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Thread: left hand goes numb when sleeping

  1. #1
    kustom made kaskets kook's Avatar
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    left hand goes numb when sleeping

    so when i go to sleep every morning i wake up and my left hand is completely numb, like when your foot falls asleep, i shake it for a bit and it goes away, if i stay in bed it will fall asleep again. now i am slightly concerned since supposedly your left arm is the first place your heart pumps blood to.

    some info about me if it helps powerlifter 280lbs approximately 20%bf

    clean, never used steroids. train 4 days a week, play street hockey, mountain bike, i do heavy work 8 hours a day so its not like im not active.

    also who knows if this has anything to do with anything but i've started to retain a lot of water lately(within the last 2 months) i check my resting heart rate almost every night and it stays constant at 60bpm i would check my bloodpressure at one of those walmart things but my arm sure dont fit in one.
    and i dont have health insurance to go see a doc

    if anybody has some ideas, help out
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  2. #2
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    Man it sucks to be american, no health insurance to see a doc. Anyways I doubt it's anything to worry about, it probably has something to do with your sleeping position maybe if your sleep on your side or something. Just a guess though.
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  3. #3
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    From all that you have said, you sound to be in very good shape. you do not sound like a 250lb weight trainer who bulks constantly on junk and does no cardio. You sound healthy.

    The left arm isnt the first place that the heart fills with blood. It leaves the heart and goes in multiple directions simaltaneously via many different arteries as they all branch of the main aorta.

    it is true that symptoms of heart attacks and heart related illneses can manifest themselves in the left arm but they are acually normally pain...and often in the shoulder. aching, throbbing...pain. And it is there when you are awake.

    Numbness whe you wake up is very common. you are a heavy guy and your arteries that supply the arm are probably under enough pressure from the muscle bulk of your big arms. Laying on your arm when you sleep will undoubtedly make it go numb. I very often wake with numb arms. In actuality the body has a mechanism whereby it will generally roll you over or wake you up if a limb goes numb for a sustained period. which is why you are waking up with the limb numb. its probably been numb for less that 5-10 mins before your body decided to wake you up rather than get tissue necrosis.

    Do you sleep on your side? Are you a heavy sleeper? When you wake with a numb arm...dont move....are you laying on your left side? do you favour your left side in bed? does your right arm ever go numb?

    I wouldnt be worrying about this right now, but im curious to know the answers to the questions. Chill

    Augs
    Last edited by Augury; 06-12-2004 at 07:57 PM.

  4. #4
    kustom made kaskets kook's Avatar
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    thanx for replying..

    lets see yes i do favor my left side when i sleep, i usually only sleep on my sides or on my back. but a few times i have woken up on my left side with it numb only to roll onto my right side and wake up within minutes still laying on my right side but the left arm has gone numb

    once in awhile my right arm will go numb and it is only when i have it stretched out to the side and while i am on my right side
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    interesting.

    do you do a lot of shrugs, trapwork at very heavy weights by any chance?
    have you ever had a neck injury/car crach/whiplash?
    have you ever had any trauma to either or both shoulders? fallen? accidents etc?
    do you have any other medical issues you havent mentioned? high BP? anything really that may be of significance or would you describe yourself as basically very healthy? have you had any bloodwork done recently/ever and was it all clear at the time?

    Just getting the brain turning here...the issue of waking up on your right side with a numb left arm is curious. What do your arms look like? If you lay on your bed in such a position can you feel bloodflow to the left arm altering whilst you are awake? Does it ever happen (the numbness) at any other time during waking hours (like driving a car with the arms on the wheel for example) ?

    Augs

  6. #6
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    um....i just re-read your initial post. the water retention just also fired something off in my head. you say you have been retaining water for a few months? is that condition getting worse? is it quite noticable?

    has your diet changed significantly...especially with respect to salt intake?
    have you had any heart flutters? is the beating rhythmic "lub dub - lub dub"?

    Augs

  7. #7
    Senior Member meltedtime's Avatar
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    Sounds like either carpal tunnel syndrome or a pinched nerve (somewhere between elbow and shoulder). I am experiencing something similiar right now. My right had has been going completely numb at night. My fingertips 'tingle' throughout the day. My hand experiences that numb feeling if overused. I work at a highly repetitive job and believe that it is the root cause. I am booked in to see a neurologist in a weeks time to find out more.

    http://www.ctsplace.com/
    http://www.ninds.nih.gov/health_and_...carpal_doc.htm

    What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
    Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when tendons or ligaments in the wrist become enlarged, often from inflammation, after being aggravated. The narrowed tunnel of bones and ligaments in the wrist pinches the nerves that reach the fingers and the muscles at the base of the thumb. The first symptoms usually appear at night. Symptoms range from a burning, tingling numbness in the fingers, especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers, to difficulty gripping or making a fist, to dropping things. Some cases of carpal tunnel syndrome are due to work-related cumulative trauma of the wrist. Diseases or conditions that predispose to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome include pregnancy, diabetes, and obesity

