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Neck causing tingling in the left arm
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Neck causing tingling in the left arm

For the past 4 weeks, I have experienced periodic tingling in my left arm. I notice it first in my thumb and forefinger, but then it extends up my forearm as well. I saw my doctor who thought it might be Carpal Tunnel. I had an EMG which came out normal. He has had me taking Aleve as an anti-inflamatory.

I experienced this tingling mostly at work, while sitting in front of my computer terminal. The other day, I noticed that simply moving my head would make the tingling in my arm stop. Since I wear bi-focals, I need to tilt my head back a little to focus on the computer terminal. I also had my desk arranged so that my head is turned somewhat to the right when looking at my terminal.

Since I discovered the association of my head position with the tingling in my arm, I have moved my terminal directly in front of me. This alone seems to have dramatically reduced the number of times a day I experience the tingling in my left arm.

My question is, does this indicate that I have some kind of problem with my neck which, when held in a certain position, places pressure on the main nerve of my left arm? If this is the case, what would you recommend in terms of further investigation or treatment?

Thanks...

Rick
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Avatar_n_tn
You would appear to have stumbled on the diagnosis yourself. the nerve roots which supply the arms emerge from between the vertebrae in the neck. Any problems in this area like arthritis or degeneration of the discs will cause pressure on the nerves which leads to tingling in the area of the arm supplied by thzt particular nerve. It is most likely that the problem resides in your neck, so imagimg of the cervical spine by means of an MRI scan would be a logical next step. This would lead to advice regarding posture, a neck brace, physical therapy or even surgery. In your case it sounds as though the problem is relatively mild, since it is only precipitated by poor posture.
A relatively simple ergonomic adjustment might be sufficient , but imaging of your neck would be a logical and safe first step.
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I had the exact same symtoms (symptoms) for several years DO NOT IGNORE them. Schedule an MRI to rule out any disc herniations etc.  I chose to ignore and now will face surgery or live with pain the rest of my life.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am having similar symptoms.  Except I am having some pain with mine.  I feel it is stress and the muscles in my neck are tight and maybe inflamed.  Started out with numbness in my arms and hands and now pain.  I have been given an anti-inflamatory and scheduled for a nerve test.  I have had this before, but never this bad or this long.  Hopefully, it will be a simple fix.
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