T Nation

Numbness and Pain in Arms

I switched up my workout regimen to slightly higher volume this past week. Prior to this, I had not been experiencing any of the symptoms below. I had not been doing much (if any) direct biceps or triceps work before this week. That changed this week. I hit biceps, triceps, shoulders, and calves on 3 separate days this past week

Symptoms: waking up the past 5 nights or so with incredible numbness in my ring finger and middle finger of my left hand. I began experiencing it during the day too, regardless of position. Near-nauseating pain in both forearms and elbows.

I’ve been applying ice, trying to stretch my shoulders (per recommendation of chiropractor), stretching my forearms and biceps, etc.

My theory (what do you think?): considering I’ve not directly worked out my biceps or triceps at such a volume (3x/week, 3+ exercises per muscle group, various rep schemes) in over 2 years, I think that the muscles that have grown may be pinching some nerves in my elbow, or up in my shoulder. (I’ve jumped up in weight in the past 3 weeks by about 10-15 lbs. muscle, minimal fat gain.) I don’t experience any pain in my upper arms (bi’s, tri’s) however. It radiates down from my elbows, but is mostly in my elbows.

Oh, I also go to night class 2x/week and sit taking copious notes for ~4 hours/night. Plus, I do HW at a desk in which my elbows tend to be in the “closed” or bent position.

So, any suggestions or guidance? I am already planning on seeing the chiro 2-3x this week and not working arms out for a week to see what happens. I’d greatly appreciate input. Cheers!

Yeah, constant elbow flexion can cause those problems, as can a stiff neck. Go to the chiro or doctor and see what they can do for you.

Try seeing an acupuncturist (a licensed one) some time ago I hurt my rotator cuff and nothing helped me get back in the gym till I went to one I hate needles, so believe me it was my last choice. But within 3 visits about a week I was pain free and lifting heavy in 2 week from that

Best of luck dude.

GET THAT CHECKED OUT IMMEDIATELY! What you are describing does sound like “pinched” nerve. It can get really bad if you don’t get it remedied right away. I had that in both hands due to nerve impingement in the “thoracic outlet/inlet” for over three years. GET IT FIXED NOW

Thanks for the responses, guys. I was not getting any email notifications of responses, which is why I had not responded sooner. The pain is still there. I’ve been seeing my chiropractor regularly, but it does not seem to do anything for it. I have not been doing any direct biceps work, and both arms now still tingle.

Opinions on not hitting the weights for the time being? It would be very hard to stop 'til this is remedied. Thanks.

Yeah, well I found it hard to completely give up on lifting for the three years or so that it took for mine to dissipate. which probably made it take longer to heal… start doing research on Thoracic outlet syndrome. keep stretching and look up “nerve flossing” or “gliding” stretches.

get massage done on your neck and upper shoulder region by someone who knows TOS.

http://www.health-nexus.com/thoracic_outlet_syndrome.htm

I had the same symptoms a few months back. I had numbness in my index and middle fingers (both hands) and at night it turned into a burning sensation begining in my hands and emanating to my elbows. I tried 800 to 1000 mg of ibuprofin, and it didn’t do much.

I went to a Chiropractor and that didn’t fix anything. (Even though he promised he could take care of it if I agreed to an 18 month agreement). I then tried a deep tissue massage; no change. I then went to my primary care physician and he subsequently referred me to a Neurosurgeon.

The Neuro did a Nerve Conduction Study and determined that I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This was quite a shock to me, since I don’t really spend a lot of time at the keyboard.

I had my employer install some ergonomic stuff in my cubicle and I layed off exercises requiring alot of gripwork for 1 month. I focused on squats and plancks. I usually do variations of squats, deads,chest press, & rows.

I’m not quite 100% now (probably 90-95%), but it doesn’t seem that I’ll need the CTS release surgery.

Anyways, get it checked out!

Good luck