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tingling in both arms
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tingling in both arms

I am experiencing tingling/numbness in both arms at night.  It does not seem to improve when I adjust my sleeping position.  At times, it carries over into the morning, but is much less severe.  There are also times where I raise my arm up to reach something and it will "go to sleep".  I have a history of poor posture, as well as,neck and back concerns, but nothing specific. I have also recently gained some weight and have felt "cold" for about 2 years.  I was tested 2 years ago for hypothyroidism, but came back negative.  The other diagnosis I have considered is TMJ, but since it is both arms, I am not sure.  Do you have any ideas?
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Avatar_n_tn
I cannot give you a clinical diagnosis unfortunately over the internet, but I can give you some pointers

The positional nature of the symptoms, and being worse in sleep, suggest that there may be a pinched nerve. Carpal tunnels syndrome is a pinched nerve at the wrist which can commonly be bilateral and can cause pain in the arms as well.
Alternatively there may be pinched nerve(s) in the neck, especially if you have some arthritis in the neck. A nerve conduction study and needle
EMG study of the arm muscles/nerves could help diagnose these conditions, if they have been present for at least 3 weeks.

Other causes are less likely but could be evaluated vby your doctors such as thoracic outlet syndrome (nerves or arteries pinched at the clavicle area), clogged blood vessels to the arms, an underactive thyroid, diabetes, or other sensory neuropathy. All can be evaluated by your local neurologist.
TMJ does not seem a likely diagnosis.

good luck
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I have had a stiff neck like feeling for about a month now. It started one morning while pulling bundles of newspapers over the front seat of my car from the back seat, it was a saturday when I have 22 bundles in all.
This was on my right side and the pain is kinda pin pointed half way between the outside of my shoulder and my spine. Last weekend I noticed that my right arm and a couple fingers in my right hand were falling asleep. I figured it was time to get something looked at but without insurance I didn't want to go the doctor route, so on Tuesday I decided to go get a massage.
The LMT I went to see did some arm tests and proceeded to massage the area of pain. She said I was all tight and stuff all over the neck and back areas. After all was said and done I made another appointment for Thursday and went back again. She worked the area over again but we were kinda thinking it was more than just a muscle problem.
Then last night sitting here at my computer I noticed something that never dawned on me before. When I slouch forward even a little, thats when my arm and fingers start to go numb, and as soon as I sit up straight it comes back. My conclusion is its time for an MRI (UGH!)
I have always been a sloucher, even way back in school(I'm 42 now) the teachers were always telling me to "sit up straight".
Trying to get to sleep has been the worst, especially after waking up way before its time to get up. From sleeping and not moving the pain and throbbing in my shoulder, arm and back is unbelievable. As I am a person that can not sleep on my back this created an even bigger problem for sleeping. I have to have my arms under my head and pillow, and with this problem I can not put them there. Last night I came up with an idea, I put a camera box that is the same height as my arm off the bed, next to my arm under the pillow. This allowed me to have my arm under my head and pillow but the weight was resting on the box, there was no pressure at all on my arm or shoulder. I have built a proto type device today to market for this purpose. Try the box idea, it will work for you too, it only has to be like 8x8 or so.
I will update you on my next move when it happens, its looks like it will be a trip to the doctors for an MRI.
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Avatar_n_tn
READ UP ON WHAT MSG AND ASPARTAME WILL DO TO YOUR NERVES IF YOU ARE SENSATIVE TO THEM ........IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE
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Avatar_n_tn
MSG AND ASPARTAME CAN CAUSE YOU TO GAIN WEIGHT BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU EAT MORE
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Avatar_n_tn
don't ever sleep on your arms under the pillow with your head on top ,it will  cause the problems you are describing
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Avatar_n_tn
I have ddd/djd in my neck and can get the arm sensations from lying down.  Also, had the going to sleep feeling washing my hair.  I did find that my ergo pillow, (don't know what they really are, but from chiro) was actually making things worse.  That pillow had helped for years, now because of the progression (I guess) it was making matters worse.  I guess the pressure it put on the neck.  So, if you have such a pillow you might want to try a regular pillow.

Have you had an MRI or EMG/NCS?  If not, ask to see a neuro.  If you find out what it is then it can be treated.  :o)
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Avatar_n_tn
check out these thoracic outlet links

TOS info:
http://www.nismat.org/ptcor/thoracic_outlet/
http://tos-syndrome.com/newpage12.htm
http://tos-syndrome.com
http://www.doctorellis.com
http://www.tellmeabouttos.com
http://www.causeof.org/posture_tos.htm
http://intraspec.ca/tos.php
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the EXACT same symptoms as the original poster. I have had the tingling from my shoulder down to my hands now for almost a year. (Perhaps related, I had a whiplash accident a year before the symptoms occurred.) PLEASE, anyone, contact me here or at jimsocalathotmaildotcom if you have ANY ideas how to diagnose or cure this! Especially, you, speechy, if you get any answers, please contact me! I have had problems sleeping now for a year because of this and my doctor is at the end of his rope as far as further ideas. It also is a factor during the day, but not as bothersome. I also have had weight gain that I never had before over this time, but it also could just be my age (52). As for feeling colder, actually I'd say I have felt less cold than I used to; but not sure it is related to this. But our tingling problem is EXACTLY the same. I have even had both arms go completely "dead" - both at the same time - at night a couple times.

My m.d. postulates thoracic outlet syndrome but no tests we've had done have backed it up, except for one simple test he does where I hold my hand up to my side similar to a "swearing allegiance" position and he tests my pulse and finds it lacking.

Anyway, I have had the following tests, none of which showed anything significant:

*nerve conduction studies using electric shocks and needles from my hands up to my neck.
*ultra sound of my arms and hands and shoulders (Twice!)
*mri's of my neck and my back
*xrays of my neck and back

Additionally I've tried using the following to no avail:

*one of those contraptions you sit on and it swings you upside down back and forth, I forget the name right now
*physical therapy - several times
*chiropractic
*Russian medical massage - this actually helped my back and neck but made my tingling sensations worse at times (though they were ALREADY present; it did not CAUSE them)
*egoscue physical therapy -several different therapists and routines
*various exercises given me by all of the above practioners

I am at the end of my rope, I imagine you feel the same way. I will post back here if I ever find an answer and I hope you will too!
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, left arm going numb and tingling was started.
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