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Thread: Right hand and arm always numb and tingling...

  1. #1

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    Default Right hand and arm always numb and tingling...

    It feels like my arm and hand are always "asleep". I thought it might be due to a lot of time behind the kit so I shrugged it off but the numbness never stops. It got so bad that I had an x-ray done two weeks ago. I'd like to share the results just in case any of you out there are experiencing the same kinds of issues.

    I was told I have a condition known as cervical spondylosis which is basically arthritis of the neck. It affects a lot of people, especially older adults (I'm 54). Cervical spondylosis causes myelopathy, a term used to refer to any condition that creates problems in the spinal cord. The term myelopathy literally means "sick spinal cord".

    X-ray#1 left view: reveals bone spurs (yellow circles). The body naturally creates bone spurs for areas that are weak and need support. According to my doctor, the bone spurs in my lower neck are due to the narrowing of the disks in my lower neck area (red brackets). The disks in my neck become more narrow to a point where the last one is almost completely compressed.



    X-ray#2 back view: reveals a better view of the narrowing of the nerve passage which could be causing the numbness and tingling in my arm and hand:



    X-Ray#3 right view- reveals the best view of the narrowing of the nerve passages. Note the dark circles as they get smaller in diameter towards the lower region of my neck. The dark circles represent the nerve passages and the last one is almost completely blocked by arthritis thus pinching the nerves:

    Last edited by late8; 11-18-2014 at 10:25 PM.

  2. #2

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    Thanks for posting the pictures and the explanation. I know little about this.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for posting. I hope that your prognosis is good.

  4. #4

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    I hope you're ok. Is it a constant tingling? My right leg usually tingles while i'm laying down (restless leg syndrome).
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  5. #5

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    I totally understand. I got bone spurs from a spinal injury. It really compromises a normal existence.

    Are you going to have any surgery to remove the build up and free up the nerve? Is it an option? That gets into a very delicate area both physically and responsibly.

    Only you can decide if any risk out weighs any adverse results.

    If you need, you have my number.

    Pretty much bites to age, huh? Just ask Rickthedru.....(pssst, this is a private message, right?)
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8beat View Post
    Thanks for posting the pictures and the explanation. I know little about this.
    You're welcome 8beat. As drummers, we often take aches and pains as something that comes with the territory but this constant tingling and numbness is annoying and the possibility of permanent nerve damage weighed heavy on my mind. If I can't drum due to my neck, I'm done.

    Edit: Here's what's going on with the bone spurs:





    Quote Originally Posted by dangermoney View Post
    Thanks for posting. I hope that your prognosis is good.
    Very conservative treatment at first. Meds, icing and physical therapy . If no improvement in four weeks, a spinal epidural.

    Edit:



    Quote Originally Posted by FlyByNight View Post
    I hope you're ok. Is it a constant tingling? My right leg usually tingles while i'm laying down (restless leg syndrome).
    Thanks FlyByNight!! The tingling stops only when I apply pressure on my lower neck area where the pinched nerve is located.

    Edit:

    It's numb and tingling all of the time in the red circled area.





    Quote Originally Posted by Bish View Post
    I totally understand. I got bone spurs from a spinal injury. It really compromises a normal existence.

    Are you going to have any surgery to remove the build up and free up the nerve? Is it an option? That gets into a very delicate area both physically and responsibly.

    Only you can decide if any risk out weighs any adverse results.

    If you need, you have my number.

    Pretty much bites to age, huh? Just ask Rickthedru.....(pssst, this is a private message, right?)
    No surgery...I may have waited too long.

    Edit:

    Thanks Bish for the well wishes! Yep...suck growing old...it's a pain in the neck:

    Last edited by late8; 11-18-2014 at 10:40 PM.

  7. #7

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    My wife has something very similar but probably a little more severe, she had a c6, 7 discecktomy (spelling) with fusion last year. She had bad numbnes/pain in both hands and arms so bad that it kept her up at night. Surgery has been a great success so far. Matter of fact she is going in for a follow up tomorrow. Good luck, these kinds of things are certainly life altering. Always get a 2nd and in this case a 3rd opinion.
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  8. #8

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    Have you looked into physical therapy or even chiropractors? PT solved my pinched nerve(5th vertebrae)/rotator cuff problem in my rt. shoulder(age, again). My hand and fingers would sometimes get numb before but no more. I'm currently trying to recondition my left hand-trad grip- fingers: they don't like the sticks bouncing on them...another story.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDK View Post
    My wife has something very similar but probably a little more severe, she had a c6, 7 discecktomy (spelling) with fusion last year. She had bad numbnes/pain in both hands and arms so bad that it kept her up at night. Surgery has been a great success so far. Matter of fact she is going in for a follow up tomorrow. Good luck, these kinds of things are certainly life altering. Always get a 2nd and in this case a 3rd opinion.
    I'm so glad your wife is much better following her surgery. I'm doing well considering how uncomfortable it can get during the night. I wake up with with my neck and shoulders on fire. Thanks for the well wishes. No issues yet with not being able to feel the drumstick in my right hand but look forward to giving 110% towards a positive outcome. I have to play every gig as if it's my last.

