I have been having numbness and tingling in both shoulders going down to my hands for a week. My hands stay very cold but are not discolored.It happens even in the house.It feels like both arms go to ''sleep'' and I can only lie on my back but it still happens.I have had RA for over 20 yrs and have had occasional numbness like this in one arm but never both. Also it has not lasted all day as it does now. Recently my feet are cold and somewhat tingling.. I do not have diabetes or thyroid problems.Help anyone
The medical term for that pins and needles feeling in hands and feet is peripheral neuropathy. More isolated nerve damage, like you'd find from carpal tunnel or ulnar nerve damage, is called mononeuropathy.
Nerve problems are common in chronic RA. See a neurologist to determine where the nerve is being pinched; cervical spine, shoulder spurs/rotator cuff, elbow/ulnar nerve dysfunction.
I just made my appt today to see a neurologist about my ulnar nerve problem in both arms. My elbows are permanently bent from RA. I get tingling and numbness from the inside of my upper arms, down the outside of both elbows and really bad numbness in part of my hands and ring/pinky fingers. I'm going in for nerve conduction tests.
PS: I was also tested for B12 deficency since I get tingling in my feet as well. Low B12 can cause "glove and stocking" peripheral neuropathy. My test came back low normal so I'm taking an OTC supplement.
Last edited by AuntieLeela; 01-22-2009 at 12:31 PM.
Reason: add B12 info
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I thought you had to be Diabetic to have peripheral neuropathy so I guess this message board is really helpful.I hope you do well and I will see a Neurologist. What can be done for the neuropathy in the hands?
The arthritis in my neck and spine is causing stenosis according to my neuro. I went through several months of the arms numb/burning/tingling and would have to wiggle around or lay flat and elevate my arms slightly to get the feeling back. The pain started really strong in my pinky and ring fingers on both hands. For some reason (I am almost afraid to find out why) my arms are not numbing so much, just a permanent numbness in ring fingers and part of middle finger, worse on the right but present on the left too. This may or not help you, but I sure hope it does!
Jenny, I had the ACF surgery in 9/07, and have developed the problems since that I stated in my other post. My neuro blames my arthritis and wants to now concentrate on my lower spinal issues but gee whiz, I just want to get one area straight! How did you do with your fusion?
Mimgregg....I'm still battling problems with my cervical spine and may be headed for my 3rd surgery. I developed an "unheard of" complication 3 months after the laminaplasty....my cervical spine went from lordosis to kyphosis in a matter of minutes. this can happen after any spine surgery but happens slowly over a period of years but mine just reverted while relaxing in my recliner. So they had to do an emergency C3 to T1 fusion. I had health complications with that and was partially paralyzed on my left side but have overcome all of that. Then C2 went 3 weeks ago and the are talking extending the fusion.
My complications aren't normal though. My lumbar spine reversed to kyphosis spontaneously about 30 years ago and no one could figure out why. Ripped all the ligaments in my lumbar spine. Same happened with my neck.
But overall, I'm not unhappy with the fusion. Beats paralysis! I don't have all the pain people talk about with fusions and have been able to do most of what I used to do. Trick is to find an really good neurosurgeon or ortho who does this everyday.
Wow Jenny! That must have been terrifying! My neurosurgeon warned that I would probably have to have another fusion a level up, and I wonder if that is where my tingling, numbness and arm pain is coming from. I really think those of us with bad backs just stay in a continual cycle of fix or repair once they start working on us! Take care, Mim Gregg
That's why my neuro won't even start working on my lumbar spine. He figures if he starts, he'll end up going up and up until he reaches my neck! LOL
But yeah, I'm pretty bummed out about C2. I know what I'm facing. Shave the head again, hard brace for 2 months, soft collar for 2 months, pain. At least this time they won't give me morphine. I got morphine psychosis last time and was hallucinating for weeks. I also kept stopping breathing which caused some minor brain damage which has remained. I can type just fine but I can write by hand. I know how to spell the word but what comes out of my hand is something different. I have trouble signing my name.
The scariest part was that when my neck reversed, my doc was on vacation so I went to a local ER. They insisted it was just muscle spasms and wouldn't even do an x-ray. Kept insisting I had a laminectomy and not a laminaplasty. They didn't even know what a laminaplasty was!!!Two days later I went to a different ER hoping they would take it more seriously. Got the same treatment except they added some pain meds. When my doc got back 2 weeks later all it took was 1 single sideways x-ray to diagnose the problem. Mind you, even if they other ER's had figured it out, I wouldn't have let anyone but my own doc treat me. But I would have been far more careful and tried to limit the damage.
The fun of spine problems! I think sometimes we patients know more than many of the docs out there.
gentle hugs and thank you for the support.......Jenny
I feel so lucky after reading your post. I was in a soft collar from day one and have a neurosurgery group that has 2 of every type neurosurgeon on staff at all times. They are some of the best, if not the best in the state, so I don't have to worry about getting fast treatment. I think an ER is only good for stabilizing someone until they can see a specialist, kind of like band aid medicine. I would not even think of going to the local er's because I have had my own "fun" experiences with them! Several in fact! I have instructions to take me to the nearest trauma hospital if something major occurs in the future. Plus I definitely agree that we know waaaaay more about our particular ailments because we research and learn about it for our own protection! It drives all my docs nuts, but I can read my own MRIs, xrays, blood work, etc.... and listen to what they have to say then usually bring up a better alternative to fit my life. Nine times out of ten they are cool with my suggestion! Wish I could save all that money going to them.......LOL. Fired a few docs along the way because they thought there was no way I knew a thing about my body. HA! My own brother transplants kidneys, but knows I know more about my endocrine system than my gp which prescribes my thyroid medicine. Of course after the first 3 years of me talking things out with my doc, and providing printed materials and research and proving to him I could read my levels and knew how medication was needed, my gp gave in and will allow me to raise or lower my meds as my body needs based on how I am doing and my blood work. I think it is a very smart thing though that we educate ourselves as much as possible before we go through with treatment. I wish I had an opportunity to research my first spinal surgery before it took place, but it was done on an emergency basis and it was the best thing at the time. I am glad to see there is another out there with similar problems and have enjoyed posting. Hope we did not hijack this thread! We did leave good info though.....lol