Numbness + Tingling Down the Arm

NUMBNESS + TINGLING || Dr. Libby is up to bat! A common complaint that enters the office is numbness & tingling down the arm & into the hand. This can be very alarming for patients because this symptom can be related to many things, including some scary ones like a disc injury or even heart attack. Most commonly, it has to due with an area of musculoskeletal nerve entrapment. In these cases, the nerve is being compressed by muscle which creates the radiating N + T.

 More specifically, if you are experiencing N + T on the side & back of the outer arm down to the elbow area, the muscles on the top & inside of the shoulder blade are creating the compression. What causes these muscles to get so tight? More often than not, it occurs from poor posture relating to poor muscle recovery, whether from workouts that focus on the front of the chest & tops of the shoulders or overuse from work, leading to something called Upper Cross Syndrome. The muscles involved in the compression are the Trapezius, Levator Scapulae & Rhomboids.

Patients w/ poor posture & subsequent Upper Cross Syndrome (later post to follow) place a lot of tension on these muscles. Their shoulders cave inwards, there is flexion in the mid spine & their head leans forward which places high stress on this area. It stretches out & overworks these muscles & usually they are stuck in these positions for long lengths of time. This places long standing compression on nerves which then creates the N + T. Similarly, workouts heavy in chest and shoulder without active muscle recovery methods can also experience this.

Thursday, Dr. Shanele will show you a simple trick to help reduce the N + T by working in to these muscles, until you can get in with your favorite doctor. Check in on social media to see the videos!

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