Tingling in left arm, pinkie and ring finger go numb

by Dodie

Note the artery and nerves go through the gap.

Note the artery and nerves go through the gap.

Tingling in left arm, pinkie and ring finger go numb

I have numbness in my left pinkie and ring finger when bending my arm. Also a decrease in pulse. I see a chiropractor and sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't. I also feel a burning sensation down that arm. Could it be thoracic outlet?

I also get intense chest discomfort but heart has been ruled out.

Hello Dodie,
Because this radiates very specifically to the C8 dermatome, it's unlikely to be related to any heart condition; that's the good news.

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a possibility because the C8 nerve lies directly on the first rib; are the symptoms worse when working with your arms above your head? Ask your chiropractor to do Adson's test. The subclavian artery and radial pulse in the wrist are then often affected. You don't say which pulse.

Because bending the elbow increases the symptoms, we also have to think of the ulna nerve in the funny bone groove in the elbow; it's very rare, in my experience but should be considered.

Two little tests for you.

1. Turn your head to the left and look up. What happens?

2. Use the search function to find Upper Limb Tension Test at Chiropractic Help. Let me know the result.

Have xrays of your neck been taken? Getting the right diagnosis is important.

Let me know.

Dr B

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Apr 30, 2015
by: Dodie B

Ok. I saw my chiropractor and the initial xrays of my neck when I started to first see him show I have what is called a "Military Neck". It doesn't pivot. I discussed with him what I commented here and it does appear I have some arterial compression going on. I have been doing nerve slide exercises and several others and have stopped laying on my back spending hours on my Kindle with my arms bent. No numbness, and no chest pain issues. Once my insurance kicks in in a few months he will reevaluate me. Thank you.

Hello Dodie,
That's all great news. A military neck, or straightening of the lordosis, is almost always associated with pain; it's pointing to an injury in the spine. But anyway, it's great you're feeling better. Thanks for letting us know.

Dr B

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