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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Hands and arms feel numb and tingly when I drive

   
Author Topic: Hands and arms feel numb and tingly when I drive
Shanna
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Over the last few weeks I've noticed that my hands, particularly my right but sometimes my left, will sort of go numb while I'm driving. I'll go a few days without any problems and then it'll happen on the way to or from work. Sometimes I can shake it out and it goes away, and other times the sensation will travel up my arm. Its not severe enough where I can't drive or am forced to pull over. Its more uncomfortable and distracting.

Its not quite the sensation of when a limb goes to sleep. Its not the full numbness like when you fall asleep on your arm. And there's no sharp prickling sensation when I shake it out. It feels more like I'm hanging from the monkey bars. The backs of my hands will feel puffy (though there's no outward change.) Adjusting my grip doesn't make a difference, though moving my hands to the bottom of the steering wheel helps, though its not the safest way to drive.

It doesn't happen during any other activity so I'm not eager to take time off of work to visit my doctor and then cough up the deductible. I tried looking online and I see suggestions of carpal tunnel, a vitamin deficiency, or a pinched nerve (could it be solved with a massage?)

Has anyone experienced this or maybe give me some suggestions before I suck it up and go bother my doctor?

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Stray
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No suggestions, but I get that sometimes too, usually just on longer drives (more than 20-25 minutes). I usually just move that hand (and it happens more with the right hand with me also) to the bottom of the steering wheel until it lessens.
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Armoth
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It might be a poor blood-flow issue.

In general, do your hands get cold more easily than other people? Do you always hold the steering wheel the right way?

It's possible you don't have the greatest circulation.

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ClaudiaTherese
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Do your lips ever feel numb and tingling, too, or just your hands?
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Shanna
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No numbness in my lips. My hands are alittle colder than some but not nearly as bad as some of my friends. I've had some off-and-on trouble in the past with anemia but its pretty borderline and is usually solved with some spinach or a burger. I had good blood pressure numbers two weeks ago at an OBGYN visit.

I hold the steering wheel at 10 and 1. This make my hands level with my shoulders. I'd lower my steering wheel more if I could.

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rivka
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Can you raise the seat and/or get it closer to the wheel?
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ClaudiaTherese
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Has your blood pressure tended to run low in the past?

---

eta: off to bed. best of luck

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AvidReader
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Interesting, Shanna. A couple times at work I've had a bit of numbness in my fingers. It starts with the pinky, like it fell asleep except with no pressure on it. Then it wanders up to the middle finger and stops there.

It's only done it twice, so I assumed I'd pinched a nerve. Interesting to see it could be the cold hands in play. I may have to start wearing my gloves in the office again. [Smile]

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Tatiana
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I have a problem with my right hand getting numb when I get tired. It started with my right hand and foot both being numb and tingly for about 4 days after I got back from a tiring work trip. I ignored it for 3 days but when it was still there on day 4 I called the doctor and he said I should come in to get it checked. He tested me and said my grip wasn't weakened but it did feel to me as though my hand was weaker. I dropped a drink cup two or three times during that 4 days, for instance.

They put me in the hospital and did an MRI of the head to test for stroke. It was negative. They did a nerve conduction study on that hand and it was negative. The foot cleared up while I was in the hospital but the hand continued to be numb on and off ever since. It happens particularly when I'm exhausted as I often am. I shake and shake it when it's numb, because it feels as though it's asleep from lack of blood flow. It feels just like that. But shaking doesn't seem to help at all. Still I catch myself shaking it a lot without even noticing I'm doing it.

I had a TEE done since my neurologist sort of bullied me into doing it. It was negative except my heart is thickened from high blood pressure, they said, and put me on stronger high blood pressure medicine.

In the meantime I quit being able to work because of general fatigue and sickness from my auto-immune degenerative inflammatory disorder (Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Immune Deficiency). Since then I get about 14 hours of sleep a night and it's not bothered me lately. On rare occasions I might sleep only 4 - 6 hours and then it comes back. Very odd.

I've decided it's something to do with the inflammation. Maybe it's MS or something. Who knows. It's either neurological, or else it's circulation, or carpal tunnel, or just some vague inflammation thing like carpal tunnel only not it exactly. My nerve conduction study made it feel better for a long while, oddly enough. I've wanted to go get zapped again every time it happens and see if that fixes it. It's not a terrible symptom but it's annoying and makes me clumsy, so I wish I could find a way to make it go away.

I've wanted to do a study and write a paper for a long while on the therapeutic effects of diagnostic procedures. I read just recently that depression gets better from getting any sort of care for it at all, but it doesn't seem to make any difference whether people take medicine, see a professional, or just talk about it with a good friend. My dad swore his MRI fixed his back. =) I think this and painsharing and the placebo effect which meta-studies have shown doesn't exist but lots of doctors believe in, are all related in some way.

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