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Ever had your arms go numb while running?

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Author Topic:   Ever had your arms go numb while running?
malys
Cool Runner
posted Sep-15-2006 10:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for malys     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This a long shot, in the hopes that someone here has heard of this -- because I really have no idea what I'm dealing with here.

Some quick background: I'm 38, have been running since March, am female and probably 50 pounds overweight. I've been trying to build to 10-15 miles a week, but so far haven't broken 8 miles a week running. I walk, too, on my off days.

About 2 weeks ago, I was running at night when my left arm went totally numb. I thought maybe it was because I was carrying a small walkman-type radio in that hand. It happened again, though, the next day when I was just sitting around, and it stayed numb for several hours. To top this off, I've been having blurred vision and absolutely wicked headaches.

Of course, I went to the doctor, who immediately ordered an MRI. They found -- and this is the part I don't understand -- minimal non-specific white matter gliosis or punctate scarring. Typical in people over 70, but not for my age group. I'm not really worried about this (they said no MS, no tumors) but am just wondering if anyone here has any experience with it. I'm also wondering whether running is now a bad idea, should I stop trying to add mileage, and so forth (the doc didn't say stop running, BTW).

I'm seeing a neurologist in two weeks, and hopefully she will speak English to me . . .

TIA!

Mary

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jansd
Cool Runner
posted Sep-16-2006 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jansd     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know if this could explain your other symptoms, but if your running bra is snug under the arms, this can cause numbness.

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runner5421
Member
posted Sep-17-2006 12:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for runner5421     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I ran a race last week and hadn't done laundry for a while, so I put on an undershirt that was really a bit tight. I had both of my hands going numb during the first couple miles!

Never had that happen before so I think it was the tight shirt.

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bianchilvr
Cool Runner
posted Sep-17-2006 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bianchilvr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are you keeping your arms at a 90 degree angle (elbow to hands, parallel to the ground)? You may be compressing a nerve in your elbow, causing the numbness. Dropping your hands down some could keep this from happening. Good luck!

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malys
Cool Runner
posted Sep-18-2006 10:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for malys     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the info and advice !

I don't think my bra is cutting off circulation; it happens even when I'm not wearing a running bra, so that can't be it. And, while I'm sure my running form is lousy, I don't think that's it either, since it happens at other times, too. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what that neuro says.

Still running in the meantime, of course!

Mary

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michemouse
Member
posted Sep-18-2006 10:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for michemouse     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had that happen quite a lot. Especially when I was going REALLY fast - quarters and speed work stuff during track season. Found out that I have some kind of long named phenomenon which typically is in older women (I'm not much over 20 though) and apparently its was just a circulation thing in my hands that I fix by either dropping my arms out of the swinging or pick them up over my head/squeeze them rhythmically to increase the pressure. However the cold will do the same thing to them or even just standing around sometimes. Which is icky when you run and live in the cold in the North & work with your hands.

Specifically: My hands will go numb with tingles occasionally and my hands will be blotchy then kind of a purple/blue color. Only hurts when they turn blue completely which has only happened a couple of times. (And no its not frostbite)

[This message has been edited by michemouse (edited Sep-18-2006).]

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dg12
Cool Runner
posted Sep-20-2006 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dg12   Click Here to Email dg12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bianchilvr:
Are you keeping your arms at a 90 degree angle (elbow to hands, parallel to the ground)? You may be compressing a nerve in your elbow, causing the numbness. Dropping your hands down some could keep this from happening. Good luck!

I used to run with arms lower to the waist. In the 3 and 4th hour my shoulder would do the the same. It's good to stretch before and during to keep things loose. Focus also on running relaxed because it can cause binding in the nerves.

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