My fingers are numb

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick Sun, Jan 15, 2002.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I'm hoping this condition clears up, but on my left hand, my pinky finger and the one next to it have been sort of numb for almost 10 days now. It's been getting better day by day, but it's freaking me out a little.

    I think it started when I spent some time in front of my PC with my left elbow on the desk, and my left had was supporting my jaw as I was surfing and watching concert videos I've been downloading lately. I think I over-did this "position" and my fingers were numb from it, but the numbness didn't quite go away within a day. For a while it was a pain to type (I couldn't quite feel the keys I was hitting with either of the number fingers).

    But like I said, it seems to get better after a good night's sleep, but there is some residual numbness, more in the pinky than the other finger. The fingers do tingle when I tap them on a hard surface nowadays.

    should I see a doctor or let my body heal itself for another 10 day or so?
     
  2. John Beavers

    John Beavers Second Unit

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    Could be:
    Patients who have symptoms consistent with carpal tunnel syndrome (pain in the first three fingers, shooting pain from the wrist to the fingertips, hand weakness, pain when the palm side of the wrist is tapped) will usually undergo non-surgical treatment first. This includes anti-inflammatory medications, wrist splints, occupational therapy, and workplace modification. If this fails to improve symptoms, an injection of steroids into the carpal tunnel may be helpful.
    Or even:
    What is scleroderma?
    Scleroderma, also called systemic sclerosis, is a chronic, degenerative disease that affects the joints, skin, and internal organs. Scleroderma is also associated with blood vessel abnormalities.
    Scleroderma is considered to be a multifactorial condition. Multifactorial inheritance means that “many factors” are involved in causing a health problem. The factors are usually both genetic and environmental, where a combination of genes from both parents, in addition to unknown environmental factors, produce the trait or condition. Often one gender (either males or females) is affected more frequently than the other in multifactorial traits. Females are affected with scleroderma three to four times more often than males.
    What are the symptoms of scleroderma?
    Scleroderma can lead to scarring of the skin, joints, and other internal organs. The following are the most common symptoms of scleroderma. However each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
    thickening and swelling of the tips of the fingers
    pale and tingly fingers that may become numb when exposed to cold or when emotionally upset (called Raynaud’s phenomenon)
    joint pain
    taut, shiny, darker skin on large areas such as the face, that may hinder movement
    appearance of spider veins
    calcium bumps on the fingers or other bony areas
    grating noise as inflamed tissues move
    frozen (immobile) fingers, wrists, or elbows due to scarring of the skin
    sores on fingertips and knuckles
    scarring of the esophagus, leading to heartburn and difficulty swallowing
    scarring of the lungs, leading to shortness of breath
    heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms
    kidney disease
    The symptoms of scleroderma may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
    OR this even:
    Poor circulation to the extremities (hands, feet, and head) can be caused by a number of conditions. Usually it is inherited, and does not constitute a major health problem, but it can also be due to more serious disorders of the heart or blood vessels. For instance, uncontrolled diabetes can affect the circulation so that the lower limbs can take on a blue colour, and develop ulcers and gangrene.
    So before self-treating for poor circulation, make sure that it is not due to a cardiovascular (or other) disease that need professional attention first.
    The hereditary condition is often called Raynaud's Disease; it may be precipitated by cold or by emotional stress, leading to numb, white, fingers that may turn blue from lack of oxygenated blood (cyanosis).
    Then again I've been known to be a bit of an extremist with my diagnosis, unlicensed at that [​IMG] It's probably nothing. But if it persists I'd go see the doc.
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Yikes! Getting old is getting to be a drag.

    What's scary is that I found this condition affecting my ability to sign my name on a check (in that I have to think about signing the check, in the past I'd just do it without thinking about it). And since I like drawing, I do find the lack of control of the pencil to be a frightening thought.

    Hopefully I'll be closer to normal be the weekend. I'll continue to do finger exercises to keep the blood flow going.
     
  4. TimDoss

    TimDoss Second Unit

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    You probably just pinched a nerve or something from sitting like that for too long.

    If you've ever smacked your funny bone really hard, it sometimes causes your pinky and

    ring finger to go numb or tingle... move your arm and fingers

    around and give it some time, I'm sure it's nuttin'.
     