    Pinched Nerves:
    A nerve can be pinched as it leaves the spine by a herniated disc or by bone spurs that form from spinal arthritis. Another common place for nerves to get pinched is in the carpal tunnel. This is a bottle-neck area in the wrist through which all of the finger flexor tendons and the Median Nerve must pass to get to the hand. Regardless of where the nerve is pinched, in the neck or in the carpal tunnel, the owner of that nerve will often feel similar symptoms of numbness in the hand, because the brain does not know how to tell the difference between the beginning, middle or end of a nerve. It only knows that it isn’t receiving signals from the hand, so thus numbness noted.
    (http://www.spineuniverse.com/conditi...ed_nerve1.html)

    Do a little google searching to find more on CTS and Nerve damage/Injuries. Sounds like what you have.

    melt
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  8. #8
    Equal Opportunity Offender Budiak's Avatar
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    You're too big.

    Chase and I have the same problem, it started when we got big. Lose weight and it'll ease up. I'm 5'4", 205lbs, he's 5'10, 225 lean.Chase's **** starts falling asleep when he tops 220, mine usually starts when I hit 195 or so. When I dip below that weight the problem quickly dissipates. It isn't carpal tunnel, it isn't pinched nerves. You're holding too much mass and it puts pressure on your veins in certain positions.

    Good news: it doesn't happen when you're standing or sitting.

    Bad news: it usually happens in every sleeping position except for flat on the back.

  9. #9
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    it sounds like classic carpal tunnel, but it can be caused by body mass. to a point, budiak is right...back off on your mass and see what happens. i've been diagnosed with cts (friday morning, saw the neurologist and had mega tests...sigh...) in both hands. my primary doc thinks its due to a rapid weight gain over the last 6 months. basically i put on 35lbs of good ole american fast food fat. he ran heart, lung, kidney, liver etc,etc tests and found out i'm a very healthy fat guy. lol. the neuro of course suggested immidiate surgery but my doc is having me wear those carpal braces at night. gotta tell you in the 2 nights ive done it there has been a big difference in the numbness during the day. my hands feel better! bottom line is (for me at least) i have no choice but to drop my fat and get into better shape. you might want to think about using the braces while you trim down a bit and see if you can make it stop. all the braces do is keep your hands from moving and allow any inflamation or pressure points to start healing. let us know how your progress goes. good luck!

  10. #10
    Equal Opportunity Offender Budiak's Avatar
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    The first thing I would do is try to drop bodyfat. I know you're a powerlifter and apparently a superduper heavyweight one at that. With a heartrate of 60bpm at rest you seem to have a pretty healthy cardiovascular system, too. If I were you I would drop my bodyfat to maybe 15% and see if it makes a marked difference in my numbness, I'm sure it will. Your water retention is also a factor, obviously.

    It shouldn't take more than 8 weeks to drop 5% bodyfat, and if you play your diet cards right, you probably won't lose much if any strength...but we're talking about health and ability to rest here.

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    I totally agree with budiak's suggestion of losing some bodyfat. It can ONLY helpy your situation. I see no reason to stop at 15% either...but 5% is a start. Going from 20% to 15% should be pretty straightforwards with your furnace of muscle mass helping you out.

    For you 5% represents 14lbs of fat. Fat takes up a LOT of space compared to muscle. See how you go. The water retention is also going to be putting pressure on your vascular system. I think its important to find out why your water retention has gone crazy the last few months.

  12. #12
    kustom made kaskets kook's Avatar
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    augs...shrugs and trapwork is a no, but i lift heavy twice a week... on bench days which would be bench, tris, shoulders back, then on my squat/deadlift days which is mostly only hams glutes and lower back,

    my right shoulder i ripped out of the socket when i was 17 or so
    i do have scoliosis... i have been going to a chiropractor every month since i was 8.. he can fix almost any problem i have.. elbows ankles toes shoulders.. he keeps me inline

    when i was young i had high cholestorol... but it was before i worked out and trained and after i started training it decreased incredibly to a point where the doctors said he had never seen anything like it in his life

    actually lately my diet has gotten better because i have been trying to lose bf.


    and one more thing budiak... i've actually lived for 5 years at the weight of 350 lbs... and never had this problem... i've been down to 200 lbs so actually 280 is about a happy medium... remember i'm never "too big" you're just "too small" (nice jab in the back )


    but yes definetely i have to lose some bf... i know that.. and hopefully it is the case here, but i guess i have to actually do it to find out

    thanx guys
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  13. #13
    Banned Reinier's Avatar
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    It does sound like you are just lying on it. I get it too sometimes

  14. #14
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    Me too, If i sleep wrong.
    "I do what I got to do to play"

  15. #15
    Equal Opportunity Offender Budiak's Avatar
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    Remember, Kook, I'm over 210 at 5'4" so the 'too small' jab won't work so well on me...but it is appreciated.

