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Arms above head issues

jasrojjasro Posts: 224
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I recently got a new haircut and like most women, just HAD to play around with it in front of a mirror. I've know for quite some time NOT to spend too much time in activity with my arms above my head but you guessed it....I did it anyway.

The brush and curling iron were getting slightly difficult to manipulate...and I continued on for another ten minutes. Then, I stopped. I came in here to type in a google seeking to understand my difficulties...and my fingers wouldn't work. I literally couldn't force them to move on the keyboard.

I recuperated from lying down for a while but am in major body pain this morning. Most with Fibromyalgia have this problem but I've long been a believer that "Fibro" is just a an unrecognized cervical issue like severe Whiplash Associated Disorder.

Perhaps having my arms above my head is severely closing those foraminal gaps that are moderately-severe while in supine in an MRI tube? It's got to be the case. But why the severe all-over body pain? Does everyone with cervical problems have severe body pain too? If so, does neck surgery make it better or worse?

Thanks in advance for any responses.




  • I don't mean to sound smart, but I have always had difficulty with the same thing, but mine has been complete exhaustion of my arms so I quit styling my hair with a curling iron. It wasn't worth the same pain everyday so I neglect using a curling iron anymore. I had a friend that had the same thing.
    I don't think being inside the MRI triggered anything serious, and, hey, how about a hairpiece . I would be very interested in knowing your progress with this malady!
  • I woke the next morning with spasticity in both arms and both legs with severe nerve pain throughout my entire body.

    Two days later, my shoulders started jerking for half hour after lying down for bed. Strange electrical jerks - I guess myoclonic.

    All from my neck.


  • While I have my muscles sorted out to a large extent, I feel like doing things again.
    But once I use my arms a bit the neck gets very irritated and boy, does it make me ill.
    Trouble is the problems don't present until the next day or so, so it's easy to overdo it.
    Physio and chiro both say I should be more active, but not much worth doing without use of arms.
    Can't just walk around, so boring not doing anything interesting.
  • Thanks you guys. I thought more people would have issues with this but did find more info in the archives for thoracic spines. I've got issues there too but figure this is my neck.

    Guess time will tell.

  • Howdy!

    When my C5/6 herniated, I had major issues with raising my right arm higher than the level of my shoulder - if I had it straight out in front, but more to the side and I turned my head, I would get megga pain base of the neck, across the shoulder and deep into the biceps. If the arm was still straight out and I rotated is (say palm up), it shot up like 2 more levels - more so biceps and a bit below. Surgery fixed it.

    I had weakness (still do) with the C6/7, shoulder blade pain, triceps and down to my thumb and index finger. I still have that pain but raising my arms above my I get small spasms in my shoulders. Not much help I am sure, but there's mine. My thoracic levels with issues (see history) is too low for it to affect my arms and shoulders. Take care, and too please let us know what you find out. Support *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks for the help and the bump, Brenda! I was planning on bumping this until I got some more input. Not a successful google, you know?

    The myoclonic jerks are all over my body now. Had them in my spine last night. Going to call Doc today. I'd forgotten to tell him about it and they're WoW-strong now. Only when I lie down. I don't want to risk them continuing or getting worse.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,818
    That could be related to several items:

    1. Cervical or Thoracic issues
    2. Shoulder Problems
    3. Weakeness due to inactivity

    Being in a MRI should never cause problems like that.
    I've had MRI's three days in a row and never experienced anything like you mentioned from the MRI.

    Also as a side note, please do not bump up posts. People will respond to threads when they have time and can contribute. Bumping is not the way to handle threads
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • When I had my shoulder injury(subluxation) for 3 years until I had shoulder surgery I had right arm weakness and my shoulder would crack and then fall weak down to my side. I became better at using my left hand at things. Also if you sit in front of the mirror with your arm on a pillow or stacked towels under your bent arm it will be easier to use the curling iron or brush your hair.

