Restless arm syndrome?

OK, I didn't want to blame this on Enbrel, but something different has happened to me three random nights, and this never happened to me before I started Enbrel. Last night it was so bothersome I couldn't sleep half the night!

I wake up in the middle of the night and my arms feel really weird. They feel weak and just uncomfortable. Directly below my collarbones I have tendonitis, but I've had that off and on forever, so that part isn't anything new. But this strange weak feeling in my arms makes me feel crazy anxious! I had to get out of bed last night and watch TV to get my mind off it. I used ice packs, which helped and eventually I relaxed and went back to sleep.

My 32-year old daughter, who doesn't have PsA or anything, has occasionally had this feeling in her arms also, and it's very bothersome for her, too.

Anybody know what this could be?

It sounds like Thoracic Outlet Syndrome to me. Frequently people who have this get short of breath (SOB) when they raise their arms above their heads. You might not feel SOB but anxious instead. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome happens when the musculature in the thoracic area of the body squeezes the nerves as they exit around the clavicle. I do not think you have this BUT the tendonitis around the clavical or collar bone could be putting pressure on the nerves and imitating it. You may want to notify your doctor of this. In the mean time make sure you are taking your NASIDs as ordered and drinking enough water and try to give you clavicle a rest (no washing windows!) so there is no increase in swelling. There is no danger of injuring these nerves they are able to regenerate and are pretty sturdy as they are outside the spinal column not inside it. But it will make you more comfortable. You may want to try different sleeping positions too to see if that takes some pressure off of them. I hope this helps, I'll keep you in my thoughts for restful nights.

Michael is likley deadon. Is this a new problem? Not likley. One of the things we often forget is that theire is purpose for inflammation. It isnt a random event. Just is there is purpose to fever, throwing up and diahrea. Too much and its a problem, and too litle or not in the right spot is a problem. All a lot of words to say the Enbrel is likey going to work. Michael gives ggod afvice, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see it pass. FWIW, too thick a pillow and I'll get similar every time. I'm tothe point where a wedge is all I use.

Same thing is happening to me, however its my hand (pins and needles). It mainly happens at night time, however also happens in the day when I'm on the computer or doing repetitive tasks. Inflammation in my wrist is causing carpal tunnel in my right hand, so I was referred to a PT and was fitted for a wrist support. I also have a similar issue in my legs when sitting sometimes, an irritating nerve like sensation. I believe it all is due to inflammation, unfortunately my current treatment is not doing enough. I will be starting Celebrex next week and probably will be switching over to a biologic next. Hope you and your doctor can figure it out and you find some relief soon!

Thanks, guys. I did what lamb suggested and used a thinner pillow plus I iced my collar bone areas before I fell asleep-the corner between the tops of my arms and my collarbones... Wth is that area called, anyway? I have to admit I never had a human bio class and don't know much more than the major body parts-haha! Anyway, I slept through the night!

TaraLynn, it's not the pins and needles feeling, although I know that feeling, too. :( this feeling doesn't hurt-it more creeps me out cuz my arms just feel weirdly weak. That's the only way I can describe it.

Grandma J,

sorry to hear of your woes. This is familiar territory for me. I was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) and the pressure caused weakness in my hands and very restricted nerve response from my elbows to my finger tips. On top of that, I had cubital tunnel (think carpal tunnel but in the elbows not the wrists), which was worse in my left elbow. My elbow nerve was constantly pinched which left me with little grip strength in my left hand (not a major problem until I tried to move a pick axe in the garage and clonked myself on the noggin with it!) so I ended up having surgery to have my funny bone nerve moved.

I still get terrible pains in my shoulders and elbows at night and I often wake up stratching out my arms trying to get some sense of feeling and life back into them. I never seem to have the same pillows in the same place on any two nights which seems to help, like Lamb says. I go to sleep on my side with my elbows bent and hands drawn up (which is really bad for my shoulders, for TOS, and can really inflame the elbow joint) and then once I'm asleep I'm a back sleeper and I tend to raise my hands over my head--again, terrible for TOS and for my elbows and for circulation in general. My elbows become the first line of aggravation in a flare and they take forever to heal.

One of the only things that has helped me are the elbow braces that were molded for me before I had elbow surgery. They keep my elbows bent, but not too bent. And although they're not super comfortable (and it is hard to pull up your undies if you're wearing both!) I surround myself with pillows when I wear them which supports my arms and takes pressure off my shoulders. A simple version of the same thing is to wear tube socks on your arms. Cut the toes open and pull them over your arms until they cover your elbows and the heel of the sock is over your elbow. Then get another tube sock and ball it up then stuff it in the crook of your elbow (the inside). The balled up sock stops you from bending your arms too much and the tube sock keeps it in place. And the act of wearing them is sometimes enough of a reminder that you'll be careful about your sleeping position.

My elbows are sore too, but not as bad as they were before Enbrel. At this point I don't feel like I need to do much other than using a thinner pillow and icing my shoulders. Once in awhile I take an ibuprofen along with one Tylenol PM and wondering if the ibuprofen has a side effect like that! I haven't taken it the past two nights and I didn't have the weak arms. It sounds like you have more severe damage to your shoulders and elbows than what I have.

janeatiu said:

Grandma J,

sorry to hear of your woes. This is familiar territory for me. I was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) and the pressure caused weakness in my hands and very restricted nerve response from my elbows to my finger tips. On top of that, I had cubital tunnel (think carpal tunnel but in the elbows not the wrists), which was worse in my left elbow. My elbow nerve was constantly pinched which left me with little grip strength in my left hand (not a major problem until I tried to move a pick axe in the garage and clonked myself on the noggin with it!) so I ended up having surgery to have my funny bone nerve moved.

I still get terrible pains in my shoulders and elbows at night and I often wake up stratching out my arms trying to get some sense of feeling and life back into them. I never seem to have the same pillows in the same place on any two nights which seems to help, like Lamb says. I go to sleep on my side with my elbows bent and hands drawn up (which is really bad for my shoulders, for TOS, and can really inflame the elbow joint) and then once I'm asleep I'm a back sleeper and I tend to raise my hands over my head--again, terrible for TOS and for my elbows and for circulation in general. My elbows become the first line of aggravation in a flare and they take forever to heal.

One of the only things that has helped me are the elbow braces that were molded for me before I had elbow surgery. They keep my elbows bent, but not too bent. And although they're not super comfortable (and it is hard to pull up your undies if you're wearing both!) I surround myself with pillows when I wear them which supports my arms and takes pressure off my shoulders. A simple version of the same thing is to wear tube socks on your arms. Cut the toes open and pull them over your arms until they cover your elbows and the heel of the sock is over your elbow. Then get another tube sock and ball it up then stuff it in the crook of your elbow (the inside). The balled up sock stops you from bending your arms too much and the tube sock keeps it in place. And the act of wearing them is sometimes enough of a reminder that you'll be careful about your sleeping position.