upper arm discomfort and tingling thumb

by Jackie
(Lincoln UK)

Hello, Five weeks ago i reached down for the shower to rinse my hair and i got a really horrible feeling in my neck/shoulder,

i took pain killers and over the course of two/three weeks the pain went , but then i started getting muscle spasm in my upper arm and my thumb went numb and it has been like this since ,

if i sit with my arm relaxed and slightly forward the muscle in the top of my arm, not my bisep starts to feel strange and then i get tingling down from there and the forearm and in my thumb, my tip of the of the thumb hasen't regained full feeling for almost two weeks although i do think its easing off .

Any idea what i have may have done ?

Thank you

Hello Jackie,
Certainly a nerve entrapment / irritation syndrome. What's good is that it is slowly improving.
Never wash your hair in a basin, the shower is the place.
There are several places where the nerve could be affected. In the nerve root, in which case raising your arm above your head may likely relieve the tingling.
Or by the first rib, in which raising your arm may increase the tingling.
Or somewhere in your arm as well.
Do the Upper Limb Tension Test at C-H, and let me know what happens. Use the SiteSearch function. Adson's test for a "First rib syndrome" aka Thoracic Outlet syndrome, is rather difficult to do. It takes a lot of experience to do objectively.
Give it another week, not carrying anything heavy in that arm, and looking out for weakness and numbness in the arm. The triceps is most often affected. Avoid turning to the side and looking up.
Potentially this is a serious problem. It may resolve on its own with some common sense homecare, but if it doesn't, don't wait, get to see a local chiropractor. X-rays of your neck may be necessary.
Read the Pinched nerve in neck page at C-H.

Good luck, let us know in a few weeks how things progress.

Dr B

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Mar 21, 2013
flu shots and numbness in hand and fingers
by: Anonymous

Numbness in hand and fingers after flu shots

I had a flu shot and a few days later, my shoulder, arm and hands started bothering me. My shoulder got stiff and my fingers are stiff and won't bend very good. It usually hurts at night when I lay on that side and my hand goes numb. Could the way the shot was given be the cause? It spread to my other shoulder but I barely notice it and that side is not tingly and numb. Can you give me some advice about this.

My best advice is to contact your doctor who gave you the shot. Vaccinations do occasionally have severe side effects, and it's best you ask his/her advice.

It will probably pass, but if the numbness gets worse, and particularly if you start to feel weakness then it's essential you immediately make a medical contact.

Personally, I'm not in favour of flu shots except in exceptional circumstances, and perhaps you are one. Very occasionally they cause Guillain Barre syndrome. The cardinal signs are: "sudden onset of tingling in arms and hands and legs, usually starting in the legs, and then quite profound weakness." It's most uncommon, so don't go assuming you have GBS. But also don't dismiss it.

Go from Flu shots and numbness in hand and fingers to Chiropractic Conditions often treated…

Jan 08, 2013
upper arm discomfrot and tingling thumb
by: Jackie

Thank you for your reply , i can't seem to find where to read your advise maybe i am not looking in the right place, also how do i do the test sorry if this sounds dumb, i clicked on your pictures and tried to sign into facebook as it suggests but it keeps saying my email and password are wrong.

Sorry, I should have been more specific. At Chiropractic-Help.com you'll find at the top a SiteSearch button. Click on it and type in ULTT.

Hope this works for you.

Dr B

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