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Keep waking at 5am with a dead arm - What is causing it and what can I doi about it?

(26 Posts)
Xroads Mon 12-Nov-12 08:16:08

It really hurts and by the time I've got rid of the pain I've lost half an hour of sleep.........

What can I do?

myfavoritedayismonday Mon 12-Nov-12 08:24:41

I have exactly the same thing. I recently had a 24 hour blood pressure monitor and it found that in the early hours of the morning I have really low blood pressure. I presume that this is related. I also wake up absolutely parched (and bursting for the loo), which I also think is related to the low blood pressure. I think that something is not right with my system, but I don't really know what.

BikeRunSki Mon 12-Nov-12 08:28:01

I have had this too since DD was born last year. Sorry I have no cure!

imtheonlyone Mon 12-Nov-12 08:29:32

Do you have any other symptoms to do with your arm or hands. I get the dead arm thing every night too but I also have problems with it in the day. Hand is tingly a lot of the time esp in finger tips and any repeated action (we paddle in canoes a lot) means I end up with a dead hand! And can't even move it. Even being on my iPhone for longer than a few mins at a time I get pins and needles! Doc thinks I have carpal tunnel for which we have just started investigation. Have a chat with your GP if pure worried. Carpal tunnel can be quite dangerous if left as you lose muscle in your thumbs - I reckon my grip is getting worse because I have noticed I drop things a lot more than I used to. So I would get it checked out.
Hope you get it sorted! smile

LivesInJeans Mon 12-Nov-12 08:29:44

Either vascular - blood not getting into that arm or nerves being trapped. Both are probably positional

Can you try sleeping in a different position?

desertgirl Mon 12-Nov-12 08:47:59

If it's your arm down to and including ring finger and pinkie, could be 'cubital tunnel syndrome' which you are susceptible to if you bend your elbows tightly with you arms underneath you (Which sounds ridiculous but is how I was sleeping). If it's that or another positional issue the thing iS to change it by making it uncomfortable to sleep in that position - like the tennis-ball-sewn-to-pyjamas stopping people snoring.

digerd Mon 12-Nov-12 09:26:00

The problem is, while asleep we have no conscious knowledge of what position we are in. Searing pain will wake us up, but numbness usually doesn't, so we are aware of it only when we wake up. Your problem is very common, especially as we get older. My first experience was when I was 40. Doc said probably Carpel Tunnel and or narrowed vertebrae in the neck, trapping a nerve. The latter, there is no cure, the former can be treated with an op, I decided just to put up with it, and change my pillows.

topsi Mon 12-Nov-12 12:58:10

Get a softer matress?

rocketwithbutterflywings Mon 12-Nov-12 13:01:47

I get this when I'm working out a lot, no idea what it is though!

Frontpaw Mon 12-Nov-12 13:02:13

Did you have a little nightcap before retiring? Alcohol stops you moving about so much I your sleep, so can cause you to feel stiff and sleep in silly positions.

FelixDaSouza Mon 12-Nov-12 13:06:29

Sounds like carpal tunnel syndrome to me. I have it very badly in both arms and it drives me INSANE! It has gradually got worse since the birth of my DD over 2 years ago. I foolishly put up with it until it became unbearable.

I now have wrist splints for night time which hold your wrist in a neutral position which helps stop the pain/numbness/tingling. It has helped a bit but i am going to get steroid injections in my wrists in a few weeks and then possibly surgery. Carpal tunnel can also be a symptom of thyroid problems so its worth getting a blood test as well.

My advice would be to not ignore it and go to the GP as it won't get better on its own and has become really quite a problem for me which affects my grip, sleep and I now have pretty much constant pain, pins and needles and electric shocks up my thumbs. Not nice. sad

imtheonlyone Mon 12-Nov-12 14:26:17

Oh Felix - I'm there with you ... Doc has started by saying take anti-inflammatories but its not making any difference sad
Sounds like I'll be on the splints next - have he same probs with pins and needles and the shocks/constant pain in thumbs sad and having blood tests tomorrow.
It's horrible. I would defo get it checked out though OP x

FestiveFelixWithATinsellyBush Mon 12-Nov-12 14:37:39

Excuse the festive name change!blush

It really is quite frustrating, isn't it Imtheonly. I can't take anti inflammatory drugs due to other meds so it's just the splints for me at the moment and I can't even push a shopping trolley or a buggy without my hands going totally dead anymore.

I never imagined I would want a doctor to stick a big needle in my wrists and inject steroids so badly but I am actually looking forward to it!

