Tingling right hand with ache in arm, arm pit and front right of chest, and pain in back by shoulder blade and side of neck

by Deb
(Hollister, MO)





Tingling right hand, ache in arm, pain in arm pit and front right of chest, and pain in back by shoulder blade and side of neck. All on the right.

Several months ago I was having pain somewhat under my right armpit and a little into the chest on that side. I wrote it off as to a sore muscle. Then about 6 weeks ago, I woke up during the night with a very stiff center back between spine and right shoulder blade. It hurt to breath in. It happened suddenly during the night and has lasted since that time. For the past 3-4 weeks, my right hand, thumb, pointer finger and center finger, and a tiny bit of 4th finger, have been tingling and feeling like they were asleep.

It occurs mostly when my arm is bent at the elbow and when I lay down in bed on my left side. I can make the tingling and sleepy feeling go away by laying on the right painful back side. It is an odd moment for me and somewhat concerning to me as I have never had this before.

I do work at a computer 2 days a week, but I have previously had carpal tunnel in the other wrist and it was nothing like this. This seems to be involving my right side, arm pit, neck, back, arm and hand. Should I go to a chiropractor, a spine doc, or start with my primary care physician?

I do have several back issues; sciatica, spinal stenosis, and L5 disk narrowing, which I have had for most of the past 15 to 20 years. But, as I said, this right side numbness, tingling, aching, pain is relatively new. Help. And, thank you in advance for any insight you can offer. Debbie

Hello Debbie,
Obviously without being able to examine you, all that follows is speculative.

It sounds to me like you have what is known as a double crush syndrome. A pinched nerve in two or even three places.

Firstly that tingling in the fingers, but excluding the pinkie, is typically an irritation in the wrist in the carpal tunnel, or possibly as the median nerve passes between the two branches of the pronator teres muscle. Your description is pure median nerve distribution.

However, clearly if it's affecting the front of chest, arm pit and the upper back there is also a pinching of one or more nerve roots either in the neck or as the nerves pass through the so called thoracic outlet.

An important distinction can be made by placing your hand on your head when the pain and tingling is bad, and seeing whether it relieves or aggravates the pain. Read more by going to our search function and typing in shoulder abduction relief sign.

Smoker with a cough? Definitely see your doctor as a tumour in the apex of the lung can cause this. Much more likely though is enlargement of the joints of Luschka, a cervical rib, or simply a fixated first rib. All these can cause the symptoms you have.

That pain on deep breathing is typical of a so called sprung rib head, one of the conditions that chiropractic excels in. But with all these other symptoms, who ever treats you needs to tread with caution. This is certainly not just a routine sprung rib.

What's needed is a thorough examination first in order to make the diagnosis. Your choice who you see. I would recommend an xray of your neck including the oblique views or, if you have the money, a scan.

Let us known how you get on. I hope this has contributed. Use that same search function to find more information on deep upper back pain, inter scalene triangle and rib pain treatment.

Comments for Tingling right hand with ache in arm, arm pit and front right of chest, and pain in back by shoulder blade and side of neck

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Jun 24, 2017
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answers please. thanks NEW
by: Anonymous

After having angioplasty I'm getting that right shoulder really bad pain at times and it goes all the way down and my pinky is tingling and numb almost 24/7 could something have happened during the Indio plasty I am looking for answers it's been 8 weeks now since the stent was put in and I'm still having the tingling Pinky and it appears to be associated with that pain in my right shoulder blade which has been there since I left the hospital 8 weeks ago can someone give me some help please thank you I am also getting that burning feeling cooling feeling in the right side of my chest as well I had none of these issues Flash symptoms until this procedure was performed eight weeks ago I'm just looking for answers so I can get this resolved thank you

Jun 06, 2017
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Pain of R neck, shoulder, under the clavical, armpit, down underside of R arm, R anticube and down into R wrist
by: Jan

I have pain in all of areas I mentioned in "COMMENT TITLE". I do have a 30% rotator cuff tear/rub due to my acromium not being flat but having a downward bend.

I have had multiple whiplash injuries, first when I was 9 years old. I also have osteoarthritis in my neck and lumbar/sacral area.

