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Hand swollen and numb. Unable to close. Also pain in neck. Why did this happen?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1968
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I woke up this morning with my left hand so swollen that I can't close it. I have not injured it in any way. I have been having some problems lately with pain in my neck, and numbness in both hands. I don't do repetitive type work.
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Andrew Rynne MD 1 hour later
Hi there. Thank you for posting your question here.

There are only a few explanations that I can think of for waking up in the morning with one swollen hand. Either it is as a result of your having lain on your arm while asleep in such a way as to block the venous return to that hand. Or this is an allergic reaction to an insect bit -- a mosquito for example.

You might also like to check your armpit on the side of the swelling for enlarged lymph glands. Better still, have your doctor do this for you if you feel that there is no other explanation.

You mention pain in you neck and numbness in both hands. I feel that these are unrelated to your hand swelling. The neck pain probably relates to osteoarthritis of your cervical spine. Numbness in both hands may relate to the same thing, degenerative changes in your cervical spine or, particularly if its only in the morning, to a condition known as Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.

By the way, an x-ray of your cervical spine sometime in the near future might be a good idea.

I hope that this was of some small help to you and that you will accept this answer.

Good luck.
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