Or – why the heck is my ring finger to my thumb going numb?
Alright look, one of the things I’m hoping to do as your Twin Falls chiropractor is to shed some light into why your body hurts.
And this…this is something that I have struggled with. A few years ago my hands went numb and it continued to get worse and worse.
Well when I say my hands, what I mean to say is from my ring finger to my thumb on the palm side.
See there are three main nerves that supply touch sensation to your hands. They are the radial, median, and ulnar nerve.
And my particular hand numbness is coming from the median nerve, as that is the exact area it provides sensation for (don’t worry, we’ll get into the other nerves at a future date).
Your next questions might then be, well why didn’t you title this median nerve problems?
Well that would be too easy 😛
No actually the reason why is because that is too broad of a description. The median nerve goes down the whole arm! And while the numbness is manifesting itself in my hand, the problem is stemming from a very specific part of my arm.
Namely from where the nerve crosses the elbow.
It’s called pronator syndrome because that’s the action and those are the muscles that cause the numbness to come on.
Now what the heck is pronation? Good question, it’s a super fancy medical word for the position your hands are in when you are typing on a key board.
The opposite of pronation is called supination and that is as if you had your hands on the keyboard palms up (yeah you can’t type that way but it’s a good image yeah?)
Anyway as the median nerve travels across the elbow in the area of the pronator muscles it can get trapped in a few different spots (which, side note, is why you should never just assume that hand numbness is carpal tunnel syndrome).
You are looking at an elbow. The top of an elbow anyway.
As you’re looking at this, or if you just want to take my word for it, there are 5 places that the median nerve can get trapped as it traverses this part of the arm.
- Supracondylar process
- Ligament of Struthers
- Bicipital aponeurosis
- Between the two heads of the pronator teres
- Flexor digitorum superficialis aponeurotic arch
Now you might not be able to see all those things on the picture above (because they aren’t all labeled) but they are there.
There are specific tests that can be performed that can differentiate where the pain is coming from.
For example: if you flex your elbow and place your opposite hand on your wrist and while trying to flex the bent elbow you resist with your other hand and the numbness comes on…then the median nerve is stuck in the bicipital aponeurosis.
And yes I am an expert on this one because that is where my hand numbness is coming from.
Once you know where the numbness is coming from then you can treat it. Knowledge is half the battle.
So if you find yourself with numb hands and you also happen to find yourself in the Twin Falls Idaho area…then I can help you. Consider me the Twin Falls numb hands chiropractor…ok ok that makes me sound like my hands are numb all the time. So consider me the Twin Falls chiropractor who can help with numb hands!