PDA

View Full Version : when your finger go numb in Ms what is happening?


LAW30
06-16-2008, 07:27 AM
when your finger go numb in MS what is happening? Will it get worse? How long does it sometimes last? Do you need any treatment?

Canadian gal
06-16-2008, 10:54 AM
Assuming you have been assessed for Carpal Tunnel (which only effects 3 fingers, not all 5), then this is likely a MS symptom. I know that I get it from my spinal lesions, because it comes on at the same time as all my other spinal lesion symptoms (in an attack).

It can be EXTREME, including a feeling like your hands are encased in cement, swollen, numbness, hot/cold sensitive, OR it can be a more minor annoyance. It can let up after the attack (if it came on with one), or it can stay forever. The sensation can fluctuate as well, day to day, hour to hour.

I had it for two years once, and LDN took it away. After another spinal lesion attack that started last Oct, it has let up substantially, but is still there to some degree.

Cherie

MSNik
06-16-2008, 01:19 PM
Hi 2 years ago, I woke up with tingling/burning in 3 fingers and also assumed it was Carpal Tunnel....after that was ruled out, I was sent home to ponder why I could no longer use most of my left hand...within 2 weeks it was my entire left hand and all 5 fingers..I wound up in the ER thinking Stroke! That ruled out, they thought pinched nerve...that CT led to a Neuro consult, MRIs etc and eventually an MS dx..
Its now been 2 full years and I have no use of my left hand or fingers..it hurts ALL the time! I cant stand the pain in the humidity or heat...thats the worst for me..
Nothing has helped...PT, Nerve Blocks, Shots in my spine- Accupuncture- nothing, however I do not have any lesions showing up in my spine..but over 50 in my brain..
good luck, I know how painful/frustrating it can be.
Nikki

MSJayhawk
06-16-2008, 05:01 PM
I have MS and my finger numbness is mainly on my 3 outer fingers. Sometimes it affects my thumb and index finger. I soak my hands in cold water (sometimes ice cold) and the numbness abates.

glamour girl
06-16-2008, 08:59 PM
I have pain in my fingers too. sometimes it get so bad i just wanna scream. I dont really have feeling in my fingertips under the nail.
Dont take anything for it either. I pop enogh meds..
I rise through my pain and ponder through another day. The comes and goes. Hope goes too.

Nenu
06-17-2008, 07:21 AM
I don't get pain in my fingers, but I do get numbness in mine.

In fact, the last 3 fingers on my right hand going numb was common for me. Actually, I just figured for the longest time it was due to how much I was on the computer and using my mouse with that hand. I had our 'wellness' lady at work come to my desk and adjust my monitor/chair etc to try and fix the numbness, that she believed was due to posture.

I never even imagined that MS may be causing that, and it didn't resolve after the adjustments. It's resolved now, no surprise it was resolved after I had my steroid treatment the first time.

I still do get numbness in my hands, but it doesn't bother me beyond a day.

msmything
06-19-2008, 08:53 PM
I've had numbness in my fingers/hands for about a year now, also intentional tremor. (not so fun to control when I'm aiming to insert a folet cath into a patient.LOL)
Sometimes, when I have a rare blessed full night of sleep, i can feel most of my right hand.
The numbness got really bad, spread up to about my mid forearm. I did the 3 day IVSM, no relief.
I'm visiting the neuro soon with the new MRI they did whileI was in the hospital for the solumedrol.
I was thinking that there might be an active lesion in the cervical area, I'll certainly let you know.
I also see a chiropractor a few times a month, an adjustment used to decrease the numbness temporarily.
Does anyone think it's related to L'Hermittes sign?

Nenu
06-19-2008, 09:07 PM
I've had numbness in my fingers/hands for about a year now, also intentional tremor. (not so fun to control when I'm aiming to insert a folet cath into a patient.LOL)
Sometimes, when I have a rare blessed full night of sleep, i can feel most of my right hand.
The numbness got really bad, spread up to about my mid forearm. I did the 3 day IVSM, no relief.
I'm visiting the neuro soon with the new MRI they did whileI was in the hospital for the solumedrol.
I was thinking that there might be an active lesion in the cervical area, I'll certainly let you know.
I also see a chiropractor a few times a month, an adjustment used to decrease the numbness temporarily.
Does anyone think it's related to L'Hermittes sign?