Other than the neck pain all of the rest is new. I have had a steroid injection in January and on May 11th for the rotator cuff pain. The one in May only lasted 2 days. I am to have another in 2 weeks. My problem is nothing is helping and now I have these other symptoms. I have gone to my Chiropractor and will go again today.

I have very little strength in my right arm and hand now. Very little use of my R arm and I have excruciating pain in all areas mentioned. This is frustrating. What more can I do or ask for? I am not a wimp. I usually can tolerate a fair amount of pain but this has me worn out! My brother is a chiropractor and I wish he could help but he lives 12 hours away.

Hello Jan,
The crucial factor here is whether the weakness in your arm is neurological in nature, or is due to 'pain inhibition'. It hurts so much that you won't give a full contraction.

Are there any changes in reflexes, if your prick yourself is there a difference between the right and left arms? Is the upper limb tension test positive? Does turning your head to the right provoke pain in your lower neck and down the arm; that's called Spurling's sign. Does raising your arm above your head relieve the pain in the limb? These would all suggest the problem is primarily in the neck.

With your elbow at your side, if you pull outwards whilst resisting with your left hand hurt? And if you pull inwards against your left hand? If you turn your arm inwards, thumb down, straight in front of you, and lift is it weak and painful? Does taking a Tshirt off, turning your arm feel very stiff and painful? These are all signs of a shoulder problem.

Of course, a shoulder problem often has its roots in the neck.

The pain under the clavicle also reminds me that a 'thoracic outlet' problem can provoke these symptoms; then raising your arm above your head will worsen the symptoms in the lower arm. Try doing Adson's test; locate the pulse in your right wrist with the left fingers; turn to the right, look up, and take in a deep breath; does it affect the pulse?

If I was you, I'd gather all your tests, and go and stay with your brother for at least three weeks; is that impossible? If possible fly.

Good luck; I hope this contributes.

Dr B

May 04, 2017
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Pain in armpit, shoulder, chest, and tingling hand
by: Lindsey

Hello,
Wow I am frustrated and a search led me to your site. In a nutshell... three years ago I found a lump in my right breast. An ultrasound, mammogram, and many visits to two surgeons all came up with negative results. The lump grew and surgeon continued to tell me it was simply fibrosistic breast tissue.

Sometimes I had horrible pain in my right breast and was even able to excrete clear fluid so I finally made her do a "blind" core biopsy. Results once again negative. So I decided to get it out of my mind for good. Well for the past 8 months or so I have had this persistent ache in my armpit and sometimes shoots to my shoulder and ribs under pit. My breast pain is mostly gone and no neck pain. Of course I worried every day that it was a result of undiagnosed breast cancer, but tried to push it out of my mind. Never debilitating pain, just a persistent ache 24/7.

I recently found out that I am pregnant, and as my breasts have swelled, the ache has gotten worse. (This is my fifth pregnancy and I have never felt pain in my arm pit before.) I had my surgeon prescribe an ultrasound for my armpit and that came back without concern. Now, the pain has been shooting down my arm and today I am feeling tingling in my hand and weird blood rushing feelings when I bend my arm. I seriously don't know where to turn, the two surgeons I have seen are making me feel like a hypochondriac. Do you have any thoughts? Could this be related to undiagnosed breast cancer? Or should I get it out of my mind and get through this pregnancy? 34 years old btw :) Thank you so much for any help!

Hello Lindsey,
I'm sorry for the delay but it's best to start your own thread, rather than linking onto someone else's.

Start with three little tests please.

1. Run your fingers down the joints on either side of your breastbone; are any of the ribs tender and is there a swollen nodule?

2. Lying on your tum, ask hubby to press quite firmly on either side of the spine when the ribs join the thoracic vertebrae; is there any significant tenderness or pain?

3. This one is more difficult and you may not be able to accomplish it. Find the pulse in your right wrist; it must be clear and strong. Move your left fingers about until you are sure of it. Now turn your head to the right, look up, and take in a deep breath. Does it significantly affect your pulse? Does it fade away, and does it return after your return your head to neutral and breathe normally?

