Numbness in left hand

What could be done about chronic numbness in your hand? The doc seems to think it's hopeless. But I'm wondering if anyone else has had this and has successfully overcome it.

The numbness, I believe, is the result of a herniated disk in the neck. That was very painful! But the pain went away after a cortisone shot. The numbness, however, did not.

This has been going on for years. Wearing a leather glove helps, as the hand is very sensitive to touch. Any hope here?
Have you ever consulted a chiropractor? Specifically one that only adjusts the first two cerebral vertebrae. If those two are out of place, you have problems all down your spine affecting all the systems of your body. I don't remember what that type of chiropractic treatment that is though.
I have numbness in my right leg because I have a disc herniation which is infringing on my sciatic nerve so I feel your pain.

Although your pain went away after a cortisone shot, I can't see the shot eliminating the problem or herniation, but merely masking the symptoms. I'm no doctor but going through a similar problem, I would suspect that the herniation is still the root of the problem and that the disc needs to get put back in its place. I took human anatomy last year and from what I understand a lower cervical herniation could pinch some of the nerves in the brachial plexus, and since those nerves eventually reach your hand that to me seems like that could be the problem. The symptoms may be in your hand, but the problem is probably still persisting in the cervical region.

I have been going all over the place to try and shake this numbness/tingling/pain (I've had it for years too). I've taken copies of MRI's everywhere and have finally found a physiotherapist (practicing the McKenzie method) who has been able to reduce my symptoms by prescribing exercises to try and push the disc back into place. Don't get me wrong, I am not symptom free, but I am feeling significantly better! I hope you find something that works for you too.
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Last edited by fskatergirl; 09-06-2008 at 03:18 PM.
I think daily swimming is the cure for just about all body aches and pains. I used to have a list of aches(and numbness) a mile long...now I have none, and I feel F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S all over.
Have you tried acupuncture? I really don't know exactly how it could help, but I've heard of people with a plethora of different ailments that were either helped, if not cured by the procedure. My advisor suggested I got acupuncture for the migraines I had been getting last year... I'm too afraid of needles to do it (despite the tattoo addiction), so I started drinking caffeine again and POOF no more head aches... but still, acupuncture could help!!
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I think daily swimming is the cure for just about all body aches and pains. I used to have a list of aches(and numbness) a mile long...now I have none, and I feel F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S all over.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Yes and no. It really depends on your technique. Swimming with bad technique will RUIN your rotator cuffs after a while, and possibly give you neck problems. Swimming with proper technique is great!

And... I agree with some of the others. Maybe you should see a chiropractor. Possibly try yoga or pilates. Do your research first, and don't just go to anyone if you decide to do something like yoga or pilates. Make sure you talk to the instructor before class about your issues.
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Last edited by QuirkyYogini; 09-06-2008 at 04:28 PM.
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I'd be nervous about chiropractic adjustment with an already damaged neck.
I'd be nervous about chiropractic adjustment with an already damaged neck.
Originally Posted by SuZenGuide
Yes, I would ask around for reputable practioners then request a consult and information.
Chiropractors scare the hell out of me. No way do I want someone cracking my spine, especially my cervical spine. You can actually have a stroke from some of those chiro adjustments.

My husband used to be a chiro addict, back before I met him...he says he never felt better than when he STOPPED going to a chiro.
I'd be nervous about chiropractic adjustment with an already damaged neck.
Originally Posted by SuZenGuide
Yes, I would ask around for reputable practioners then request a consult and information.
Originally Posted by ajane
Yeah. I thought that would be obvious. I'd never go to a doctor for something like that if I didn't know anything about him or her.
I'd try something like yoga and/or pilates first though. It won't eliminate the issue, but it might help strengthen muscles to support the spine and possibly take some pressure off any nerves causing the numbness.

ETA: RCW, I really think it depends on who you go to and what his or her methods are. I eventually stopped going to mine because yoga made me feel better. I don't think that all chiropractors are quacks though. Just not the best thing for me.
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Last edited by QuirkyYogini; 09-06-2008 at 05:15 PM.
Have you had a nerve conduction test/EMG done? Is it possible for you to get an MRI done? Are you numb anywhere else?

FWIW, my couisin has/had severe carpal tunnel due to a pinched nerve in her neck and a chiropractor helped her alot. She has symptoms, but she can keep them under control w/chiro & certain stretches he prescribes.
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We took our son to a chiro that specialized on in neck problems and migraines caused by them.
His atlas was out of alignment and he was getting several headaches a week that even pain meds did not help. We took him straight to the chiro right away when a few headaches began and they went away within minutes of an adjustment versus the usual hours and several vomiting sessions he used to have. His atlas is now in place and he hasn't had a migraine in months. His x-rays are amazing to see the before and after. His pediatrician and other doctors could do nothing but prescribe meds.

