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Limbs fall asleep, pain, swelling and inflammation in joints, negative RA. What is the deal?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 9091 Questions
My hands and or arms fall asleep when I recline whether or not I am on them. It is disconcerting to wake up in the morning or the middle of the night to a cold, asleep limb. I recently had this occur to my scalp and that totally freaked me out until the painful tingling began, reassuring me that I hadn't had a stroke. I also have been having pain, swelling and inflammation in my joints but had a negative RA. I am female, almost 120#,and in my upper 40s. What's the deal?
Posted Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 3 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

Intermittent numbness in the arms and scalp can be due to a pinched nerve at the level of cervical spine.

Some other common causes are nutritional deficiency, allergic reactions, excessive cold, exposure to chemicals, electrolyte imbalance, etc.

Most of the cases show improvement on taking an electrolyte XXXXXXX drink and regular Vitamin B complex and Methylcobalamin supplements. In case the symptoms are persistent, a few blood tests and an MRI of the cervical spine will help in determining the cause.

Cervical isometric exercises and avoiding using a pillow are also helpful.

Generalised joint pain and inflammation with negative RA factor can be due to a viral infection or electrolyte imbalance. Taking a mild analgesic like ibuprofen and applying a local analgesic gel to the affected area after a hot fomentation will be helpful. Vitamin D deficiency needs to be ruled out after a simple blood test under the guidance of your physician.

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Wish you good health.

Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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