Hope yours gets sorted for you soon. smile

imtheonlyone Tue 13-Nov-12 08:17:27

Thanks Felix - I hope yours gets better too - I've got my blood tests this morning. DP has pissed off to work without a word and I'm petrified - both of actually having the blood taken (I don't give it up easily and it's often therefore painful and generally very unpleasant leaving me with bruises) and of the actual results .... Did you have the blood tests and if so how long till you got the results?
Sorry for hijacking OP - hope you're ok!! X

digerd Tue 13-Nov-12 09:24:05

Although I am told I have a lovely juicy raised vein in my inner elbow making it easy to take blood, it does depend on the nurse, as I sometimes am bruised afterwards.
Results are back 1-2 weeks after if not done at Hospital, which can be quicker.
Don't understand why nobody has had the operation?

imtheonlyone Tue 13-Nov-12 09:31:50

At docs now ..... Have you had the operation then? I've not been given the option of that yet ..... What's it like and how long we're you out of action for? Ie how log could you not drive? I need to drive to get my DCs to school ..

digerd Tue 13-Nov-12 11:22:41

No. Decided against it as mine was fleeting - came and went. But did see other women who had it with their wrists bandaged. The women explained the op cut the offending bits which were calcified. This was in Germany years ago. And was for carpel tunnel syndrome.

My GP told me that if I responded well to the steroid injections it was a good indicator that surgery would help. I think it is just done under local now and is very quick. Don't know much more about it yet.

I had my bloods done and when I Phoned for the results a few days later I was told by the receptionist that there was no action required. I wanted to know my exact results (I am a nurse) but when I was next with my GP the system was down and he couldn't tell me the exact numbers so I need to check at my next appointment. Even with a seemingly normal thyroid function result, if you have further symptoms and they suspect hypothyroidism they can do more detailed tests.

Xroads Tue 13-Nov-12 12:21:17

This is not sounding good, eeeekkk

What about if I just ignore it?

imtheonlyone Tue 13-Nov-12 12:59:33

Hi Xroads - I have tried to ignore this for a while now but the constant pain in ym thumbs/hands/wrists was enough on its own to go to the docs that's not to mention the incovenience of not being able to do many things I want to do without getting pins and needles or a dead and very painful hand! Depends on how bad your symptoms are! But my advise would be not to ignore it because if left it can deteriorate the muscles in your thumbs leacing you with grip issues! Best to get it checked just in case. Do you have pain at any other times?? It could always just be the way you are sleeping so don't panic yet.

Felix - so sorry to keep pciking your brain about this but I am quite worried. I do appear to have other symptoms of thyroid disorder - the tiredness thing (although always put this down to running round after 4 boys under 7 and not getting anywhere near enough sleep!!) I also had a hoarse voice for over three months lest year for no apparent reason and with no other symptoms - there were a couple of others as well but can't remember them now. What is the treatment for thyroid problems do you know??

Hey ho - will deal with whatever comes my way I suppose and now I've started the ball rolling so onwards and upwards. I am looking forward to not constantly having the pain I must say it makes me feel very old!! Ha, gone all tingly now just writing this on my laptop - need to stop now! Waiting game for results now ..... sad

XRoads don't ignore - it doesn't work! grin

imtheonly Low thyroid function is treated with thyroxine tablets daily. Try not to worry too much until you've had the blood tests. It's quite common. smile

digerd Tue 13-Nov-12 13:18:01

I had an overactive Thyroid in 1969, but being treated to slow it down I went underactive, so know both symptoms. Underative is treated with Thyroxine tablets, which is the Thyroid's hormone. A Thyroid function blood test will determine if your Thyroid is not working properly. When mine went badly underactive, I had terrible cramp everywhere in my muscles, hair fell out and was slurring my speech. Apart from putting on 2 stone in 10 weeks.

HarlettOScara Tue 13-Nov-12 13:28:14

I've had carpal tunnel decompression surgery on my right but now I need it again on the other hand. The surgery itself is very straightforward...took about 40 minutes under local anaesthetic, stitches came out after 10 days or so and I was back at work a week after that. That was nearly 4 years ago and it was a complete success - no problems at all since.

The other hand has been ,ildly affected for several years but it has become so much worse since DD was born so I know I need surgery again but I'm putting it off for now as I can't imagine how I'd manage a baby with a hand out of action while it heals.

Xroads Tue 13-Nov-12 17:43:00

My only symptom is the night waking thing.......I'll mention it the next time I'm in the docs.

LavenderPots Tue 13-Nov-12 17:49:00

oh i get this sometimes but thought it was because i was just lying funny blush

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