I am a 39 years old, asian male. For about 4 weeks now I have been having the pins & needles sensation in both my hands from the wrist below and all my fingers. The feeling is most severe in my left thumb and forefinger. Sometimes I have very mild cramps in my calves and a feeling of weakness. The pins and needles are continuous, 24 hours of the day and any change in posture or excercise does not seem to relieve it even temporarily. The feeling is perhaps the worst when I wake up from my sleep with both hands completely numb and feeling as if they are swollen. I have always suffered from minor neck and back pain which I had learned to live with.
My chiropractor says he cannot do anything to alleviate it or cure it, but feels that it may be cardio vascular.
My physician blamed it on my smoking. ( I stopped smoking because of that two weeks ago ) I have gone to a neurologist, who has tested me for carpal tunnel syndrome and did an NCV test on me. I have to see him this week for his diagnosis, but the technician who did the test said there was nothing to worry about.
I have generally been healthy except coughs and colds and this thing is very disturbing and is affecting my work.
I am so concerned... any suggestions and advise will be most helpful.
Certainly, the description of your pain as "pins and needle" raises a distinct possibility of pain from a neurologic cause - probalby th most common of neurologic causes would be carpal tunnel syndrome. This is cause by one of the nerves to the hand - the median nerve - being compressed below the ligament in the wrist. It can cause pain in the hands (classically affecting the thumb and first two fingers) especially at night and is often bilateral. Nerve conduction studies (the electric shock test that you had) are very good at evaluating this especially if a part of the test called "palmar studies" were performed which increases sensitivity of picking up mild carpal tunnel syndomes that still may cause pain. So you'll want to ask your physician if that was part of the study. Given your history of neck pain, the pain in your hands could be from a root being compressed in the neck - pain would tend to shoot down the arm to the hands and may feel like electricity (thre is variation). Nerve conduction studies alone may not pick this up unless they also did the needle part of the exam where a small pin in inserted into various muscles of the arm. Other processes affecting the nerves often affect the feet befor the hands, and your neurologic history and exam should have taken this into account. Of course, there are many structures in the hand - tendons, ligaments, bones, etc that can produce painful conditions. But I'm happy given your description, you're being evaluated for a neurologic etiology as well.
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