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neck and left arm pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi all new guy here, for the past few weeks I have been having severe pain in my neck and left arm all the time. when I turn my head a certain way the pain gets real bad like an 8 to 10 but a constant 6. I don't recall hurting my neck or back. A few times when watching tv I turned my head and my left arm jumped. Im calling my primary tommorrow, will he check me out or will he send me to a chiropractor? I also read somewhere that chiro's don't manipulate the cervical part of the spine. I may be wrong, doe's anyone have an idea what this could be and do you think it could be serious
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Comments

  • Nitromethanol, welcome to spine-health. Just curious about your user name...is it something to do with fuel for automobiles?

    I agree with Paul that it is good that you are seeing a doctor. The doctor will likely do a thorough examination, including neurological testing. I wouldn't be surprised if he has you do c-spine x-rays. I started with left arm pain and was floored when the doctor told me it was from my neck. But within just a few weeks every movement of my neck made the pain worse, which is what it sounds like you are going through right now.

    I wish you well, and I'm glad you are seeing a doctor. Get checked out and then let us know what the doctor says. In the meantime, try alternating ice and heat.

    Cindy
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Good to go see the Doc. Mine started with a bad stiff neck, (in June 08) which went away after a few days, but my shoulder hurt like mad, under the shoulder blade, the joint itself, the elbow my wrist, tingles, muscles twitching the whole 9 yards lol... After several xrays, CT scan, and MRI they finally figured out it was c-6 herniation. My MD thought it was tendonitis gave me 2 shots, no relief, found a new MD but couldnt get in for a month and a half so I went to the Chiropractor in the mean time. Worked with him for quite awhile, but the number one thing that helped was the new MD put me on an anti inflamitory (Arthrotec 75mg BID) (before the MRI). After 2 tablets the pain was gone, the trapezius muscle settled down no more spasm. Most days the pain is 0-2, still have the tingles... just about anytime I get the tingles up and down my left arm I move my head and they stop, usually looking to the right and slightly down works for me. Saw a NS who wants to do ACDF C5 and C6 due to degenerative arthritis in C5 it wont last long with a fusion below it so the NS wants them both. Ive put him off for awhile working with a chiropractor, he has adjusted my c-spine as well as the rest of it, uses heat and ultrasound, some light massage and now has me doing exercises with 5 lb weights, and just yesterday I felt almost normal again, even the pesky numbness of the index finger went away for awhile yesterday! Sorry to ramble on here, hope it helps you somehow, maybe in having the convo with the doc... Good luck to you!
  • Welcome here!!

    I think the fact that you have realized your pain is a signal of something going on even though you do not recal some trauma or and funny littel injury is good. Somtime people just ignore the little signs and Don't call there Doc!

    I am glad that your going to you GP, and like Neck of Steelhas stated the firs thing that the docs usually do is order an x-ray and then move on to other things from there

    Please come on back and let us all know how your doing and what your doc says...
    Try not to worry because sometimes it Does turn out to be something that is not to significant, but better to be safe then sorry!
    As far as Chrios go...some Docs believe in them and some don't. I have been, and my chiro will adjust a neck either manually or with a small tool. I was not allowed to have this type of manipulation becasue of my neck problem...this was an order from my Neurologist. So mainly I went to have my shoulders and mid back worked on which consisted of a lot of amssage type therapy and some electrical stim type stuff. I also had traction done and then bought a home unit, but it just did not feel as good as when the Chiro did it and I have not used it but maybe 5-6 times.

