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xagent
 
Hands and fingers going numb while sleeping? and talking on the phone?

I started noticing it a bit in the past year, and recently it happens all the time.

When my elbows are bent for a long period of time, the outside portion of my wrists, and especially my hands - moreso around the pinky and ring finger - go numb. I'll get woken up early in the morning and my hands are completely numb. I start to dose off, but feel tingling and numbness in my pinky and ring finger and top of the wrist.

I don't sleep with pressure on them. I'm usually on my stomach with arms out to the side, elbows bent at around 45 degrees, or sleeping on my side with one elbow tucked under my pillow, one on top, and both bent.

When I'm going to bed, it take a while for it to get numb, often I just fall asleep before they do.


Also, when I talk on the phone for a long time, i notice my fingers starting to get numb. This is when my elbows are bent all the way, holding a small cell phone up to my ear. This can happen after just 5-10 minutes on the phone...

I googled carpal tunnel syndrome, but from what I read about that the numbness occurs in the opposite part of the hand where I don't go numb - the thumb and index finger. I also have no pain.

Any idea what could be the cause?
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:57 PM xagent is offline  
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Arjuna
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xagent View Post
I started noticing it a bit in the past year, and recently it happens all the time.

When my elbows are bent for a long period of time, the outside portion of my wrists, and especially my hands - moreso around the pinky and ring finger - go numb. I'll get woken up early in the morning and my hands are completely numb. I start to dose off, but feel tingling and numbness in my pinky and ring finger and top of the wrist.

I don't sleep with pressure on them. I'm usually on my stomach with arms out to the side, elbows bent at around 45 degrees, or sleeping on my side with one elbow tucked under my pillow, one on top, and both bent.

When I'm going to bed, it take a while for it to get numb, often I just fall asleep before they do.


Also, when I talk on the phone for a long time, i notice my fingers starting to get numb. This is when my elbows are bent all the way, holding a small cell phone up to my ear. This can happen after just 5-10 minutes on the phone...

I googled carpal tunnel syndrome, but from what I read about that the numbness occurs in the opposite part of the hand where I don't go numb - the thumb and index finger. I also have no pain.

Any idea what could be the cause?

Sounds like an ulnar neuropathy. You are correct to identify the elbow: the ulnar nerve swings by in close proximity to bone at the elbow and is easily irritated there. The ulnar nerve is the "funny bone," you can feel the nerve itself on the inside of your elbow running in a bony groove. Pay attention to how much you lean on your elbows, sitting at a desk or chair for example. Some people tend to compress them driving, but this is usually one sided. More severe cases can cause atrophy of the intrinsic hand muscles (people sometimes complain of less grip strength). Treatment is mainly to avoid bearing weight on your elbows. Not sure why this is happening at night; you might try elbow guards to make sure you aren't compressing them inadvertently. If it gets worse, I'd bring it up to your doc the next time you're in.

If the numbness is more on the back of your hand or involves wrist weakness, that would be more consistent with radial neuropathy, most commonly compressed at the mid-upper arm (sometimes when people sleep on their arm).
Old 10-28-2009, 07:01 PM Arjuna is offline  
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