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Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 35499
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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My right thumb has been constantly numb and tingly for

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My right thumb has been constantly numb and tingly for several days. Concurrent (and possibly related?), the right side of my neck has been tight, to where I can not easily look down without feeling a pulling along the right side of my neck.

This is most likely due to the pinched nerves in the neck which is giving you neck tightness and thumb numbness / tingling. This can be due to;

1) Herniated/degenerated disc in neck

2) Cervical spondylosis; bone spurs in the neck vertebrae pressing on the nerves.

Following investigations would be required;

1) X-ray of the neck spine
2) MRI of the neck
3) Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) study
4) Electromyography (EMG)

Following measures would be helpful;

1) Neck care in the activities of daily living.

a) No working on computer for more than half an hour in a single stretch. Same for TV.
b) Monitors and televisions exactly in front (180 degrees).
c) Contour pillow: Should fill the hollow when lying on back or straight. Available over the counter.

2) Cervical Collar or Brace

3) Cervical traction

4) Anti-inflammatory analgesics like Ibuprofen

5) Some physicians do give oral steroids in severe radiculopathy cases, in which pain / numbness / tingling is quite significant.

6) Physical therapy: gradually increasing exercises from passive stretching to active against resistance regime.

7) Electrotherapy in the form of TENS, interferential and laser and ultrasound.

8) Hot fomentation

9) Local analgesic patch / ointment / spray

You can consult following specialists;

a) Orthopedist
b) MD in Physical medicine and rehabilitation

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

Dr. Arun
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for the comprehensive overview. My guess is that especially poor and extended work ergonomics last week is the culprut. A couple of points of clarification:

- Should my next call be to my primary doctor? Chiropracter? Massge therapist? Orthopedist?

- What is 'hot fomentation'?

- What medical treatments are likely depending on the cause? Or is it something that will go away with proper self care?


You are very welcome, Gene.

The condition, occasionally may go away spontaneously, but usually need some treatment. You may go to either Chiropractor or an Orthopedist as a first step. Hot fomentation can be in the form of;

1) Heating pad on neck or

2) Warm wet compresses (towel dipped in warm water and applied to stiff neck).

Your work posture can be the causative as you mentioned.

It is pleasure and privilege assisting you.

I hope this was helpful to you. If it was, please remember to ACCEPT the answer so I can get compensated for my work. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask. I am truly privileged to help you, and I want to make sure that you are satisfied with the answer. Good luck!

Dr. Arun

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