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Left arm pain and tingling

sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:36 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
My left hand has been tingling almost constantly for the past few weeks. Yesterday my left arm absolutely ached and nothing would help it. It felt like the bone was aching. It still hurts today but not as bad just this constant tingle/burn. If I bend my head down (like to look for crumbs on my shirt :D) when I raise up I see spots..little white diamonds floating around. (not the kind that are a girls best friend unfortunately) Is this something I should worry about? That is assuming my neck is the cause? Any ideas how long I can put off having something done before these things may become permanent? I know there's no way of saying definitely but what experiences have you had? Thanks for any suggestions. I just haven't felt like my cervical problems are bad enough to risk surgery for but now I'm beginning to wonder.


  • Any time you have symptoms progressing through your arms, you need to take it seriously. I don't want to scare you, but my left arm started with tingling and within a month it progressed to severe muscle pain and weakness. I could barely lift a glass of iced water.

    This is only my opinion, I'm not a doctor. I have no idea how long it takes for nerve damage to become permanent, but it's always a concern.

    I know you've been looking for a spine surgeon who doesn't require a referral, but keep looking and/or take these new symptoms to your PCP.

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I've been so worried about my lbp that I've been ignoring my cervical issues. My whole arm is burning now. About three days ago I started having crampy pains below my left ear. You know the kind that stab you from out of no where? It isn't really an earache but more under the ear. Does this sound like it could be connected? To be honest I've wondered if it could be a circulation issue. I know sitting here wondering isn't helping and I've found a doctor I'm going to call. Wish me luck.

  • I wish you luck Debbie. You're doing the right thing by calling the doc. Only you know how much pain you want to tolerate. The only "dumb" question is the one you don't ask!
    Have a great day & hope you get some answers right away!
    PS My issue was in my left arm & hand too - C5-C6
    Great pain, tingling & numbness - they did a "posterior cervical foraminotomy - this procedure required no hardware & was considered best option for my condition! However the recovery was a bit rough from the muscle disturbance. Took a long time, 5 mos. to heal, but all good now. Another thing: I was told if I didn't get it fixed soon, it could cause permanent nerve damage in my left arm. That scared me.
    Find you a good, reputable doc that will treat you kind & explain things to you. Very important!!!
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm glad you're doing well now. That's great to hear. When did you have your surgery?

    So much for finding a doctor! This is ridiculous that's all there is to it. I called the new NS and of course they require a doctor referral too. My old NS office say they don't do referrals and my PCP says he can't refer me and it's up to my old NS. My insurance doesn't even require me to have a referral...I feel like there's nothing I can do.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,059
    is a recent of a flare up or an impinged nerve root, a disc out of order (now that I've just recently been given the medical explaination for)
    But what troubles me more is your little white diamonds. Like you said, unless their the good type you can wear, thats a sign (to me) that some nerve root is being impacted and when you head goes up, its a moment of dizziness, cloudiness, or diamonds.
    That is something I would check into. A couple of days, ok, (knowing how you love getting your fingers into to the dirt like I do, I little flare up) But if it last more than that or feels much stranger, please contact your doctor.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I DIDN'T have a referral. I just found a neuro that I heard was good & made an appt & their office got everything approved!!! It just happened that way, that easy. Surprised me too. Don't ask me how or why. It just all worked out! Bless your heart. Just try making an appt with a reputable neurosurgeon & see what happens.
    Let me know pleeeeeeeese
    >:D< big hug
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I've been having these episodes of seeing spots for quite a while now but it has gotten worse this past week. The arm pain is worse than 'my normal' too. You know how it is to have symptoms we know are not 'normal' for us. This is kind of worrying me especially since I can't get a referral to another NS. I could go back to my old one but I don't feel comfortable with her after hearing of a lot of unsuccessful surgeries performed by her. I know that's not proof she's not a good surgeon but everyone has got it in my mind. My brother was one of the unsuccessful ones so that makes it worse.
    I hope you're doing better Ron. We'll be digging in the dirt soon...thinking positive. lol.
    Thanks again
  • OMG a nightmare neurosurgeon!!!
    How scary is that. Have heard ALL ABOUT THOSE KIND!
    I'll talk to you debbie tomorrow...
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    You were lucky! I did try making an appointment with another NS earlier today and they say they need a doctor referral...that's the last one around here. I've called them all. The same goes for orthopedic surgeons. This is frustrating. I thought of going to the er but they'd probably tell me to see my PCP! Don't get me wrong, I don't 'want' to see any of them. I'm not a person who goes to the doctor unless its an emergency. There's many more things I'd like to do! Thanks for your help.

