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Cervical spondylosis with arm/hand pain and numbness

gandalf456ggandalf456 Posts: 16
edited 12/08/2015 - 8:13 AM in Spinal Stenosis
Hi, I'm new here. I am a female 45 year old supermarket worker (I fill the shelves, mainly) and I live in the UK.

Back in February this year, I went to the doctor's with a numb and weak left hand. Prior to that, I had had some shooting arm pains which I had ignored, thinking it was not serious then they went away. Looking back, that was the start of it.

My neurologist believed it to be ulnar neuropathy from the elbow but ordered some more tests just to check.

I had an MRI scan and EMG in July, which revealed degenerative changes at C5-C6 and a bone spur pressing on the ulnar nerve at C7.

Back in September, I was given all kinds of advice - one of which was to try sleeping with no pillow. This promptly set off symptoms in my right side, starting with shooting pains in my arm and now followed by a kind of heaviness, creeping numbness. I can barely lift my arm to hold my phone to my ear without horrendous cramping. I also developed sciatica in my right leg, followed again by a creeping numbness, which my physiotherapist thinks is due to a lumbar problem (this region has not been scanned, however, so I don't know for sure) but will not treat it as it is not part of my referral.

I was prescribed Naproxen for the pain but only lasted two weeks. I had to come off them due to a suspected stomach ulcer and I am not even supposed to take Ibuprofen now.

So, where I am now is undergoing physiotherapy (two sessions so far). She reckons I have full motion of my neck but, frustratingly, she cannot pinpoint which nerves are affected by pressing on the nerves in my neck. Every disc reveals the same symptom (i.e. slight tingling in hands but not shooting pain) so it's a bit of guesswork and part of me thinks she doesn't quite believe me, which is a common thing in the UK.

I am also very worried about the leg symptoms, which, from reading on the Internet, I know can be a very bad thing. And the symptoms seem to be progressing very rapidly. Could this really be a lumbar problem or part of my cervical problem? How do I know for sure?

I am also concerned that the nature of my job is aggravating my symptoms as it involves a lot of lifting and repetitive work so do not know what to do with regards to that as every position in the store is going to involve either one of those things. It is getting harder and harder to do my job and people are starting to notice and I am very worried that it is going to end up disabling me.

Has anybody got any advice/reassurance? I am supposed to have another scan in March and I might ask them to do the whole spine if they can. What I am also worried about is that they might discharge me because my symptoms don't match what they're seeing. They seem very, very reluctant to do surgery and, judging by what I have read up on it so far, I can see why but I'm also worried that they'll let things go too far where surgery will no longer be an option. My original appointment with the neurologist ended with her impressing on me that this will get worse and I will end up in a lot of pain.

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
    - Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
    - Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc
    - General pieces of valuable information

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 12/08/15 14:13 est

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