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Pain in right arm when lying on either side- Radiculopathy?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have had pain in the back-right side of my neck and right upper arm for approx 6-8 weeks now. The pain is felt in my neck and/or right arm for approx 90% of the day. Range of motion in head is limited when trying to look left.

MRI in early Jan revealed: "approx 4 mm right paracentral and/or neural at c5-c6 foraminal disc protrusion which displaces the nerve root and contributes to moderate neural foraminal impingement. Correlation with right sided symptomalogy is recommended . No evidence or central canal stenosis " and "Reversal of Normal Cervical Lordosis".

I strongly believe that the disc bulge was caused by a bad chiropractic adjustment in late December because that is when I started experiencing the pain in my arm.

The thing that really is getting to me is that the pain in my right arm is at it's worst when I attempt to lie down on either my left or right side. The pain gradually diminishes when I lie facing up. I have always struggled to sleep facing up and now this is the only way I can sleep without having the pain wake me. I have been unable to sleep through the night since the pain started going into my right arm. -HAS ANYONE EXPERIENCED ANYTHING LIKE THIS-

3 different neurologists have told me to give it time but how much time should I allow to pass? None of the neurologists have ever heard of anyone experiencing pain in one arm when lying on either side. EMG & Nerve conduction tests were normal so the neurologists believe the pain is caused when the muscles spasm and irritate the nerve. I do not think this is the case because I don't feel any type of myscle spasms. Muscle relaxor Zanoflex was prescribed but it does not do much. I have also tried Neurontin. I was given a medrol dose pack (oral steroid) which allowed me to lay on my side but symptoms returned when I finished the dose pack. I tried 1 session of accupuncture with no luck and have now been going to physical therapy 2x a week for the past 2 weeks. Physical Therapist says that nerves are the slowest to heal so he too says to give it time. I have seen zero improvement.


  • Hi

    Prior to my ACDF for root compression ect I was unable to sleep on my left side as this badly irritated my right arm. I also noticed turning my head use to do the same thing. So you are not alone in this.

  • Hi, i'm about to have a double ACDF, and i was thinking today about how this all came on for me. For the last 6 months, i always had to adjust my right arm when i slept (on either side), in to a particular position so that it didn't hurt. I had attributed it to neck strain... at the time i had no idea my neck strain was actually radiculopathy! so yes... i think its all part of the radiculopathy. As for how long is too long.... its how long can you cope with the pain, is it interfering significantly with your ability to work and/or quality of life... and what the doc says! For me... my MRI was pretty conclusive and they didn't want to wait around too long, and i'm glad... everytime i think the pain is gone... back it comes! I keep saying... I just want my arm back lol!

    Good luck and i hope your pain eases
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • I appreciate the feedback. Im still in awe that none of the doctors I've seen have ever heard of this.

    The pain sucks and is preventing me from doing anything active but it seems like my only alternatives to time and PT are epidurals and surgery which I do not want. I can suck it up longer, I just hope it doesn't get worse on it's own. None of the neurosurgeons I have seen can give me a straight answer either.

    Has anyone had permanent relief from an Epidural? I'm hesitant to get an epidural because I have read that the effects are only temporary and can sometimes worsten the situation. The last neurosurgeon I saw told me that a 4mm bulge is not significant enough for an epidural or surgery. Has anyone heard otherwise?

    By the way, what is an ACDF? (Sorry, Im a rookie)
    Thanks again.
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