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Numbness and feeling heaviness in the arms

Resolved Question:

Around 6 weeks ago I had some long worded viral ear infection causing me to have heavy painful Limbs, no cold, dizziness and to feel exhausted, the prescription helped but it never went away just let off, but for two weeks it has got worse my left arm from hand to elbow can feel burning, ice cold, pins and needles, numb and always heavy, my right hands fingers are always tingling and heavy, my legs are heavy and feel squeezed around the bottom, tingles in toes, paracetamol and ibuprofen are doing nothing, I'm getting tired and emotional as soon as I lie down there is just pain I can't sleep on my arms at all it sets them off, I feel weak carrying things is hard, I work, I'm a mum and have a big dog it's been so hard to keep walking the dog etc. but I know I can't get any rest it's worse when I do nothing as that's all I can think about, if I'm at work in the school nursery your mind is always busy elsewhere, hope you can help :)

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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

Hello, in this condition, you are experiencing tingling sensation or numbness and even heaviness in her fingers and hand. As the disease progresses, the numbness remains constant. Pain will be radiating from the wrist to the arm or shoulder especially after forceful repetitive use. There may be a sense of weakness in the hands and tend to drop objects. These are all because of compression of the median nerve. Sometimes wrist fracture can narrow the Carpal tunnel and irritate the nerve. So anything that irritates, crowding or compression of the median nerve leads to this syndrome. Sometimes even the swelling and inflammation resulting from Rheumatoid arthritis can also produce Carpal Tunnel syndrome. There are a couple of risk factors that produces this condition like anatomic factors, nerve damaging conditions like chronic illness, diabetes, alcoholism, inflammatory conditions. Alterations in the balance of body fluids and work place can also be factors. When your mother has got these problems, you better show her to the GP who can collect the history of symptoms, do a physical examination, order for an X-ray, Electromyogram and nerve conduction study as well. Treatment depends on wrist splinting, medication, injection of corticosteroids and surgery, (either endoscopic surgery or open surgery). It is rather difficult to say what kind of surgery she had in the past and what medication the attending surgeon or physician advised. Hence it is better you consult your physician with all the details and he may advise regarding the next course of action. Thank you

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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