Pain, spasms in mid back, shoulder blade and right arm
Hoping you can give me some insight as no one else has. The whole thing started when I was doing some vigorous exercises with my arms only. I had some aches and pains but nothing I couldn't stand.
I went to the doctor complaining of chest, mid back and arm pain. Since having a stent put in 2 yrs ago the cardiologist wanted a stress test which was normal. I'm a 61 yr old woman, overweight and rarely exercise.
I got thru 7 minutes on the mill holding on the bar as tight as I could and was walking more at an angle rather than upright as they kept telling me to move up. Since then, 45 days ago, I have had severe pain which also feel like spasms at times in mid back, shoulder blade, upper arm and underneath which extends into my breast area.
Then I had xrays front and back, CAT of upper abdomen, put on Nexium, muscle relaxers, pain pills but nothing helped.
I babied the arm for a week and it felt pretty good so I started to vacuum and the pain came back worse then ever. I do get relief when I am lying down. My wrist muscles are also tender but I think that was from holding the bar for dear life.
I've seen the chiropractor about 3 times and was actually more sore the next day. Pain will stop for a short period then wham, it's like someone is sticking an ice pick into my shoulder.
This is just crazy, does it sound like just a nerve problem? It's been going on for so long?
Also, the only finger pain has been on right hand, webbed area between thumb and pointer. The last thing I remembered was that on 3 occasions my right hand has cramped up and closed and I have had to pry my fingers open; very painful to boot.
Hello Jamie, This is complex, and there are pointers in differing directions. Would you do a few little tests for me; off all painkilling medication for 24 hours. 1. Turn your head to the right and left, simultaneously looking up. What happens?
2. In the site search engine which you'll find near the top of the navigation bar at chiropractic help, type in "upper limb tension test." With the help of a friend do it and report what happens.
3. Hopefully some of the doctors and your chiropractor tested the reflexes and looked for sensory change in your arm. Did they find anything? Ask if anyone found "paresis" of any muscles; the most commonly affected are the triceps and in the fingers. How is opening a bottle?
4. If you raise your arm, in front and to the side, is it immediately painful in the shoulder? Putting on your bra, does it hurt? Does it feel as though it's in the shoulder joint, or in your neck and mid back?
I take it the xrays of your neck and back were normal.
Give me some answers keeping to this thread and we'll take it further.
I take it the lesson has been learned; those who exercise rarely shouldn't do vigorous exercises initially. You'll probably be reluctant to start again, but you should, but don't rush like a bull at a gate. You're not going to make the Olympics in Rio; nor are you attempting to do so.
I suspect a C5 lesion in the lower neck affecting the dorsal scapular nerve but that's not certain. A problem in the inter scalene triangle is another possibility. If you raise your arm above your head does it increase or decrease the pain in the web or your hand, or does it make no difference?
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.
Greetings, Dr B. You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.
Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.
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