Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Muscular and Nerve Disorders Forum

Numb Arm/Wrist/Fingers

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I woke up with a dead arm the other morning. Ever since my right arm/hand has just felt awkward.

I don't know what do but it just feels slightly numb and tender, also it feels as though it may start tingling.

I keep moving my arm/wrist and fingers about to try and see if it's the circulation, but it's obviously something more than that as it's been happening all day. I've only just noticed it's quite bad when I layed in bed trying to get some sleep, then panicing it might be alot worse.

Can anyone advice me, or tell me what I should do?

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replied September 10th, 2011
Especially eHealthy

There is a condition which occurs, in which one or more of the major nerves in the upper extremity get compressed. It is called by several names, Saturday night palsy, honeymoon palsy, etc, but they are all essentially the same condition.

Some how the nerve(s) get compressed. This can be due to sleeping in an awkward position; such as sitting up, with the arm draped over the back of a chair; or with the arm around a partner, who sleeps on it; or, just sleeping in an abnormal position.

In many cases, the patient has taken a sleeping aid and as such does not move around as much, to relieve the pressure on the nerve(s). It is also seen in patients who have had a little too much to drink the night before.

But, whatever the etiology, the nerve(s) have been compressed, causing a neuropraxia. This is a temporary injury to the nerve, in which it goes to sleep and quits working.

The patient may feel numbness and tingling, or pain, like when a limb is waking up. The strength may be decreased, and the patient may feel clumsy, like the muscles just don't do what they are asked to do.

If your symptoms do not resolve within 48 hours or so, you should see your physician for a thorough neurological exam. Most of the time, this condition will go away on its own, but can take a little while to do so. But, again, if you are not significantly better in a short time, you should see someone about it.

Good luck.
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