Why Are You Having Numbness and Tingling in Your Hands After a Car Accident?

Florida trial lawyer and chiropractic physician explains why you may be having numbness in your hand after a car accident.

A frequent symptom and complaint after being injured in a Florida car, motorcycle or truck accident is pain, tingling and/or numbness that travels into your hand.  Why are you experiencing these symptoms?

The anatomy of the neck and arm

The nervous system is the communication highway in the body.  The nervous system comes in two or three flavors depending on who is speaking.

  • The central nervous system (CNS) which consists of the brain and spinal cord
  • The peripheral nervous system (PNS) which starts as the nerves exit the spinal canal and travel into the body
  • The autonomic nervous system (ANS) which consists of the parasympathetic and sympathetic ganglion that control automatic bodily functions

A general overview of how the CNS & PNS work

If you want to move your right hand  to scratch your nose – this is how it works:

  • Your brain (CNS) perceives that your nose is itchy
  • Your brain wants to scratch the itch – so it fires a nerve cell in the motor cortex of the brain
  • The brain sends a signal that travels down a specific highway in the brain (called a pathway) firing nerve cells during the way
  • The signal will exit the highway in the lower neck
  • At the time the signals exit the highway it enters another roadway called the PNS
  • The signals travel down the roadway and fire on the cells of the arm and hand
  • When the muscle fibers are activated your arm will lift and your hand will scratch your nose

So why are you having pain, tingling or numbness in your hand?

hand numbness after accident

You are experiencing those symptoms because a nerve or nerves are injured, damaged, or irritated anywhere along the highway.  It can be a central nervous system problem where there is injury to spinal cord in the lower neck; or there can be injury to the nerves as they exit the neck, travel through the shoulder, elbow, wrist and into the hand. Your doctor will be able to work this condition up with a complete exam and diagnostic tests that may include x-rays, CT scan, MRI, EMG or NCV.

It is very important when you see your doctor to explain all your symptoms in detail so he/she will have the proper information to order the appropriate diagnostic tests and come up with a proper diagnosis.  The quicker you are able to be diagnosed the quicker you will be able to be helped.

If you have any questions about experiencing numbness in your arm or hand after an accident, you can call me directly on my cell at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation form on the right.

photo attribution: http://depts.washington.edu/msatlas/111.html

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