Let me know.

Dr B

Apr 24, 2017
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Pain in neck, to shoulder blade, down arms to two numb fingers
by: Victoria

Doc,

I hurt and have been hurting for a month. I 'think' it started when I was screwing in 5 lightbulbs over the bathroom sink, without a step on my tippiest of toes (stretched too far, perhaps). Started feeling tightness the next day in my arm.

Continued to get worse as time went on. Had to leave the local area for work training in another state so I couldn't go to the doctor. I took Aleve the whole time and it was tolerable, but annoying. Now it is in the right side of my neck when I look right (relieves slightly when I look left), it radiates into my back right shoulder blade and the top of my right shoulder (if I pull the shoulder forward so very slightly I get a little relief), if I make a muscle on the right it unsteadies me, it travels down the top of my arm sits in two spots before and after the crook of my elbow (military Dr. said those hard spots were excessive fat spots)and doubted they were tight hard damaged muscle.

At times it shoots to my hand and in the last 10 days the finger to the right of my thumb and the one next to it (the middle finger) are numb along the insides, the tips tingle. I am retired military (53y/o), I have had carpel tunnel surgery in both wrists in 2005/2006. I have had Ablation done 2x (2011/2014) in my lower back.

On 17 Mar I went to the military doctor he prescribed Mobic, Robaxin and Tylenol (plus I got a shot of something that started with a T in his office). Had 2 days of relief that was 7 days ago and it feels like I never went. I do start Physical Therapy in 3 days, but something (women's intuition) it feels like something bad that PT isn't where I should be going without xray/MRI/scan. Can PT hurt me? shouldn't he have ordered a view of some sort before PT? Thoughts?

Hello Victoria,
I'm sorry I missed this; it's better to start your own thread than join onto someone else's. Apologies.

My rule of thumb is that if it's gone down the arm, then yes, an x-ray is advisable.

What happens when you look up like that for an extended period is that it closes down the foramina where the nerve roots emerge on their way to the arm.

Reaching up with your arm also means that a 'thoracic outlet' test called Adson's be done; it's quite tricky without experience but you could try it yourself; use the search function at Chiropractic Help. Another is Wright's test for an impingement under the pectoralis minor tendon; too difficult for you to do.

The upper limb tension test is for a pinched nerve in the neck; that you could try yourself too, with the help of a friend; see that search function.

The second and third fingers are not typical nerve root or median nerve distributions, but clearly there's an irritation somewhere.

The fact that you've previously had carpal tunnel problems almost certainly means there's some degeneration in the lower neck from an old injury.

In short, what's needed is a comprehensive examination; it's for you to decide whether physical therapist, orthopaedist or chiropractor is the route you want to take; this will stretch the diagnositic abilities of all three.

Again, I'm sorry this took so long.

Let me know.

Dr b

Mar 07, 2017
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My both of my hands shift but mostly right hand keeps getting tingly
by: Anonymous

So I am an iv user. And this morning I woke up with both of my hands numb and the feeling is not going away. Now when I have notice when I am laying down and my arms are bent my fingers go numb and it does not go away on my right side.

And actually whenever my right arm is bent for a few seconds it goes numb and stays tingly. I don't know if I hit an artery while shooting up and damaged a nerve but I'm not sure what to do.

I have also notice that when I lift my arms over my head the vein in both arms pits looks like huge like there is air inside of it. So I went to rub it and my fingers went numb again. What do you think is going on?

Hello, I really feel for you that life is so shit that you feel the need to destroy yourself like this.

Really, you do know what to do, but I'm sure you've been lectured about that umpteen times, so I won't add to the pain.

Instead, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to tell you about yesterday. I woke early, as I usually do, said my prayers and did my back exercises; I had a bad slipped disc a few years back and now resolutely do those exercises; I don't like pain!

Then I spent a couple hours answering questions like yours on the computer; that's one of my passions; helping others being healthier.

Then I set off in my oldest clothes to the green grocer for their waste; it's not pleasant but it feeds my worm farms and hens; we love fresh, free range eggs.

