Arm Numbness and Tingling During Exercise
Q: Because of my family's history of heart disease, I
have been trying to make an effort not to be like them. I am about 15-20 lbs.
overweight and have been trying to do the treadmill everyday for at least 40
minutes. The problem is when I get to about 20 minutes, my left arm seems to
feel like it is falling asleep. I have to open and close my fist a couple of
times and then put my arm over my head and then it goes away. I put it down
and it starts again. It doesn't happen to me any other time in the day. Is this
Dr. Donnica: The good news is that you are taking positive action
to improve your health and you are probably not paranoid. The pins and needles
feeling that you have during exercise could be one of many things. This feeling
often reflects poor circulation to that area, or that something (your bra strap
perhaps?) could be pinching or constricting that arm. Does it make a difference
whether you walk with you're arms straight down or if you have them bent and
swinging? Or if you hold onto the bars of the treadmill when you walk? Do
you have any pain with this? Do you get short of breath? These are all points
you should discuss with your doctor. You didn't say your age, but given your
family history and your symptoms, your doctor may want to order a cardiogram
(EKG) or an exercise stress test to be on the safe side.
Created: 9/15/2002  - Donnica Moore, M.D.