    Quote Originally Posted by slinglander View Post
    Have you looked into physical therapy or even chiropractors? PT solved my pinched nerve(5th vertebrae)/rotator cuff problem in my rt. shoulder(age, again). My hand and fingers would sometimes get numb before but no more. I'm currently trying to recondition my left hand-trad grip- fingers: they don't like the sticks bouncing on them...another story.
    I have a PT appointment Thursday and look forward to it. Thanks for reinforcing how well PT can restore the nerves. I'm glad I came forward with this. I hope this info can help those drummers out there who may have tingling or numbing in the hands to get checked out ASAP. My right hand/arm has been numb and tingling constantly for about a year.

  10. #10

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    Rich, never rule out chiropractors. I've been dealing with them for over 40 years.

    Good Luck, my friend.


    "Pretty much bites to age, huh? Just ask Rickthedru.....(pssst, this is a private message, right?"

    No, Bish, not anymore.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    Rich, never rule out chiropractors. I've been dealing with them for over 40 years.

    Good Luck, my friend.


    "Pretty much bites to age, huh? Just ask Rickthedru.....(pssst, this is a private message, right?"

    No, Bish, not anymore.
    lol!!! Where's my nurse??
    Last edited by late8; 11-18-2014 at 11:10 PM.

  12. #12

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    Rich, I've got all that tingling and numbness in my legs. I've had it on and off for years. My doctor gives me a steroid / Advil concoction when it acts up. It generally knocks it right out. I live with mild intermittent pain but I think it's the better option until surgery is necessary. Not to scare you but a family member had back surgery and they botched it, leaving her permanently wheelchair bound. I've got quite a few bad disks in my neck and lower back as well as at least one bone spur too.

    I do a lot of stretching and try to exercise a lot. They say drink a lot of water too but I haven't done as well in that department.

    I wish you the best man. Know that you're not going through it alone.
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  13. #13

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    Presentation of right arm & hand tingling and numbness (especially on the dorsal side of the index finger, middle finger and the hand) is, many times, caused by issues within the C6 & C7 regions of the cervical spine. You're ability to deal with it is directly related to your pain and discomfort tolerance level. PT can be very effective in helping with this. Surgery should be the last resort. Good luck.
    Last edited by inthpktplayer; 11-19-2014 at 07:16 AM.

  14. #14

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    Geez, Rich. I hate that so bad for you.

    Prayers and thoughts are with you brother!

  15. #15

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    Man, Rich, this stinks brother. Hang in there.

  16. #16

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    Carpal tunnel syndrome also causes those symptoms. I had it when I was banging shingles, it went away when I went back to my wood handled hatchet. The metal Estwing caused that much more shock to the arm as opposed to wood. Maybe aluminum drumsticks would do the same.
    Anyhow, as a fellow crippled up old guy, I feel for you and hope you get it taken care of.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    Rich, I've got all that tingling and numbness in my legs. I've had it on and off for years. My doctor gives me a steroid / Advil concoction when it acts up. It generally knocks it right out. I live with mild intermittent pain but I think it's the better option until surgery is necessary. Not to scare you but a family member had back surgery and they botched it, leaving her permanently wheelchair bound. I've got quite a few bad disks in my neck and lower back as well as at least one bone spur too.

    I do a lot of stretching and try to exercise a lot. They say drink a lot of water too but I haven't done as well in that department.

    I wish you the best man. Know that you're not going through it alone.
    Thanks for sharing your issues Tom. I'm glad I came forward with this. Lot's of good info to deal with the pain the management side as well as the spiritual aspect of healing and living with some possible limitations with the range of motion in my neck and shoulders.

    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Presentation of right arm & hand tingling and numbness (especially on the dorsal side of the index finger, middle finger and the hand) is, many times, caused by issues within the C6 & C7 regions of the cervical spine. You're ability to deal with it is directly related to your pain and discomfort tolerance level. PT can be very effective in helping with this. Surgery should be the last resort. Good luck.
    Thanks inthpktplayer. I'm going to look into the C6 & C7 region to see where exactly the area in question. Thanks for the thumbs up on PT. I look forward to educating myself on stretching.
    Quote Originally Posted by porkpieguy View Post
    Geez, Rich. I hate that so bad for you.

    Prayers and thoughts are with you brother!
    Thanks Martin. I had no idea arthritis advances at such a fast rate. I thought for sure I was just playing too much. Makes me think about my longevity behind the kit.

    Quote Originally Posted by marko138 View Post
    Man, Rich, this stinks brother. Hang in there.
    Thanks Mark.

