here on C-D have said how much it hurt."

don't worry I will...

The PA told me it was "unpleasant" but didn't go into further detail. I've been looking at Youtube videos and I think I'll be able to handle it.

The big test I failed miserably with the PA the other day was squeezing all my fingers together as hard as I could... he tried to move my left pinky away and couldn't...

... the right he moved with no effort at all. Pretty obvious I don't have the strength in those fingers.

Will post back.
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