  5. Scott Hayes

    Scott Hayes Second Unit

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    I had very similar symptoms, it ended up being a pinched nerve in my neck. I dealt with it for a long time before I got it checked out. If I had got it diagnosed earlier it could have been taken care of with therapy, but because I waited I ended up having to have surgry to repair it. Moral of the story, dont wait to see the doctor about it.
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Patrick,
    Hopefully, as you and others think, this is just problem from sitting in strange positions [​IMG]
    Still, I recommend seeing a doctor. I've seen some seemingly-minor physical problems turn out to be symptoms of extremely serious illnesses.
    I don't mean to be Chicken Little, but I'd feel better if you saw a doctor [​IMG]
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Patrick, as you well know I want you to be in good health. See a doc if the condition persists.
    Now, this may require you not surfing the Web for a little while. In fact, you might have to take a vacation from HTF. I think, oh, around the time I surpass the 9,000-post mark, it might be safe for you to come back. [​IMG]
    (Seriously, see a doc if this keeps up for more than two or three days.)
     
  8. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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    It probably is a pinched nerve, but get checked out by a doctor, Pat.

    Just curious--is the numbness intermittent?
     
  9. ken thompson

    ken thompson Second Unit

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    Pat, I'm currently haveing the same problem. Leaning on my elbow on my armrest my pink wwent numb. Its been aobut two weeks now and no change. I'm pretty sure its a pinched nerve. It my pink and pretty much most of that side of my hand about half way to my wrist. really weird. Its on my left hand so its not getting in the way of everything.
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Jack, I won't be out of commission THAT long! LOL! I can still type with one hand if need be.

    Tom, not really, it's pretty much consistent.

    Ken, you have what I have! We can now call it the "Pat's Numb Pinky Syndrome" i.e. commonly known as "Too much HTF".
     
  11. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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  12. Scott Hayes

    Scott Hayes Second Unit

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    By all means see a doctor soon. I put up with my problem for a while before I went to the doc. The surgery knocked me out of work for most of the year and I have a metal plate in my neck now. It could have been avoided if I had seen the doc when it first happened.
     
  13. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    There's three nerves that are relevant to the hand. One nerve for the thumb, one for the forefinger and middle finger and one for the ring and pinky finger. The one that is responsible for the ring and pinky is the one that travels around the elbow and is known as the funny bone.... really hurts when you bang that one.

    Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when repetitive overuse or an injury causes scar tissue or pressure on one of these nerves and commonly affects the funny bone nerve most.

    This sounds like what you are experiencing.

    Having had this for several years before I sought treatment, I know you're going through some discomfort and if it isn't hurting now... it will. Some simple tests using low voltage electric current will show just how much signal is being surpressed and where the pressure is.

    I ended up having my "funny bone" nerve relocated in my elbow which has fixed 95% of my problem. They actually clip the nerve, move the sheath it was in and the nerve will regenerate down the rerouted path at about 1 inch a month. Therefore, whatever the distance from the repair to the fingertips, is also the time that it will take to determine success or not with the fix.

    Mine was successful and that was 15 years ago. I would have it done again.

    There are therapies for this that will help. Just depends on the severity. Mine was scar tissue from the rigors of motocross etc so aggressive treatment was needed.

    Hope it gets better... Make sure you don't sleep on that arm as that can agravate it too.
     
  14. Wayne Murphy

    Wayne Murphy Stunt Coordinator

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    Being an auto worker (assembly line) I can tell you there are three different places the nerve can be pinched and cause what you are experiencing. Two are already mentioned above and the third is in your shoulder itself. There is a bundle of nerves that runs through your shoulder and this can also cause the numbness. I've had all three at different times.
    I tried Dr's, chiro and then a RMT. She worked wonders for me. The first thing she suggested was......stretching.
    Try this. Go to the doorway in your room. lift your arms til they are level with the floor. Bend your arms at the elbow and lift your hands staight up. Tilt your hands so that your palms are forward. Now rest your elbows on the door frame and lean forward through the door til you feel a stretch in your chest. Hold for 30 seconds. Does the tingling in your hands get worse? It's probably in your shoulder. Go get an appointment with a Registered Massage Therapist. ( Not one of those ones you could get arrested at. [​IMG] )
    They can make a world of difference in no time.
    No drugs and no surgery!!
     
  15. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

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    In college I was really drunk one night (duh!) and slept on my side on a rather hard dorm floor. I must have been catatonic and slept on my shoulder the whole time. Well the next day I didn't have much use of the fingers on that hand.
    It was pretty scary as I wondered if my fingers would be like this forever. Sooner or later everything cleared up and I was fine. But the sooner was over at least a week. had me scared senseless.
    I could close the fingers on my hand, but I couldn't open them so when I grabbed something I had to kind of use the object to open my hand first.
    maybe you should read all those pamphlets they include with the keyboards and mice these days. probably an interesting read. [​IMG]
     
  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Just an update. Another night's sleep seems to have helped the situation, the sensations seems to be returning back to normal, but still a little tingly, but nothing like the previous week where felt like when something goes numb and you are in that middle ground where it is painful to aggravate it, and when it's normal again. Or like when you read on the john too long, and your legs fall asleep, and trying to stand up can be a weird feeling/non-feeling.
     

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