    Quote Originally Posted by signia fan View Post
    Carpal tunnel syndrome also causes those symptoms. I had it when I was banging shingles, it went away when I went back to my wood handled hatchet. The metal Estwing caused that much more shock to the arm as opposed to wood. Maybe aluminum drumsticks would do the same.
    Anyhow, as a fellow crippled up old guy, I feel for you and hope you get it taken care of.
    Thanks signia fan. I'm glad that I'm in good company

  18. #18

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    I always figured my numbness was the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome. Thinking I should have my neck checked out. Thanks for sharing all this info, man.
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  19. #19

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    Rich, back in 2006, I had a three level fusion (C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7)

    It was a rough recovery and I'll never be 100%, but still beating the drums.

    I'd recommend doing everything possible before surgery..............any time they work on your spine, there are risks.

    Good Luck brother and take care of yourself

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny G View Post
    I always figured my numbness was the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome. Thinking I should have my neck checked out. Thanks for sharing all this info, man.
    You're welcome Johnny G. This chart may help pinpoint hand numbing and tingling as it relates to the disks in the neck. Note the color coded areas of the arm and hand. If you have numbing and tingling in any of those areas that are colored, follow the color up the neck and note which disk shares the same color as the arm and you'll have an idea where the problem could be. Example, my right hand is always numb at the pinky and ring finger. I also have numbness and weakness on the right index finger and knuckle. If you look at the chart below, disks C7, C8 are at issue:




    Quote Originally Posted by longgun View Post
    Rich, back in 2006, I had a three level fusion (C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7)

    It was a rough recovery and I'll never be 100%, but still beating the drums.

    I'd recommend doing everything possible before surgery..............any time they work on your spine, there are risks.

    Good Luck brother and take care of yourself
    PT Update

    Thanks for sharing your neck issues with us Butch. I belong to an HMO and my one and only PT session consisted of watching a Power Point presentation for an hour and I received a hand out with instruction on how to stretch, how to sit properly and how to lay down with proper support for the back and neck. That was it.

    It's looks like it's up to me to improve my situation. Ice, pain killers, stretching, exercise, ergonomic improvements. If that doesn't help, the next hoop I need to jump through will be to try to push for an MRI to see where to inject the cortisone shot. The numbing and tingling goes away when I push down on disk C8. I figure that's where they should inject me.

    Last edited by late8; 11-21-2014 at 10:19 AM.

  21. #21

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    Hy Guys.

    I know that this topic is old but im going throught the exact same thing only with both my hands ( age 33 ). I just started PT hoping that it would get better and stretching and excersises and lots of water and witamins.

    Seeing how old this topic is im hoping to get an answer.

    Did PT and all that stuff really help?

    I really wanna get my strenght back cause i have a lot of shows and its really frustrating to go on stage thinking that when my hands are going to give up....

    Thanks for the answer.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by bratisz View Post
    Hy Guys.

    I know that this topic is old but im going throught the exact same thing only with both my hands ( age 33 ). I just started PT hoping that it would get better and stretching and excersises and lots of water and witamins.

    Seeing how old this topic is im hoping to get an answer.

    Did PT and all that stuff really help?

    I really wanna get my strenght back cause i have a lot of shows and its really frustrating to go on stage thinking that when my hands are going to give up....

    Thanks for the answer.
    Welcome to Drum Chat, bratisz.

    I hope our resident audio, video and physical expert late8 will pop in and give you the run down. He's a trooper for all the problems he put up with and is still kickin' these days. Good luck with your issues and we look forward to getting better acquainted. Post away where ever and don't be afraid to ask more questions. That's what this site is for.

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  23. #23

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    Rich went through a lot several years back.

    I'll just throw this out there: Is it possible that you are holding the sticks too tight?
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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by bratisz View Post
    Hy Guys.

    I know that this topic is old but im going throught the exact same thing only with both my hands ( age 33 ). I just started PT hoping that it would get better and stretching and excersises and lots of water and witamins.

    Seeing how old this topic is im hoping to get an answer.

    Did PT and all that stuff really help?

    I really wanna get my strenght back cause i have a lot of shows and its really frustrating to go on stage thinking that when my hands are going to give up....

    Thanks for the answer.
    I invested in an inversion table recently and so far so good! I no longer have the pain in my neck or any numbness or tingling in my arms. Now that we are in the summer season, no pain. The cold weather/rain always played havoc with achy joints and sore muscles. Here's what really did the trick in pain relief; the inversion table. I found one used on CL for $50 USD. They sell new for $95 USD. I don't use it every day and if you invest in one, start out at a slight angle and increase your time and angle as your body gets used to hanging upside down.

    Inversion table:

    1.jpg

  25. #25

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    Rich, are you still using that inversion table. Do you still like it? How often do you use it? I'm thinking about getting one.
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