So, sometimes I have temporary paralysis of a finger or sometimes even my whole hand, along with slight pain in my forearm. After a few minutes, it goes away. However, I'm still concerned. Can anyone help me?
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A numbness or paralysis in fingers and forearm that comes and goes is usually due to spinal nerve compression. This can happen due to overuse of computers, work involving straining of neck, herniated disc, canal stenosis, bone disease, spondylosis, poor posture etc. A MRI of the cervical spine and nerve conduction studies may be required. Please consult a neurologist. The treatment is to remove the compression. You have to discuss the best treatment option with a neurologist, which can range from medication to physiotherapy to traction, cervical collars or even surgery. Alternatively you can visit a chiropractor or a physical therapist and learn some exercises which you can do to relieve the compression.
This can also be due to carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel (at your wrist through which the median nerve passes) changes its size depending on the position of the wrist. It’s widest when wrist and hand are straight in line. When the hand is bent up or down, the tunnel becomes slightly smaller. This then presses on the nerve which then causes a pain right up to the elbow. Often proper working style, working without bending wrist, using smooth movements to operate the mouse and key pad, and relaxing the joints of finger, wrist and arm in between helps. A wrist support or arm support too helps and you have computer chairs with support for your spine and arm. Application of ice pack, anti-inflammatory drugs, wearing wrist braces, stretching and strengthening exercises when the pain subsides and modification of the way you click mouse goes a long way in avoiding further injury and treating the present symptoms. Try these tips. Maybe you should consult an occupational therapist and lean proper use of mouse, key pad and proper positioning of body while using computers. Also if your work involves use of wrist then an occupation therapist can guide you as to how to use it best. Pinched nerves in forearm too can be a possibility. The other possibility is a peripheral artery disease. Duplex ultrasound or color dopplars may be required for this. It can also be transient ischemic attacks or mini strokes or TIA. Hence if you can consult your PCP earlier, it will be really good. I would strongly recommend you consult a neurologist. It is difficult to comment beyond this at this stage. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
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