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What causes numbness in hand and painful shoulder?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15761 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 26 Aug 2014 in Brain and Spine
Question: I suddenly have some numbness i my right hand and on my left (slightly). I am 73 an d very athletic. I did have some achey pain along my shoulder (\Upper back) on Sunday.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 31 minutes later
Brief Answer:
anti inflammatory medication may help

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

The brachial plexus forms a network or group of nerves that come off of the spinal cord.
It sends off branches that are responsible for sensation and movement in the upper limbs (arms, forearms and hands). Branches supply the fingers as well.

The nerves pass through under the clavicle, go towards the axilla and are affected by injury to the shoulder as they relate to the different muscles in the shoulder area.

Any injury to the shoulder, depending on the nerve affected, can result in altered feelings or change in movement of different parts of the upper limb.

The muscle or joint injury to your shoulder would have affected the nerves supplying sensation to the fingers. It is quite possible that it is temporary and may resolve on its own.

Other than trauma, the other causes of abnormal sensations are: (1)vitamin b12 or folate deficiency
(2)diabetes
(3)liver or kidney disease
(4)exposure to toxins
(5)side effect of medication
(6)idiopathic- cause not known

You can consider the use of anti inflammatory pain medication such as advil or aleve, these should be used on a full stomach.

If there is no relief with these meds or worsening then you should consider visiting your doctor for assessment.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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