    I am more concerned with your muscle mass than fat mass. Were you more muscular at 350 than you are now or were you just fat?

    About your Chiro, did you ask him about it? I'd like to see what he has to say about it. Maybe I could get mine looked at. I woke up about 840 times last night with numb extremities and limbs.

  16. #16
    permanently bulking Titanium_Jim's Avatar
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    You say you have scoliosis. Does your spine curve more to the left side? And did your doctor/chiropractor tell you the angle of the curvature? I have scoliosis myself, a surgery bringing the curvature from a life-threatening more than 90 degrees down to an uncomfortable 37 degrees, but my spine curves to the right side, and when I sleep, since part of the surgery was the right side of my rib cage (one rib was cut off because my spine was so far over they had to reach it from the side first!) when I sleep on my right side my arm falls asleep. On my back or left side, nothing. Also, is one of your lungs significantly bigger than the other from spinal pressure?
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  17. #17
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    I have the same problem, however its not just my hands, but my arm as a whole that falls asleep (from my elbow down). I normally sleep on my back and I know for sure that the numbness in my arms is not due to me sleeping on them. Normally it occurs in my left arm, but I wake up with a numb right arm from time to time as well. This numb sensation does not occur during the day, but only when I'm sleeping. Also, this only just started recently, within a few months. During this time I have started lifting more diligently and I have become stronger/bigger. Any ideas? Btw, I'm 5'8 160 Lbs, approximately 12% BF.

  18. #18
    Beefcake razorcut's Avatar
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    It's not:
    too much weight, too much mass, too much bodyfat, or a spine problem.

    It is:
    Simple positioning of the wrist during sleep. Hard to describe on the board, but make sure you're not sleeping with your wrist in the "limp" postition. Rather, make sure the wrist is positioned where the hand is actually extended up -- "cocked-up" positioning. There are actually braces at pharmacies to keep your wrists in this position if it becomes a huge problem. When sleeping with your wrist flexed (or "limp") you're much more prone to compressing the median and ulnar nerves, thus.....numbness.
    I know you're half-crazy, but I wish you'd go all the way.

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    I get that when I sleep on my arm, it cuts off the nerves/blood or something. I suppose the solution would be to sleep on my back rather than my side.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Teh BDK's Avatar
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    Well, scrote, my whole arm goes numb and it happens in almost any arm position besidse right at my side. Sometimes that position too.

    It also falls asleep when I hold a phone to my ear in any normal human posture. Got a bold type-face for that?


    Kook, how are you doing?

  21. #21
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Man this happens to me every damn night. I always wake up at some god-awful hour with a numb arm.
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  22. #22
    Beefcake razorcut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teh BDK
    Well, scrote, my whole arm goes numb and it happens in almost any arm position
    The original poster's problem was with his hand only.....not his whole arm.
    Quote Originally Posted by Teh BDK
    Got a bold type-face for that?
    Sure: I have no idea what's wrong with you. Numbness in the entire arm is a little more complicated. The most likely problem is still postitioning, but it's not as cut and dry. Can also be a problem higher up, as in the brachial plexus or cervical spine region.
    Last edited by goatscrot; 10-18-2004 at 08:14 AM.
    I know you're half-crazy, but I wish you'd go all the way.

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  23. #23
    Wannabebig New Member
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    You guys are hitting on a topic that is affecting me daily .

    As I've gained mass (5'9" 240 up from 225 ) my hands or usually two or three fingers goes numb when sleeping . During the day it happens sometimes too .

    I know it's from sleeping on my arms in a funny way but I also know it's from gaining some weight . I have noticed that if I use a hot water bottle before bed it sometimes helps it .

    How about if Tryska sleeps next to me and massages me all night long to stop my pain ?
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  24. #24
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    I have this same problem. A friend of mine had it also but it was very serious for him because eventually it did not go away and his hand/forearm would remain numb for hours on end, virtually paralyzing this section of his arm.

    He went to a doctor to have it checked it out, turns out he had to have surgery on his elbow to fix a pinched nerve.

    Your case might not be quite as serious, similar to mine. My problem is I sleep with my arm folded under my pillow and it causes part of my arm to fall asleep randomly throughout the night. If you really want to avoid it try changing how you sleep at night or how you lay. Try sleeping on your back with your arms at your sides. Honestly its too hard for me to change the way I sleep and when I did try it I usually ended up falling asleep at work due to a lack of sleep the night before.

    If the problem persists after a few minutes of waking up and gets serious I would see a doctor. Right now it sounds like we have the same problem with just sleeping on our arms causing circulation to get randomly cut off giving you the pins & needles feeling for a short while.

  25. #25
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    Try stretching your forearm flexors before you go to bed every night. If you are suffering from nerve compression, stretching the flexors of your forearm will help lengthen the tendons. Longer tendons take up less surface area. Less surface area=less chance of compression=less chance of parasthesia's (numbness/tingling feeling).

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