Hrm, hard to say, does this only happen when you bend your neck so your chin's touching your collarbone? That's how my L'Hermittes presented itself.

I'd bend my neck, and bam, numb hands, electrical sensation in my back.

When I lifted my head, it was gone. I could do it over and over and reproduce it each time.

It was so distinct, it could have only been L'Hermittes, and that's when I first suspected MS in my case.

Canadian gal
06-21-2008, 07:30 AM
In short, there are three nerves that run from the spinal cord (T1 - C4) to the hand; ulnar, radial and median.

Each of those three nerves has it's own purpose, and travels a slightly different route from the spine to the shoulder, then down to the hands. These nerves carry signals back and forth from the brain to the muscles that move the arm, hand, fingers, and thumb. They can be damaged anywhere along the track, from the spinal cord to the wrist, which may cause numbness or muscle weakness.

Carpel Tunnel is caused by affects to the median nerve, which passes through a tunnel in the wrist called the “carpel tunnel”. This nerve gives sensation to the palm, sides of the thumb, pointer, middle, and the inside half of the ring finger. It also has a nerve branch that is connected to the thenar muscles of the thumb, which enables us touch the pad of our thumb to the tips each of each finger (for those who've had that neurological test before).

The radial nerve travels down the outer thumb side of the arm, gives sensation to the back of the hand from the thumb to the third finger. It also goes to the back of the thumb and just beyond the main knuckle of the back surface of the ring and middle fingers.

The ulnar nerve supplies feeling to the little finger and half the ring finger, and supplies the small muscles in the palm. This gives us our grip, and allows the muscle to pulls the thumb toward the palm.

In my case, my numbness came on with my spinal lesion attacks, and the numbness includes every finger, plus the palm. Clearly there is some damage right at the spinal cord level, in my case, due to the extent of the damage. I suppose any (or all) of the three nerves can be temporarily or permanently affected, by spinal lesions.

On the other hand, something like Carpel Tunnel can occur for people with no spinal issues what-so-ever . . . just damage to that nerve somewhere along it's path. I guess that would be true for any of the three nerves.

Cherie

MSNik
06-21-2008, 07:38 AM
Cherie, I found this really interesting, thanks. I fall under the catagory you described as the radial nerve..my ring and middle fingers, right from the knuckle to the tips are completely numb and very painful...I wish the word numb wasnt used- numb implies that you cant feel anything. I can feel it, and it hurts all the time! Its more of a burning numbness, and tingling, and sometimes kind of like an arthritis type pain...they havent been able to do anything for me at all.
I do NOT have any lesions on my Cspine or T spine, unless at last MRI (5 months) ago, they were still too small to notice..however, its been 2 years of MRIs every 6 months, and nothing has ever showed up. Strange, huh? I do have serious back pain in the muscle which also pushes against the nerves leading down the arm....last month, I had a steroid injection into the muscle, it was just starting to work when I was invovlved in the car accident, which threw everything out of wack..im curious to see when those muscles stop hurting if my back pain will subside at all...meanwhile, my hand is still just the same as its always been for the past two years...this was my onset symtom. The reason that I followd up with a doc, first ruling out Carpal Tunnel, then a pinched nerve...eventually showing lesions and a trip to a Neuro....the rest is history.
But thanks for explaining this to us..it helped me to put my pain into perspective.
Nikki

Canadian gal
06-21-2008, 09:09 AM
Cherie, I found this really interesting, thanks. I fall under the catagory you described as the radial nerve..my ring and middle fingers, right from the knuckle to the tips are completely numb and very painful...I wish the word numb wasnt used- numb implies that you cant feel anything. I can feel it, and it hurts all the time! Its more of a burning numbness, and tingling, and sometimes kind of like an arthritis type pain...they havent been able to do anything for me at all.
I do NOT have any lesions on my Cspine or T spine, unless at last MRI (5 months) ago, they were still too small to notice..however, its been 2 years of MRIs every 6 months, and nothing has ever showed up. Strange, huh? I do have serious back pain in the muscle which also pushes against the nerves leading down the arm....last month, I had a steroid injection into the muscle, it was just starting to work when I was invovlved in the car accident, which threw everything out of wack..im curious to see when those muscles stop hurting if my back pain will subside at all...meanwhile, my hand is still just the same as its always been for the past two years...this was my onset symtom. The reason that I followd up with a doc, first ruling out Carpal Tunnel, then a pinched nerve...eventually showing lesions and a trip to a Neuro....the rest is history.
But thanks for explaining this to us..it helped me to put my pain into perspective.
Nikki

