Left side numbness in face, neck, shoulder, arm, hand. Related to spondyloarthritis?

Left side numbness in face, neck, shoulder, arm, hand. Related to spondyloarthritis?

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Brihtwulf
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Left side numbness in face, neck, shoulder, arm, hand. Related to spondyloarthritis?

Hello everyone,

I'm not new to these forums, but I AM new to this section. I have recently developed some strange symptoms (and pretty scary ones). I have a history of spondyloarthropathy and sacroiliitis, but my problems have typically been with the lumbar region.

This new issue has begun recently and continued sporadically for a few weeks now. It usually starts with numbness and tingling in the left side of my face, then the same feeling in my left shoulder, arm, and down to my left hand and fingers. The first time this happened in the middle of the night it was frightening and I'm pretty sure it gave me a panic attack because my heart started pounding and my rate went up to about 200 beats a min. And my wife called 911.

X-ray of my chest was clear. Brain CT was also normal. Blood work showed only slight anemia. Carotid ultrasound was clear. Heart echo showed only a pre-diagnosed mitral valve prolapse, but to signs of inflammation or other serious issues. Following up with cardiologist but doubting the heart is the problem as it has happened since, only without the racing heart panic response.

From what I have been reading, it seems like this could be a cervical vertebrae or disc issue. Has anyone else had symptoms like this? I read about "cervical disc lesions" but not sure what that entails. It just seemed the most logical place to look given my existing spinal problems. I thought I should request a neck MRI assuming my doctor sees my point of view.

Any thoughts, opinions, suggestions?

-JJ

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Aviatrix36440
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JJ

Howdy JJ,

Except for the face issues, what you've described could very well be a cervical issue. Have you gotten with your GP or spine specialist about this? I know I would. The face nerves aren't from the cervical spine, they are specific nerves for the head only.

Side note. I have issues at C2/3 (C3 nerve root affected) and it keeps the whole left side of my neck numb and sometimes it 'feels' like the bottom of my jaw is numb too, but it isn't.

I hope you have answers soon. Gentle *HUGZ*

Brenda

PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.

Brihtwulf
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It does seem to feel like my

It does seem to feel like my cheek and jaw are warm/numb in addition to my neck, shoulder, and arm. Also, around or behind my left eye. However, I shpuld note that I have vision problems and astigmatism in my left eye (only left eye, right is perfect vision) so perhaps that aching and such around my eye is simply due to the fact that I have that problem.

I have followed up with my GP on my thoughts, and should hopefully be scheduled for an MRI soon as requested. It just seemed like a logical step to consider the likelihood of my spondylosis affecting my upper spine as well.

Would something like those firmer memory foam pillows help if there is inflammation? I would like to lessen my symptoms as much as possible while the roctor continues to look into things.

Aviatrix36440
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Eyes

I have astigmatism in both eyes, but aside from my vision stinking without my glasses, never had that with either of mine. I'm glad to see you have followed up with your doctor. Hopefully you'll have an MRI soon.

Have you tried icing your neck at all? Heat is good for blood flow, but ice is great for inflammation. I love memory foam! As for the firmness, we are all different there. Mine is 'middle' between soft and firm. My neck is still a mess, but sleeping with my memory foam, much less in the headache department. Smile

Brenda

PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.

Brihtwulf
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I have an MRI of my neck

I have an MRI of my neck scheduled this week on Thursday. Probably won't get it back until next week though. It has always been a mixed feeling getting test results back. On one hand, you don't want anything major to be wrong. But on the other, you want some kind of clear indicator about what's going on.

I've already had a microdiscectomy at L5-S1 that re-herniated and a fusion a year later that did not end up fusing. So my experiences with my spine have been pretty negative so far. I just hope the problems with my neck can be fixed with the right physical therapy and a proper sleeping position and neck support.

Between my neck and my bad right shoulder (arthritic degeneration, bursitis, tendonitis) it is literally a huge pain to get a good night's sleep. They need to get cracking on better teatments for these autoimmune diseases so people like us don't need constant surgeries and pain medications, etc. I also have Crohn's Disease, so if they could just fix my immune system I would be all set and a normal 31-year-old.

Margo
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Yes, it can be cervical!

Brihtwulf,

I just went through a living hell that started the end of Aug. 2010 and culminated in cervical surgery Jan. 13. I was sure it was the cervical and imaging verified it, but I had a harder time figuring out the symptoms in my head & face. It seems that most of the information out there focuses on cervical symptoms down the arm, but that's not all the symptoms can be. (I did have that too though - down the left arm and side).

The best I've been able to figure out and have gotten some confirmation on this is that the cervical plexus may be the cause of the problem.

There are several of these plexuses (or whatever the plural form is)down the spine, and they are "networks of intersecting nerves" (Wikipedia). The Cervical Plexus is from C1-4 (Wikipedia says C1-5) and these nerves that branch off the cervical spinal column go back up to the head and face, so if there is foraminal stenosis/narrowing (pinched nerves leaving the spinal cord) in any of the nerves that contribute to that cervical plexus, then you could have symptoms in the head/face. My symptoms were numbness, perhaps vision changes, brief loss of control of jaw when talking, etc.

In my case I had symptoms from my stenosis & osteophytes from my head to my toes and I'm still recovering and hope that there's no permanent nerve damage.

I don't know how you are situated with your doctors, but I've occasionally found myself in situations where I just had to take the situation in my own hands to get the care I needed, which meant going from doctor to doctor if needed. If I were you I'd try to find a neurologist or even a neurosurgeon. If they seem skeptical ask them about the cervical plexus. At any rate you need imaging, and maybe mentioning the cervical plexus will help give you more credence so they'll order the imaging. If you have a good primary care doctor s/he should also be able to get the ball rolling. But don't sit around and wait for doctors to do something if it's unclear they are going to do what's needed to adequately treat your problem.

I hope this helps.

in-disguise
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What was the final diagnosis?

Brihtwulf

What was your final diagnosis? I am having exact symptoms you described.

sandi
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Welcome Indisguise