Pain, Pulsating, and Tingling in left arm.

by Misty

C6 dermatome

C6 dermatome

Pain, Pulsating, and Tingling in left arm.

What is this pulsating in my elbow, and tingling in left arm and thumb and fore finger with pain? I really feel it when I bend over at the refrigerator. It is worse when I sit down; raising my arm above my head does help a little. My arm is weak.

Hello Misty,
The thumb and forefinger belong very specifically to the C6 dermatome and, if raising your arm relieves it, that's called the Should Abduction Relief sign. You can find out more about it by typing that into the Site Search function at Chiropractic Help.

It's significant, painful and if your arm is going weak, you can't ignore it. I wish I could tell you that one little click of your neck will fix it; it probably won't.

Get some xrays of your neck, including obliques, and start hunting for an experienced local chiropractor. Don't expect miracles. The alternative is a consultation with the man with the knife, and that won't be miraculous either.

Don't carry heavy things with your left arm, and avoid turning to the left and then looking up.

A home cervical traction unit may help, though the research is weak.

The pulsating feeling is more complex; it's either a separate problem (and an unusual one at that) or what's called a thoracic outlet syndrome; the artery and nerves to your arm pass through a narrow space in the neck. I'd ask you medical doctor; soon. Thrombosis in the arm is not common, but happens. Is your arm swollen?

Dr B

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