hands and arm going numb

I recently started a new job and it involves lifting heavy (40-60 lbs) boxes , using a two wheeler with boxes stacked 6 high and lifting boxes over my head. It also calls for lots of reaching and stretching of the arm to it full length. I had hoped to "get strong" but I am now experiencing my hands going numb and arm tingling at night. It is enough to wake me. If I sleep on my back it lessens. It is usually in my right hand but sometimes in the left also. I am right handed, 125lbs. the shoulder is tender to the touch and i take 500mg Naproxen daily. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Diane

Hello D,
I assume you have no neck pain, and that movements of your neck to not provoke the numbness or tingling in your arm and hands.

Does placing your hand on your head increase or decrease your symptoms? The so-called "Shoulder Abduction Relief" sign.

The most likely cause, though there are several possible diagnoses, is a Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS). Raising your arm closes down the space between the collar bone, the first rib, and two muscles in the neck. It's a condition treated routinely by chiropractors. Occasionally it's complicated by abnormality called a "cervical rib".

Do you also look up when you are raising your arms? Then it could be in your neck.

Which fingers do you get tingling in? If it's from the neck, it tends to go to certain specific fingers, whereas TOS more likely affects the whole hand.

A carpal tunnel syndrome is also a possibility.

Type these terms into the search engine at Chiropractic-Help.com. You'll find lots of info about them.

Taking anti-inflammatory drugs for any length of time can cause serious side effects in the stomach.

The pain in your shoulder may also be significant. Active trigger points in the shoulder muscles may refer down the arms. Rotator cuff syndrome.

If the condition continues, seek the help of a local chiropractor. Ask friends and even your doctor for the name of a competent conscientious DC.

I hope this has contributed.

Dr B

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