T Nation

Hands Going Numb

I have been lifting heavy for the last month and a half. I have had good results, and all my lifts go up everytime I workout, however I have been noticing my joints are starting to ache durring the day. Also when I sleep at night my right arm and hand goes numb.

Just wondering if anyone has the same problem or knows what is causing it. If you have any ideas help me out. It is starting to drive me nuts.

[quote]nutzy wrote:
I have been lifting heavy for the last month and a half. I have had good results, and all my lifts go up everytime I workout, however I have been noticing my joints are starting to ache durring the day. Also when I sleep at night my right arm and hand goes numb.

Just wondering if anyone has the same problem or knows what is causing it. If you have any ideas help me out. It is starting to drive me nuts. [/quote]

i have been having the same problem, except my fingertips on both hands are what has been going numb at random times, mostly following workouts…

i attribute this two one of either two things: one being i just have poor circulation, or two, the weight i have put on has pinched a nerve or a blood vessel somewhere between my shoulders and my hands. makes sense to me.

but your problem, since its just your right arm, might stem from you sleeping on that arm, thus cutting off circulation.

anyway, hope it works out for ya.

I had a similar problem that was cured by fish oil, some stretching, and a couple visits to a chiropractor.

6 week cycle? maybe time to change your rep scheme or a well timed break, as well as considering medical intervention. Look at Todays tips too.
Who said it here? “the best routine for to get response is the one you are not on”

good luck. Hope it is nothing serious

realy? Fish oil! I have heard some strechs might help out. Its not just when I sleep however it is worse when I do. It does not matter how I lay, or on what side, it still goes numb. now it is getting to the point that if I write for a long time, my fingers will start to tingle and go numb.

Is this a Common thing? And should I back off of the weight amd go lighter to help my joints? My elbows are starting to ache pretty bad!

Yes poor circulation, (fish oil will help) joints are sweeling etc from the use, some get carpaltnal (sp) Mine actually got better by nailing solid diet etc. No probs now.

may be just over use and inflamation.

Phill

Wow, I bought some fish oil caps today.

Mate,

Can you describe what brings on this numbness and tingling sensation in your fingers. What initiates it? Is it just lifting or do other activities have a similar effect?

In terms of circulation problems, quick question again, have you always had cold hands in the past? What I mean by this is in colder climates, have you found your hands and fingers always much colder than the rest of your body. If so, then I would agree with the other members.

I do, however, think that it is most likely a pinched nerve in your scapular region and you will most likely need the help of a chiropractor or and ART specialist to relieve the numbness correctly. Stretching and mobility work may help, but if you are at the point of numbness, I think you need to check it out with a doc.

And don’t worry about the money for the fish oils, they are a fantastic supplement despite probably not being the most appropriate for your problem.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Sasha

It’s probably just the hair starting to grow.

[apologize ahead of time for the un-technical terms]

All the nerves that run into and manage your arms and hands/fingers pass through a small groove in the bone in the area where your pec meets the shoulder. This gets impinged when you do a lot of bench-pressing/shoulder work and don’t stretch to keep the area flexible and open.

Stretch the pecs; do some scapular work.

[quote]Get this wrote:
It’s probably just the hair starting to grow.[/quote]

Hair starting to grow? Where would that be, on the palms?

All kidding aside!

Nutzy,

I’ve had similar problems before when going heavy on the weights for extended periods of time. I had to face it a few years ago that some people are genetically gifted when it comes to lifting heavy, and like me some are not.

Although I do agree that going heavy is the best way to build muscle mass, and I still do go heavy, I had to find a balance with it so that things like you are experiencing would stop happening to me. Some people do not have to do this, some folks can go heavy all the time, and never experience symptoms like you are. Others like myself cannot.

My present method is to cycle through different set and rep schemes so that when I start a new routine, I work with a lower number of sets with higher rep ranges, and over a 2 week period, work up to a higher set with low rep type of workout, usually stay with it for a week, less if things start to hurt beyond normal soreness, and then change the routine and start over working up to the heavy week.

That is just the method that I have developed over the years to keep joints from hurting too much and remain consistent with my lifts.

Will this method work for you?

I don’t know, but you may want to re-evaluate your routine, and re-arrange things so that your pain and numbness stop.

