Bilateral arm pain and tingling

by Slake Mokrytzki
(Canada)

Hello, and thank you for hearing me out. I am 28 years old, and was an active student and computer user prior to my injury.

My problem started about February of this year. I had been gifted a new joystick for my birthday. Upon using the joystick for a few days I felt a sharp pinch in my wrist below the thumb on the inside of the wrist. I discontinued use shortly after. For a month or two my wrist was sore and I began doing most tasks with my left wrist. One day I was carrying groceries and felt the identical pinch in my left wrist. Pain ensued shortly after.

As the months went by, the pain started to slowly move up my arms. Specifically, the top of my forearms near the elbows. It then about two months ago started to hurt in my triceps and biceps. During all of this time I did not notice any visual changes in my arms.

Recently I felt a sharp pinch in my right shoulder, and noticed it was red and warm to the touch. Days later, I feel a sharp pain in my right shoulder still.

I am also now getting tingling in my arms, seemingly random. Also getting some random twitches.

I've had x rays and ultrasound done and blood work all coming back normal. I have an appointment with a neurologist in about a month. So far, I have no signs of atrophy or weakness. The pain seems better in the morning and worse at night and I can describe it as an ache mostly, but more of a sharp pain in my shoulder. I'm not sensitive to touch and it feels good to be massaged.

I've seen a chiropractor, two physiotherapists and a few doctors and no diagnosis yet. Can't really do many of my daily activities without significant pain, and I'm having to postpone school. Any help or advise you may have is really appreciated.

Hello Slake,
It's going to take a physician specialist to work this one out; it certainly doesn't sound like a chiropractic condition.

Two things stand out; it's in both arms and the swelling and redness in your shoulder. That says to me that this is something "medical" rather than chiropractic. Chances are that the neurologist won't find anything either.

It is possibly one of the 100 + forms of arthritis, but I'd have expected the blood tests to show something.

My best suggestion is to keep your arms and shoulders moving with gentle exercises within the painfree zone. Stiffness of the joints is the next thing to watch for.

Then if it was me, I look long and hard at my diet, and consider one of the anti inflammatory diets. It may not help, but a good thing to do anyway. Fatty fish and olive oil, chilies and plenty of greens in your diet, nuts and seeds. Become a bit of health nut. Try and eat 10 coloured foods every day, and absolutely avoid colas and bagels!

Let me know when you have a diagnosis, and I'm sorry not to have helped more.

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.



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