Hey guys…I can’t feel my arm…

dead armDue to an overabundance of push presses and push ups (thanks Crossfit!), I’ve started  suffering from radial neuropathy on my right arm.(That’s fancy speak for nerve damage) Since I sleep on my stomach with my head on my arm, I’m compounding the situation every night by literally sleeping on the damaged nerve.

The result? Every morning I wake up and I can’t feel my arm.

(Stop taking notes guys; you can’t grip nothin‘)

Everyone’s woken up with a dead leg or a dead arm.. Typically from sleeping funny or, if you’re lucky, from being clamped between someone’s arms or thighs all night. As a one off, its no biggy but as an every morning occurrence, it sucks. Especially as the arm starts to wake up – usually about 30 mins into the day – when the pain.. oh my god.. the pain starts.

Needless to say I’m a big wuss, so after a week of walking around like Frankenstein, I put down the barbell and headed to the doc for limb replacement…or at least some really good pain pills.

Sadly all I got was a prescription for physio.  Which is now underway. (oh and the answer to the sleeping problem.. sleep between two pillows….or have someone strap your hands  to your sides. I know which I’d prefer….but that’s a whole other story.)

Anyway, after hearing me moaning and groaning about my fancy pants nerve damage, my coworker sent me a link from a guitar player who was suffering from a similar complaint via online community forum for guitar players;

As I type this out with one hand, I have a question. I woke up this morning and my left arm has been “asleep” from the elbow down for 12 hours now….Needless to say, it has me kind of freaked out. Nothing else is out of whack like bad color or anything and I can move everything, I just can’t really feel. Anyone ever had this happen before? Looking for some insight. Good thing I didn’t have a show or something today.

And here’s what his every-helpful guitar community had to suggest;

A. are you trapped in a canyon in Utah between a wall and a boulder? choices are:
1) cut arm off with a pocket knife or
2) go see a doctor immediately

B. Rub some dirt on it. It’ll be fine.

C. I often sit on my hand till it falls asleep…but that’s a different story.

D.I’ll never understand why some people will ask these questions regarding potentially life threatening problems affecting them on a message board that has nothing to do with medical problems instead of going to see a professional right away.

E. It could be the onset of a stroke. You might die. Are you still reading this message board… or are you at the hospital?

F. A blood clot could also cause numbness in extremities. Is there any discoloration?

G. I’d hang out on the internet for a few days and ask for medical advice on a musicians’ forum dedicated mainly to guitar gear. You’ll probably get much better advice than you would if you went into see your doctor.

H. Windex.

I. Hit your hand with a hammer. You’ll forget all about your arm.

J.Do you actually need your arm? If not, don’t worry about it.

K. I woke up this morning and my left arm has been “asleep” from the elbow down for 12 hours now… Now it will probably be up all night……

Then, 12 hours later… the original poster shows up again….

Thanks for posting on my thread. how long should I wait before becoming really concerned? It’s still numb today and I just slept last night hoping for an improvement. Should I go to the ER today?

M. Go to the hospital right away. Your symptoms can be that of a stroke. It can be permanent. You’re supposed to go to the hospital within 3 hours if it is a stroke. My mother had numbness in a finger as she was talking on the phone. She didn’t think anything of it. The numbness didn’t go away and the full right side of her body was affected. We waited too long to go to the hospital, and now it’s permanent. It may not be a stroke but you never know as that is a classic sign of a stroke. Since you waited this long it may not be reversible.

N. Go see the doctor or it might affect your genitalia very soon. You don’t wanna mess with your genitalia, do you?

O. I had a similar thing happen to me a couple years back. I woke up one morning and both my left foot and hand were numb, by that night, it had spread up to my knee and elbow. Went to the hospital and by the next day my whole left side from my chest down was numb. An MRI confirmed that I had Multiple Sclerosis.

P. Once your arm sees a new Les Paul it snap right back to scratch.

And we never hear from ‘Steve’ the original poster ever again….

So here’s a lesson of the day from ‘Steve’ (hoping he’s still out there).

Don’t ask your online guitar gear community forum for health advice. They are not doctors. If your arm is numb for more than a few hours, you could have had a stroke, a heart attack, you may have MS or just nerve damage.

You most definitely have questionable intelligence.

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