Also you may want to take notice of when it happens, like if you are doing split routines, does it happen on leg day? Or upper body day? You could even try picking out any of the excercises that you suspect may be the ones causing the problem and leave them out of your regular routine, maybe try them alone on an off day and see it they are what could be causing the problem.

Example, if all you do is military presses on an off day, heavy, and then it happens, you’ll know what excersise is causing it.

For something like you are experienceing I would not go to the Doc unless it gets much more serious. Reason being is that an MD will just tell you to stop lifting and do cardio. If you really think that you need medical assistance with it, I’d go for a sports Doc. or like others said a chiro, or accupuncturist/chinese herbal doc. Typical medical Doc, in my opinion, is not worth your time, when you are trying to workout and experiencing things like this.

On the fish oil end of things, you should be taking plenty of it anyway, so if it helps great, if not, you should still be taking it.

Best of luck with it!!

Funny this came up now. I have this exact same thing sometimes. Either arm. I’ll wake up and from the shoulder down on one side or the other it feels like I got a novacaine injection. Doesn’t necessarily seem to be tied to any certain position, but logic tells me it must somehow.

As soon as I rotate the arm around a few times within seconds it’s back to normal. I was suspecting it was something along the lines of what t-shaw was saying in my case. I take a lot of fish oil, but don’t stretch enough

What you are describing could be a condition called thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). It is a condition where the outlet @ the torso that the nerves come out of is constricted and puts pressure on nerves/vessels. It thus causes numbness in the upper extremities. If the numbness is just in the hands/forearms it could be caused by ulnar nerve problems @ the elbow.

I have had similiar problems. It was said that it could be due to sitting @ a computer/desk job in which your forearm/elbow sits on the desk chronically, causing irritation to the nerve.

[quote]nutzy wrote:
I have been lifting heavy for the last month and a half. I have had good results, and all my lifts go up everytime I workout, however I have been noticing my joints are starting to ache durring the day. Also when I sleep at night my right arm and hand goes numb.

Just wondering if anyone has the same problem or knows what is causing it. If you have any ideas help me out. It is starting to drive me nuts. [/quote]

WOW. I was about to create the same post. My symptoms are almost exact to yours except my entire arms are falling asleep, when I sleep(what you describe as going numb). I have bad albow pain when I am awake, especially if I rub my elbow, and if I don’t sit/stand right, my arm will go numb/fall asleep.

Thanks for the post!

nutzy

Is it your whole right arm and hand going numb? Or is it portions of the arm, or portions of the hand? Are all fingers affected? Or are only certain fingers going numb? Is it the anterior suface (front of arm/palms) or the posterior (back of arm/hand). Or both?

If you could give a more detailed description, it would make it easier to distinguish between vascular issues and/or nerve issues.

Hope that helps.
dc

You might want to start taking gluclosamine/chrondrotin, not sure thats the right spelling. That should help with lubing your joints during the hard lifting. Fish Oil or Flax Seeds will help with the circulation issues. But what I found when i was having a similar issue was i was sleeping “wrong”.

Basically lifting heavy would make my right shoulder sore, so i would sleep on my left. Yup woke up a few times with a numb left hand. Maybe you should think about your positioning when you sleep. Try to sleep right on your back. Kinda the same principle as when your foot falls asleep from being crammed in a small space for to long… remember if your sleeping good 6 - 8 hours is a long time to be cramping any body part.

Your neck or back might be outta whack. Sometimes when my neck is turned the wrong way my arm goes numb and is unable to move for a few minues. Completely paralyzed. People who play sports know them as stingers but it doesnt have to be from a hit to the head, a few things could be hurting your nerves in different spots, it might not just be in your chest it could originate in your neck.

ya it is my whole arm when I sleep and just my hand when doing other things like writing and working with my hands. I noticed if I get up and move around a little it goes away. This is the worst at night when I sleep but it does happen durring the day. It is from the elbow down. I have been doing four sets max six reps.

Check with a good chiropractor. I have had the same symptoms. My problem is/was a pinched nerve and bulging disc at c7/t1. After several adjustments and some pt, my problems have cleared up.

I get that after heavy pin presses or pin pulls.