    Good luck
    Chrissy
  • well I went to see my doc and he sent me for x-rays as soon as I left his office. They took about 10 or so x-rays,I was standing the whole time. Don't know if this was an accurate way to see if anything was wrong since it was just x-rays,no mri and I don't know why since the pain is so bad you would figure they would try to isolate the cause by all means possible. Anyhow after the rays they told me that everything looks fine, no herniations no bulging no acute diseases yada yada. The doc called me and said if I wasn't feeling better in a couple days he would give me a referal for chiro or pt, I said how about giving me a ref for a chiro today since it hurts so bad, I still have to work and support my family and can't afford not to go to work especially with whats going on in the world. Do you think that they should have done a mri just in case the rays didn't show any problems? and do you think it's safe to go to the chiro or would a pt be better. I'm going on thursday or friday hopefully when it's a slow time at work. I will be in touch. Thanks for your support
  • There have been good and bad said about chiro care so not really knowing your condition or what they are going to offer it is hard to tell. As far as the physical therapy goes that depends as well as to the type of therapy they are ordering. But there are things you can try as well that may help like acupuncture or massage therapy if the doc doesn't order. Which ever you choose if it causes more pain i would make sure to call the doctor. As well as whoever is giving you treatment make sure they are aware if you have increased pain. I do hope you are able to get the time off work to do one or the other. Keep us posted on how it goes and which route you choose.
  • I had SEVERAL xrays, glowed in the dark for a week! And they were all standing position. Well they didnt show much of anything, but some degenerative arthritis typical of a 39 y.o. Anyway went through the CT scan also, again showed the arthritis. I got upset with my Doctors nurse and asked her if simple degenerative arthritis would be causing all this pain and numbness, she said unlikely. My Doc called me to ask a few questions said MRI for you and of course that found the disk issues which landed me at the NS office. My Chiro has worked with me since all this started and Ive come a long way in 5 months. Funny how some say NO to Chiro's, but mine has given his opinion every step of the way and he has been absolutely correct 100% of the time, which I found rather interesting. So with my NS blessing, I continue to work with him and avoid the knife!
  • well I went to a chiro and he ordered a mri and the results are c4-c5 there is a small disc bulge,but no central spinal canal or neural foraminal stenosis. c5-c6 there is disc osteophyte complex,which indents the ventral aspect of the thecal sac,there is no central spinal canal stenosis. there is a mild bilateral unconvertable joint hypertrophy,left greater than right,which results in moderate left but no right neural foraminal stenosis. my chiro basically told me it is arthritis and I need to go see a NS. He told me see what he recommends. What are your thoughts on my diagnosis? surgery is out of the question because I need to support my family. I work at a cadillac dealership and sometimes fixing these can twist you like a pretzel. Im getting stressed out now. should I be?
  • Hey Nitro--pain is always a bad thing, but I think the fact that your MRI shows no spinal stenosis is a good thing! (just my opinion) I think surgery should be a last resort. Get to a NS for his opinion, and keep us posted. Good luck!--Mazy
  • I had the same symptoms as you did, and am just getting over constant level 8-9 pain - when someone tells you I feel your pain...I am there with you.

    It appears from your description is that you have a severly pinched nerve caused by a slipped, ruptured or herniated disk (all same term for the same problem).

    My neuro surgeon sent me for epidural shots in my cervical spine. The shot is "nothing" relative to the horrible pain you are going through. It took about a week before I felt real relief - a drop of about 50%. I had a second epidural a month later - and within a week the pain was maybe at a 10-20% of what it was.

    It is almost two months since my "crash and burn" episode - I am doing no hefty lifting, but I do work out on a treadmill and glider and am mostly pain free.

    During my "pain", I was originally on oxy-contyn - strong stuff but you really need it. After a couple of weeks I was on vicadin and curently haven't used in about 6 weeks. Don't be afraid to ask for meds!! Be sure to use stool softners - otherwise...

    I also found icing down my shoulder all the time gave me paliative relief - the anestheiologist said you hot or cold, what ever makes you feel better.

    Like others have said -surgery is you last option.

    Good luck and feel better
  • I have been using the icy hot speed stick and it helps me get through my day at work but the pain is still pretty bad. Which doctor gives you the meds because I think I might need them. My primary doesn't prescribe narcotics he told me to take advil or alieve. Which doctor is the one I should ask? Lately my left arm is going numb along with the pain, this stinks Im only 41 and in descent shape.
  • I was originally prescribed Vicadin by my internist. When I spoke to my neuro they did give me the Oxy prescription. Oxy is super highly controlled - vicadin can be called in by any Doctor. Your regular doc should be sensitive to your pain - advil or any of those otc pills do nothing!! Bottom line, now that you have something of a relaitonship with a neuro they should be able to prescribe it.

    As an FYI, my symptoms began with a sore neck followed by tingling down my arm - but little or no pain. The MRI's were ugly, but a good neuro won;t operate unless you cn't get rid of the pain with non-invasive treatment. I had another neuro who was ready to jump at cutting three minutes after he saw me. The one i see wanted me in agony.

    After about three months the tingling went away - and I was good for over a year. Last August - I must have done something funny and ended up like you - in agony - feeling like someone is trying to rip my arm out of my shoulder.

    It is now three months later, i am careful but am relatively pain free and knwo what might set me off again.

    Like you , I am not an "old man" - as you can see from the site, there are lots of young whipper-snappers in pain.

    Good luck

  • Well I talked to my Primary and he said I have to go to Pain Managment. Is this normal to go there first before going to a spine doctor? I am a little confused, or do they have a spine doctor there. I really don't feel comfortable going right to PM. What would they try besides epis and PT? My pain is way out of control and is really slowing me down at work. This bites.
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