Yes, "numb" doesn't describe it very well, does it? :(

It may be that you have some other spinal or radial nerve damage that is causing this . . . not necessarily related to the MS. Or, as you said, it may be that the MS lesions are yet too small to observe by MRI, but NOT too small to do their damage. :o

My spinal lesions are very large, about 2 sections AFTER healing from acute inflammation. They have been very active, so it makes things easier to figure out for me. I guess it would be kinda like the extremes of any spinal cord damage; from the Christopher Reeves scenario, right down to people who recover with no permanent damage.

Cherie

MSNik
06-21-2008, 05:34 PM
hey Cher- I do have some slight compression in the C4-C5-area..and slight bulging of the disc, it also says slight stenpsos and slight herniation..with all the "Slights" Im having major pain! I dont know for sure if this is what is causing the nerve damage in my hand or not...Ive had everything from evoked potentials to something called a 3 phase bone scan..nothing showed up abnormal..

the shot (prendisone) that he did in my muscle last week helped somewhat to aliviate the pain...accupuncture helped but for only an hour at a time...no one seems to know for sure- but I have MRIs in August again, and theyll do my entire spine and brain yet again. I spend more time in that TUBE! Good thing it really doesnt bother me..pretty pathetic when the only time you can get away from it all is to be in an MRI machine!

thanks for the info..
N

april1848
06-22-2008, 10:03 AM
Thanks for the great info on spinal lesions, Cherie. If memory serves, and it may not, I have 7 on my spine. I haven't had too many problems with my hands though, besides weakness and a very bad grip! I can't open some things anymore.

Nikki, I'm glad that the shot seemed to work a little bit! I like MRIs too. So peaceful!

DavidLeeK
07-09-2008, 12:01 PM
thanks for the link to this thread Cherie, it explains alot to me and what i've been going through

and the feeling that its not really numb is true also, there is some feeling there, but its more pain and tingling to the severe side, although i can't feel the keys much on the keyboard when typing this

i do hope it gets better for me, as being right handed and its on my right hand, fingers, arm and shoulder, it is pretty debilitating for the things i'm used to doing

the neurologist believes it will go away, which i hope it does, i know they always speak in a positive sense

thanks again
dave

MSNik
07-09-2008, 12:08 PM
Hi Dave...I hope what I say doesnt depress you- but I wanted to let you know your not alone. In 2006 I woke up one morning feeling like my fingers and hand were asleep. The tingling burning sensation that you know, when your foot falls asleep? that was me...2 days later, it turned to excruiating pain and I went to see my doc, thinking Carpal Tunnel...he tested me for that, and it wasnt- then sent me for a CT scan thinking pinched nerve...it was then, that they discovered over 50 lesions on my brain. 2 years later, my fingers and hand are completely useless- and hurt all the time. Nothing has helped, not Neurontin, Lyrica, PT or Accupuncture. Ive tried it all.
THey say now, it is intense nerve damage caused by my MS- and because this was the onset of my symtoms, they figure that Id had it for quite a while and not known about it...

A year later, after dx- I went for a routine MRI and it was discovered that I have compression in my C4-C5-C6 area, caused by a bulging disc...is it related? I dont know. Just last month, I went for an injection into my disc area- to relieve some of the pressure. It honestly helped for less than a week, and started back up again...during that week, there was no differnce in my hand/finger pain..so I doubt very much the two are related..

But, your not alone- this may very well be a MS thing which unfortatunately isnt going to change for me.. i hope it does, for you.

Nikki

DavidLeeK
07-09-2008, 04:33 PM
thanks Nikki and I'm sorry to hear that it hasn't went away on you

its hard to relate the two but kind of, what the neurologist was telling me is the the inflammation from the MS on the area of the spinal and the nerves causes the irritation of the disc and the nerve

now how many variations of this can happpen, i don't know....just hoping and praying for the best

Canadian gal
07-09-2008, 05:17 PM
David, what your neuro said is correct.

You have a spinal lesion in exactly the same spot as me, and to be honest, it's not a good spot to have one. :( When it comes to the spine, and depending on HOW MUCH inflammation we have, we CAN be affected from that point down in our bodies.

