Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

"Saturday Night Palsy"

Posted In: Medical Stories 4 Replies
  • Posted By: Vikefantam
  • May 30, 2009
  • 04:14 PM

Back when I was having chronic back pain problems, I often found it helpful to fall asleep upright on the couch with the legs extended and my right arm hanging over the side of the couch. Apparently, I managed to injure some nerves in my arm by sleeping on them too much because I woke up one morning unable to feel most of my arm and hand. I went to the ER, panicked. The doctor told me it was called Saturday Night Palsy because generally, drunks get it after becoming intoxicated and leaning on a nerve too long (brachial? radial?) - like falling asleep on their arm on a park bench. It took about 3 weeks for the feeling to come back in my arm. Strange to end up with a "drunk's disease" when I don't even drink.

Just curious if anyone else has ever experienced this.


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4 Replies:

  • Hi ! yes saturday night palsy is very common, and is called because most people drink on saturday as a weekend and sleep in an unknowning position in which there arm pit is compressed against the edge of the chair or coutch leaving their hand hanging overnight.axillary nerve or radial nerve goes for compression(neuropraxia). It is also experienced by non drinkers also, its not that drinkers only get this but is mostly seen in drinkers because of their weird sleeping position. so need to worry but if your hand is still going num again and again without sleeping in that weird position then u should ask for an x-ray for cervical (neck) to rule out any nerve root compression. Take care Dr. Jitendra(PT)
    jituphysio 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi. Thank you for your response. It look a long time, but all of the feeling is finally back. I am a medical transcriptionist by trade. It was not fun trying to type with a mostly numb hand and arm. I've already been thru DeQuervain's surgery on my right hand and know that carpal tunnel surgery is more than likely in my future. I think everything is okay now with the palsy. My main worry is all the bulging disks in my thoracic and lumbar spine. How much longer until they herniate? Again, thank you for being kind enough to reply! Have a great day! Tammy
    Vikefantam 30 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello If there is bulged disc in your lumber region. u should worry a little bit. coz bulging disc will lead to any neurologic problem to your lower limb. if it has progressed to advance level then its very difficult to cop up with, then u will need a surgery. But there are ways to control bulging of the disc. CARE1. stop lifting heavy weights 2. Do not stress yourself especially in the activity which involves your back. 3. Do not do activities which need holding of your breath. 4. Try avoid bending of the trunk forwards . 5. Exercise. : do extension exercises under the supervision of any physical therapist . 6. back care is must. 7. use a lumber corset while walking.8. Check your posture regularly and 9. Take out radiological film of your spine, where the area is involved. Sorry for the late reply, since i was busy with my exams . Dr. Jitendra . PT(musculoskeletal)
    jituphysio 3 Replies
    • October 14, 2009
    • 10:55 AM
    • 0
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  • Hello One important thing , the disc do not bulge at thoracic region. But you must check any kyphotic posture at thoracic region. Please let me know then Dr. Jitendra PT(musculoskeletal)
    jituphysio 3 Replies
    • October 14, 2009
    • 10:57 AM
    • 0
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