Pain, weakness, severe pain in both arms

by jenmik

Hello. I am 32 yrs. old. I do have rheumatoid arthritis. However, this new symptom, which seems to happen every time I am in bed, and when I wake up in the morning.

I will have numbness from my shoulders down to my fingers. The pain is so intense, and sometimes the numbness is so numb that there is no feeling in my hands/fingers.
When this happens, I try to move my arms, but its like I have no control, and its very very difficult to do. They feel very weak and there is alot of pain.

Sometimes, it will just be from the elbows to the fingers. (And it is the whole hand, and all of the fingers) And somedays, it is from the shoulders to the fingers.

And it is both arms, sometimes at the same time, just with different pain/numbing levels.

This is a very new symptom, which has started about 3 weeks ago, and is happening almost every night/morning. At night, I awake with type of numbing weakness pain. Also, the morning numbness, weakness and pain last for about 20-30 minutes after I am awake.

Any suggestion would be very helpful. Thank you for your time.

Hello Jenmik,
The fact that it's in both arms definitely suggests the need for a thorough examination.

What you describe - in all fingers - points to the strong possibility of a Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The nerve-vascular bundle are pinched by the first rib (st called the First Rib syndrome) often causing symptoms in all fingers.

It can occur bilaterally, but one is then always more concerned about missing something 'central' in nature. I would recommend a neurological consult. If they find nothing, then see your local chiropractor.

If it misses the pinkie, then Carpal Tunnel syndrome is also a possibility.

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Dec 20, 2011
Severe numbness in arms & hands/fingers throb with pain when i wake up every morning
by: Renee'

I wake up in the morning and have severe numbness in both arms down to my fingers. My fingers throb and i can not touch or pick up anything! They are frozen in a position that takes a long time to straighten them. It takes me about 20 minutes to recover after i raise them and try to have the blood flow 'even out'.

It is prevalent in my right arm. It is a scary feeling. It has been going on now for about 3 weeks.In the past i just had a tingly numbness. It is now a concern due to the severity of the symptoms. I had a cervical fusion in 2005. Could there be a problem related to that? I would appreciate any advice. Renee'

Hello Renee,
Oh, you didn't tell me previously that you had a cervical fusion. Yes, I'm afraid it could very much be related to the original problem and the surgery.

I think a good first step would be to see the surgeon who operated on you back in 2005.

I'm not sure if Chiropractic can help you or not. Certainly, I would treat you very cautiously with your history. Which means slow progress, but less likelihood of making the problem worse. Alas that could happen with any treatment.

You might try a home cervical traction unit. I find the lying down ones the best. The research is equivocal, but I find that combined with chiropractic it definitely helps.

Dr B

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