In the C-spine, the areas that will be affected are as follows:

"C1: blood supply to the head, pituitary gland, scalp, bones of the face, inner and middle ear, sympathetic nervous system, eyes, ears
C2: eyes, optic nerves, auditory nerves, sinuses, mastoid bones, tongue, forehead, heart
C3: cheeks, outer ear, face, bones, teeth, trifacial nerve, lungs
C4: nose, lips, mouth, Eustachian tube, mucus membranes, lungs
C5: vocal cords, neck glands, pharynx
C6: neck muscles, shoulders, tonsils
C7: thyroid gland, bursa in the shoulders, elbows, ulnar nerve"

So, if your lesion is in the C2/C3 spot, POTENTIALLY everything below the "eyes, optic nerves, aditory nerves ..." can be affected in an attack.

The first two spinal lesion attacks I had were extreme, with a lot of inflammation. In the first one, the active lesion was in my T-spine, and I was affected in every way from mid-breast down (excluding my arms/hands).

The second attack was from the C2/C3 spine lesion, and my symptoms went from my lower neck down to my toes (and included the tips of my ears, my hands, etc.).

My last attack, (which was affected more parts, but wasn't as severe), included the top of my head, my face, my arms down through the rest of my body to my toes. (I'm thinking I must now have a lesion in C1, or the C2/C3 one has grown. :()

I am curious to see what comes of your symptoms, since this is only affecting you on one side, and mostly one arm . . . right? This is a very good sign to be honest, as it must mean you don't have TOO much inflammation going on.

Most of my "brain" lesion attacks have been only 3 - 4 weeks, all up, but it is my experience that spinal lesion attacks escalate over 4 - 6 weeks, then start to improve over the next 4 - 6 weeks. You may heal quicker though, since the inflammation doesn't seem to be too bad.

Cherie

DavidLeeK
07-09-2008, 05:46 PM
Cherie
Here is my symptoms that are on this attack:

started with right side motor problems on May 10th, it escalated to the point that i walked with a limp and then over time that has gotten better, my legs are weaker the before the attack but have gotten better

almost at the same time i got tingling in my neck behind my ear, my ear lobe and down my neck in to my shoulder, this eventually over the past 8 weeks has went down my arm and to my hand, with only the top of my arm getting the numbness, but now my whole hand, fingers and thumb, it started as only my index finger and thumb

my neck, ear and part of my shoulder no longer feel numb, buy my outer shoulder still does and my hand has gotten worse

about 3 weeks ago i got some sensation issues in my left leg, but it has subsided some also

from the onset i started all of this with back pain just inside my shoulder blade on the right side, which from knowing someone with a C5C6 injury its a typical pain, which may have triggered this relapse as i started to get some headaches and neck pain prior to everything else

Canadian gal
07-09-2008, 07:33 PM
Cherie
Here is my symptoms that are on this attack:

started with right side motor problems on May 10th, it escalated to the point that i walked with a limp and then over time that has gotten better, my legs are weaker the before the attack but have gotten better

almost at the same time i got tingling in my neck behind my ear, my ear lobe and down my neck in to my shoulder, this eventually over the past 8 weeks has went down my arm and to my hand, with only the top of my arm getting the numbness, but now my whole hand, fingers and thumb, it started as only my index finger and thumb

my neck, ear and part of my shoulder no longer feel numb, buy my outer shoulder still does and my hand has gotten worse

about 3 weeks ago i got some sensation issues in my left leg, but it has subsided some also

from the onset i started all of this with back pain just inside my shoulder blade on the right side, which from knowing someone with a C5C6 injury its a typical pain, which may have triggered this relapse as i started to get some headaches and neck pain prior to everything else

The weakness in the legs is more then likely not related to inflammation in your spinal lesion, since I would expect that tingling and numbness too if it was. Chances are you have inflammation in both your brain and spine (did the neuro mention whether the two lesions in your brain were enhancing?).

I do get weakness with my spinal lesion attacks, but I also have the other sensations at the same time when they are causing the problem . . .

Unlike brain lesions, spinal lesions (or damage of any kind to the spine) brings on very specific symptoms. The symptoms may be more or less severe, or all-encompassing, but the sensation that results from them is exactly as you have described with the tingling, numbness, (burning, shocks, buzzing...) in your neck, arm, hand, etc.

