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Occasional numbness, right hand
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sp00ki


Apr 7, 2011, 2:36 PM
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Occasional numbness, right hand
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I've recently started having occasional numbness in my right hand. It's usually triggered by something; for instance, sleeping on my stomach with my hands under my pillows* (i've slept this way all of my life with no problems). Other things, like leaning on my right elbow (while at a desk, for instance) can start to cause the same thing. It's a somewhat new issue, so i don't quite have a comprehensive list of triggers.
What i can say, though, is that it's only on the right side, and goes away in two or three seconds once i re-adjust my hand.

I do recall something similar when i FIRST started climbing. It only ever happened while sleeping (on my stomach, arms under pillow), but went away after a month or so.

I don't know if this is directly related to climbing or not, but i have been in "training mode" for the past three months.
My schedule is about five days a week of climbing. My weeks mostly consist of three days of bouldering amd two days of sport climbing in the gym, with sessions lasting 3-4 hours. Sessions always end with hard bouldery traverses to failure, and some fingerboard work.
Outdoors is obviously different; For instance, Sunday was spent at the Gunks climbing one or two pitch routes from about 11AM to about 6PM.

So you know, i have no reason to correlate the issue ith climbing other than that i have never experienced this before EXCEPT when i first started climbing.
Other than that, hand numbness is pretty unfamiliar to me.

Your thoughts?

*note: i've since started sleeping on my back, which i f***ing hate.


(This post was edited by sp00ki on Apr 7, 2011, 2:37 PM)


Partner supersonick


Apr 7, 2011, 2:56 PM
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Re: [sp00ki] Occasional numbness, right hand [In reply to]
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You might have a bulging disk in your neck that is pinching a nerve leading to your right hand. I think some people call it "belayers neck". I had this, and it was completely fixed for me by using belay glasses:

http://www.powernplayusa.com/


(This post was edited by supersonick on Apr 7, 2011, 2:57 PM)


sp00ki


Apr 7, 2011, 3:14 PM
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Re: [supersonick] Occasional numbness, right hand [In reply to]
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What other symptoms are there for a bulging disk?


Partner supersonick


Apr 7, 2011, 4:15 PM
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Re: [sp00ki] Occasional numbness, right hand [In reply to]
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Well there was some discomfort in my neck, but mostly I felt it through my left arm and left hand - tingling and numbness. It was made much worse by craning my neck back at all (belaying), and it was affected by my sleep position. Basically you have these disks between your vertebrae, and one of them was bulging out of place for me and pinching my radial nerve. The position of my neck and upper back would greatly affect the severity.


onceahardman


Apr 7, 2011, 7:16 PM
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Re: [supersonick] Occasional numbness, right hand [In reply to]
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I don't like disc injury for this one. A disc injury would not be affected by leaning on one's elbow.

I think a nerve compression syndrome, like a carpal tunnel or an ulnar compression or others that are probably not even named.

Next time it happens, pay attention to exactly where you feel the numbness, ie which fingers, palm side or dorsal side, etc.

The good news is, many of the symptoms can probably be avoided simply by sleeping in non-provocative postures, and not leaning on your elbows.

Annoyingly, things like this creep up on you as you age. Just manage it.

you might find this useful or interesting:

http://classes.kumc.edu/.../nerves/nervderm.htm


(This post was edited by onceahardman on Apr 7, 2011, 7:20 PM)


MS1


Apr 7, 2011, 7:46 PM
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Re: [sp00ki] Occasional numbness, right hand [In reply to]
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sp00ki wrote:
I've recently started having occasional numbness in my right hand. It's usually triggered by something; for instance, sleeping on my stomach with my hands under my pillows* (i've slept this way all of my life with no problems). Other things, like leaning on my right elbow (while at a desk, for instance) can start to cause the same thing. It's a somewhat new issue, so i don't quite have a comprehensive list of triggers.
What i can say, though, is that it's only on the right side, and goes away in two or three seconds once i re-adjust my hand.

I do recall something similar when i FIRST started climbing. It only ever happened while sleeping (on my stomach, arms under pillow), but went away after a month or so.

I don't know if this is directly related to climbing or not, but i have been in "training mode" for the past three months.
My schedule is about five days a week of climbing. My weeks mostly consist of three days of bouldering amd two days of sport climbing in the gym, with sessions lasting 3-4 hours. Sessions always end with hard bouldery traverses to failure, and some fingerboard work.
Outdoors is obviously different; For instance, Sunday was spent at the Gunks climbing one or two pitch routes from about 11AM to about 6PM.

So you know, i have no reason to correlate the issue ith climbing other than that i have never experienced this before EXCEPT when i first started climbing.
Other than that, hand numbness is pretty unfamiliar to me.

Your thoughts?

*note: i've since started sleeping on my back, which i f***ing hate.

