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Thread: Help! Pins and needles

  1. #1

    Help! Pins and needles

    Hi, my first post but I check the site from time to time.

    I have a question about a problem I am having, that may or may not be down to my training. I train in 5 ancestors and have done for about 3 years now. About 6 months ago I began waking in the night and finding that my little finger and ring finger were numb (this happened in both hands) at its peak it was happening most nights for 3-4 weeks.

    I googled it and thought carpel tunnel or some kind or rsi... I do a lot of forearm tendon exercises, tiger claw flexing being the major one, and found my ulner nerve on the inside of my elbow was very tender. I cut down as a precaution but can't honestly say if it helped or not... I don't think I was overtraining and I wasnt using any weights/resistance.

    I went to my GP and it was pretty much a waste of time, he was convinced I was sleeping on my arm or something then suggested I have a cortisone steroid injection. I didnt want this as from what I gather it's just to mask the problem and I don't really want a quick fix that may even hold slight risks.

    Anyway as result I consciously adjusted how I slept and for a time wrapped my arms in a towel at night to keep them straight. It worked and I got to the point that I stopped using the towels and began to sleep normally again.

    Two months on and I have recently been away and not training. However, with this break I have found the problem seems to be returning. Whilst away I began to wake with pins and needles or numbness again in most of my fingers this time. Once again this was only at night. Since returning home I have trained just once and we did a lot of punching (loose snapping and twisting) along with palming and chopping (thin air no boards or bags). I now am having pins and needles again at night less numbness but the I assume the numbness follows as a result of the tingling.

    I'm really frustrated none of my fellow students have experienced this but it's a litle worrying and leaving my palms a little sore the following day.

    Anyone had a similar experience or have any advice?

    One thing that may be having an impact is that I *think* the symptoms may be at their worst after I have been drinking alcohol that night??? Maybe I'm clutching at straws...

    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Texas
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    1,519
    Odds are that it is carpel tunnel. I have the same thing, and the symptoms are exactly the same. I have known a few other people, including the wife, that has experienced the same. What we do to make a living can effect it, then what we do in our spare time can add to it. It sounds like the beginnings. Eventually the pins and needles will be followed by a burning sensation. Then pain in the thumbs. The shots only work for a while, and you will end up getting cut on. It solves the problem though.
    Jackie Lee

  3. #3
    I suggest you ask your master for a solution. Proper kung fu training should heal you, not hurt you. There may be a deviation in your practice.

  4. #4
    what exercises were you doing

    25th generation inner door disciple of Chen Style Practical Wombat Method
    Officially certified by Ethiopian Orthodox patriarch Abune Mathias
    grandmaster instructor of Wombat Combat™®LLC Practical Wombat Method. international academy retreat

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    USA
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    Hello there. I may be able to offer some hints, although whatever you read on this forum should not stop you from seeking help from a REAL person, be it a Orthopedist, Chiropractor, Physical Therapist, Osteopath, etc.

    You need to get a wrist brace to protect your wrist while you sleep. You are probably putting it in a weird position which would explain the feelings you feel. I do not think this is true carpal tunnel, as that is the MEDIAN NERVE that enters the palm via that tunnel, and when that is irritated or compressed, it is not usually the pinky and ring finger that are affected. You can tell which nerve is being irritated based on which finger you have odd sensations in. I am guessing it is your ULNAR NERVE.
    However, it might not be getting compressed at the wrist/carpal structure itself. It can become impinged elsewhere (elbow, etc).

    Ok, I just looked over your post again and saw its the whole hand with pins and needles? Only in the palm or back of the hand too?
    My best recommendation to you is go to a Chiropractor that can also work with muscles and does techniques like Myofascial Release, ART, Graston, etc. (like me! )
    The fact that things are not improving, actually they are getting worse should be a red flag to you to seek real treatment immediately. In the meantime, wrist brace at night, stretch, ice, rest, etc. This is the best advice I can give at midnight LOL

    Best of luck
    TC
    Last edited by TopCrusader; 10-08-2011 at 08:35 PM.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the responses.

    I do pay attention to how I train, I.e be sure not to jar the elbow whilst punching. I'm starting to think the problem may be related to my shoulder as well. I'm not suggesting what I'm being taught is causing this but maybe it brings out the underlying symptoms. We do exercises such as holding the arms out horizontally and circling and I have noticed that during these repetitions I occasionally get a pins n needles sensation beginning in my hand. I will make conscious effort to stretch and recover as there is likely irritation on the nerve in shoulder/arm pit. I have seen a few exercises on YouTube that may keep things in balance.

    *top crusader thanks for the specific advise, I wasn't sure how common it was to have symptoms in BOTH hands as apposed to just one. I will continue to monitor over next week or so and then look to my GP for further options or referrals.

