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Loss of Blood Flow to My Arms
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Loss of Blood Flow to My Arms

Help!  Everynight recently, no matter which side I sleep on, both of my arms completely lose all blood flow, this use to happen when I slept on my back only, now on my side (either side), it wakes me up at night and I have to shake my arms to get them flowing again, they are completely numb and it feels as though I have a rubber band cutting off the circulation to my arms.  I was in a car accident 3 years ago and injured the thorasic area in my back.  I also have breast implants. Any suggestions on what this may be or what kind of doctor I can see, the Orthopedic Surgeon treating me for my car accident had no clue.  Thanks!
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Avatar_n_tn
Your symptoms could represent a number of things, but what I suspect is that it may be a nerve problem like carpal tunnel syndrome which can wake people from sleep and is sometimes relieved by shaking them as you describe.  The pain is sometimes described as numbness or tingling. Have you checked your pulse in your wrist when these symptoms come on? If you can't find a pulse, then it's quite possible that there is a vascular problem rather than a nerve problem.  A thoracic vertebra injury would be less likely and possible only if the first vert was involved.  The nerves to the hand are mostly from the cervical region.  Check your pulse when you're ok and then when you're symptomatic.  If the pulse is the same, consider a neurologist and maybe an EMG to look at the nerves in your arm.  If the pulse is different, you'll need to talk to your primary doc. Good luck.
10 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you.  I've had MRI's and EMG's no disc problems, however, my cervical is abnormally straight (from the accident), could there be muscular constriction that can cause this problem?
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you.  If this is lower cervical tension, why do you think this would only occur at night while I'm sleeping?
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm sorry to have stepped on anyone's toes.  I thought this was a place to share ideas openly.  Due to the powers that be, both my posts and chirodocs have been removed.  

  Could be tight scalenes, right doc?  Is that so far fetched?  I'm not sure if the person with the arm probelm got to read it, but I suggested that it may be tight scalenes either from the breast implants or the MVA.  The artery that supplies the arm runs between those two muscles. Also, since it only happens at night, perhaps you use a pillow too large or too many pillows.  Try a cervical pillow or one that is more flat.  Hope this helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
Is this something I should be concerned with?  My implants are behind my muscles.  I'm worried...
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Avatar_n_tn
No, it's nothing serious.  Thoracic outlet syndrome, which you may or may not have, is known to be caused by problems with the scalenes, a 'cervical rib', entrapment between the acromium process and pec minor, along with a few others causes.  The scalenes are located up in the neck region.  It's concievable that the little extra weight up front is causing a slight pull on those muscles.  A doc should be able to tell if these muscles are tight.  As for treating that, different kinds of docs have thier own ways of treating it.  It was just a thought since the artery supplying the arm passes between these muscles.  Also, a loss in cervical curve is known to cause some implications.  Hss any of the docs you've seen suggested how to improve that curve?  I doubt it...
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Avatar_n_tn
First I would like to take the opportunity to thank you very much for your comments.  I have been to several doctors, an ortho. sugeon and a couple of chiro's.  It seems that not one of them had a clue as to what was happening to me, however, each one of them told me about my abnormal curvature, which an MRI indicated as severe.  I thought I was the only person in this world living with this pain in my thorasic area (constant burning, etc.), I did some research after your comment on TOS and low and behold, there are many people with this problem, don't know why the doctors can't diagnos this immediately.  At least I know what it probably is and had I have known that I would be living with this constant pain 3 years later, I would have never accepted the doctor's diagnosis and tried to live with this pain all this time.
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Avatar_n_tn
Be careful, you may have TOS.   It's not definite that you do.  You still have to find out for sure why your hand is getting numb at night.  I was just suggesting a place to look for this problem.  Have any of the docs diagnosed your problem?   And when you say burning in the mid thoracics, where exactly do you mean?  For example, is it in an area level with the top of your shoulders, level with your armpits, or what?   Also, how large is the pillows you sleep with at night?  Try using something fairly flat and see if that helps.  For years I used two pillows at night and it was giving me a stiff neck and whatnot.  Also, I have a fairly straight cervical curve and the doc suggested stretching to improve it.   For 15 minutes each night, he told me to lay on my back with my head off the edge of the bed, putting the head into extension.  He also said if it caused dizziness to stop immediately.  

Keep in mind that I am not a specialist, so take my suggestions for what its worth and find a good doc in your area to go see.  Preferably one that takes time with thier patients to get to the root of the problem.  None of this assembly line BS you often see these days.
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Avatar_n_tn
I forgot to mention periodic facial numbness, it only occurs on the left side of my face which in fact is also the side of my neck that is always hurting, could this be a result of my abnormally straightened cervical from the car accident?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been having the same symptoms for a while now, they have been getting worse lately.  Every night I wake up and one or both of my arms are dead with severe pins & needles.  This also happens in my hands if I am on the telephone for a long time and as I was reading this site with my hand on the mouse it went very cold and pins & needles started.  I have not got any other symptoms any suggestions out there please.
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Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, Arms go numb was started.
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