Then a quick shower, cup of coffee and eggs Florentine on homemade bread that the good wife made for me before the highlight of the day. A day at the gliderport; two glorious flights, one to 6000' sustained just by rising hot air.

My point? Not that I'm shooting off my mouth, boasting; life is so full of exciting things to be done; none were expensive, not even the gliding.

The ancient Greeks were said to ask only one thing at a funeral. Was he passionate? The key to your addiction is to get addicted to some sport or activity; it's gliding and the garden that keep me out of mischief; is it perhaps time to discover your passions?

Lecture over!

There are several things happening here; those are damaged blood vessels in your armpits, not by air, you'd be dead, but by the drugs. They'll probably recover with time.

You've almost certainly hit the median nerve in the elbow, hence the tingling down in your hand; and perhaps one of the many tendons making it difficult to straighten your arm. I'm not sure whether it's the physical trauma of the needle in the nerve, or the drugs you've injected into the nerve; could be both.

When I was 18 a friend introduced me to Jesus; He's been my friend for life; He'll be yours too if you'll invite him in. He never forces his way in; He waits for us to invite Him. He's there, longing for you, just waiting to forgive you your sins, just like He does mine every morning; every day is a new day, a new start.

And then he'll give you dozens of things of wholesome, exciting things to be passionate about. I've been a Believer for 50 years now; gosh, what an beautiful journey it's been; yours will be too.

God Bless,

Dr B

Feb 27, 2017
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Neck upper shoulder and arm pain on my right side
by: Nikki

I have been having neck pain and arm pain on my right side I don't know what to do the pain has become more and more each day and every morning painful I don't know which way to sleep anymore I need some help if I sleep on the left side it feels ok but still hurt if I sleep on the right side where I have my pain I cannot sleep because of the pain I do not know what to do or how to sleep I sometimes don't want to go to sleep because of waking up in so much pain this has been driving me crazy I've been seeing doctors went for CAT scan MRI X-rays I also have scoliosisuses and my spine goes to the left I also got diagnosed with arthritis in my upper where I have my scoliosis I also have 3 herniated disc and two herniated disc in my lower back but most of my concern is I do not know how to sleep and wake up and no pain if anyone has any answers I would totally appreciate for a night's sleep

Feb 22, 2017
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Help me please!
by: Sleigh

I am a 29 year old who has been suffering from chest pain with back, neck, jaw, left armpit and left arm pain for almost 3 months. I initially thought "heart attack" and I went to my family doctor who did the initial evaluation including a physical, EKG, blood pressure check, all of which came back normal. He sent me to a cardiologist to have an echocardiogram which also came back normal. Since then I have pretty much been told there is nothing physically wrong. But, the pain persists. I have since found out my husband and I are expecting our first child and am now 12 weeks pregnant. Therefore, MRIs and X-rays are out of the question. I am at my wits end with this. Everyday I'm scared I'm going to drop dead. Any ideas on what could be causing this?? Thank you.


Feb 18, 2017
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Pain under right arm. Throbbing tighten. Feels numb and tingles in hand and fingers. Scarey feeling.
by: Anonymous

Severe pain in right arm put and under arm. Tingling in hand and fingers.

You give no details, so impossible to answer.

Dr B

Feb 12, 2017
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Pain in left shoulder down to pointer finger and thumb
by: Anonymous

Help.
I have been having issues with my right arm for over two months. I am a lefty so don't do a ton with my right arm but type and it's my mouse hand at work. About two months ago I noticed a small bump in my right arm pit near my glands. I thought it was a zit and tried to pop it, it almost felt as if it popped under the skin but then the spot grew instantly to about triple the size. I left it alone and tried putting hot compress on it and it continued to grow. At that time I started developing pain in the right shoulder blade and down the back of my arm into my elbow and forearm into my pointer finger and thumb.

On New Years I went to urgent care and they told me it was an abscess and they drained it. The pinched nerve feeling I had they told me it was due to the abscess and should be clearing up. It continued to get worse. I have full range of motion and the pain does not get better or worse with any specific motion. It's constant. I have been to my chiropractor at least two to three times a week and had some ribs out each time. Been taking Baswallia Complex and it's not touching it.

