What's the matter with my arm? Numbness and tender pain, moves around

by Sylvia

About 6 weeks ago I first noticed stiffness and slight pain in my left arm. Hardly anything to bother about, I thought I'd pulled a muscle collecting firewood. It hurt slightly when I bent my arm towards my chest after it had been hanging straight, and vice versa. It went on like that 2 weeks.

Then suddenly Christmas night it flared up terribly with bad pain. All down the arm. This went on for a week. I took Ibuprofen which helped. The pain lessened towards the end of the week, till I didn't have to take the Ibuprofen any more. It was great! No pain!

But my arm still felt tender in first one place, then the other. I couldn't pin down the source of the trouble. Then my forearm went numb(on the thumb side of the wrist for about 6" up, and about 3" wide. And my first (index) finger became semi-paralyzed. (not numb, not tingling, no pain, just the final joint of the finger wouldn't bend properly and I couldn't pick anything up with it)

I thought it would heal and sort itself out. At least I wasn't in pain anymore.

I carried on using my arm naturally but was careful indeed not to use it for anything strenuous or do anything with it which might trigger any pain.

Then a few days ago the numbness in my forearm/wrist started to go away but was replaced by an extreme tenderness, so that it "burned" even if my sleeve touched it, or it was touched even lightly. It also aches.

What the heck can be wrong with my arm, (or is it my wrist?) I looked up carpal tunnel syndrome online, but what I've got doesn't seem to fit the symptoms exactly. I'm wondering if it could be tendonitis. But surely that wouldn't last 6 weeks...?


Joshua Answers:

Hi Sylvia.

First off, Tendonitis can last months, years, decades. Lots of people that find this site would LOVE it if they had only had pain for 6 weeks.

See: What Is Tendonitis?

What you describe doesn't sound like
Tendonitis. I'll ask some more questions at the end here, but what you describe sounds like the side effects of nutritional deficiency.

One of the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency is pain, random pain, and pain that moves around. Check out the Vit D pages at www.Easy-Immune-Health.com

B12 deficiency side effects include numbness, tingle, nerve pain.

Magnesium deficiency side effects include muscle pain, muscle tightness, spasm (big ones, and little ones that you only feel as muscle pain). Also, see Magnesium for Tendonitis.

B6 deficiency causes Carpal Tunnel Symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling.

All of the above can also result in muscle weakness and loss of agility, though you didn't mention that.

So. If you're having a slow heart attack or stroke, that's obviously a different conversation.

If you have had head/neck injury/trauma, or a cervical disc issue, that's a different story too.

But you described it like it came out of the blue (and the heart attack/stroke is unlikely but worth thinking about for a minute). Which puts my attention on nutrition.

If you have had trauma to the head/neck, or a history of injury, etc, do say more about that.

Were I you I'd get my Reversing Wrist Tendonitis program. It talks about those nutritional components, and they're all cheap and easy, as well as what to do about the physical components of a true Tendonitis dynamic in your forearm.

More questions, more answers.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for What's the matter with my arm? Numbness and tender pain, moves around

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Apr 20, 2013
Weakness and tightness in forearm but no pain
by: D

Hello. I am a 44 year old physically fit woman with forearm issues. My GP thought it was "early CTS". My orthopedic surgeon was clueless so he pawned me off to the physical therapist who can't make up her mind if it's tendonitis, Golfer's Elbow or Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome.

I have 3 more appointments with her and when it doesn't do any good I'm going back to the orthopedic surgeon so he can scratch his head again. My symptoms include NO PAIN which I think is the reason no one can diagnose me.

My forearms feel weak and tight almost continually. There are just varying degrees of discomfort but absolutely no pain. The closest thing I can liken it to is how your arm muscles feel after holding a heavy object, like a puppy or a baby, for a long time.

The symptoms started in November when I was doing my Giftmas crocheting and knitting marathons. December came and we got a new puppy which I held A LOT. I recently retired so I do quite a bit more housework on a daily basis than I used to which, I'm sure, didn't help with the forearm issues. Initially, I found your Ravelry posting about the ice dip and did it for a week. The discomfort went completely away and I could knit as much as I wanted which was very naughty of me because the issue just came right back in a couple of weeks. Duh! What did I expect?

Anyway, have you ever heard of this type of issue without any pain whatsoever? It would be really useful to know what I have so it can be treated correctly. By the way, it doesn't seem to matter how much or little I use my forearms during the day, I could wake up the next day and have very little discomfort or be totally uncomfortable all day.

It's a complete mystery. Ice dipping and massage helps temporarily but the symptoms always come back.

Thanks so much for your help.


Joshua Comments:

Hello D.

'Giftmas', I love it! I've never heard that term before.

So All the symptoms of tendonitis minus the pain isn't common, but it's not unheard of.

There's almost certainly three things at play:
1. Muscle tightness
2. Connective tissue tightness
3. Nutritional insufficiency

Muscles get tight and stay tight. Connective tissue shrinkwraps, like saran wrap around a half squeezed sponge. Muscle can't work optimally, it's always working too hard, so it's always fatigued and can't do much work.

Ice dipping helped because it brought new blood to the area, that's good for everything.

Maybe you don't have inflammation and thus no pain. Maybe you have a super high pain tolerance. I don't know, it doesn't really matter. We work with what we got.


More ice dipping.

See: Magnesium For Tendonitis

Get your Vitamin D level checked, ASAP.

Have somebody rub your forearms for a few minutes a couple times a day. OR do it yourself (don't use hand strength, use the corner of a wall, or a counter, or some such.

Jan 12, 2017
Can Tendonitis Spread Up My Arm?
by: Matthew

I am 30 years old, was diagnosed with Tendonitis 6 months ago in my left arm due to repetitive motion in said arm.

I have recently been experiencing a burning sensation in my upper arm and into my shoulder blades.

Could this be due to my arm?



Joshua Comments:

Hi Matthew.

Ultimately, the answer to your question is 'yes'.

Tendonitis is made up of three primary factors:

muscle and connective tissue tightness

chronic inflammation

nutritional lack

It becomes a Downward Spiral, getting worse and 'spreading', by which I mean other things become too tight, inflammation spreads, and nutritional insufficiency continues and/or gets worse (which means other areas of the body can't work as well as they should).

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