It sounds very similar to my experience in my first year of climbing, when I discovered that the combo of lots of typing, climbing, and road biking is an ideal recipie for carpal tunnel syndrome. I'm not saying that's what you have, but you should get checked out by a neurologist; if it is CTS, the nerve damage can become permanent if left untreated and lead to loss of finger strength and coordination (or so my doc told me). I had the surgery two years ago and was pleased with the results, once things were healed up.


sp00ki


Apr 8, 2011, 8:13 AM
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Re: [MS1] Occasional numbness, right hand [In reply to]
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That's what i was thinking initially, but the research i've done over the past few days has ruled that out; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome leaves the pinky unaffected (pinky is not numb; other fingers are).
In my case, however, the numbness is primarily in the pinky, ring and middle finger.

(correct me if i'm wrong, by the way)


MS1


Apr 8, 2011, 8:17 AM
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sp00ki wrote:
That's what i was thinking initially, but the research i've done over the past few days has ruled that out; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome leaves the pinky unaffected (pinky is not numb; other fingers are).
In my case, however, the numbness is primarily in the pinky, ring and middle finger.

(correct me if i'm wrong, by the way)

For me it varied, and sometimes the whole hand would go numb (especially at night), but usually the numbness and tingling were especially bad in the thumb, pointer and middle fingers. Regardless, I'd still get it checked out by a doc if it persists.


chadnsc


Apr 8, 2011, 8:57 AM
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Re: [sp00ki] Occasional numbness, right hand [In reply to]
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I have to agree with oncehardman on this one, it sounds like a type of nerve compression syndrome. Both my father and father in law suffer from this and what you're describing sounds like their symptoms.

Please keep in mind that this is simply my second hand opinion and nothing more. I hope you get this figured out and relive the discomfort.

Good luck.


sp00ki


Apr 8, 2011, 9:00 AM
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Re: [onceahardman] Occasional numbness, right hand [In reply to]
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onceahardman wrote:
I don't like disc injury for this one. A disc injury would not be affected by leaning on one's elbow.

I think a nerve compression syndrome, like a carpal tunnel or an ulnar compression or others that are probably not even named.

Next time it happens, pay attention to exactly where you feel the numbness, ie which fingers, palm side or dorsal side, etc.

The good news is, many of the symptoms can probably be avoided simply by sleeping in non-provocative postures, and not leaning on your elbows.

Annoyingly, things like this creep up on you as you age. Just manage it.

you might find this useful or interesting:

http://classes.kumc.edu/.../nerves/nervderm.htm

I missed this post.
I'll keep track of the numbness and update soon... thanks.


altelis


Apr 8, 2011, 4:12 PM
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Re: [onceahardman] Occasional numbness, right hand [In reply to]
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onceahardman wrote:
I don't like disc injury for this one. A disc injury would not be affected by leaning on one's elbow.

I think a nerve compression syndrome, like a carpal tunnel or an ulnar compression or others that are probably not even named.

Next time it happens, pay attention to exactly where you feel the numbness, ie which fingers, palm side or dorsal side, etc.

The good news is, many of the symptoms can probably be avoided simply by sleeping in non-provocative postures, and not leaning on your elbows.

Annoyingly, things like this creep up on you as you age. Just manage it.

you might find this useful or interesting:

http://classes.kumc.edu/.../nerves/nervderm.htm

My vote's for ulnar compression- the sleep and elbow triggers are pretty spot on for ulnar compression.

spooki, hard to describe exactly without being there, but if you flex your elbow and feel the bulge on the pinky side of your elbow joint, you should be able to also feel a little rope-like thing running just above there. If you play around in that space you'll probably start getting a little numbness/tingling/pain.

I have this problem, and I will say that I wasn't able to localize it when the symptoms occurred "naturally". I would wake up and MY WHOLE DAMN ARM felt numb. Wasn't until trying some specific tests on myself that I was able to pin-point which nerve...


sp00ki


Apr 9, 2011, 10:11 AM
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Two things i noticed today:
1) I was making a protein drink with breakfast which i prepare by shaking vigorously in a small jar for about thirty seconds (right hand). By the end of the thirty seconds, i began to notice numbness in the ring finger area. When i stopped, it went away. I proceeded to continue shaking, and the numbness returned (albeit more mildly).

2) As i typed this, i started noticing mild numbness in my right hand (ring and pinky primarily). My keyboard setup at home is different than at work in that while typing my forearm muscle is resting on the surface of the desk (as opposed to elbows or any other parts) acting almost as a cushion for the rest of my arm, if that makes any sense.
When i lift my arm to type, the numbness subsides pretty quickly. However, when i return my arm to the desk to type, it's back within thirty seconds or so.