    Neeros I saw my sifu and had a massage of the wrist arm and shoulder which alleviated the symptoms somewhat in the short term. He highlighted my need to massage limbs post training. I just suspect I have the beginnings of something that may require more than this although I still prefer prevention than cure!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Go see a Chiropractic Doctor, we have specific tests for nerves.

    MD's are almost useless for anything other than trauma medicine or internal medicine (maybe).

  8. #8
    from a GENERAL perspective, not having taken a thorough history or examined u, what u report suggests that there is something about the way that u position urself when sleeping somewhere from ur neck down to ur hands is creating entrapment / compression - it could b local at the wrist, but it also could b up at the cervicals, creating nerve root compression;

    the distribution suggests something along the path of ulnar nerve, but again, the entrapment / compression could be further up, or at multiple levels;

    the fact that u get tingling when holding ur arms straight out in front and doing circle could suggest restriction at the level of the thoracic outlet (junction of cervical and thoracic spine and then out to the side a bit, in the groove behind the clavicle)

    I would suggest getting thoroughly evaluated by someone GOOD; for example, one option is to go find a GOOD manually oriented PT who can do neural tension testing and neural glide treatment (a la David Butler); of course, a GOOD chiro, osteo, acupuncturist, etc. could treat u out of their own paradigm with excellent results as well, but NTT is very specific to the nerve as well as the location of the compression, so it's a useful tool in ur case; in theory, a GOOD neurologist / physiatrist can give u an accurate diagnosis as well (notice emphasis on the word "GOOD"; unfortunately, as Fa Xing points out, a lot of MD's r less than helpful w this sort of thing; of course, a lot of PT's, chrios and osteos su(k as well - unfortunately, mediocrity is not profession specific...)

    if it's sleep related, that can b tricky to work with - I do things w my patients to address that, but it's very individualized, and requires a lot of analysis (we try to recreate their sleeping position, which involves something almost like a guided imagery process where u have to get them to spontaneously assume their sleeping postures);

    lastly - is it one side or bilateral? either way, u shud get it evaluated, but if it's bilateral, u shud go c a neurologist or physiatrist ASAP, as bilateral stuff can b spinal cord related (it doesn't have to b, but if it is, u want to know that);

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by TopCrusader View Post
    Hello there. I may be able to offer some hints, although whatever you read on this forum should not stop you from seeking help from a REAL person, be it a Orthopedist, Chiropractor, Physical Therapist, Osteopath, etc.
    this man is almost too smart to be allowed to post here...

    look here, son - on this forum, the only acceptable sort of healthcare related advice is to give highly specific recommendations and guaranteeing positive results, without knowing anything at all about the person's actual condition; if u continue with this sort of "rational" crazy-talk, we're going to have a real problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by TopCrusader View Post
    You need to get a wrist brace to protect your wrist while you sleep. You are probably putting it in a weird position which would explain the feelings you feel. I do not think this is true carpal tunnel, as that is the MEDIAN NERVE that enters the palm via that tunnel, and when that is irritated or compressed, it is not usually the pinky and ring finger that are affected. You can tell which nerve is being irritated based on which finger you have odd sensations in. I am guessing it is your ULNAR NERVE.
    However, it might not be getting compressed at the wrist/carpal structure itself. It can become impinged elsewhere (elbow, etc).
    agree on n. ulnaris and that it may b at several levels; wrist brace could help, but may not be solution if the main problem is proximal;

    Quote Originally Posted by TopCrusader View Post
    Ok, I just looked over your post again and saw its the whole hand with pins and needles? Only in the palm or back of the hand too?
    good question - I was thinking the same thing, that it might be a peripheral neuropathy of some sort - altho I think the presentation wud b a bit different in terms of when he gets sx's...

    Quote Originally Posted by TopCrusader View Post
    My best recommendation to you is go to a Chiropractor that can also work with muscles and does techniques like Myofascial Release, ART, Graston, etc. (like me! )
    all good suggestions; BTW what little I've seen of ART looks neat, similar to some of the stuff done by Gregg Johnston, PT (Functional Mobilization) and Brian Mulligan, PT (NAGS, SNAGS, etc.); and I actually saw someone demo Graston last weekend at a manips course I was taking - looks like a very $$$ way to do gwa sha! but srsly, can totally understand why it works;

    Quote Originally Posted by TopCrusader View Post
    The fact that things are not improving, actually they are getting worse should be a red flag to you to seek real treatment immediately. In the meantime, wrist brace at night, stretch, ice, rest, etc. This is the best advice I can give at midnight LOL
    all good advice, esp the rec to seek out help asap; the only thing I'd b a little hesitant is about using the wrist brace w/out first being evaluated, it might actually make things worse if it's not appropriate (OTOH, it may help a great deal, just saying)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    122
    Taai gihk yahn,
    I actually appreciate the critique of my earlier recommendations. It seems like we are on the same page. (?)
    I am fully certified in Graston Technique, and yes it DOES have similarities with Gua Sha (a technique I have also explored). The biggest similiartiy is how they "scrape" along the skin. But Graston goes much further than that with each tool having a specific treatment angle, way it is used, plus adding in motion on the patients part, etc.
    Hard to explain of course. I have had great success with Graston Technique on a number of typical and more complicated cases.

    take care

  11. #11
    This happens to me all the time. It has nothing to do with your training. It is how you are sleeping. Are you sleeping on your side when his is happening?

