Right arm numbness, tingling, and the list goes on!

by Eva
(Arkansas, USA)

Beginning on 2/5/16, my right arm and hand "went to sleep" while having dinner. My blood pressure was high when I went to the emergency room. I do not have a history of hypertension.

Paresthesia was the E.R. diagnosis.
Followed up with my primary care and diagnosed as cervical radiculopathy.

The pins and needles feeling passed but the arm remains numb/less sensitive to touch, temperature, etc. I also continue to get burning, tingling, and electric shock sensations radiating down my right arm.

CT didn't show evidence of stroke. Blood pressure returned to normal.

Cervical x-rays showed C-4,C-5,C-6 osteophytes and degenerative changes.

EMG was "normal" despite significant changes in my ability to use my right arm.
I am scheduled for a cervical MRI.

I'm also now getting pins and needles in my right foot and pain and numbness radiating from the right front of my neck up through my jaw and lower lip. My tongue sometimes gets numb too. I've become clumsy and uncoordinated. I live in constant pain.

Heat and getting overheated exacerbates my symptoms. I'm constantly exhausted. I used to love coffee but now find that I have zero tolerance for caffeine. If I drink any thing with caffeine, I feel like I can see sound,ie very jittery,racing pulse,clammy, on edge.
I am prescribed gabapentin,norco,and amitryptiline to manage my pain.

I have a half sister (and had an aunt who had) multiple sclerosis.
My question is does this sound like radiculopathy? Or is it more like multiple sclerosis? What could chiropractic do to help?

Hello Eva,
Thank you for an informative and comprehensive report.

The MRI of your brain is very necessary; it will confirm if demyelination of the nerves is occurring. Certainly a full assessment by a neurologist is indicated. Has your eyesight been affected?

An attack of this nature is very scary, hence your "white coat" high blood pressure.

Certainly the degenerative changes in your lower cervical spine could account for the tingling and numbness in your arm, but not in your face and tongue.

My advice is to go through the medical mill before consulting a chiropractor. That's what I would recommend if you were sitting in my consulting rooms. Once they have ruled out MS, then that's the time to consider a local DC.

Important for you is to work out exactly where in the arm you get the tingling and numbness, and whether movements of your neck provoke them.

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 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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