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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes twitching in finger and arm?

Answered by
Dr. Shuba Hariprasad

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 1087 Questions

Posted on Tue, 7 Jun 2016 in Headache and Migraines
Question: Twitching in mostly right pointer finger for few weeks. Sometimes arm. When go to bed feels like hand semi asleep. Top of right collarbone has had some pain to touch. Left arm twitches some but mostly the right

Also,at times after i wake up,when I place my right foot on the floor one of my middle toes tingles for a step or two
Answered by Dr. Shuba Hariprasad 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
Cervical spondylosis (CS), Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS)

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for your query,
I am Dr. Shuba Hariprasad and will be helping you with your query today.

Your symptoms are suggestive of nerve impingement (compression)

The spine is made up of several vertebrae that are interspersed with discs (which help with flexibility and protect joint surface) between each pair. This structure is supported by various muscles and ligament.
The curvi-linear alignment of these bones form a canal through which runs the spinal cord. This is a bundle of nerves that supply the body. The spinal cord gives rise to paired branches and every level of vertebrae which exit the spine thorough gaps in the joints.
When the discs or bones are worn out or damaged, the space between the vertebrae is reduced and the nerves that exit in that area is compressed.

Cervical spondylosis results when the vertebrae in the neck undergo this change (spondylosis) and impinge on the nerves that supply the arm & hand. The same goes for your lumbar/sacral spine that causes the tingling in your toes.

The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves near the collar bone on each side.
Repetitive activity, sporting activities, injury/surgery to the chest, an extra rib can cause compression of this bundle and cause similar symptoms.

I would:
- Get a detailed personal and family medical history
- do a focussed medical examination of the neurological and skeletal system in addition to the basic general examination
- run routine blood work (complete blood count, Calcium & vit D levels, lipid profile, blood glucose levels,kidney function tests)
- get x-rays of your spine and chest (an MRI spine- if indicated)

Based on the above tests and clinical findings , a treatment plan will be made.

If your symptoms are temporary and mild (likely based on your query), lifestyle modification, proper posture and relevant exercises will be advised. If severe, the compressing structure may need to be removed surgically followed by intensive physiotherapy.

If you have any coexisting illnesses or take any medications, these should be assessed in regard with your symptoms.

In the meantime,
- try to change your posture when you feel these symptoms -like relaxing your shoulders, keeping you neck slightly bent forward, sleeping on your other side or reducing the height/firmness of your pillows)
- if you work in front of a computer or have a sedentary job, monitor your arm posture and take frequent breaks (a minute or so will do). look around, stretch your shoulder , arms and neck.

I recommend you see a physician asap as if caught early (before nerve damage occurs), these can be treated with excellent prognosis.

I hope this helps.
Please let me know if there is anything more I can help you with.
If not, please close this discussion and rate my answer.

Wish you good health.
Dr. Shuba Hariprasad

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Naveen Kumar
Follow up: Dr. Shuba Hariprasad 16 hours later
Would cramps sometimes in my calves at night be related to this at all? Or probably not?
Answered by Dr. Shuba Hariprasad 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Muscle cramping, not nerve.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for the follow up.

Pain in the calves, as you described it, is muscular (cramping while relaxed).
This is usually due to prolonged standing, or repetitive activity which is not supported by proper blood flow. In the absence of oxygen (supplied by adequate blood flow), muscles burn energy differently which leads to the formation of lactic acid that causes local muscle inflammation which results in pain.
This can be alleviated by stretching your muscles, massaging them gently, taking a warm bath bedtime.
Nerve related problem usually manifests as numbness, tingling, or continuous pain (it won't be cramping).

Hope this answers your query. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
If not, please close this discussion and rate my answer.
Wish you good health.

Dr. Shuba Hariprasad
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Deepak

The User accepted the expert's answer

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