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Old 08-19-2001, 12:21 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Lake City, Fl
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Lawrence Chadwick HB User
Post Arms and hands falling asleep

I wake up several times during the night and morning and my arms and hands are asleep. Also during the day while I'm brushing my teeth, driving, working, ect. my hand and fingers are numb at different times of the day. I have obviously been told that I just slept wrong. But this happens every night and has been for several weeks. I don't know if it's circulatory, or medication related. At any rate it's uncomfortable, irritating, painful, and scary.
Any thoughts?
Thank you. L

 
Old 08-19-2001, 04:11 PM   #2
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Brookej HB User
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Hi Lawrence,

Who told you that you slept wrong? Numbness caused by pressure on a nerve because you were sleeping on your arm should be temporary and should resolve in a short period of time after relieving the pressure. Numbness occuring during the day could be caused by a variety of reasons. There are several major nerves that run through the arm and pressure on these nerves can be caused by various repetitive activities that inflame the nerves. Inflamed and swollen tendons can also put pressure on the nerves since the nerves and tendons are contained within the same tunnels. Think of it like a thick, insulated, grounded cord. There are 3 wires inside there and if one of those wires somehow got thicker, then there would be increased pressure on the other 2 wires. That's the best I can do with an analogy!

Anyway, you might want to consider seeing a Dr. to try to sort this out. Mabey a referral to a hand surgery specialist. They can try various conservative treatments such as NSAIDS and night splints to try to decrease the inflamation which would decrease the pain and numbness. The numbness isn't normal and especially when it occurs during the day.

I am in the process of deciding whether I need to have my hands evaluated by my hand surgeon at this time. I have been known to over-react to little things in the past and to try to ignore important things so I might just decide to leave it up to my Dr. to advise me. I had surgery on my left hand last fall for severe OA in my thumb CMC joint. The pain is what got me to the Dr. to begin with and conservative treatments failed. I tried to put up with the pain for 3 and 1/2 years before I finally went to the Dr. My hand was getting progressively more painful and weaker. OA progresses anyway so waiting did not change the end result for me. I might have just gotten some pain relief in the earlier stages before I needed surgery if I had gone to the Dr. earlier. The surgery was a complete success - I am painfree and my hand is strong again.

I have been noticing that I tend to get tendon and possible nerve inflamation for the past few years. Right shoulder pain going on for several years (but mainly just at night), tennis elbow on the right for 1 and 1/2 years, and numbness and tingling sensations in the right wrist and thumb area for several years. I never told my hand surgeon about any of this on the right, I just wanted relief for the pain on the left and that is what I went to see him for. A few weeks ago I started noticing numbness of my left ring and pinky fingers. No pain, just numbness. It hasn't let up yet and I was just going to let it slide since it doesn't hurt but I started getting concerned about nerve damage and possible loss of function after reading the threads on the CTS forum. The nerves do transmit impulses to the muscles which is what helps us to use our hands. My left hand got weak when I was having the OA pain because I was using it less due to the pain and my muscles weakened. Once I recovered from the surgery and the post-op pain, I regained all of my strength because I started using my hand again and regained my muscle strength. If I get nerve damage because of pressure on the nerves then that might not be the case.

I have been putting off addressing these issues because of fear of some underlying problem I don't want to know about but with this new numbness I have developed, I think it is time to fess up, tell all! My problems aren't painful yet but they are getting kind of scary. Well, those are my thoughts. I didn't mean to write a book but I usually do when I post. Please keep in touch and let me know what you decide to do and what you find out. I'll do the same and I will try not to be so long-winded next time! LOL! Take care and good luck!

Brooke


 
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Old 08-19-2001, 05:37 PM   #3
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Lawrence Chadwick HB User
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Thank you very much, Brooke, for your thoughts on this.
I have a good physician and will be following your advice to go see him. I will let you know what he finds, but I'm not sure how to get back to you.
Please let me know.
Thanks again,
Lawrence

 
Old 08-19-2001, 07:32 PM   #4
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Brookej HB User
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Lawrence,

Just post again on this thread. I'll be checking to see how you are doing and what you find out may be helpful to others as well. Knowing myself as I do, I have a feeling that you will probably see your Dr. before I see mine. I would rather my problems be confined to my hands and arms than to be the result of something more systemic or closer to the core of my body. That probably sounds odd but that is what scares me. Take care!

