It’s one thing to wake up in the morning with the unmistakable signs of having slept on your arm. It’s like your entire limb is made of rubber, and it would be funny if you didn’t know that before things get back to normal, you’re going to have to go through the buzzy, tingling feeling that comes when blood rushes back into your hand. But what if you get that same tingly feeling in the course of a normal day? What does it mean when you experience that same sensation in your arms or hands for no apparent reason?
There are a couple of conditions that could be responsible for tingling in your hands, but one of the most common is a problem originating with your cervical spine and the nerves that run through it.
Our nervous systems are like a highway, with the main road running through our spine and offramps heading out in different directions to points throughout our bodies. The system works well unless one of the nerves gets compressed, a medical condition called cervical radiculopathy that results in pain and numbness in your fingers, hands or arms when it is a nerve in the cervical spine, or can affect other areas of the body depending on what nerve is being pinched.
When a patient comes to our cervical spine surgery practice for help with tingling in their hands or arms, our first step is to determine what is going on with their spine that is causing compression of the nerve. Possibilities include:
- Herniated disc – Also known as a bulging disc, this happens when one of the soft cushioning bodies that lie between the spine’s vertebrae are damaged or fall out of place. When this happens the disc or its material comes into contact with spinal nerves, leading to irritation and compression.
- Degenerative disc disease – The same discs that can fall out of place or suffer damage can degenerate over time. As they become drier, more brittle, or collapse entirely, the vertebrae come into closer contact with one another, and this can lead to compression of the nerves. Degenerative disc disease is extremely common, and is present in 90% of those who are over the age of 65.
- Spinal stenosis – The spinal canal through which the nerves pass can narrow, putting pressure on the spinal cord and its associated nerves. This can lead to tingling in the arms and hands, as well as in the hips, legs, and feet.
Though these are the most common causes of tingling in the arms and hands, there are also more serious conditions that also present with these symptoms. If you are experiencing this sensation on a regular basis, your first step should be to set up an appointment with our cervical spine specialist in New Jersey. We will conduct a thorough examination, diagnose your condition, and make sure that you get the medical attention and solution to relieve your symptoms.