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Tingly fingers, cotton wool like feeling as they cramp

What are tight muscles and symptoms? Even though could be carpal or referred injury.
Tingly fingers on the outside of left hand along most of my fingers now and get cotton wool like feeling as they want to cramp.
Wrist and arm down to elbow are sharp pains and dull ache and often feel like they are being squeezed. Been going on over a month but of late quite uncomfortable. Even holding simple objects finding hard every now and then e.g toothbrush,glass of water and even a bowl of cornflakes. Can be kept awake or cannot get to sleep and have to stick my arms out of bed. Surly my writs can not be this weak?
I guess now thinking back do use the computer or laptop at home but am not on it for hours as such? Can anybody give me advice please?
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replied July 3rd, 2012
Especially eHealthy
lea34,

Sounds like you have something going on with the ulnar nerve. This nerve can be compressed at Guyon's canal in the wrist and in the cubital tunnel at the elbow.


Many times, this is just due to positioning. But, if it is due to something compressing the nerve, that something needs to be addressed. It can be from inflammation causing swelling, which puts pressure on the nerve. It can be from thickening of the ligament which covers the nerve in those areas. In that case, usually the ligament will need to be released surgically. You can have space occupying lesions, such as ganglion cysts or lipoma, which can put pressure on the nerve. And many other causes.


When nerves are compressed, they become ischemic from lack of blood supply to the nerve. Ischemic nerve pain is usually described as anything from a dull ache to a burning pain. Also, when the nerve is compressed, it can no longer function normally. Thus, the areas that are supplied by the nerve will go to sleep, becoming numb and tingly. The muscles innervated by the nerve will also quit working.

With the ulnar nerve, the small intrinsic muscles of the hand quit working, so fine motor activities with the hand become very difficult to do. Because of the pull of the different muscles, some patients will get a claw hand deformity with ulnar nerve palsies.


Again, most nerve problems in the hand are from positioning and putting pressure on the nerve. This is very common when we sleep, which is why many patients wake up with numb and tingling hands (pain may awaken the patient). The symptoms will often go away when the patient wakes up and changes positions.


This is usually diagnosed with a thorough physical examination. Then, if needed, electrical studies may be done to determine how much injury the nerve has sustained. These studies include EMG (electromyography) and NCV (nerve conduction velocity).


Good luck.
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