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Dr Su S
Dr Su S, Doctor(MD)
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 21024
Experience:  25 years of clinical experience
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My hands and arms "fall asleep" all the time. I often wake

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My hands and arms "fall asleep" all the time. I often wake up in bed with one or both hands totally numb. It's worse after I've done shoveling or anything physical out in the yard. It also happens when I'm driving or sitting. I think it's got to have something to do with my back. If I put my arms down and shake my hands, they come back to life. Is it nerve related, or arthritis? I'm 48 years old and this has been happening for the last 10 years, getting worse every year.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Su S replied 6 years ago.

Is there any other symp***** *****ke color change in the arms or fingers during the episodes? Was any test done for it? Are you on any medication? Is there any significant past illness?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Nope, no color change, no illness, and every time I've ever complained about it to my doctor, I get the usual responses: "well, we're not 20 anymore" and "rest and ibuprofen". A more recent development along with the falling asleep of my hands/arms is that both hands are stiff and painful after this incredible winter of almost daily snow shoveling. And both pinkies have a little "pop" when I clench my fists. Getting older, nothing heals like it used to!
Expert:  Dr Su S replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for the input,

There can be a few factors for those symptoms. The "fall asleep" or numb feeling of the hand are likely to be related to nerve like pinching of nerve. This can occur at the neck spine or it can occur in the limb too. Another probable cause can be due to low blood circulation as from atherosclerosis or compression of arteries. Both these factors can also play part during sleep. On the other hand, pain, stiffness & popping can be due to arthritis, overuse etc. If your doctor thinks necessary he can take further tests like X ray, scan, blood tests to find the precise cause.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
That's pretty much what I figured. I will add that I tend to think it's not circulatory, because, I would assume that my hands would be cold when they go numb. and that's never the case. Is it more likely that if it's related to my back, would it be upper or lower back? I have chronic episodes of acute lower back pain, resulting from a strain from picking up something heavy when I was in my 20's. Ever since then, I have to be very careful to not re-injure my lower back, and sometimes, all it takes is a sneeze or something mild to bring on a lower back episode. Chiropractors help get me through these acute episodes. Would you recommend a more regular chiropractic regimen to help ward off all these symptoms? It's really becoming a drag! Can't sit and write (hand goes numb), can't do the yard work (hands go numb). I believe Mick Jagger had it right... "What a drag it is getting old".
Expert:  Dr Su S replied 6 years ago.
Lower back problem will not cause numbness or weakness in the hand. It is likely to the spine of the neck or upper back. I think before chiropractor visit an X ray or other imaging should be taken to evaluate the problem.
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