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What causes numbness in arms and hands with neck pain?

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Posted on Tue, 8 Dec 2015
Question: Hello. I am frustrated by some recurrent symptoms. When I sit on bleachers or in a car seat, I get a gradual numb, uncomfortable feeling in both arms and hands. My hands will get very cold as well. Often worse on the right side. It lasts all day and just takes a few minutes of sitting. My neck doesn't hurt but my traps are often tight. I have. Some spondylosis on a c spine MRI A few years ago but nothing horrible. It started after I fell on my butt on a hard surface. Not directly. The main problem was back/buttock pain for a while. I have sciatic compression under the piriformis that is better but still significant. I had this problem with my arms a lot before and I had to have padding added to my new car seat 2 yr ago. It helped; along with a gel pad. I avoid bleachers and hard seats but sit and stand a lot at work. This doesn't bother me. Well, just bought another new car and the same problem!! I tried a Subaru And and a Hyundai SUV and both cause th problem although the seats are not objectively hard. I've moved the seat all around and add the gel pad again and still it happens. A 20 min ride in the car causes 1-2 days of numb, uncomfortable symptoms in my hands. It involved all the fingers. Maybe worse in the ulnar but not sure. I have bilateral CTS. have had surgery and shots years ago and mostly it is good. I wear splints on and off.
I'm miserable. Love my car but don't understand this., Is this more likely to be cervical or something like TOS. I had traction when symptomatic in the past and not sure it helped. No one seemed to have any idea...
Can you advise?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Neeraj Kumar (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Possibility of carpal tunnel syndrome

Detailed Answer:
Hello xxxxxxxxxxxx,
I have gone through your question and understand your concerns.
You are suffering from cervical spondylosis, carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica.
The symptoms in your hands may be due to carpal tunnel syndrome due to prolonged hyperflexion or hyperextension posture of hand.
It will be better if you use splint for CTS specially during driving.
You should also do physiotherapy of hand under consultation.
What is your diabetes and Thyroid status or any joint disease?
Pain due to cervical spondylosis is less likely but requires detailed examination by a neurologist for evaluation.
You can take pregabalin for pain relief.
Seat adjustment both distance from steering and angle of back support should be adjusted.
Hope you found the answer helpful.
Do get back to me for further queries.
Regards
Dr Neeraj Kumar
Neurologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Neeraj Kumar (34 minutes later)
Im not sure. It happens sitting on the bleachers as well. Nothing to do with hand position and not in median nerve distribution. If i hyperflex my hands too long i get typical symptoms that resolve quickly. This has something to do with axial loading im sure. Ive adjusted seat as much as i can. Positioning doesnt help unless lying down. Its pretty symmetric. I take neurontin already. I want to know why this reversibly happens so i can approach it better. I cant understand why it has to do with the sitting surface. I can sit on many other chairs and benches and sone other cars but no problems..

Im not sure you heard the details of what i was saying
doctor
Answered by Dr. Neeraj Kumar (9 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Not related to sitting, get evaluated for cervical spondylosis or CTS

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Nerves supplying to upper limbs have nothing to do with back or sitting posture. The involvement of nerves in Upper limbs can occur at cervical spine, brachial plexus or nerve levels.
Sitting will not have any effect until there is some abnormalities in neck or hand postures.
You should try physiotherapy and neck isometric exercises.
Getting evaluated by neurologist and nerve conduction study may help.
May br you need to repeat Cervical Mri.
Pregabalin with nortryptiline can be tried for benefits. These medications are to started under guidance of a neurologist as they have side effects and require titration of doses to adequate required dose for full benefits.
Regards
Dr Neeraj Kumar
Neurologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Dr. Neeraj Kumar

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Practicing since :2006

Answered : 2263 Questions

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What causes numbness in arms and hands with neck pain?

Brief Answer: Possibility of carpal tunnel syndrome Detailed Answer: Hello xxxxxxxxxxxx, I have gone through your question and understand your concerns. You are suffering from cervical spondylosis, carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica. The symptoms in your hands may be due to carpal tunnel syndrome due to prolonged hyperflexion or hyperextension posture of hand. It will be better if you use splint for CTS specially during driving. You should also do physiotherapy of hand under consultation. What is your diabetes and Thyroid status or any joint disease? Pain due to cervical spondylosis is less likely but requires detailed examination by a neurologist for evaluation. You can take pregabalin for pain relief. Seat adjustment both distance from steering and angle of back support should be adjusted. Hope you found the answer helpful. Do get back to me for further queries. Regards Dr Neeraj Kumar Neurologist