Freezing muscles in upper back, arms hands and chest

Freezing muscles in upper back, arms hands and chest

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lilviathan
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Freezing muscles in upper back, arms hands and chest

Hi. I am new to this site and I am not sure this is a spinal problem. I have not been to a doctor for this. I have been feeling this locking, freezing pain in my upper back, chest arms and hands where I freeze and cannot move my arms for about 5 minutes at work. The heavyness stays around for most of the day. I have to stop typing or writing for a while so the pain subsides. Sometimes it is so painful it feels like a heart attack but I keep thinking this is probably from my neck injury I had at 18. I am 49 now. I looked around this site but I couldn't find an answer. I hope it is ok that I write for advice. Thank you.

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Cath111
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Hi Lil

Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of valuable information throughout this site and the members of the forum are very friendly, knowledgeable and supportive.

I don't know of many people, besides myself, who experienced what you're experiencing. One month before being diagnosed with severe problems at C4-7, and six months before surgery, I experienced the same thing you're feeling.

I would suddenly get very painful goosebumps on my arms, followed by severe muscle pain then my arms would be freezing and I'd have to put on a coat - in my office. We're talking May here, not a cold month. Does this sound familiar?

Although I mentioned it to my hubby, I thought it was too strange to go to the doctor for. Only one month later I had such a stabbing pain in my upper back that I did go the doctor even though I had a full physical scheduled a week later. That's how bad it was.

And to boot, like you, it all stems from an accident I had when I was 18 and I was 47 at the time this started to happen.

Odd, huh? I don't know how many people with cervical problems started like this - maybe they didn't notice, maybe they never had it, maybe it's an anomoly - but you're not alone. I had the same problem.

I'd suggest you get to your PCP and get it checked out before you start feeling worse. I'm not saying that you have cervical problems, but can tell you I experienced the exact same thing when I started down my spiney road.

Take care and feel free to PM me if I can help you in any way. Please keep us updated.

Cathie

lilviathan
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Thank you.

I appreciate your comments. I was trying to work it out but it is starting to be a problem and happening more frequently. I will take your advice and see a doctor about it. I was feeling funny telling anyone about it. Did your arms or hands get stuck and really heavy for a short time before you had surgery?
Thank you again. Good luck to you.

Diane

Cath111
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Oops - Hi Diane

Sorry, thought your name was Lil. Smile

I don't remember my hands or arms getting "stuck", but then I was so new to it all and it was in 2008. I can tell you that leading up to surgery, my left arm got so weak I couldn't lift a glass of ice water and had tennis-elbow-type symptoms. I also had tingling and numbness 24/7 in my right arm.

But I don't specifically remember anything locking up or getting stuck, just heavy like I mentioned with my left arm.

Nerves from the spine are funny things - they can produce all sorts of symptoms and issues that seem very strange. But again, I need to caution you that it may not be cervical-related. But if it is, you may catch it early enough to try conservative treatments.

Good luck to you too. And again, please keep us updated and let us know what your doc says. It was odd when I went because I had no idea what was happening and with my symptoms (just the arm stuff and stabbing pain in my back) my PCP knew right away that it was probably cervical. How the heck she knew that, I'll never know, but I guess that's why they make the big bucks.

Cathie

Cath111
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Question...

Diane, I had a question - have you ever had any spine issues before?

lilviathan
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Previous spinal issues

Yes I had a neck injury while in the Marines. I also have been diagnosed with arthritis but this new heaviness was starting to worry me. I used the name lilviathan as my screen name. But, I so appreciated your response and I wanted you to know that my name is Diane. I usually use lil for everything online. It is just a habit.I have been diagnosed with severe degenerative disc disease in my sacral spine but this is something new that has been happening around my cervical and thorasic area, since I turned 49. Thank you again for your kind reply.

lilviathan
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Dear Cathie

I hope you are doing better. How are you feeling. Smile

Cath111
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Diane

Hi again. So, you had a neck injury - did you receive any treatment for that? What happened? I'm hoping that the pain in your thoracic is not actually a thoracic problem, but referred pain from something else. Thoracic problems are the worst!

As for myself, I recently went back to work after being unempoyed for two years, having lumbar surgery during that time.

My job involves some lifting, bending, standing etc., but I can also sit when necessary. Standing is the worst for me and usually causes back pain once I stop moving. So during the day, while I'm working and moving, I don't really notice pain too much - it's when I get home that it really starts. Lately I've had worsening lumbar and cervical pain, but my meds help enough to allow me to function pretty well.

My cervical is definitely my worst area as I've got problems above my fusion, but the previous pain I'd been experiencing has lessened to a large degree. I chalk it up to the prescription anti-inflammatories I'm now taking and to the fact that my work has strengthened the muscles that help support my neck. My surgeon wanted to do cervical injections, but I think I can stave that off for a year or so. My fingers are crossed on that one.

So all in all, I'm not doing too bad. Like everyone here, my pain is chronic, but I'm able to work through it for the most part. I have evenings when I don't do anything due to having a particularly rough day of lifting or standing too much, but I'm working on finding the triggers and adapting my movements and actions to keep the pain at its lowest.

Thanks for asking. There are others much worse off here than I am. I only hope that my upper cervical continues to stay only achy and the major pain doesn't come back for quite a while.

Take care, Diane. Thanks for trusting me enough to tell me your name. I think you'll really like it here. You'll also find a lot of people in the military or retired military, so you'll be able to relate on that front as well.

Cathie

charry
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Hi Diane and Welcome

Sorry to hear of your neck problems and noticed you have lumbar DDD also. I have an impingement of a nerve seen on x-ray at C6-C7 but haven't had an MRI yet but I get tennis elbow pain from my neck and also weakness and numbness in one arm. I went to a physiotherapist who did manual traction and helped relieve some of my arm symptoms.
It seems when you have DDD in one area it may show up in another area of your spine. I hope your symptoms are only temporary but see your Primary Dr. soon to let him know about the freezing or numbness of both your arms. Take care and keep us posted how you're doing. 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

lilviathan
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Hi Cathie

I had treatment for whiplash in the Marines back in 1981. I have been dealing with neck pain my whole life since, however it has been getting worse lately. I get stiff too when I work in the yard. I rather work in the yard than house work cause I love the outdoors, but I suffer stiffness afterwards but its worth it, because my yard looks better. I take pain medicine every night before I go to bed and I am usually ready to go and relatively pain free in the morning. I am a secretary at work so I mostly sit, but that gets really uncomfortable and I am always grateful when I have to pick up the mail cause it gives me a chance to stretch. I hope that you will continue to get better. It is nice that we can share our experiences and condition with each other because its hard to share with people unless they are in similar states. I don't really want to share this with my boss. Hehehehe. She might think I am trying to get a day off. It is nice to be able to talk to you. Thank you.

lilviathan
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Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
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Joined: 04/22/2011 - 6:40am
Hi Cathie

I had treatment for whiplash in the Marines back in 1981. I have been dealing with neck pain my whole life since, however it has been getting worse lately. I get stiff too when I work in the yard. I rather work in the yard than house work cause I love the outdoors, but I suffer stiffness afterwards but its worth it, because my yard looks better. I take pain medicine every night before I go to bed and I am usually ready to go and relatively pain free in the morning. I am a secretary at work so I mostly sit, but that gets really uncomfortable and I am always grateful when I have to pick up the mail cause it gives me a chance to stretch. I hope that you will continue to get better. It is nice that we can share our experiences and condition with each other because its hard to share with people unless they are in similar states. I don't really want to share this with my boss. Hehehehe. She might think I am trying to get a day off. It is nice to be able to talk to you. Thank you.

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