I've been to my massage therapist at lease once a week for an hour and a half massage with nothing other then her telling me my muscles on the right side are pissed off and bounce when she would try to massage them. Everything is inflamed she said. I also have been going to a acupuncturist 8 times with her using the five meridians in my ears.

On 2/5 I ended up in the er with excruciating pain and at that point I have only been sleeping maybe 3 hours a night for two weeks straight and counting. The pain was just there. I feel like I am going to go crazy. At the Er they took an X-ray to look for a shoulder dislocation or air or fluid pockets. All was negative. They put me on prednisone 10mg 4 a day for 7 days. Told me to take Tylenol for the pain. Still no better. I need relief and sleep. Need advise as to what I should do next. I think if I don't get this taken care of soon I'll either die or my husband will divorce me.

Have no x-rays of your cervical spine been taken? It's a dead give away: you have a C6 neuralgia; the pointer and thumb is classic. C5 may also be affected since it supplies both the muscles in the midback and the upper arm.

Lying on your back, ask said husband to do the upper limb tension test on you and let me know the result.


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» Pain in left shoulder down to pointer finger and thumb





If you turn to the left and then look up does it produce absolutely no pain in the lower neck, upper back or arm?

Prick your pointer finger with a pin; is the same as the left.

I would think that abscess was an incidental finding of no relevance; it wasn't removed under a general anaesthetic; that could be the cause because they extend the neck.

Get an x-ray of your neck, including obliques.

You've tacked onto someone else's comment. If you want to continue this discussion, please copy and paste this into a new comment at the bottom of most pages on neck and arm pain at Chiropractic Help.

Dr B


Jan 21, 2017
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pain
by: Anonymous

i have the pain the same way but i get leg craps back of both brings me to my knees can not get up until work them out til there still hard my calfes for days i can not work or walk to fast or far my shoulder i was dropping everything i held and still do.
,
when feeling goes out in right side,and both hands finger tips get tingly.
and my right side in the back hurts everyday and my elbow can not lift a cup of water wakes me up at night out of a dead sleep sometimes i do not sleep

Jan 20, 2017
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Scared as I have a dead arm with terrible numbness and pain.
by: Angela

About 2 months ago, I started getting very bad "dead arm" in the mornings when I woke up but it would go away; but here we are now and now it's progressed to my shoulder which is weak with pain in lower blade and neck, shoulder and terrible numbness and pain.

It hurts to type right now but I need advice; I am seeing my Primary Care Doctor Thursday and it's a very bad time cause my mom was just diagnosed with cancer of her pelvis and emergency surgery. It's so hard being single sometimes. I need a hug really. I have to find my faith again.

Hello Angela,
You something rather more than a hug alas. What did you doctor have to say?

Start taking note of exactly where the dead feeling is in the arm; if it's in the fingers, then which?

Secondly, what movements provoke the pain in your neck, back, shoulder and arm? When you are typing and have pain, try and work just which movements, and where it hurts.

From what you describe it's really difficult to be sure whether this is a neck, midback, shoulder or even something like carpal tunnel. Answers to the questions above will help focus on the right area.

Dr B

Jan 20, 2017
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left arm and upper back pain
by: Anonymous

Please could you help me to find out why I have got a crushing/burning sensation going across my upper back, and travels round left side of chest, also underarm pain radiates down to my 2 little fingers.

I am experiencing muscle spasms and sharp shooting pains going down my left arm with tingling and numbness. My arm is painful when I bend it and tender to press.

I had a spinal fusion L5/S1 2008 degenerated disc disease.

I also have painful, tender areas on spine around the thoracic area. I had a facet joint injections about 2 yrs ago. I am also experiencing nausea and and chest tightness. Please help.

Please consult your medical practitioner immediately just to make sure this is not a heart condition.

At the same time, make arrangements to have a thoracic spine x-ray and, if you have left upper back pain on left rotation of your head and neck, also of your upper cervical spine area.

Does taking a deep breath increase the pain, and is one of the joints between your rib and your breastbone tender?