    Something is impinging on you radial nerve while you are sleeping. It is the way you a laying in bed.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by TopCrusader View Post
    Taai gihk yahn,
    I actually appreciate the critique of my earlier recommendations. It seems like we are on the same page. (?)
    not a critique (I assume u mean my comments on the wrist splint), just an observation; a critique would have involved the use of characters such as &^*#(@, some name calling and a lot of fist shaking

    Quote Originally Posted by TopCrusader View Post
    I am fully certified in Graston Technique, and yes it DOES have similarities with Gua Sha (a technique I have also explored). The biggest similiartiy is how they "scrape" along the skin. But Graston goes much further than that with each tool having a specific treatment angle, way it is used, plus adding in motion on the patients part, etc.
    Hard to explain of course. I have had great success with Graston Technique on a number of typical and more complicated cases.
    yes, of course - Graston is obviously much more complex than gua sha, considering the latter requires only a soup spoon - I was just making a joke re: the cost of the tools being not cheap; the PT who showed us the work is certified, and she went over numerous strokes / tools (it wasn't part of the curse, she just happened to have her tools and someone had mentioned it, so it was an imprompteau demo); she stated she has used it to great effect in certain complex cases as well;

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R. Brown View Post
    This happens to me all the time. It has nothing to do with your training. It is how you are sleeping. Are you sleeping on your side when his is happening?
    Scott, I think that in ur case it's the rope and harness that r causing the entrapment - mayb u want to hav the little lady go easy on the knots this week?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R. Brown View Post
    Something is impinging on you radial nerve while you are sleeping. It is the way you a laying in bed.
    leave it to a nurse to confuse radial and ulnar nn. distributions; go change a bedpan, Florence...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by taai gihk yahn View Post
    leave it to a nurse to confuse radial and ulnar nn. distributions; go change a bedpan, Florence...
    Ha! I knew it was wrong the second I hit send, but I was too lazy to change it!

    And I knew I could count on you to set it all right as rain!

    Now....would you like another cookie before I send more of Me, Me and Me for you!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by taai gihk yahn View Post
    from a GENERAL perspective, not having taken a thorough history or examined u, what u report suggests that there is something about the way that u position urself when sleeping somewhere from ur neck down to ur hands is creating entrapment / compression - it could b local at the wrist, but it also could b up at the cervicals, creating nerve root compression;

    the distribution suggests something along the path of ulnar nerve, but again, the entrapment / compression could be further up, or at multiple levels;

    the fact that u get tingling when holding ur arms straight out in front and doing circle could suggest restriction at the level of the thoracic outlet (junction of cervical and thoracic spine and then out to the side a bit, in the groove behind the clavicle)

    I would suggest getting thoroughly evaluated by someone GOOD; for example, one option is to go find a GOOD manually oriented PT who can do neural tension testing and neural glide treatment (a la David Butler); of course, a GOOD chiro, osteo, acupuncturist, etc. could treat u out of their own paradigm with excellent results as well, but NTT is very specific to the nerve as well as the location of the compression, so it's a useful tool in ur case; in theory, a GOOD neurologist / physiatrist can give u an accurate diagnosis as well (notice emphasis on the word "GOOD"; unfortunately, as Fa Xing points out, a lot of MD's r less than helpful w this sort of thing; of course, a lot of PT's, chrios and osteos su(k as well - unfortunately, mediocrity is not profession specific...)

    if it's sleep related, that can b tricky to work with - I do things w my patients to address that, but it's very individualized, and requires a lot of analysis (we try to recreate their sleeping position, which involves something almost like a guided imagery process where u have to get them to spontaneously assume their sleeping postures);

    lastly - is it one side or bilateral? either way, u shud get it evaluated, but if it's bilateral, u shud go c a neurologist or physiatrist ASAP, as bilateral stuff can b spinal cord related (it doesn't have to b, but if it is, u want to know that);

    This.

    Your problem most likely originates at your cervical spine. If you find that posture change or a few ibuprofen tablets help...then it's most likely inflammation around the axial nerve or compression of the spinal cord itself.

    Symptoms this mild usually correct themselves, but it may be an indicator of future problems if your disks are degenerating (as all disks do).

    A nerve conductivity test will locate the source of the impingement, then your GP can manage your therapy from there.

    Just remember...the longer that you allow compression on the nerve, the more likely the damage will be permanent.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RD'S Alias - 1A

    I have easily beaten every one I have ever fought.....

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