  • Sounds like me.

    Sunny I started having symptoms similar to yours after a car accident back in APril. My pain is upper arm and shoulder and neck. I have been seeing stars, flashes and dark shadows when I look at something quickly. PT at the neuros office has been very painful.

    Ron I feel better hearing what you said. My neuro tells me that he doesnt see anything "physical" that is causing my pain. Guess that herniated disk doesn't count. He is going to try a trigger point injection on Monday because nothing helps the pain.

    I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to go to another neuro. Why can't they come with a USDA rating stamped on their forehead?? I'm tired of spending my time searching for a decent doctor only to find that they all have issues.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Surgeons with a USDA rating. I wish I hadn't let my neurologist send me to that particular neurosurgeon but at the time I hadn't heard all this stuff. I also didn't know that once I saw her I'd never get to see a differnt one...I didn't know it was till death do us part. The only problem is I don't want it to be 'my' death that parts us. lol Might as well laugh and then go let her practice on me evidently. It looks like if I see someone it'll have to be her.
    Hope you have better luck than I do getting help from doctors.

  • I see the flashes of light (spots/dimonds etc) every time I wash my hair or shave my under arms. This for me has been going on for years.

    I never connected the dots till now. I did tell my PCP about it a long time ago when I was having more headeaches and she thought they were migraines.... I jokinly refer to them as eye grains...

    Hang Tough!

  • Why won't they let you see someone else? Have you called your insurance company? Most states have a patients bill of rights which says you have the right to see a doctor that you feel comfortable with and to refuse to be treated by a doctor you do not like.

    What state are you in and what insurance?
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I don't understand the problem either. I have HWHN insurance. It's a regional PPO network. The problem is with my PCP because he keeps saying my NS has to refer me because she has the records...well duh. It's not like he doesn't have them too. I've said it before but I know I'm going to have to find a new PCP. I don't know how people get second opinions!

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I've heard that this is a symptom of migraines as well. They say that my headaches are caused by my cervical problems. Who knows? I'm kind of frustrated today, sorry.
    How are you doing? Have you got a surgery date yet?

  • Yes, I had migranes too, along with the constant pain, tingling & numbness in left arm/hand. Tried sleeping in one position only - for a year. grrrr Sometimes all the probs in the C5-6 area just made me cry, because nothing helped it. NOTHING! I was in alot of pain & aggitated as heck. Did all sorts of therapy for almost a year, every day. Saw 3 dif neurosurgeons. The 3rd one I selected because my neighbor had gone to this one & I was sick & tired of being sick & tired. I was sooooooo OVER it!!! Had surgery 5 mos ago & all healed. Very rough ride, the post op, no lie.
    Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy C5-6 & cleanup C6-7?!
    Debbie, I am puzzled at the way your ins. co. is treating your situation.
  • I loved reading your comments. Laughed, but so true - everything you mentioned.
  • Hi. Just my opinion..
    Debbie Let your Doc know all your symptoms.
    The white spots you see could be caused by a few different things. let Doc know what you do with the neck that makes these white spots appear.
    Mention the pain under ear even if it does go away by the time you get into see Doc.

    I realize you don't like going to Doc's unless it is emergency but you don't want things to get so bad that it becomes a emergency surgery that is needed.
    Sometimes a problem in spine can stay the same and not get worse for years and years... but it also can become very bad over night.
    Hugs to you and to all... Patsy
  • i dont have any medical advice but to give a little hope i saw my neurosurgeon oner pain caused by bending neck forward and he said i was just stretching dura and not to worry...debbie i hope you can find someone to relieve your pain....pete
  • LaceyCasswellLLaceyCasswell Posts: 1
    edited 09/16/2015 - 9:54 PM
    So it started with my lower back on the left side. Then on top of that moved up, to the left side of my spine towards the upper half of my lungs, like I had a large stone in where it shouldn't have been. Now even pulling my left arm to my chest it tingles, and my fingers go almost numb. It stop when I stretch my arm out. For a really long time I was moving heavy objects and I have terrible posture when I walk, though sitting isn't bad. Should I be worried? How do I fix if?

    No one on the Spine-Health patient forums is medically qualified to provide any advice or recommendations on symptoms

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