Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why does an arm tingle while running?"
I'm pretty fit, 32 years old ? I run a lot. I've noticed that my left arm starts tingling if I push myself too hard. Why does this happen? Is it a symptom of nerve damage, or a problem with my running style? How can I figure out what's happening and work to prevent it?
Tingling is a type of parasthesia. This term refers to abnormal sensation that occurs because of nerve problems. There are some serious causes of nerve damage, therefore I would suggest you see your primary care doctor who could both diagnose and potentially treat your tingling. Left untreated--nerve damage can be permanent. Parasthesias most commonly occur from nerve problems. In the hand, one must worry if a specific nerve is being pinched. It is not uncommon that the nerve that is being pinched is worse with movement (like exercise). The three most common places for a nerve to be pinched is (1) in the neck where the nerve exits the spinal cord. This is often associated with neck pain. (2) In the elbow. The ulnar nerve runs near the elbow and can be pinched which causes tingling in the pinky and fourth finger. (3) In the wrist, specifically the carpal tunnel. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome refers to when the median nerve is pinched in the wrist and causes symptoms in the thumb, pointer and middle finger. These all can be exacerbated by movement. There are other causes of nerve problems. These include diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, hypothyroidism, Lyme disease, syphilis and amyloidosis. There can rarely be brain disorders like multiple sclerosis that causes these symptoms but these are all rare. I would recommend seeing your primary doctor who can evaluate your symptoms and see what treatment is required. If weakness ever develops, that would be an emergency
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