Tingling In The Arm

By Robert Lim, PTA

Tingling In The Arm

Many things can cause numbness and tingle in your arm, such as falling asleep on your arm or placing your arm in a prolonged position. In worst-case scenarios, the tingling in the arm could be a disease such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, carpal tunnel, or even a condition that could be happening from the neck.

image of tingling in elbow

tingling in elbow

Causes of Tingling in the Arm

Most people can usually figure out what happened when this condition begins. Most people contribute the tingling in the arm to sitting or placing their arm in a funny or even prolonged position that usually goes away after repositioning the arm.

In other cases that cause tingling in the arm can be from deficiencies/conditions in the body that usually occur in acute and chronic conditions.  Acute conditions such as an insect bite to abnormal levels of vitamin B-12, potassium, calcium, or sodium in the body.

Chronic conditions in the body that can contribute to tingling in the arm can be a specific injury that can produce tinglings, such as an injured nerve in your neck or a herniated disc in your cervical spine.  Placing pressure on a nerve is usually the culprit.   Carpal tunnel syndrome, scar tissue, enlarged blood vessels, infection, or even a tumor can pressure a nerve.   Some diseases can produce tingling as a symptom, such as diabetes, neuropathy, Raynaud’s phenomenon, or a stroke.

When Should you Seek Medical Attention?

Just as mentioned above, some people will experience tingling in the arm. Usually, it resolves within minutes after reposition yourself. However, you should consult your doctor if there’s no obvious cause for continuing tingling; you feel dizzy or have muscle spasms, as well as having really intense pain.

In some cases, feelings of tingling or burning can indicate a serious injury or medical condition.

Seek Urgent Care if you Recently Experienced any of the Following:

  • A neck or head injury
  • Inability to move your arm
  • Loss of consciousness, even if only for a short time.
  • Feelings of confusion or trouble thinking clearly
  • Slurred speech
  • Vision problems
  • Feelings of weakness
  • Severe pain

Physical Therapy treatment for tingling in the arm

There are many reasons why you might be getting a tingling sensation in your arm. You have multiple nerves that exit from your cervical spine and travel the entire length of your neck down to the arm. You might experience compression of your nerve at any point along that nerve, which will cause a tingling sensation in the arm.

After seeing your doctor, they might prescribe a bout of physical therapy if they feel it can be treated with physical therapy. Physical therapy treatments may include trigger point/pressure point releases to decrease muscle tightness or muscle spasms. A course of modalities such as hot packs, cold packs, ultrasound, medical laser, cervical traction, or manual therapy will decrease tingling in the arm.

To schedule for Physical Therapy at one of the 12 JOI Rehab Centers, please call 904-858-7045.

Related Articles: Tennis Elbow FAQ and Tendinitis in the Thumb.

JOI and JOI Rehab

JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with less phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.

You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if that is your preference.

To make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.

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