View Full Version : Tingly hand

01-23-2007, 05:10 PM
Has anyone had an issue with tingling in their hands? I believe mine is largely work related - I am an attorney and spend lots of time at a desk or keyboard. Recently, I started working at desks and tables where the keyboard is not set in the "ergonomic" position, like those keyboard holders that are at just above lap level. Now, whenever I raise my right arm (right arm only) up to the angle at which I would have it when writing at a desk or typing at a desk or table, my hand begins almost immediately to start tingling. This happens even when I was standing, going through a box of documents on a table and my arm was raised in that angle. It happens when I am cooking - all I have to do is raise my right hand.

What the heck?

It's really started bothering me in the last coule of weeks so I'm trying to be better about keeping my typing position more ergonomic, using my laptop in my lap for instance. So far I have not noticed anything while cycling - but that's my worry - the coincidence being I just started riding again 3 weeks ago.

Anyone have this? Is this a neck thing? Should I be taking anti inflammatories? Looking into workman's comp? (just kidding on that one). But if you've have this I'm curious what helped.

It is not pain at all. It is obvious sharp tingling in my right hand only.

:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

01-23-2007, 05:15 PM
Which fingers? This is important.

01-23-2007, 05:25 PM
Are you using a mouse in the right hand?

Yeah, like SK said, which fingers?

01-23-2007, 05:32 PM
Most conscious of it in the finger next to the little finger and the middle finger. I do use a mouse in the right hand at the office only. 1 day a week max.

Also - and I should have mentioned this but I didn't think of it til just now (DUH) and it may not be related: I get a cracking in my elbow like something is loose in there. Most obviously when I do push ups (so I've stopped that nonsense). I have never "injured" my elbow. But it will crack VERY occasionally when straightened or bent. The left one does not do that.

01-23-2007, 05:49 PM
c7-c8 neurological level (yah, there are only 7 cervical vertebrae, but 8 neuro levels) Any history of neck injury?

Hand goobers can be referred from neck, shoulder, or elbow (or be caused by something at the hand)

Sounds like ulnar nerve. Which is usually pinky and ring finger, but on some folks includes one side of the middle finger.

I'm betting it's not carpal tunnel, since that's generally median nerve (thumb and first 2 or 3 fingers)

Could be compression of the Tunnel of Guyon from resting on the heel of your hand on the bars of your bike.

I'd go pay a visit to a PT so they can figure out where it's coming from and how to fix it.

01-23-2007, 05:57 PM
I am not a medical professional, but i have had the same symptoms that were in my case caused by me slouching too far forward. This forward slouch stretches those nerves that go around your shoulder and on the outside of your elbow and down to your fingers. Get your shoulders back. There are a zillion exercises to help you do this. Look in the mirror, stick your chest out, and put your shoulders back.
Bicycling unfortunately adds to the fun, because it's forward posture too.
While sitting, get on your sitbones and straighten your back.
Good luck, this is hard work and it has taken me years to fight my very long-term slouching habit to the point that I no longer have the tingly fingers.
Don't get me wrong, I am still fighting slouch.

01-23-2007, 06:13 PM
Thanks you guys! Knot, I really appreciate the cspine level analysis - you're a pro.

No history of neck injury. I did have lower back pain from a bike crash a year ago - but that seems to have resolved.

Ring finger - that's what it is. Duh. I don't have a ring on my right hand so I didn't think to call it that. It's the tip of the ring finger more than anything.

Okay, I will see my doctor about seeing a PT. She doesn't know what to do with me, in general. :cool: Maybe I will just go straight to my PT friend.

Oh, and I really don't slouch. But I'll try to be more conscious of that. :) Mimi, you'll have me looking 10 pounds thinner....

01-23-2007, 07:40 PM
I agree with Knott 100% and would like to add a bit. Becuase the tingling is fairly isolated it is likely related to imingement at the neck level (most likely between C6 and C7). It's more common to get a C5-C6 level impingement from slouching and based on what you've said this is not as likely to be an issue. What's interesting is that it comes on quickly when you raise your arm. This would lead me to think that there is some sort of biomechanical issue that is contributing to the problem, such as excessive movement at C6-7 compensating for something in you upper back is not moving well. The other possibility is that your getting nerve pressure in your neck area from excessive tightness of some of the muscles of your neck (the scalenes in particular). Either way, it needs to be looked at by a PT or similar, (I'm not a big fan of Chiropractic but I will often recommend a Doctor of Osteopathy, DO for short).

Good luck with it all. And don't leave it too long before you get it checked!

01-23-2007, 08:08 PM
Yes, MP, off to the doc. I have ulnar compression problems in the ring and little fingers. It shows up when I have my arms bent for long periods. That's way I asked about which fingers.

Try not to scare the docs again, OK?

