Both arms becoming numb.

by Angie

Cervical rib

Cervical rib

Please help. I had a 19 month old son and it seems that ever since he turned a year (He is getting heavy to carry) I have been getting intermitten numbing in my left arm down my ulner nerve into my pinky and ring finger. So, this has been starting for 6 months or so. Recently, about a month and a half ago, the numbing has starting going into my right arm, but not as progressed as in the left arm. I have had like a kink or tight feeling behind my left shoulder, closer to my spind where that bone ends. Almost like it wants to be cracked. I feel like this is where the problem started? I think this may be due to carrying this 29 lb. child around with my left arm because I never had issues with this beforehand. During the day when I am at my computer desk typing the numbing or tingling will start to hurt or bother me, but for the most part during the day the feelings are reduced. At night when I am sleeping is when it bothers me the most. Whenever my arms are slightly elevated. I used to be an arm sleeper on both arms, but since this has started, I try to sleep only on my back otherwise I don't know what to do with my arms so they don't tingle and go numb. It keeps me awake and I am going crazy with those feelings in my arms.

I started to see a chiropractor who has been cracking my back and neck and putting me in a machine that stretches my neck out to relieve pressure in those upper vertebrae. I feel like it helps for a couple of days or maybe one and then I am back at square one. I have been really conscious at night about how I sleep and watching my form so I don't shrug my shoulders when holding my son or I try to use two arms to hold him instead of one; or let him walk when at all possible.

I am wondering what could be causing this and if I am getting the right treatment, as it is costly to go to the chiropractor with high copays. Any suggestions on what I could do or what this is would be greatly appreciated and hopefully this will help someone else out.

Hello Angie,
It certainly sounds like a chiropractic problem, so I think you are doing the right thing. But like always, if you aren't getting significant relief it may be time for a change. Another chiropractor? Your doctor?

Sleeping on your tum with head turned to the side is a real no/no. But on your side with arms in front, under you is usually the best. This condition is usually worse at night so nothing unusual there.

Carry your son as little as possible. His little legs need the exercise! When wailing, let him sit on your lap.

Have you had X-rays? A cervical rib?

I'd be thinking of a Thoracic Outlet Syndrome too, usually caused by a first rib / scalene muscle problem. Ask your chiro if he's done Adson's test.

Any neck pain? Breastbone pain?

Don't carry any heavy parcels in your left arm.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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