BTW, have you been checked for infection of any kind; a tooth?, bladder?, etc? Have you had a fever at all?

My first two attacks started in my feet, and traveled up to/above my chest over a period of 6 weeks. One time it "attacked me" one side at a time, the other it did one side to the chest, then did the other side. I was affected on BOTH sides of my body, every single part (what you are feeling in your arms/hands); that numbness, tingling, swollen feeling, etc. That was followed by 6 weeks of recovery (mostly). I had more recovery over the next 18 months though .....

What they called it the first time was "Transverse Myelitis", although in due time they realized that it was secondary, caused by MS lesions. I am going to attach a government link as you may find some simularity to what you are experiencing:

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/transversemyelitis/detail_transversemyelitis.htm#41903234

The reason I asked about the infection though, is my third spinal lesion attack was quite different, and due to untreated infection. Like you, the "attack" kept coming on in various parts of my body, and just as I started to heal from one part, it moved to another. It still took about 8 weeks for EACH section to escalate and heal though. Just when I thought it was all done (and I had 3 weeks of almost recovery, twice), it started up again in some of the same places again.

I had been ignoring an "inflammed" tooth root, under a cap, for several months. When I finally had it removed, the attack let up once and for all.

Cherie

DavidLeeK
07-09-2008, 08:13 PM
yes they checked me for infections and did all kinds of blood work at the same time they did the lumbar puncture, as a matter of fact they took 7 tubes of blood and then when i was in recovery they came and took 3 more because they said due to all the tests the doc ordered they needed more blood.....i said 'what, first you take out my spinal fluid and now you're taking all my blood':)

everything came back negative except of course the banding in the CSF

DavidLeeK
07-09-2008, 09:22 PM
forgot to answer the lesion in my brain question, the report from the mri shows two active lesions in my brain, one acute and one subacute....but it says "Interestingly, neither foci demonstrates any evidence of pathologic enhancement and there is no evidence of pathologic enhancement at any site within the intracranial compartment".

I'm not exactly sure what that means, I was assuming it meant that the lesions in my brain were not responsible for my symptoms. Maybe someone can shed some light on this for me.

Nenu
07-10-2008, 06:04 AM
yes they checked me for infections and did all kinds of blood work at the same time they did the lumbar puncture, as a matter of fact they took 7 tubes of blood and then when i was in recovery they came and took 3 more because they said due to all the tests the doc ordered they needed more blood.....i said 'what, first you take out my spinal fluid and now you're taking all my blood':)

everything came back negative except of course the banding in the CSF

:p LOL David. I felt the same way. I had my spinal and all the blood done in 1 day. By my 11th vial of blood, I had tears streaming down my face. I felt like a rat in a cage.

Canadian gal
07-10-2008, 10:38 AM
forgot to answer the lesion in my brain question, the report from the mri shows two active lesions in my brain, one acute and one subacute....but it says "Interestingly, neither foci demonstrates any evidence of pathologic enhancement and there is no evidence of pathologic enhancement at any site within the intracranial compartment".

I'm not exactly sure what that means, I was assuming it meant that the lesions in my brain were not responsible for my symptoms. Maybe someone can shed some light on this for me.

Hmmm... that has me baffled, and I may need to ask a friend who's a MRI technician. "Acute" and "Subacute" seems to imply activity/inflammation is going on . . . but yet they didn't "ehance" like most inflammed lesions would. :confused:

Bear in mind though, many of our lesions are not visible on a MRI, so there can be inflammation that they aren't even aware of too.

I suppose the spinal lesion could be the cause of your leg weakness too :confused:, that's just not the way things have panned out for me in an acute spinal lesion attack. However, I have had intermittent weakness in my arms (can't raise them above my chest level, very tired and sore), without any numbness . . . but I don't know if that was caused by my spinal lesions or my baby brain one's. :D

I'll see what I can find out about your results, but it may take a few days for an answer from him.

Cherie

Rudrax
10-13-2008, 09:56 AM
when i suffured with Cervical spondylosis.

Rudrax
10-13-2008, 10:02 AM
these are continusely numb for the last ten months.it gives extra sensation and some time radiation travels to arm and neck.bcz of radiation and extra sensation i cant do my job well even i cant sleep well.