numb hand?

I need some advice. For the past couple of months i have been waking up in the middle of the night to find that my left hand is totally numb. If i open and close my hand repeatedly for about ten seconds then the numbness goes away. I am not lying on my arm or hand while i sleep and i am pretty sure i am not sleeping in an awkward position. This has been getting worse over the past two weeks, sometimes happening three times a night. While i was doing DB shoulder presses the other day, i noticed a slight popping feeling in my left elbow accompanied by a brief feeling of numbness in my left hand while lowering the weight on each rep.
I think these two things are probably related. Does anyone have any ideas?
thanks in advance.

bikeboy

bikeboy,

I had that exact same thing happen to me! I needed a Chiropractic adjustment. After two visits it went away and has never returned.

We weightlifting types put a lot of odd stresses on our body and occasionally things like this occur, not to worry!

Do you see a Chiropractor on a regular basis?

Hey Bikeboy,
Is it the whole hand? Or is it mainly the ring and pinkie finger?

I would not have hijacked this thread, except that that last question indicated that someone knows exactly what is happening to my right hand: my pinky finger and to a lesser degree my ring finger are expereincing numbness, although not only when waking from sleep, but also most of the day. I also found that my right hand was/is getting a good deal weaker in certain ranges of motion(for example, I can still do 4-500 pound shrugs w/o straps, but cutting my fingernails with a clipper became very difficult). About two weeks ago, it became really obvious that this was becoming a big problem, so I started doing hundreds of reps of opening my hand, often against resitance, and I have started to see significant improvement.

Despite my current improvement, I find this whole thing very odd, and if anyone knows what is going on, I would love to hear it.

Switch hands or risk growing hair on your palms and going blind too! :slight_smile:

ZEB,
thanks for taking the time to reply.
I have never been to a chiropractor before. What exactly did the chiropractor do for you?

Fnord11,
yes it is predominantly the ring and pinky finger which go numb but a couple of times it feels like the whole hand is numb. what does this imply?

Bikeboy

Ring and pinky finger numbness - happens to me a lot. It means that you’re putting pressure on your ulnar nerve which runs around the elbow joint. Sometimes just sleeping with my arm bent is enough to put pressure on it. Straighten out your arm and the pressure will release. You don’t need an “adjustment” - not that those do any good anyway.

I have the same thing. Research Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

Thanks Mike,
I guess that makes sense. why do you say “adjustments” are worthless in this case?

bikeboy,

My Chiropractor uses something called an “activator.” This little hand held device is incredible. It is the size of a hand held stapler, and makes about the same sort of noise when he presses it into a given area.

In my case I needed an adjustment in the L1 L2 area (I think that’s what it was). Some of you more Chiropractic minded guys may correct me, I will not be offended. It was an area that more or less controlled the feeling in part of my left hand that was going numb.
As I posted to you earlier, after two adjustments it was gone and it has never returned!

Find a good Chiropractor who uses an activator. I only caution you on one thing: a bad Chiropractor is like a bad woman. Better you have none than a bad one!

Good Luck,

Zeb

Bikeboy,

I’m not in the medical field - reading about physiology and the human body is a hobby - so take anything I say with that background in mind. Since this happens to you only at night, it is obviously not a chronic condition, and is most likely the result of you sleeping in an odd position that puts pressure on your elbow, which in turn puts pressure on your ulnar nerve. You can duplicate this yourself - sit in a chair with arms in it and prop your elbow on the arm. After a few minutes, you should notice numbness in your ring and pinky. At least that’s what happens to me, and it happens a lot, but once I release the pressure from my elbow, everything returns to normal. IMO, this has nothing to do with your spine or the nerves running from your spine. As far as I know, it is not dangerous. Whether lifting weights makes you more susceptible to this I don’t know. Since lifting does tend to thicken the joints, it makes sense that lifting would make the elbow joint “tighter” and more susceptible to putting pressure on the nerve.

BTW - I have never seen, and never will see, a chiropractor. Ever.

So one guy had this problem and he got it fixed by a chiro, you refuse to see a chiro but you have to live with this thing forever. Hmmm.

What Yngwie said. It is entrapment of the ulnar nerve. I had a really bad case of it. There are 2 sides of it, one is the nerve damage from this and the other is the muscle atrophy from the loss os sensation. Whatever you do, do not stop using that hand. If you do, muscles will atrophy and you will have to go into therapy. (which really sucks) My doc told me to keep my elbows straight and to eat B6 and B complex. These vitamins repair the mylin coating around the nerve and prevent further nerve damage. There is a surgery option too.
On to causes of this condition. One was mention. Sleeping with your elbows bent. I did a bunch of the causes without knowing them. I slept with my elbows bent and tucked under me. Another cause is from leaning on a school/computer desk while typing or writing.
Take care of it soon. If you let it go (like I did) it may result in permanent nerve damage. I still have little tactile sense in my afflicted fingers.
I hope I answered some questions, and if I created new ones, drop me a PM. I am kind of a vampire since I am a bartender, but I will answer as soon as I can.