    Also yesterday getting off the bus you have to push open the back doors my left arm where I have the weakness and elbow pain almost did me in as I pushed open the doors with my left bad arm that's caused by my cervical C6-C7 nerve impingement. My arm is sore today. i'm going to put ice. I hope you feel better soon. TC. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • that's a good idea with the pillows. It's disheartening that I hurt myself so badly just trying to do my hair. i was really sick of the long hair pony-tail "diabled" look, you know?

    My trauma sounds like Central Cord Syndrome. I asked doc about it over the phone and he said, "yes". I never knew about that syndrome or about spinal cord shock. I still fit the pattern because the nerve pain is getting worse every day. I was surprised when doc gave me that patch + vicondin at my appt but now know he understood that the pain would get worse over the next few days...as the spinal shock wore off.

    Number one - it's scary that i hurt myself so badly. number two - it's that i did it doing something so simple. i'm in a state of shock myself.
    in total disbelief and despair over it.

    it's been 14 days since it happened, and yesterday i found that i have neuro burn when barely touching my feet and nerve pain when slightly touching any other body surface...just barely a touch. disconcerting.

    my motor ability in arms and legs is better..but still need a ways to go with my legs yet.

    ron, mri's have never bothered me. perhaps you were answering another's post?

  • I have the same problems with my arms. I never really put the two together till a while back when I notice my neck would spasm and the torn mucsel knot in my neck would get huge. But my arms would burn and ache after 10 minutes of using my flat iron if I was standing. Then after I quit they would shke and tremble and feel very weak and ache around my trapzious (sp?) area. But when I sit down and use my flat iron no pain in my arms but my lower back will hurt and hurt for days. Weird.
  • Jasro,

    Hehehe.. I hear ya!!! Goggling is good most times, but as you have seen, sometimes "nothing" really good comes forward!!! I ran into that with my L2/3 nerve things. Sigh...

    Ron is right, there are several areas that can be causing what you are experiencing. Hopefully you will have answers soon! Please keep us posted! Support *HUGZ* to ya!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I never thought to try it in the sitting position. I'm too afraid to try it now!

    It IS weird that your arms don't tremble if you sit down. It sounds like you have more strength in them when you're sitting down?

  • I am status post an assault as of 2/25/10. I am scheduled to have an ACDF on my C5, C6 Aug 3rd. Since the assualt it has been very hard for me to do anything with my right arm~ My shoulders spasm and are in constant pain too. It feels like electrical volts going through my back...It is a huge task for me to fix my hair anymore and my co-workers and family comment that I don't fix my hair or dress cute anymore... to be honest I don't have the energy or strength!! I feel like I have a 10lb weight tied to my bicep on my right arm. WOW I sound terrible don't I!! I am soo ready for the surgery!! :)
  • I don't have the stamina to wear cute clothes either. A big issue in that regard is my weight gain from steroids. I know I'll lose the weight so I haven't bought more clothes. Makes it a challenge because of having to try clothes on to see if they fit in order to be cute. Bleh...

    Finally saw a Neuro about this. He says he's stumped and sending me to the Cleveland Clinic. Doesn't think it's my neck but perhaps a rheumatic issue??? Wow again.

    My family doc referred me to the Clinic four months ago. Which is how I ended up at the Neuro's office. I found it hard to believe that I was "that" complicated. Guess that I am...and I guess that explains why (most) neckies on this site aren't interested in this topic.

  • I had the ESI's post MVA in 07' both back and neck in a series of 3 twice... in doing so I gained about 80lbs... I in turn lost a husband because he didn't want to be married to someone who was 1. sick... 2. fat and 3. couldn't take care of him anymore... GOOD RIDDANCE!! L) I am proud to say after loosing him and starting Savella once figuring out part of my issue was Fibro. She stopped my injections and the weight fell right back off! Then I got assaulted at work and I feel like I am once again starting the vicious circle over again other than my husband now supports me 110%! So anyway thank you for your support and hopefully this surgery will take me back to my old self, where I can function and raise my arms above my head again for more than a minute with no pain!! LOL
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