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View Full Version : Fingers/Hand/Forearm numbness & Overhead lunges


Adam Spang
06-14-2011, 10:49 AM
During yesterday's WOD (5rds of KTE's, Double unders, and Overhead walking lunges (45lb plate)) my hand/fingers/forearm sort of went numb on my left hand during the 4th round of overhead lunges... It was almost like they were asleep; or the same sensation you get if you sleep weird on your arm, the pins and needles feeling (but nothing too extreme). I had no shoulder pain and was able to complete the WOD, and this morning my shoulder is a little tight (to be expected, normal DOMS for this type of workout I tihnk)

Thoughts? Concerns? Was it poor circulation? The feeling slowly came back after the workout was over and I iced my shoulder last night just to be safe... Sitting out today's WOD as a precaution (front squats/pushup intensive, so i'm playing it safe).

Brent Sallee
06-14-2011, 12:35 PM
What you experienced is called parasthesia - it's not a blood supply thing, it's a nerve thing. You're impinging some nerve(s) while in that position. Do you remember exactly where you felt this sensation? In which fingers? What part of the hand? With your palm up, was it the inside or outside of your forearm? It could either be peripheral nerve impingement, spinal nerve root impingement, or even brachial plexus impingement, all of which typically need professional help to truly remedy. Do you have tight muscles around your neck (particularly the scalenes)? Do you have neck pain? Honestly, there's a lot of places for nerves to get pinched down. A professional, like a physical therapist, can test your sensation, figure out which nerve(s) it is, and modify soft tissue mechanics, neck position, your body mechanics during the squat, etc. If you're inappropriately supporting the weight in the overhead squat by shrugging your shoulders, that could definitely be contributing to this.

Adam Spang
06-15-2011, 09:18 AM
Thanks Brent for the wealth of information...

I'll see if I can answer most of your questions...
-All of my fingers were numb (I think), including the thumb, and it seemed like it was the entire finger, especially the fingertips.
-The sensation stayed even after the movement, completely faed about 5-10 minutes after the WOD. The position of my hand didnt matter, as much as I shook it out, the sensation remained.
-Can't recall the exact part of the forearm where I felt it, as it was mostly in my hand and fingers.
-No neck soreness/tightness whatsoever...just a little shoulder tightness (assuming natural tightness from the nature of the overhead lunges...)

Thanks for your help!

David Hansen
06-15-2011, 02:30 PM
I don't know if my experience is at all relevant to your situation, but I pinched my ulnar nerve doing deadlifts some years ago. To this day I don't know how in the hell it happened - it's a deadlift - but it happened nonetheless.

My pinky and ring finger were almost completely numb, and the numbness extended about halfway up the ulna side of my forearm. It took about 4 months before feeling completely returned.

Brent Sallee
06-16-2011, 06:59 PM
Thanks Brent for the wealth of information...

I'll see if I can answer most of your questions...
-All of my fingers were numb (I think), including the thumb, and it seemed like it was the entire finger, especially the fingertips.
-The sensation stayed even after the movement, completely faed about 5-10 minutes after the WOD. The position of my hand didnt matter, as much as I shook it out, the sensation remained.
-Can't recall the exact part of the forearm where I felt it, as it was mostly in my hand and fingers.
-No neck soreness/tightness whatsoever...just a little shoulder tightness (assuming natural tightness from the nature of the overhead lunges...)

Thanks for your help!

Sounds more like brachial plexus impingement (or significant global cervical stenosis). That won't go away on its own. It likely has to do with your form or focal tightness (not necessarily overall tightness). It'd probably be in your best interest to get it checked out and treated. I'd suggest seeing a physical therapist just because it can be evaluated and directly treated in the same session.