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Hand paralyzed upon waking from sleep...
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Hand paralyzed upon waking from sleep...


  When I woke up this morning, I could not move my left hand.  It did not
  feel like it was asleep (didn't feel "heavy"), it just wouldn't move.  
  After 15-20 seconds of shaking and rubbing it, it *finally* came back.
  This is the same hand that was spasming when I woke up back in August,
  where it also took 15-20 seconds to retain control.
  In the last 7 months I have experienced a severe headache, tight muscles
  in my legs, and numbness in my pinky and ring fingers (both hands, but
  seems worse in the left hand).  
  I have had an MRI done on my brain and neck, each being normal.  I have
  seen 2 nueroligists (2 nerve conduction tests), both saying that I am
  seemingly ok.  The MRI showed a slight herniated disc in my neck and a
  slight case of arthritus.
  The headaches are now gone.  It was determined to be caused by a pulled
  muscle in the back of my head.  The fingers have been 15% numb for 5 weeks
  or so.  The legs have been a problem on and off since late September.  I
  feel a slight "electricity" feeling going through my right leg fairly
  constant.  I did go away for about 10 days, but came back.  All in all,
  the legs have gotten better since September.  I have been under a lot of
  stress since May, and my doctor explained to me that there is some strange
  phenomena going on in my brain sending an "adrenaline" to my leg.
  Basically, I have been assured by 4 doctors that I am all right and the
  anxiety is causing my symptoms.
  I am writing here to see what could cause my hand to go paralyzed like it
  did this morning.  I gave you my background to see if this could be
  related to what I have been recently going through.
  I am 31 years old, male caucasion, living in Rochester NY.  I had been a
  picture of health up until June, when the headache's came.  Basically, all
  of my initial symptoms are gone, and new one's have appeared.  This
  relieves in a way, thinking that stress could be the culpret for most of
  my ill's.
  I am writing here to see what could cause my hand to go paralyzed like it
  did this morning.  I gave you my background to see if this could be
  related to what I have been recently going through.  Could a nerve be
  pinched somewhere?
===========================================================================
Dear Roger:
In the absence of any permanent, it might be difficult for a neurologist to make a definite diagnosis. One of the more common and easily diagnosed causes of intermittent hand numbness during sleep is carpal tunnel syndrome, but this seems less likely in your case. Numbness of the little finger may suggest pinching of the ulnar nerve at the elbow or elsewhere. Still another possibility is of a compression of the radial nerve at the back of the arm. This last compression typically causes severe weakness of the wrist and hand which can be quite transient as in your case, or can last for several days or weeks. Compression of the radial nerve (and to a lesser extent the ulnar nerve) can occur at night in sleep when the arm is compressed by the head of a partner, for instance. It also tends to occur more frequently after alcohol consumption or sedation.
The headaches are likely unrelated to the hand symptoms. There may be a component of anxiety contributing to the symptoms. A neurological consultation followed, if necessary, by an EMG examination, may be a good idea for sorting out the hand problem.




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