Hello. I need some help. For a few years, I have experienced numbness in my arm/arms. It is infrequent (4/5 times a year). My doctor once told me it was probably due to a pinched nerve.
However, I am getting concerned as it happened once while I was driving and I had to quickly pull over the car. Tonight it happened at home and was even more intense. Both arms felt suddenly heavy, aching, like dead weights. Then the numbness and tingling started running from my upper arms to my wrists. I felt like I as going to faint and had to sit down. The whole episode took about 2 minutes but the numbness (like my hands were asleep) lingered for about ten more minutes. If I had been driving, it would have been a problem.
It could be due to thoracic outlet syndrome or a nerve root compression at cervical vertebrae levels.
Consult an Orthopaedician as early as possible.Do a blood work and check for diabetes.Stop smoking if you are a smoker.Do an MRI,it will help in the exact diagnosis.The symptoms have to be correlated with your age .Do not drive till your symtoms (symptoms) subside,as you say it could be dangerous when such an episode happens while driving.
The numbness along the upper limb as mentioned by you do point towards some compression which can be at any level from neck down to wrist. But your history points towards the neck region. It requires to be investigated. Clinical examination is must for a working diagnosis and investigations for affirmation. It is advisable to consult a vascular surgeon than a orthopaedician as suggested by blessedsoulforever (though it was not a bad suggestion by him). A basic chest x-ray is all that is initially required for ruling out a cervical rib which is common cause for Thoracic outlet syndrome.
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