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Hands go numb when I sleep.

nowwhat44nnowwhat44 Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Question, I have a one level fusion in my neck and I forget which level, sorry, but also had a one level lumbar fusion at l5-s1 which ended up giving me some pretty bad arthritic stenosis at l4/15 causing some pain my foot and such.

For the last 4 or 5 months I would say, I wake up a few time a week with one of my my hands completely numb, never both but one or the other. I have to shake it and get it moving for a minute or so before feeling returns. I just tought it was from sleeping on it wrong, I tend to bend my wrsits when I sleep. I a also use a computer all day at work then at home too. So I was thinking maybe carpal tunnel.

I never heard of people having their entire hand go numb from the c spine, only certain parts, like fingers or thumb. I used to get a numb thumb before surgery. But I thought I would ask any c spine folks if they think there is a chance this is c spine related of am I just sleeping on it wrong/ maybe carpel tunnel. Again, its the entire hand up to the wrist and I have to shake it for a minute or so to get it moving.


  • Hello,

    I am a "Spiney" and have had both cervical and lumbar surgeries, and currently am going through neck issues again. From what I'm reading about your situation, it "could" be your neck, but of course I'm no physician. It's so hard to say because there are so many reasons, and yes being on computers all day just scream carpal tunnel. My advice? Maybe see a neurosurgeon or even your primary care doc and see if you can get a cervical MRI, and if it comes back clean......you'll have a better idea that its "only" carpal tunnel.

    My .02 Cents! :-)
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,789
    I have for the past several years, both before and after multiple C-spine surgeries have woken up with both of my thumbs "out". Numb and loss of movement.

    It usually will return to normal function within a couple of minutes so I think it has more to do with the position of my neck while sleeping as opposed to carpal tunnel or something more fancy than just good old cervical stenosis and and foraminal encroachment. Thats just my opinion based on my experience.

    As always you are encouraged to discuss your symptoms with someone who has several more years of college and experience and licensure in the "healing arts". Preferably not a Chiroprator .... but again that is just my biased opinion.

    Keep us posted on how you do !!!

    Numb thumbs up !!!!

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  • I tend to lean more towards a non cervical issue because no matter how hard I try I can't replicate it when I am awake. no matter how lay, or bend my neck or anything I can never get any numbness. you would think if it were a cervical impingement I could replicate it by moving a certain way. That plus the fact it is my ENTIRE hand.
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,789
    but .... trying to recreate the consistant preasure with your neck static (non-moving) for 6-8 hours would be difficult to do while awake and lying down during the day.

    Let me know what your doc(s) say and your continued research may prove out. Isn't it fun to feel like a human test subject?? (not really) :(

    Warm Regards,

  • I have experienced my hands going numb while sleeping for 30 plus years. No cervical issues. I was told my shoulder blade and top rib were too close together and it causes compression on a nerve and makes my hands go to sleep. I solve the problem by sleeping with my arms elevated on special pillows that I made. They are about 8" by 18" and fit perfectly at my sides. Sometimes I go to sleep with them other times I wait til I wake up with numb hands and then pull them over and put my arms on them. It was actually a doctor who told me to do this. And it works great!!


    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with instrumentation and bone graft from hip, L1/S1 fusion with replacement disc put in and a nice bolt from my spine to my pelvis; PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies. Currently on tramadol.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
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  • I have been having a ton of issues with my hands lately. About a year ago, my hands started going numb while I was sleeping and it would wake me up each time. Although, with me, It is my thumb and first two fingers. It always either one hand or the other. I wake up each time and have to move my hand or shake it out and only last a minute or so. It has gotten worse over the past year.

    I am having EMG testing in a week or so to see if it is actually carpel tunnel or my neck. My chiro thinks it is from my neck. I do not have any pain in my hands or wrists to indicate carpel tunnel.

    I also reduced hand grip strength especially in my right hand.
  • I understand your concern. It does feel weird to wake up with numb hands. I've had that off and on for a number of years, and so do some others in my family. Like you, I can kind of bend my wrists funny when I sleep which could contribute. One thing which seems to have helped is holding a small pillow while I sleep. The cushioning seems to somehow prevent the hands falling asleep and has reduced pains in my elbows.

    Take care,

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • I have had my hands numbs when waking up. Both before and now after my cervical surgery. When i saw my neurologist the last time they did an emg because of the recurring numbness to rule out carpel tunnel. They said that my wrists were fine so it had to be coming from my neck.
  • i came back to this site because this has been happening to me for the last three weeks since i've moved. i think i may have pushed myself too hard.

    i've been diagnosed with both carpal tunnel and cervical issues, including moderate bilateral foriminal narrowing from osteoarthritis.

    i wake up several times a night literally crying out in pain. when i first wake up, i have the feeling of numb hands and intense pressure, like my fingertips are gonna blow off. then, as i sit up and stretch my neck forward, i get horrible pain as the feeling comes back to my hands and fingers. its some of the worst pain i've had in my life. i've come to dread going to sleep.=(

    i believe, in my case, it's coming from my neck, because when i drop my head to my chest to stretch my neck, the feeling starts to come back. i believe i am releasing the pressure on the nerves.

    i've tried just leaving my head back and pointing my fingers up, like the wrist splints do for CTS, and the numbness doesn't go away. only when i drop my head down and stretch my neck.

    im also waking up with very stiff hands, cant close them at all. its so painful. my shoulders are aching very badly too.

    all of these sypmtoms point to pinched nerves in the neck. whether its a herniated disc or from the arthritis, im not sure. im hoping to address this when i go to the clinic at the end of july. just really stinks to suffer like this til then.=(

    maybe try doing what i do, to see if one or the other relieves the pressure and numbness.

    hope you feel better soon.<3
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