Numbness and tingling in your hand can be described as “your hand falling asleep.” But what does this really mean? Tingling and numbness is a type of nerve pain that typically subsides with the limb’s movement. In this case, the pain is usually due to restricted blood flow. The tingling can feel uncomfortable and unpleasant, but it is only temporary. Sometimes people complain of waking up in the middle of the night with numbness or tingling in their hand or arm, they may not experience these symptoms during the day, or the symptoms are not as noticeable.
Most people have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, a wrist and hand condition that causes tingling, numbness, and pain from nerve compression in the wrist and fingers. Still, there is also has a lesser-known condition, ulnar tunnel syndrome, which can have similar symptoms. Ulnar tunnel syndrome is when the ulnar nerve is compressed as it enters the wrist between two bones of the wrist. Compression of the ulnar nerve can also occur at the elbow and cause the same symptoms. Most people have probably experienced the not-so-funny occurrence of when the “funny bone” is bumped. In reality, this is when the ulnar nerve is quickly compressed on the humerus bone, and if you’ve had this happen, you may experience shooting pain, tingling, and numbness.
As is true with many things in life, there may be more contributing to your pain than meets the eye. In fact, the point of pain may not be the source. Muscles throughout the body can create myofascial trigger points, often referred to as “knots.” These palpable tender spots are a group of muscle fibers that maintain a semi-contracted state for too long. The fascia, which is a non- contractile tissue, covers nearly every muscle fiber, can also be a part of this point restriction. These restrictions can be very tender to touch and can have a greater influence on how the entire muscle activates. Through years of research, medical professionals have been able to map common referral patterns for each muscle.1
Over the last several months the opportunities to Work from Home (WFH) have kept a large majority of the population safe and healthy. Yet, WFH may not always be as comfortable as it sounds. Many workers have needed to trade in their rolling chair and dual computer monitors for the family room couch and laptop. Small changes to someone’s work environment may be on-setting large differences in the way our bodies are used to moving. These changes may also result in new feelings of soreness and pain. It is important to be mindful of the things we can do in order to combat the challenges of WFH to minimize the potential aches and pains of home office life.
The average American spends more than four hours on their mobile devices texting, checking email, playing games and browsing social media. In addition, many spend a large portion of the work day typing and mousing on the computer.1,2 The trouble with the amount of time spent on these devices is that they are not ergonomically designed for heavy, repetitive use. Unfortunately, many people don’t become aware of this until they experience pain in their hands and thumbs.
Carpal tunnel is one of the most well-known and commonly treated hand/wrist conditions. Some of the telltale signs of this condition include numbness and/or tingling throughout your thumb, index finger and middle finger, as well as weakened grip strength and decreased hand coordination. Not everyone notices pain, although pain in the palm or wrist is not uncommon.
Cooking can be a great, stress relieving activity. Over time, however, it can lead to overuse injuries if proper body mechanics are not used, including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Sleep plays an important role in our daily function. It helps to rejuvenate and restore our bodies from the wear and tear our daily activities put on integral structures. It specifically plays an intricate part in helping us repair and grow tissue, like nerve, muscle and bone. For all of these reasons, sleep can be the most important part of your day.