Tingling in left arm while sitting/sleeping

I am 35 and have been doing hard labor all my life, concrete/tile ect. Last year during a extremely long and strenuous tile job (hand and knee outstretched all day) I separated my right pectoral from my sternum right below my collarbone.

I have since recovered from that but more recently on a much less strenuous tile job, after it was over, I am noticing arm pain and tingling directly related to my sitting/laying position.

The straighter I sit, it immediately goes numb and as soon as i sit back it relieves. It feels better when laying on it. if i flip over with no pressure, it immediately goes numb. Arm behind my back, lying, does seem to help.

There is no arm pain or loss of movement, until numb/tingly. oh yeah, i've had shingles for about 10 years.

It doesn't help to put arm above head but it also doesn't hurt. Being a contract labor during hard time I of course have no insurance so no one has time or interest in seeing me. PleEEEEEse give some advice. Stretching and banging and massaging it doesn't seem to help, maybe even made it worse?

[Hello Scarlet Fever,
Firstly, the shingles is probably unrelated.

It's a good sign that raising your arm above your head doesn't help (the so-called Shoulder Abduction Relief sign), but does it make the problem worse? Very important. See if raising your arm regularly provokes the tingling.

Go to this Youtube site (unfortunately in Danish or Norwegian, I think) and see if that movement provokes the tingling. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL1-hnQcycI

The nerves to your arm wind around the pectoralis minor tendon and may have been affected by that muscle injury.

You make no mention of neck pain. Turn your head to that side and look up. What happens?

Do this test, and let me know what happens: Upper Limb Tension Test ...

I'm suspecting a condition called a Thoracic Outlet syndrome but treat that with a pinch of salt. Specific tests are needed to make the diagnosis. The plexus of nerves emerging from the neck are irritated in the upper chest/shoulder causing the pain and tingling in the arm.

It's very treatable.

For years you've been saving by not having medical insurance. Now it's time to spend some of that nest egg. I don't have insurance either. Hopefully you have been putting it away for a rainy day!

Find a good chiropractor may be your next step.

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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