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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Numbness/tingling in Thumb and 3 fingers - keeps me awake

 Big_Tee - Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:16 am

During the past 2 weeks I have awaken several times at night with a numbness/tingling in my left thumb, and all fingers - except the pinky finger. After I get up and walk around for 3-10 minutes it will usually go away, but return again in a few hours. Only rarely does it occur during waking hours. Over the years I have had numbness periodically when I sleep on my shoulder or elbow, but this seems to take much longer to go away. I have also been working on a project in the yard that has required more digging and shoveling than usual.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:15 pm

User avatar Hi,

Your symptoms, at first glance, suggest a 'carpal tunnel syndrome'. This condition is due to an entrapment of the Median nerve within unyielding walls of the carpal tunnel.
The predominant symptoms are numbness or paresthesia (of the lateral three and a half digits -- thumb,index & outer half of the ring finger) at the onset, followed by motor symptoms (weakness of abduction of the thumb) and signs such as wasting of the thenar muscles(small muscles of the thumb). This type of sensory involvement is precisely 'anatomical'.

Your symptoms, on close scrutiny,are not 'precisely' anatomical in that you say that the 'entire' ring figer is involved.
This raises the liklihood of this being a 'Repetitive strain injury' (RSI)-(occupational overuse syndrome).It is called by various other synonyms as well.

You seem to be involved in some unaccustomed work related physical activity(digging, shoveling) & this could have precipitated this condition.

This condition has one notable difference in comparison with carpal tunnel syndrome in that the signs & symptoms are not 'precisely' anatomical.
Best wishes!

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