It depends on who you go to and what their specialty and training is.
I agree with Fskater. The cortisone shot probably helped to decrease the inflammation at the disc site which helped to relieve some of the symptoms but you can still have some impingement going on of the nerves that go to your hand. Also, depending on how long you had the nerve impingement, I think you said this has been going on for years, there is the possibility that you could have had some damage to those nerves. While some repair of the nerves can occur and it can be very slow, it may be possible that you might have some permanent numbness.
If you are having sensitivity in the hand you might want to look into seeing a hand therapist or occupational therapist that can work with you on what's called desensitization techniques to minimize the sensitivity. I've heard that can be a very unpleasant sensation. Some people can't even tolerate the feeling of their clothing rubbing on hypersensitive areas.

Good luck with whatever you decide
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I think daily swimming is the cure for just about all body aches and pains. I used to have a list of aches(and numbness) a mile long...now I have none, and I feel F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S all over.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Yes and no. It really depends on your technique. Swimming with bad technique will RUIN your rotator cuffs after a while, and possibly give you neck problems. Swimming with proper technique is great!
Originally Posted by QuirkyYogini
Even with proper technique it messed with your cuffs. I swam competitively for 15 years and still occasionally have issues with my shoulders 10 years after quitting. Still, I agree that swimming is a great exercise in moderation. Most people are not going to have the cuff issues unless they are swimming multiple hours a day.
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I think daily swimming is the cure for just about all body aches and pains. I used to have a list of aches(and numbness) a mile long...now I have none, and I feel F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S all over.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Yes and no. It really depends on your technique. Swimming with bad technique will RUIN your rotator cuffs after a while, and possibly give you neck problems. Swimming with proper technique is great!
Originally Posted by QuirkyYogini
Even with proper technique it messed with your cuffs. I swam competitively for 15 years and still occasionally have issues with my shoulders 10 years after quitting. Still, I agree that swimming is a great exercise in moderation. Most people are not going to have the cuff issues unless they are swimming multiple hours a day.
Originally Posted by SpunkyCurls

30-45 minutes per day, swimming various strokes not just freestyle, is not going to give the average person rotator cuff injury. It's going to sleek them all over and exercise every muscle and alleviate a lot of stiffness and aches, especially for older folks. It's going to help them keep range of motion and mobility and be easier on their joints than just about any other aerobic exercise.
Chiropractors scare the hell out of me. No way do I want someone cracking my spine, especially my cervical spine. You can actually have a stroke from some of those chiro adjustments.

My husband used to be a chiro addict, back before I met him...he says he never felt better than when he STOPPED going to a chiro.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves

Yes and no. It really depends on your technique. Swimming with bad technique will RUIN your rotator cuffs after a while, and possibly give you neck problems. Swimming with proper technique is great!
Originally Posted by QuirkyYogini
Even with proper technique it messed with your cuffs. I swam competitively for 15 years and still occasionally have issues with my shoulders 10 years after quitting. Still, I agree that swimming is a great exercise in moderation. Most people are not going to have the cuff issues unless they are swimming multiple hours a day.
Originally Posted by SpunkyCurls

30-45 minutes per day, swimming various strokes not just freestyle, is not going to give the average person rotator cuff injury. It's going to sleek them all over and exercise every muscle and alleviate a lot of stiffness and aches, especially for older folks. It's going to help them keep range of motion and mobility and be easier on their joints than just about any other aerobic exercise.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
A daily activity done over and over again will cause issues eventually if done improperly. Freestyle, butterfly, and backstroke all involve movement in the rotator cuff that if done outside of the scapular plane might cause injury over time. The "traditional" method of teaching these strokes is likely to cause injuries.

I am not trying to argue with you. I think you are incredibly intelligent and well-informed on a lot of things, but I feel I have to disagree with you here. I am not just speaking from a summer of swimming lessons. I have done this for most of my life 9 times a week, for hours and hours. I used to teach swim lessons and have swam on a college scholarship.

Again, I'm not trying to provoke you, but to say it won't cause injury if done improperly everyday over a long period of time is very hard to agree with.

ETA: This is not to say that swimming is not great! You just have to have proper form! That is all I'm saying! I highly recommend swimming as a form of exercise.
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Products:
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05/12/09 Still CG. Cowashing with VO5 Lavender Luster. I then condition with Giovanni Smooth as Silk. Styling with VO5 Lavender Luster conditioner with my wide-toothed comb.

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