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What causes pain and tingling in arms?

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Posted on Sat, 19 Jul 2014
Question: For a couple of weeks - possibly after I strimmed the grass for a longer than usual time (possibly not) - I've had discomfort in my right arm. It's strongest when I raise the arm, but not bad as I type this, for instance. Occasionally there's a sort of twinge down the arm, and once or twice, days apart, there's been a slight quiver when, for instance, I raised a cup to my mouth. It's not great for sleeping. I've tried various "rubs" and pain-killers - not made much difference to be honest. I've been to a GP and had a codeine prescription - this didn't help the pain or the tingle/stiff sensation down the arm. I also had osteopathy - not effect.

When I reach down - sometimes - there's a more acute pain in the lower arm and the suspicion of a tremor in the right hand. (My work is professional actor and director - I only mention this because these symtoms and inconveniencs are obviously detrimental to my work (you can't lift a cup on camera if you twinge and shake!!!) Thanks for help and diagnosis.
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Answered by Dr. Polash Sannigrahi (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Nervigenic agents + multivitamin & multiminerals

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXX

Thanks for your query.

Regarding the symptoms as mentioned in your post, kindly let us know about the following:
1. Any history of recent illness or injury/trauma to the neck and back?
2. Sensation of pain/ tingling/ tremors can be due to poor neuro-muscular co-ordination secondary to systemic illness. Is there is significant past history of systemic disease like Diabetes, Hypertension, Thyroid disorder, etc. ?
3. Any recent history of Stress, improper nutrition & lack of sleep?
4. Habit of smoking or alcohol consumption?
5. History of prolonged intake of any medication?

If your answer to the above mentioned questions is NO, then the symptoms can be attributed to:
1. Entrapment of nerve fibers at the Cervico-thoracic region: sensation of discomfort/ tingling down the arm associated with maintaining certain postures (like raising the arm or reaching down) can be explained on the basis of it.
2. Inadequate hydration status & electrolyte imbalance of the body, or
3. Dietary deficiencies of certain nutrients like Iron, Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Folic acid, etc. which help in blood formation & nerve conduction.

Symptomatic relief can be obtained by intake of nervigenic agents (like Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folic acid) as well as multivitamin & multimineral supplements including iron, calcium & Vitamin D needs to be added in your diet.
Physiotherapy & postural exercise will also be helpful.

If symptoms still persist, kindly consult a Neurologist & get a complete Neurological examination done.
Certain investigations like complete blood count, serum electrolyte estimation, fresh estimation of blood pressure & blood sugar levels, lipid profile, Doppler study of upper limbs & nerve conduction studies will be helpful to rule out any pathological cause for the symptoms.
X ray & MRI of Cervico-dorsal spine can also be carried out to detect any nerve entrapment.

Wishing you a Good Health.
Please let me know if I need to clarify further.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Follow up: Dr. Polash Sannigrahi (18 hours later)
I'm sorry but my age was typed in wrongly - my date of birth was 22nd July 1937 - I don't know if that makes much difference. On the other questions:
- I did have a "trapped nerve" in my right leg last year and some back discomfort (requiring physiotherapy treatment) something like fifteen years ago.
Otherwise I'm in great health, I think: I run, exercise, eat well, don't smoke or drink alcohol (maybe a toast at New Year, nothing more).
- No past history of tremors, tingling or hypertension, do diagnosis of diabetes or thyroid disorder.
-I do work pretty hard sometimes - in local poliics and my profession in the theatre, as actor, director, writer, and recently lecturing in Brazil - but I'm not aware that this is tension-making.
- I sleep OK, in spurts of two hours or so, generally quite deep but seldom "right through the night" as I'd like.
I don't know if this helps to narrow down the probabilities. To me - I do have a biology degree but no medical training - the entraped nerve fibres sounds and feels likely.
Are there posture exercises, for instance, and effective vitamins I should take?
- I'm really busy just now, directing a play about Shakespeare's wife, and anything you can suggest to mitigate this uncomfortable distraction would be gratefully received.
I have been sleeping with two pillows, thus probably forcing my head and shoulders forward when sleeping on my back - I think this may have been a bad idea. So I have removed one pillow.
When I woke early this morning, raised my arm above my head (still lying down) th pain was really very acute and strong. Short exercise, sitting up and raising my arm, helped to diminish it.
I'm really grateful and delighted with the diagnosis you sent - does all this help, as I say, to make it more definable?
Many thanks once again.
XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Polash Sannigrahi (2 days later)
Brief Answer:
Kindly view the details

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXX

Thanks for your follow up query and detailed history.

It is appreciable to know that you are taking good care of your health by performing regular exercise & avoiding smoking & alcohol.
Use of 2 pillows under the head puts strain on the cervical vertebrae (neck region) which can aggravate any underlying nerve entrapment. So it was a correct decision on your part to remove one.

The history of trapped nerve is suggestive of pathology in the spine/ inter-vertebral disc, and the present symptoms can be attributed to trapping of nerve in the neck or upper back region.
Age is also an important contributing factor as there is degeneration of the inter-vertebral discs with advancing age.
Any abnormality in the vertebrae can be detected with the help of X ray or MRI.

Management under such condition will involve:
1. Nervigenic agents and multivitamins+ minerals: to rejuvenate the nerve fibers
2. Physiotherapy & postural exercise: to strengthen the muscles around the vertebrae to prevent nerve entrapment.
So, it will be advisable to consult a Neurologist & discuss regarding this.

There is no need to worry, you will be fine.
Best wishes & prayers for the success of your upcoming play.

Regards,
Dr. Polash Sannigrahi
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Answered by
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Dr. Polash Sannigrahi

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 3353 Questions

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What causes pain and tingling in arms?

Brief Answer: Nervigenic agents + multivitamin & multiminerals Detailed Answer: Hello XXXX Thanks for your query. Regarding the symptoms as mentioned in your post, kindly let us know about the following: 1. Any history of recent illness or injury/trauma to the neck and back? 2. Sensation of pain/ tingling/ tremors can be due to poor neuro-muscular co-ordination secondary to systemic illness. Is there is significant past history of systemic disease like Diabetes, Hypertension, Thyroid disorder, etc. ? 3. Any recent history of Stress, improper nutrition & lack of sleep? 4. Habit of smoking or alcohol consumption? 5. History of prolonged intake of any medication? If your answer to the above mentioned questions is NO, then the symptoms can be attributed to: 1. Entrapment of nerve fibers at the Cervico-thoracic region: sensation of discomfort/ tingling down the arm associated with maintaining certain postures (like raising the arm or reaching down) can be explained on the basis of it. 2. Inadequate hydration status & electrolyte imbalance of the body, or 3. Dietary deficiencies of certain nutrients like Iron, Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Folic acid, etc. which help in blood formation & nerve conduction. Symptomatic relief can be obtained by intake of nervigenic agents (like Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folic acid) as well as multivitamin & multimineral supplements including iron, calcium & Vitamin D needs to be added in your diet. Physiotherapy & postural exercise will also be helpful. If symptoms still persist, kindly consult a Neurologist & get a complete Neurological examination done. Certain investigations like complete blood count, serum electrolyte estimation, fresh estimation of blood pressure & blood sugar levels, lipid profile, Doppler study of upper limbs & nerve conduction studies will be helpful to rule out any pathological cause for the symptoms. X ray & MRI of Cervico-dorsal spine can also be carried out to detect any nerve entrapment. Wishing you a Good Health. Please let me know if I need to clarify further. Take care.