01-24-2007, 04:48 PM
I just got a nerve conduction study done for exactly that sort of tingling, except mine went/still goes down into that side of my palm. The verdict was ulnar nerve impingement. I was told to get the @#%$*!! off my elbow and side of my hand.

Does your chair have armrests? Are you resting the elbow/ulnar nerve on them? That could be a part of the problem. The doc talked about what he called "architect's hand" (or something similar - don't look it up, I think it's his own private terminology), where people, like architects have this problem 'cause they rest the sides of their hands on a hard surface to draw in all those lovely little bricks in their fancy drawings.

My chair at work is now without armrests, and I am typing right now with an elbow pad between me and the armrest on my chair at home. It's taken a month or so, but most of the tingling has gone away.

The doc told me to take a long rest under a tropical palm tree somewhere and the problem would go away on its own. I laughed in his face 'cause he forgot to say that he'd pay for it.

BTW, the nerve conduction study: If you have access to an electric fence, just grab onto that - it will feel about the same - except it will be much cheaper.

01-24-2007, 04:55 PM
I doubt anyone could pay me enough to go through a nerve conduction study...

01-24-2007, 05:12 PM
Nerve conduction study and spinal tap. Had 1 each. More than enough for a lifetime.

MomOnBike - I was told that I needed to keep my elbow from being bent at right angles for long periods. Changing this habit changed the tingling almost immediately.

01-24-2007, 05:24 PM
Yeah, I know. Thing is, I type, and type, and type, and ... you get the idea ... for a living. You see, I have a daughter at one of those expensive schools that everyone's heard of. I need the bucks, or I'd quit at least one of my jobs. :rolleyes:

I don't really have much choice, my elbow is going to be bent for at least three and a half more years. Bleh.

01-24-2007, 05:50 PM
I used to get tingling in my ring finger and pinky if I slept too long with my elbow sharply bent. I'd wake up in the night with bad tingling and numbness on the side I'd been sleeping on with my elbow bent (sometimes right side, sometimes left). It would also tingle during the day at work at times (I'm on the computer all day).

I did some research online and diagnosed myself with cubital tunnel syndrome (ulnar nerve entrapment). I bought a special foam pillow that is shaped properly to support the neck of side sleepers so that I wouldn't have to bend my arm up to support my head while I was sleeping. I also made a concerted effort to sleep with my arms as straight as possible, based on the recommendations I read online. Problem solved! (This all happened around 2 years ago and has not recurred.)

I mentioned all this to my physician at my annual physical, and she was impressed. She agreed with my diagnosis and what I did for it, and she advised so long as the problem did not recur, to just keep that up. So, it might not be what you are doing during the day at all, but what you do when you sleep!

Hope this helps,

01-25-2007, 09:25 AM
Interesting stuff!

Sorry about the having to type Mom on Bike- I hear you on that!

Emily - I actually do have athermarest pillow (shaped like you describe) and a thermarest bed. And I don't sleep on that side. So it's something I'm doing when I'm awake.

My lap top's in my lap now - which makes things feel better. (And it's warm!)

01-27-2007, 03:42 PM
Gee, I wish I knew about you ladies a few years ago...
MomOnBike - yup i've had a nerve conduction study too - because I grumbled to my neurologist (seeing him for then out of control migraines) about my thumb hurting. Thought he'd order an x-ray, but NO he thinks conductivity not structural, thus the study. Results, hand works fine, probably arthritis, here is some arthritis meds. Still haven't had that x-ray.

Maillotopois - I pinched the ulnar nerve in my hand on a long bike ride, didn't realize it at the time, but discovered the lack of function. Could wave "bye-bye" but couldn't do the "Vulcan hand sign" thing. Anyway we figured out I was riding in my drops too much and putting pressure on the side of my hand, the base of the pinky area. Doc (different one, and this one commutes by bike) gave me a wrist brace and sent me to my bike mechanic for another fit test & adjustment, and to have my handle bars corked. Got dubbed "witch blade" for a whole MS Tour training season thanks to riding with the brace, which kept me out of the drops.

So if you're riding, you might check hand position, and have your handle bars corked. Also maybe new riding gloves?

The rest on a beach wouldn't be bad either. Although until you figure out what you're doing to aggrivate the condition, and fix that, you'll need regular "therapy" trips :D.

Running Mommy
01-27-2007, 07:08 PM
I had a WICKED case of "cyclist palsy" after IMAZ last year. Compressed ulnar. My left hand was the worst, but both side were affected. Gripped the aerobars too tight was my doctors guess. To this day I still have issues with it, but not near as bad as last spring. My left hand was like a claw and I couldnt put all my fingers together (think: to wave). It made swimming a nightmare because it was hard to pull.
So now I'm very careful if I feel a tingly sensation in either hand/arm.