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February 5, 2007 8:15 AM   Subscribe

Slight numbness in left pinky, and a lot of difficulty (and slight pain when) curling the pinky; stiff neck on left side, sore left arm. Is this a pinched ulnar nerve or something more serious?

I've looked around a bit and the 'numbness' part seems to be associated with ulnar nerve pinching -- this does match my condition to an extent, since on Sat. I did feel soemthing on my ring finger as well. My biggest problem is moving the finger itself, though; on Friday or so I had a lot of pain moving the pinky; I thought I caught a sliver on it, so I bandaged it a little and kept using it. Now the pain's subsided a little, or so it seems, but without making a real conscious effort I can't seem to curl my pinky all the way, and it still hurts when I do move it in.

I've been feeling other things as well -- left knee feeling weaker than usual, left foot going numb a little quicker than the right after sitting on the toilet for too long, sore left neck, fatigue on left arm -- but these could just be psychosomatic.

From a little googling, it sounds like my conditions can either be a pinched ulnar nerve or a similar case on my neck -- if it wasn't for the whole thing about not being able to curl the finger. Does anyone know what I have here? If it's not something that can resolve itself, what kind of doctor should I be seeing about this?
posted by Muu to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
 
Do this:
1) Press Ctrl+P and click ok.
2) Take the stuff that comes out of your printer with you to your doctor.
3) Don't wait for any more answers, just do it right now.
posted by baphomet at 8:26 AM on February 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oh for heaven's sake, go to a doctor already! Start with your GP if you're unsure what to do, or go to the ER if it seems acute. I would treat unexplained numbness on one side of my body very seriously indeed, and I would not spend a lot of time waiting for answers here that might make you take it less seriously. No one can diagnose you without doing a physical exam, no matter what the internet says. You're not talking about a hangnail, here, but about something that could be substantially more serious.
posted by OmieWise at 8:40 AM on February 5, 2007


Muu, maybe you slept on your arm funny and simply banged your pinky. Maybe you are developing a sinister neurological condition.

Do you see how there's a slight difficulty with this internet thing diagnosing what's going on?
posted by peacay at 8:40 AM on February 5, 2007


Go to the emergency room and tell them you're experiencing numbness on the left side of your body.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 8:43 AM on February 5, 2007


Dued(ette?) -- do not go to the emergency room. Call your regular doctor and describe your symptoms. If s/he thinks it's an emergency, then go to the ER. Otherwise you can make an appointment. Or go to a walk-in clinic, they'll take your insurance if you've got and they're affordable if you don't. You won't have to pay for an ER trip and it will take an hour instead of ten. Also, do yourself a favor and stop googling.
posted by robinpME at 9:31 AM on February 5, 2007


Could be circulatory. Numbness and/or pain on the left side is common in people who have imminent heart problems, and numbness and/or pain on one side is common in stroke victims.

Also could be meningitis. Hell, it could be any number of very bad things. Or it could be nothing.

Regardless, you really need to see a doctor, because only a doctor will know for sure. And you should see one today.
posted by solid-one-love at 9:34 AM on February 5, 2007


Guess I will try and see a GP about this (well, it'll be a NP late in the day since all the day appt's were gone). Thanks to all of you for the heads up.
posted by Muu at 10:03 AM on February 5, 2007


Pain/numbness on the left side can be a symptom of a heart attack.

If that's not likely, it's probably just something you did to your neck/shoulder/arm that'll get better.
posted by callmejay at 10:33 AM on February 5, 2007


Well, I popped my neck a little bit ago, and right after that I got full control of my fingers again -- guess a nerve got unpinched?

Still got the sore spots here and there, though; should I just go straight to a neurologist now (instead of the GP) to see what the heck is/was going on?
posted by Muu at 10:52 AM on February 5, 2007


IANAD.

But when I had numbness in my legs and I discovered that I could relieve it by performing certain motions, my doctor was MORE not less worried. "Unstable" was the word he used.

Could be nothing. Could be something. Could be something minor. Could be something major.

See a doctor.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 12:31 PM on February 5, 2007


yeah, maybe it's a small stroke, you should go see a doctor
posted by matteo at 12:56 PM on February 5, 2007


...or it could be Trigger Finger (google it) in the pinky. The rest could be psychosomatic, or a result of whatver repetitive motion you did to cause the TF. Do you golf? Chop wood? Type with a lot of Q's? If the pinky is just as hard to straighten out as it is to bend -- and feels like it has a little catch to it -- it could be TF, which is not serious, but may require a doc to prescribe some NSAIDS and maybe a splint.

But yeah, go see an MD if you're the least bit concerned about it.

NOUAD. (none of us are doctors)
posted by turducken at 3:01 PM on February 5, 2007


I often have a numb pinky. I crack my knuckles a lot - I think it's a side-effect of that.
posted by Dag Maggot at 10:20 PM on February 5, 2007


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