Brooke

 
Old 08-28-2001, 11:22 AM   #5
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Lawrence Chadwick HB User
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Brooke,
Just wanted to let you know that I saw my doctor and he was not really sure what was happening to me. But he is referring me to a neurologist. That's all I know for now.
Lawrence

 
Old 08-28-2001, 06:29 PM   #6
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Brookej HB User
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Hi Lawrence,

Thanks for keeping me posted. I imagine the neurologist will do some type of testing to see if there is some nerve compression going on somewhere. I haven't done anything about my hands yet but I am just having a little numbness, not real bad and not painful. It comes and goes in my right hand and has been doing so for a long time. The new numbness in my left is constant. I am not sure why I am procrastinating but I am still keeping a watchful eye on things. Let me know what you find out. I hope it is something not too serious that can be fixed. Talk to you later.

Brooke

 
Old 10-08-2001, 03:20 PM   #7
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Lawrence Chadwick HB User
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Hi Brooke,
sorry it took me so long to keep you posted. I went to the neurologist and she did nerve testing on both of my hands & wrists. I don't know if you've ever had nerve tests but it's like little electrical shocks going through your wrist. It was very freaky! But she looks at the screen and says, "Oh, lucky you, you have Carpal Tunnel in both wrists!". So now I'm wearing wrist splints 24 hours a day. It's helping alot. I don't wake up in pain anymore or with my hands swollen, and the feeling has returned to my fingers. They are not quite talking surgery just yet. In the meantime I have also seen a nuerosurgeon & had an MRI on my back and have learned that I have a protruding disk. Turns out it is not serious and is not putting pressure on my spinal cord-so in other words back is fine no surgery. My next MRI is on Thursday-this one is for my neck which has been killing me!! (terrible pain). As for now he has me on Soma, Scalactin, & Viox.
None of these are worth a damn. Anyway thats the latest. Another update coming soon.
Take care.
Lawrence

 
Old 10-09-2001, 05:16 PM   #8
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Brookej HB User
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Hi Lawrence,

Good to hear from you. It has been a long time. I'm sorry to hear about your CTS diagnosis but it is good that the wrist splints are helping. I have never had a nerve test but the thought of it scares me. I seem to have a low pain tolerance and I am afraid it would hurt. I am really sorry to hear about your neck pain - when did that start?

I haven't persued any medical advice with regards to my hands yet. I have had a few more pressing problems lately. I was in a car accident recently. A young lady ran a red light and slammed into me at 40 mph. Luckily I wasn't hurt but she totalled both her car and mine. So now I have a new car!

I have had foot problems that are bothering me more than my hands lately so I see my podiatrist next week. I have had surgery on both feet twice since June 2000. The surgical procedures worked the 2nd time around (performed by the Podiatrist I am currently seeing). The 1st set of surgeries on my feet by someone else were unsuccessful. Unfortunately, I am having other foot problems that are unrelated to the foot surgeries I had. Sometimes the bottom of my right foot hurts so bad I can hardly tolerate it. Both feet pretty much ache and burn by the time I go to bed every night and it takes me awhile to fall asleep. Once I fall asleep and wake up the next morning, my feet are OK but the cycle starts over again day after day. I hope my Podiatrist can do something for me. I think if anyone can, he can. He's pretty good.

I might need a cortizone injection. I am not sure. Did you get cortizone injections for your hands? I got one in the joint in my left hand last year but the injection, the meds, and my hand splint didn't help very much so I ended up having surgery which helped a lot. I dread getting another injection but I will if it might help. It is worth a try. I have had enough surgery. Well, gotta go for now. Good luck with your MRI Thursday and please keep me updated. Take care.

Brooke

 
Old 10-11-2001, 09:03 AM   #9
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dave52 HB User
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Hi Lawrence,

Sorry to hear about your medical problems. I too have Carpal Tunnel in the right wrist. I had an ulnar entrapment(pinched nerve), but PT seemed to clear that up. I too had a MRI and it was not good. Have a herniated disc at C2-C3 and a disc bulge at C3-C4 and Osteophyte Complexes at C5-C6 and C6-C7. There is no spinal cord compromise or nerve root encroachment. The wrist braces will help you dramatically.

I am dealing with Workers Comp as my Carpal Tunnel is directly related to my employment. The only problem that I am having is the fact of the cervical spine and it's condition. They feel that this is the cause of my problem. I also have a thyroid problem and that also could be a cause of Carpal Tunnel.

Stay well my friend and will check back from time to time to see how you are doing.

 
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