Dr B

Dec 30, 2016
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Chest, back pain with tingling in the shoulder, elbow, fingertips including the pinkie
by: Anonymous

Hi. I am experiencing pain on my right side of my upper body. It begins at my fingertips including my pinkie. Then goes to my wrist, then my elbow. After my elbow it moves onto my shoulder. I then feel it in my chest and my back.

After experiencing the pain for a little bit I begin to feel very nauseous. I then vomit. After a few vomits I am exhausted and feel so very tired. On a few occasions I have become very lightheaded.
Thanks so kindly.

Hello Jocelyn,
Nasty signs and symptoms; I'm sure you're concerned, and rightly so.

Have you seen your medical doctor? What's his opinion?

Do you have neck pain. In particular, if you turn your head to the right, and then look up, what happens?

As a chiropractor, I'm thinking of a pinched C8 nerve in your neck, or in the thoracic outlet, but your medical doctor would be considering other things. Do you have a cough? A smoker? A pancoast tumour could cause these sorts of symptoms, but really, it's very rare.

You might try the upper limb tension test; that would definitely point to your neck?

Pain can certainly make you feel nauseous, particularly if you're taking painkillers; but actually vomiting?

From a distance, unable to examine you, I'm throwing out thoughts. I think an opinion from a local chiropractor would certainly be worthwhile, and certainly you should be talking to your medical doctor.

Let me know what comes of it.

Blessings,

Dr B



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» Chest, back pain with tingling in the shoulder, elbow, fingertips including the pinkie







Nov 07, 2016
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Pain in left side mid back
by: Anonymous

I was playing softball and swung the bat to my left and came all the way around (because I missed). Anyway, the next morning I work up with mid back pain between my left shoulder blade and spine. I've had pain that travels under my left arm pit to the inside of my left bicep down past my elbow to the outside of my lower arm and wrist causing pinky and middle finger numbness. I have full ROM in my left shoulder. The pain is constant. I've been icing for two weeks and taking nsaids. Nothing has really changed.

Do you have full range of motion of your neck and midback? What happens if you take in a deep breath, and in particular if you turn you head to the left and then look up?

The pinkie and middle fingers is rather irregular. Midback pain in the rhomboid muscle may come from the lower neck, but then one wouldn't expect radiation to the hand.

You may have given yourself a stinger; stretched the brachial plexus in which case it should slowly resolve unless you have torn one of the cords.

If in another two weeks it's still not resolving, I'd see a neurologist for a diagnosis; then you might consider seeing a chiropractor.

Some of this suggests a rib subluxation, but nothing is clearcut.

Dr B

Nov 03, 2016
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Tingling and arm pain
by: Anonymous

I have pain in my two middle fingers and it goes up my arm and across the front of my chest on the right side? I just want to know if I should be concerned. And yes I do see a cardiologist.

Any condition, no matter what, if it's not resolving within a period should be treated with concern.

I take it you mean the middle fingers, the third, on the right and left hands; that belongs to the so-called C7 dermatome.

But you make no mention of neck pain, or movements of your cervical spine increasing the tingling. You could just have arthritis in the two middle fingers.

Give it a week or two of home therapy, trying to decide if anything increases or decreases the pain and tingling. For example, what happens if you squeeze your finger, is it swollen, and what happens if you turn to the right and look up?

Neither the index and middle finger, or middle and ring finger belong to specific dermatomes.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

Oct 21, 2016
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Your pain
by: Anonymous

This sounds a bit like RSI which comes from restricted movement and shortening of muscles, nerves and tendons from keeping arm in one place for too long, like computer mouse use. Massage therapy or Myo Facia Release from professional massage therapist or physio would help followed by stretching exercises given would lengthen and release area.
Linda
Body Function Massage
London, UK

Thank you Linda for your contribution. A bit more grist for your mill, Julieta.

Dr B

May 31, 2016
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Neck pain, armpit pain , tingling numbness to arms
by: Julieta

Hi, I have the same symptoms. I had undergone a ACDF C5,C6, and after the surgery I continue to have arm pits , pains to my arms and tingling and numbness to my 4th and pinky. The bad thing is that I have these symptoms on both my arms. So I had a MRI Neurography to both my arms and they found I have brachial plexus injury. So I had a surgery for decompression to my rt brachial plexus.

