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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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I have tingling in the thumb and first 2 fingers of my left

Resolved Question:

I have tingling in the thumb and first 2 fingers of my left hand. When I wake up in the morning they are stiff and sore. When I move my head from side to side or turn my neck the tingling/pain will sometimes go away.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
Do you any discomfort between the neck and the hand? Or is it just in the hand?

And the tingling in the fingers -- is this only the palm side of your hand (e.g. the back of the hand feels normal)?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I also have a little discomfort at the base of my neck but not a lot. The tingling does go up my arm a little but no pain. My palm feels normal but a little tingling on the back of my hand
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
OK.

Usually when there are issues with the hands you describe in the morning -- there are two likely possibilities.

The first is carpal tunnel syndrome -- but this would affect the wrist and the hand, and the palm side of the hand. The fact you have tingling up the arm, and neck discomfort and tingling on the back of the hand makes this a less likely or unlikely cause.

The other possibility -- more likely here -- is that you have a "pinched" nerve in the neck, causing the discomfort in the neck and traveling down the arm.

This is called cervical radiculopathy -- and the C6 nerve would affect the thumb and index fingers, and could affect the back of the hand.

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00332


Most of the time, this does improve on its own, though should it continue -- or worsen -- then a MRI of the cervical spine can be ordered.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Are there any exercises or stretching I can do to ease the problem or help it?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
Well, gentle exercises can help with the muscle spasms (if you have any) from nerve irritation.

But generally -- if the cause of this is nerve root irritation (within your spine itself), then exercises for the hand, arm, etc -- do not get to the root of the problem, so they won't directly help you.

But in most cases -- this does improve on its own, as the nerve inflammation improves.
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