Thumb and Pointer finger tingles, knot in neck and shoulder

by Brooke
(Fairfax VA)


Active 27 y.o. female. Lots of shoulder movement -rock climbing, tennis, softball.

Two weeks ago, after a busy wedding weekend of travel and dancing, I had a very stiff neck/shoulder/trapezius. Couldn't get the knot out with any amount of stretching or rolling. I started to get numbness and tingling radiating down my left arm to my elbow. A couple days later it traveled to my left pointer finger and thumb, where it remains. Continue to have some posterior forearm muscles tingle as well. Heat such as a scalding shower or heating pad gives temporary relief.

My question is do you think this is a pinched nerve and if so where?

Also do you have any suggestions for stretches or targeted lacrosse ball rolling spots?

Would you suggest finding a chiropractor in my area? (just moved to Fairfax VA). Or a sports masseuse? I'm a big fan of "good healing pain".

I appreciate any feedback greatly! Thank you kindly for your time.

Hello Brooke,
I'm afraid it does look like an irritated nerve as it belongs very specifically to the C6 dermatome.

There are a couple of tests you can do to confirm this.

1. Turn your head to the left and then look up. What do you feel? This is called Spurling's test.

2. With the help of a friend, do the upper limb tension test. Again what happens?

If either of these are positive, I'd get an x-ray of your cervical spine taken, including 'obliques'.

This is a condition that most chiropractors would be treating on a daily basis, but I can't promise you that a few clicks and it will be gone; it can be stubborn particularly if you leave it long.

You don't sleep on your tum by any chance? That will cause it.

I hope this helps.

Dr B


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» Thumb and Pointer finger tingles, knot in neck and shoulder




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