65 answers

Numbness in Arms and Hands

My husband has had on-going numbness in his arms and hands for the past several months. It seems to alternate between the right arm/hand and left. It happens on and off during the day and is very annoying and sometimes leaves his hand/arm hurting. He also wakes up in the middle of the night because of this and has to massage and reposition his arm which hurts after the circulation comes back. He went to his general doctor and also had x-rays done of his neck, just in case he had a pinched nerve. The x-rays showed that nothing was wrong and the doctor can't seem to figure out why this is happening. He has not been injured which could be a factor in this. He does sometimes feel like he needs to have his back popped but other than that we cannot figure out why he is having this numbness. I know that some doctors are not a fan of going to the chiropractor but I know he is willing to try anything at this point. Could that possibly help?

(He works in contruction, mainly welding, in the weather and always on the go).

Has anyone experienced this??? Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

A big thank you for everyones help. My husband did go the chiropractor which helped immediately. He had several appts in the first couple of weeks and then got to the point of once a week. His job picked up to where he started working long hard hours again, which made his arms/hands worse again. The chiropractor visits were not helping as much. The doctor referred him to get a nerve test which indicated that his right hand (of course) was fairly advanced and needs to have carpal tunnel surgery. His left hand is moderate and doesnt need surgery. He just started back to work after being layed off back in November so he cant afford to do the surgery right now. The doctor said when he gets a break in work then schedule the surgery. In the meantime, he is going to wear his hand brace at work and at night. I would love to hear what to expect from carpal tunnel surgery if anyone would like to share. The doctor said recovery time is around 4 weeks! Is there anything that has helped speed up recovery for anyone? Thanks again for all who shared. Its nice to finally know what the problem is and how to fix it. The timing is just a little off but we will work it out.

Featured Answers

A Chiropractor might just be the thing. I was having pain in my elbow and was told to do physical therapy, take tylenol, etc. I did that for a few months and after taking so much tylenol one day decided I had had it. It ended up being a pinched nerve in the neck. I have a good chiropractor in the Draper, UT area if that is where you are located. He keeps me out of pain.

It could be chronic tightness catching up to him and causing the numbness. When you're super tight in upper back between the shoulder blades (which could happen in his line of work) it can refer down the arms and cause numbness. My husband had that from too much mountain bike riding. Massage and yoga made it go away. I've been to a chiropractor many times and it has helped with my neck and back problems. Yoga has been the most effective for me. If you see a chiropractor, go to one by referral from a friend or coworker. A CT or MRI might be needed too. It would pick up herniated discs or other issues that you might not see with an xray. May need a referral to a specialist for that though. Good luck.

I had numbness in my left forarm for quite some time and it was that I was carrying too much in that arm and keeping my elbow bent to much so what I did is took the cool cayenne with ginger and it helped get my circulation back.

More Answers

I had a lot of numbness and tingling in my hands and extending up my arms as it got worse when my thyroid was low. This was only one of many symptoms, but it was one of the ones I noticed most because it was strange and I couldn't explain it away (like being tired). I didn't go to the doctor for quite a while because I thought I just felt bad because I had 6 kids and one was a baby. Anyway, the tingling went away once I was on the right thyroid medicine. He should definitely get a blood draw to check for any problems like that.

I have had similar problems in the past, and the doctors I have gone to contribute it to either carpal tunnel or another nerve being damages in my arm. I went to a neurologist and he ran some tests and found which nerve in my arm was damaged (it was a nerve running through my elbow) and what I would need to do to help it repair itself, and sometimes such injuries require some surgery to relieve the numbness and pain. I have to be really cautious about putting too much pressure on my elbows when I sit or lay down etc to help. Hope that helps.

What your describing seems like something a chiropractor should be able to sleuth out. What many people (and doctors) don't realize is that chiropractors aren't spine doctors but doctors of the nervous system. With numbness and tingling, the nerves seem like a pretty likely source of the problem. My husband is a chiropractor and I could provide you with his information or that of other doctors in the area. Tell hubby that he doesn't have to suffer unnecessarily! :)

Try the chiropractor and / or acupuncture and yoga (to loosen the muscles in his shoulders, back, arms, and wrists.). The Wild Oats at Broadway and baseline used to have a chripractor, massage therapist and acupuncturist all under one roof. If it is still there (I haven't lived in boulder for years), call them and ask about what services they have.

...If none of that works it may be psychosomatic (physical problems with no medical/organic cause, brought on by mental stress etc.). If you think it is psychosomatic talk to your dr about getting some counseling for your husband.

Hang in there!

I TOTALLY agree with the carpal tunnel post (Deb K). I have the same thing, and it's especially difficult for me during and after pregnancy. It's all due to carpal tunnel - have him talk to his doctor about that possibility and maybe a referral to an osteo doc. Since he uses his hands for his profession, it's not far-fetched at all!

Also, if he tries to wear a wrist guard during sleep, it may help. It does work for me. I tend to bend my wrists and tuck my hands in when I am sleeping, and that can really cut off the circulation (hand doctor told me that), so if he wears a simple wrist guard (grocery store Wal-mart, Walgreens) that could help him during sleep and provide some relief for him during flare up days. It helps for me, that's for sure.

Hope you get some answers!


Have him visit your friendly neighborhood chiropractor. A chiropractor can deal with issues like this, while a medical doctor has no such training. YOu could also go to a D.O.

If you live in the Provo/Orem Utah area, I can give you some references.

Hi J.;
I hear you since my husband works in construction and my youngest son is a mechanic.
We totally believe in chiroprators. You also might look into carpel tunnel because that is what the drs. think my son has. I also experience the numbness in my left hand and in my feet and I found out I am type 2 diabetic.
I'd start out with the chiroprator and go from there.
Good luck;

Hi J.-
My husband is a Chiropractor in Ft. Collins,I am not sure where you live.... and has told me of several patients with these similar situations... I know that everyone is different. Most MD's don't like Chiropractors, but to me, the MD's just want to put you on some type of muscle relaxer or prescript. He may just need a few adjustments, but I will leave that up to the professionals to decide! good luck I hope he finds some relief! K.

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