Tingling or numbness in the arm isn’t always cause for immediate concern. More than not, this sensation is caused by something acute, such as an arm that simply “fell asleep” from being in a certain position for too long. Here are the most common causes of arm tingling and when you should seek medical attention.
Lack of Movement
Have you ever fallen asleep on your shoulder only to wake up and notice your arm was numb? It has happened to all of us in one way or another. This common sensation of your arm “falling asleep” is caused by a lack of blood flow to the nerves, and your arm will feel better shortly after getting some movement back into it.
This situation would not require any medical intervention. However, being more mindful of your resting positions may help prevent this from happening again in the future.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the middle of the arm to the tips of the fingers, becomes compressed or irritated. It is usually caused by repetitive hand motions, so it is most common in office workers and assembly line workers.
Most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome are acute and will not require any medical intervention. However, if numbness, pain, or tingling continue for 6 weeks or longer and do not subside with conservative care, the physicians at Brain2Sine Institute can help alleviate pressure on the median nerve.
Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage of the peripheral nerves, such as the ulnar nerve. This damage may be due to a recent fall, infection or other trauma. In this case, tingling may start in the hands and radiate up toward the rest of the arm. Diabetes, alcoholism, and autoimmune diseases are other risk factors for this condition.
Treatment for peripheral neuropathy may include the following:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
Cervical radiculopathy occurs when there is a pinched nerve in the neck that causes irritation. It is often triggered by a bulging or herniated disc. This pinched nerve can cause pain, numbness, weakness or tingling down into either arm.
Most pinched nerves get better on their own with self-care, but in more severe cases, medical intervention may be introduced. Common treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
If you experience tingling in your arm, visit Brain2Spine Institute to find a treatment plan that is right for you. To schedule an appointment, call (727) 351-6902.