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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19453
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Occasional numbness and tingling starting at my shoulders and

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Occasional numbness and tingling starting at my shoulders and travelling down both arms until it reaches my hands it lasts about 20 seconds.
It will help if you could provide some further information:
How long have these episodes been occurring?
Do these episodes tend to occur during any particular activity or position?
Are you having any other symptoms between these episodes?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the episodes have occurred for a few years maybe 2 or 3 times a year.

They do not occur during any particular activity or position and I have no symptoms between episodes.

Thank you for the additional information.

The most common reason for such brief symptoms affecting both arms would be some degenerative changes (wear and tear changes) in the neck. Even though the symptoms don't start in the neck, the neck is the only single anatomic location that can affect the nerves to both arms. And the most common problem that exists in the spine that can place pressure on the nerves to either arm are degenerative changes, which can be manifested as arthritis or disc disease.

Although it would require a proper evaluation to determine the exact cause, there are some home interventions that can be considered. The first option, though, is to do nothing. When someone has symptoms from degenerative disease in the spine, the decision of whether to treat is based upon the severity of symptoms. If the symptoms are mild or infrequent, it is fine to decide that treatment will not be done. If the symptoms are more significant or bothersome, then the usual first medicine would be the use of an anti-inflammatory medicine, and a couple of these are available over the counter - ibuprofen and naproxen. Most people would feel that it is not necessary to take a daily medicine to prevent symptoms that are only occurring 2-3 times per year, but if it is bothersome to you, one of these medicines would be the appropriate medicine to take.

If you have any further questions or need clarification, please let me know.

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