Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

DDD and pain running down arm

I've DDD in lower back L4-L5, diagnosed since February 2010. Through PT and exercise my back was getting into great shape. However this past few weeks I started getting a severe pain around my wrist. Gradually this has progressed from my shoulder, elbow down to my fingers. I went to the doctors and she prescribed anti-inflammatory tablets and pain killers. They havent helped much. I've numbness down my whole arm. The doctors thinks it a pinched nerve and could be related to the ddd in lower back.

Will this go away itself or will I need surgery?


  • Joe241JJoe241 Posts: 185
    edited 10/04/2012 - 4:11 PM
    Hi and welcome if you have pain and numbness in your arms you should go to your primary doctor and speak with him/her and start with an X-ray. Most insurance companies require an X-ray first even though an MRI is better. Only a doctor can diagnose but I was diagnosed in 2008 with Severe DDD, DJD, Stenosis, osteophytes and four disc herniations in my neck, I also have lumbar issues, two disc herniations and L-5 S-1 is fused from birth. I finally had a cervical disc fusion surgery on July 10, 2012 after exhausting all other options. You should start researching neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons as finding a good surgeon IS VERY IMPORTANT. We are not allowed to suggest doctors or hospitals but there is a link on this forum "38 questions to ask your surgeon". Also most neuro and ortho surgeons are very limited with their time, as my neuro would not see me until I sent all of my test results and he reviewed them. If/when you have an appointment bring a notebook as you will not have the same amount of time as with other doctors, others bring a close friend or relative in case they get overwhelmed if surgery is recommended. Having spinal surgery is a major surgery and should not be taken lightly. Good luck and GOD BLESS, Joe
    ACDF C5-6 July 10, 2012 with plate and screws.
  • I'm wondering if there is a pinched nerve in your neck that is causing these problems.
  • I agree with Peter it sounds more like it would be coming from your neck if its an arm issue. I've never heard of arm issue coming from the lower back. Take a look at a dermatone map and see. It shows the nerve and what parts of the spine they can be affected by. I think that there may be one on this site if you type it in.
  • Peter BPPeter B Posts: 511
    edited 10/17/2012 - 4:15 PM
    Well, it seems that I have a pinched nerve in my neck!
    Nailed some plastic trellis to the deck railings, and next day had intense stabbing pain to left shoulder blade. Also pain in both arms.
    Went to doctor who said it was probably a pinched nerve.

    Did a bit of research and looked at a few options, but finally came to same conclusion. Probably DDD.

    Pain then moved to right shoulder, where it remains. Went to physio who examined me and agreed with diagnosis.
    Massage afterwards removed a lot of muscle knots, so got a bit of sleep.

    For me: pain in shoulders, neck stiff, pain both arms- down to hands sometimes, headaches, restricted arm movement.Sleeping very difficult as can't lie on any shoulder for long.

    Suspect it might be a bone spur. That could be tricky to live with.

    The physio can tell where the problem originates by which parts of the body are affected. Lots of nerves pass through the neck.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 10/18/2012 - 4:10 AM
    I agree that problems in your arms are usually caused by problems in the neck.
    Perhaps they meant that as you have DDD in your lower back, you may have it in your neck too.

    You may not need surgery, as there are lots of other things they can try first. Before anything, I think you will need an x-ray and possibly an MRI to see what is going on. I suspect that this will be ordered in your neck. The x-ray can show if there is loss of height of the discs, which could indicate that there is DDD. An MRI is the best way to see if there are any nerves that are being compressed.

    I would make an appointment to see a doctor to ask what tests they would suggest to reach a diagnosis.
    As your PT has helped your lower back, it may be what you need to help anything else going on.

    Please do come back and let us know how you get on.
  • Extremely likely that this is DDD in the neck. The symptoms are classic. It may settle to a sort of baseline symptom level with good phases and bad phases, if that makes sense. You may find that conservative treatment like physio may be a better option at least for now, before you consider surgery.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.