Many patients will come in reporting that they have tingling in their hands and fingers. They always feel that it must be from a pinched nerve, however this is rarely the case. Most commonly, it is from tight muscles in the neck, specifically the muscles in the front of the neck. There are many blood vessels and nerves that travel thru the muscles of the front of the neck and into the arms. When the muscles become tight, they can squeeze on these vessels and nerves. Although the tight muscles do not normally compress the nerve and cause the tingling, they do compress the blood vessels. Arteries are very large and have thick muscular walls that do no allow them to be compresses. The veins however have only thin walls and are very easily compressed. When the tight muscles in the front of the neck compress the veins, then the blood cannot drain from arms and the blood will tend to collect somewhat in the arm, specifically in the fingers and hand and this will cause tingling. That is why when you “shake out” your hands, the tingling will go away, because that causes an increase in blood flow.
The muscles in the front of the neck become tight most commonly when we hold our shoulders and head in front of the upper body, such as when we sit at our work desks at a computer and have our arms out in front reaching forward. Regular adjustments can keep these muscles loose and reduce the tingling in the hands. It is also a great idea to get up and move around every little bit while at work to allow full blood flow and to perform some simple stretching exercises during the day, either when at home or when sitting at your desk at work. Click here to see helpful stretching exercises that you can perform while seated at work. Exercising on a regular basis can also help to keep regular blood flow, even when we are sitting at our desks too long.
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