I am out from work for almost 2 years now due to all these problems. So after the surgery on my brachial plexus, I continue to have all the pains and my tingling and numbness to my right arm is worse; my MD who did my surgery did a test for ulnar nerve compression to my rt, and found out that causes my numbness to my 4th and pinky. I just had my surgery last week on my right elbow, and this will take 3 months to heal.

Still with all the surgery, I continue to have the burning on both on my armpits, arm pains and numbness to my fingers. I am so frustrated that I do not know where is the root of these pains and after all the surgeries, I still feel the same. I pray and hope that I will feel better after 3 months.

Hello Julieta,
I'm not surprised you are frustrated and frankly am unsure what to recommend. Certainly I'd stay away from the surgeons now.

I suspect they operated on the wrong level as C5-C6 causes tingling and numbness on the thumb side of the hand; the ring finger and pinkie belong to the C8 dermatome; it's probably still the spoke in your wheel. But that's history now.

Whether you can find a chiropractor who will take on your case is doubtful after all the surgery you've had.

I'd start with a home cervical traction unit, a weekly sports massage and perhaps acupuncture for perhaps 6 to 8 weeks.

If that delivers nothing, then start hunting for the most experienced and thorough chiropractor in your area.

The ring finger and pinkie can also be affected by a first rib subluxation; the signs are increased tingling with your arm above your head, and loss of the pulse in your wrist when you turn to that same side, look up and take in a deep breath; it's called Adson's test.

You have no cervical ribs?

I'm sorry that I have no more to offer.

Dr B

May 04, 2016
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Pain in neck and both arms
by: Anonymous

Hi there,
I am having pain in my right arm since last year. But I have had neck pain for a long time and that has got worse too now.

I had brain surgery (AVM) in Aug 2014. I used to get migraines and now I take topamax 25mg everyday for that.

The pain in my right arm first started with my last two fingers. My arm use to get numb from those two fingers to my elbows and tingling feeling all the time. But since this Feb my left elbow started hurting too (if my arm is straight it is really painful to fold my arm) and my right arm pain got worse too but now instead of last two fingers it's my index finger, and thumb. And my whole hand started hurting front and back along with the arm. Pain is below my elbow.

My neurologist did all the tests on me like bone scanning, Xray and EEG but they are all normal. And I tried Lyrica, celebrex,and now going to try cymbalta.

Actually I was praying if doctor find something in the tests so she could treat me but all the tests came normal. I don't want to keep taking strong medication either. I have no other problems but headaches. And I'm 42 yrs old. Thank you. Amy

Hello Amy,
Gosh, you're young to be having all this trouble.

Firstly, be pleased the tests are negative; it only makes things more difficult if they were positive.

It means that everyone is missing something.

Firstly, if you turn your head to the right, and then look up, do you have pain? Exactly where?

Secondly, if you tap in the funny bone, ulnar groove hehind the inner elbow, does it shoot down to your hand? Ask the neurologist if Tinel's sign was negative?

The little and ring finger belong to the C8 dermatome and ulnar nerve, so the elbow pain is significant.

Now, using the site search function in the navigation bar, look up and do the "upper limb tension test". What's the result?

Now it gets more difficult. The fact that the pain has moved to the thumb side suggests either another level in your neck, or a pinched brachial plexus in the inter scalene triangle. Then it can affect any and many parts of the arm. If that's the case, usually lifting your arm above your head as in hanging the washing will make it worse.

You've tagged onto someone else's comment. It would be better to copy this and paste it into your own page at Chiropractic Help. Then I can attach graphics to explain some of this stuff in more detail.

Ask your neurologist if she's considered a thoracic outlet syndrome, and whether Adson's test is positive.

It's healthy that you're doing some homework of your own. Certainly won't be good for your kidneys and stomach to be taking those meds for the rest of your life.

Give me some answers, and we can take this further.

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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Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

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.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

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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