Pain on right side of my neck, right arm, side and right leg

by VChimbi
(South Africa)

In 2010 i started having pain on my right side. Lying on the side would hurt, also when sitting the right side of my back would hurt too.

I then got pregnant and the pain went away on its own.

Late last year, i started doing minor exercises like walking and Zumba. The pain started again. Now the pain gets to my right arm through to my hand and fingers.When i type, my hand hurts terribly and my fingers feel numb.The pain starts from the right side of the head right through to my right side of the neck going down.

The pain at times gets better with movement, but there are times i cant sleep and need to take pain killers. I normally use voltaren, it seems to work. But after some time, it starts again.

My GP said its a compressed nerve and it will resolve its self, but this pain has taken over my life. i can not bear it anymore! please help.

Hello Ms Chimbi,
Your doctor is right. It MAY resolve, the problem being that it seems to be getting worse, rather than better. That's not a good sign, as research shows once you've had the pain constantly for six months, it probably won't ever resolve.

So, my advice is to do something. But what?

The first is to go back to your doctor and tell him plainly that this pain "has taken over your life" and you can't / won't live with it any more. You want a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Taking voltaren long term isn't good either. You may get an ulcer. Any pain in the tum?

Important: take note of which fingers it affects. It helps in the diagnosis.

Normally the pain and tingling follows a specific pattern which you can read at Tingling in arms and hands ...

but various other syndromes like a subluxated first rib (TOS) and Carpal tunnel syndrome may affect the pattern differently.

Have you had X-rays? Old injuries?

It's significant that movement lessens the pain. Take note of that, don't sit for hours at the computer without a break.

Time to see a local chiropractor?

I hope this contributes.

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 pain 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. Mrs T looked like the leaning tower of Pisa; she had a slipped disc at L5 making her lean towards the opposite side. It's called the postero lateral disc hernia; she's much better after two weeks of treatment and will go back to work next week, part time. Lateral discs are more difficult; both take a minimum of six weeks to heal. In my opinion, antalgic patients need what I call exercising bed rest. Sit and it won't get better.

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 groin pain, 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 lower back is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her hip, 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. Hypermobility is more difficult that too stiff in my opinion. Chiropractic is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day is bending, lifting, digging for 2-3 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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