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Thread: Strange tingle/numbness in fingers and wrist after waking up

  1. #1
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Chicago IL

    Strange tingle/numbness in fingers and wrist after waking up

    Once in a while after I wake up I get a strange numbness/tingle in my fingers/hand/wrist. Today it is kind of annoying as it has been there for about 3 hours now on my right hand's thumb, forefinger and middle finger after sleeping on my right side. Everything works as it should but the sensation is annoying. In the past I have had either hand start to go 'asleep' also, depending on how I was laying, usually with my arm above my head, so I moved my arm elsewhere. The problems only occur when I am laying down/sleeping. I dont remember this happening before my accident. My theory so far is that this might have something to do with the rods in my back going up to T2 not letting my back flex and causing additional pressure on my shoulders, pinching a nerve somewhere in my arms causing this, but would like to get other opinions regarding this. Where do the nerves that go to your hands travel down the arms? Any ideas on how to stop this from occuring?

  2. #2
    I was about to post a somewhat similar question.

    When I lay on my right side, my right arm goes numb. It's hard to fall asleep when your arm keeps going numb. I keep trying to move it around to a place where it won't go numb, but when I finally fall asleep I guess I move it back and it goes numb anyway. Sometimes the numbness wakes me up, and sometimes I can't go to sleep because I just can't find a comfortable place to put it.

    I don't have this problem laying on my left side. Last night, I layed for 2 hours before finally rolling over on the left side. I try to alternate sides by sleeping on left side one night, and right side the next.

    The same thing happens when I take a nap while sitting up in the chair. I take a pillow and lean against a wall. If I to the left I sleep fine, but if I lean to the right my right arm goes numb after I fall asleep.

    Learn from the mistakes of others, you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  3. #3

    I've the same experience, but I think it has to do with the fact that I'm lying on my belly, with my hands under my breast (hope you know what I mean, my English is not always correct). If lay in that manner for a couple of hours, I'll wake up with a numb feeling in my hands. It's just the pressure of my body, I think. The numbness goes away after one or two minutes, so for me it isn't a big problem.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mike C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    I did a search for this problem because it´s happening to me. Numbness when I lay on my side, when I´m in my chair it´s pretty much gone except for some residual left pinky numbness. Can anybody take a guess what´s up?
    "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

  5. #5
    My best guess would be poor blood circulation. With the lack of muscle mass to protect and guide the blood through vessels, our limbs are more susceptible to restricting bloodflow.

  6. #6
    This sounds like a classic case of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Many people have worse symptoms at night as they tend to sleep with their wrists flexed. Use of a wrist splint during sleep will help with this significantly. Many people with SCI are at high risk for CTS due to the activites they do that place repeated pressure on the palms of the hands. If your symptoms doen't get better with something like a Futura cuff wrist splint, I would suggest seeing your physiatrist. You may need some therapy for joint protection techniques, and an EMG may be indicated for a full diagnosis.


  7. #7
    A couple years ago I used to get numbness and tingling in both my arms while laying on my sides. The funny thing was that it was the arm I wasn't laying on, my upper arm, that was the worse. It just went away after a few months and all is fine now. T-5 complete for 27 years.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  8. #8
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Chicago IL
    Holy back from the dead thread, I thought this looked familiar. Mike, I think it might be a just a pinched nerve with the wacky way SCI bodies lay, if it goes away when you are up, that might be just it. Speaking of goofy stuff, I was taking a nap at work the other day for about 45 minutes and when I woke up my entire left arm was asleep, really weird turning into 1/2 a quad. Hurt like a *$&@* while it was waking up. Never had that happen before.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Tallahassee, FL

    Arms Tingle Common

    It must have something to do with our compremised circulation?? This is common with SCI's, I have it, sometimes very bad... sometimes feels like AD'ing. I know many SCI that claim this sensation regularly.
    Mike (Florida)

    Cant we get 1 do over?

  10. #10
    i get this tingling too at night, i don't use a chair, mine is from cervical disc herniation and stenosis. it was extremely painful for a while, i remember how i did it , it had to do with carrying a messenger bag. i could sleep with any pillow OR on my back for a couple months, which screwed me since i need to sleep on my back due to my other pain problems. weird the pain was extremely bad in my thumb which would equal c6 , MRI showed worse the herniation were higher c2 c3
    cauda equina

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