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What causes persistent tingling sensation in the left arm, shoulder and elbow?

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Posted on Tue, 26 Jul 2016
Question: I have had a tingling sensation in my left arm from the shoulder to the elbow for several months. I've stopped lifting weights but I still have the symptoms. What would be the cause of this?
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Neck nerve root compression.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

Judging from that MRI which you mention as well as from the symptoms I believe the cause is indeed to be found in the neck. That is where the nerves supplying the upper limbs exit the spine and due to narrowing you mention there could be compression of these nerves.

I understand that you had been hoping that by stopping weight lifting you would improve (and indeed some degree of improvement usually takes place), but that doesn't guarantee complete regression of the symptoms. These changes of the spine haven't happened overnight, they are chronic changes which have developed over many years.

So stopping weightlifting helps in stopping their progression in time, but doesn't mean that the spine will revert back to normal. Actually in all of us the spine undergoes wear and tear over the years, the weight lifting only has accelerated that process.

However during the first 6 months there usually is some symptomatic improvement as inflammation which also contributes to nerve compression subsides.

I remain at your disposal for further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Answered by
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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3674 Questions

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What causes persistent tingling sensation in the left arm, shoulder and elbow?

Brief Answer: Neck nerve root compression. Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. Judging from that MRI which you mention as well as from the symptoms I believe the cause is indeed to be found in the neck. That is where the nerves supplying the upper limbs exit the spine and due to narrowing you mention there could be compression of these nerves. I understand that you had been hoping that by stopping weight lifting you would improve (and indeed some degree of improvement usually takes place), but that doesn't guarantee complete regression of the symptoms. These changes of the spine haven't happened overnight, they are chronic changes which have developed over many years. So stopping weightlifting helps in stopping their progression in time, but doesn't mean that the spine will revert back to normal. Actually in all of us the spine undergoes wear and tear over the years, the weight lifting only has accelerated that process. However during the first 6 months there usually is some symptomatic improvement as inflammation which also contributes to nerve compression subsides. I remain at your disposal for further questions.