I don't think i've noticed this before; it's definitely something new. Based on what i've seen today, it almost seems like there's some relationship to my right forearm muscle (flexed when shaking the jar; compressed while typing).
My climbing partner bailed on me last night, so i ended up bouldering with my girlfriend (second bouldering day in a row; not out of the ordinary, but i thought i might mention it).


(This post was edited by sp00ki on Apr 9, 2011, 12:13 PM)


natrajk


Apr 9, 2011, 3:39 PM
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Re: [sp00ki] Occasional numbness, right hand [In reply to]
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A couple of year ago I developed symptoms very similar to what you are describing. I would suffer from occasional numbness. Often during night, but sometimes while climbing also (scary!).
I continued training until one day both my forearms felt very strange. It was like continuous state of post training fatigue. At that point I more or less had to quit climbing but continued to go to work as normal. I do a lot of typing at work, and my arms felt really bad most of the time.

The result of this was that i basically had to quit climbing for almost 4 years, and was really worried about not being able to work. Recently my condition has improved to the point where I can do some climbing again (even went on a week long vacation), but I doubt that I can start training seriously again anytime soon.

Based on what several doctors, neurologists, physiotherapists have said I believe that the numbness was a symptom of nerves being pinched either in the upper back or in my wrists (or both). The reason this happened was probably a combination of way to much typing (working too much) and climbing too much at the same time.

So what would I do differently if I knew then what I now know?
First of all, when I developed the symptoms I should have taken it more seriously and reduced the amount of training to a minimum (maybe light climbing once a week).
Next thing would be to find a more ergonomically correct way to do my work.

Had I done that I think I would have been away from climbing for a few months instead of a few years.

My advice to you is to take this seriously. Losing a couple of weeks training doesn't mean anything in the long run. Figure out how to put less strain on your arms and shoulders while you are typing (experiment with different keyboards, mice etc.). Once you feel that the symptons are going away, you can increase the amount of training.

Remember, this was based on my own experience. You know your own situation better than I do.

Good luck!
K


sp00ki


Apr 10, 2011, 4:26 PM
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That is just about the scariest thing you could've written.

:(


natrajk


Apr 10, 2011, 4:45 PM
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Sorry about that sp00k, now I feel bad...

Like I said, that's what happened to me, but it doesn't mean it will happen to you.

I am pretty certain that if I had cut back on my training regimen and/or found a better posture at work, this wouldn't have happened. I think that the numbness was an early symptom that would have disappeared quickly had I taken it more seriously. I wrote my post to tell you how bad it can get, but it doesn't have to get that bad in your case. Just be cautious and listen to your body.

You'll be all right in no time!

Best
K


sp00ki


Apr 10, 2011, 4:47 PM
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Re: [natrajk] Occasional numbness, right hand [In reply to]
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No, don't worry-- i appreciate it. I probably shouldn't just assume that it's not a potentially serious issue.

I think i'm going to get it checked out this week.

Bright side is, i had no symptoms today (though, i climbed from like 11:30 to 4:30, so i didn't really have much time to do the things that usually cause it).


sp00ki


Apr 18, 2011, 8:04 AM
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Re: [onceahardman] Occasional numbness, right hand [In reply to]
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Not sure if this is a feasible explanation or not, but it sorta goes hand in hand with what i was experiencing:
http://carpaltunnelmaster.com/...rearms-numb-fingers/

It basically correlates finger numbness to tightness in the forearms, which seems to make sense as since i've upped my training, there's been a noticeable increase in forearm mass.
The article closes with "Relieving the imbalance by loosening the flexor muscles will very often stop the numbness and pain in the fingers", but doesn't really give any pointers or tips as to how.

Any thoughts?

(note: the numbness hasn't really occurred much since the beginning of last week)


(This post was edited by sp00ki on Apr 18, 2011, 8:04 AM)


klime_hard101


Apr 18, 2011, 9:03 AM
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Re: [sp00ki] Occasional numbness, right hand [In reply to]
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"I was making a protein drink"

So thats what they call it these days
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onceahardman


Apr 18, 2011, 4:17 PM
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spooki, you'll notice my first response above included:

In reply to:
I think a nerve compression syndrome, like a carpal tunnel or an ulnar compression or others that are probably not even named.

I don't like the massage therapist's website you linked to. It's basic anatomy that the flexor compartment is more massive and stronger than the flexor compartment. This does not, by itself, cause any "muscle imbalance", necessarily.

The carpal tunnel is a bony trench with a ligamentous roof. Through this tunnel go 10 things, two flexor tendond to each finger, one for the thumb, and...the median nerve. Swelling in the tendons decreases the available space for the nerve. Surgery has a very good history of success for this condition.

Strength training the extensor compartment (resisted wrist and finger extension) can decrease muscle tone in the flexor compartment. You can also try stretching the wrist and finger flexors, but don't overdo it.

Also, research "median nerve stretches" and "upper limb tension test", for some ideas on nerve stretches.


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