tinglingand frozen fingers in right hand with pain in upper arm and shoulder.

by Len
(West Kelowna, BC, Canada)

In 2010 I had a severe auto accident and experienced a blackout. Very soon I experienced a lot of pain, headaches etc, mostly from my left side of neck to thee brain and very stiff neck rotations. After months of chiropractic, massage therapy, IMS treatments and physiotherapy the pain continued. In 2012 I went to Dr. Canepa in San Clemente Calif. where I was examined and treated for a severe misalignment of the Atlas and Axis vertebrae. (out by 35% or more) This helped to relieve the severe headaches and other head pain on the left side but what is now still existing in the right shoulder from the right side of neck to shoulder /arm, but did not stop the tremors and shaking in right hand, arm and leg. My Right hand is now curled like a hook and is painful to stretch and straighten out.

I've seen 3 neurologists who all say my symptoms are Parkinson's. but there is no scientific way to actually test for PK. However before the auto accident, I had absolutely no health issues, very active using my right hand for everything and certainly nothing resembling Parkinson's. I have been on sinimet (4/day now)for Parkinson's for a year, but it has done very little to reduce or help control the tremors.
I was right handed but now I have virtually lost the use of my right arm and hand. Raising my right arm over my head often provides relief and short term rest. Having read some of your reports, testimonials, I'm wondering if this is actually TOS? Doctors seem to want to just pass this off as early stage Parkinson's but I'm not fully convinced that this is so.
Can you advise and recommend a trustworthy chiropractor in my area to test for TOS (and Adison's test, and negative upper limb tension)

Hello Len,
It's the fool who makes diagnoses without any examination, or access to the patient, but I'm nevertheless going to take a dip in the water with my oar.

Has anyone mentioned causalgia, or reflex sympthetic dystrophy?

It's a particuarly nasty condition that comes after a peripheral nerve has been injured. Because arteries have nerves, this one, like TOS, also affects the blood supply to the arm, but via a quite different mechanism.

So you are on the right track, but I doubt this is TOS; it wouldn't cause the severe changes in your hand.

I have treated the odd case of causalgia successfully, it's not common, but never at a late stage like this, so I have no idea whether more chiropractic would help.

Stretching out the affected muscles and joints certainly is effective in the early stages. Now it's likely to be very painful and just how much it would help I don't know. On the other hand if you do nothing, it'll probably only get worse.

I hope I'm wrong, and probably am, seeing you have been examined by so many specialists.

The test for thoracic outlet syndrome is Adson's test; testing the pulse in the forearm whilst you contort you neck and take in a deep breath. Use the site search function at C-H to find information on the test. I'm just wondering if causalgia would also cause a positive Adson's test. I'm not sure.

Also relief from raising your arm is not typical of TOS; it would worsen the pain and tingling. What you have is a positive Shoulder abduction relief sign. Use that site search too for SAR. It would be virtually impossible to do the ULTT test on you.

You almost certainly had more than one injury; great that Dr Canepa could help the upper cervical injury, but this one is in your lower neck; in fact it could even be in the brain.

A little question: do you have any jaw joint issues? That too can cause facial pain.

In short, I doubt TOS.

Let me know, would you; nasty for you but your question has aroused my curiosity. Keep to this thread.

Again, hope I'm wrong.

Dr b

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Aug 04, 2016
neck upper back and both hands
by: Michael Kincaidn

Upper back and neck pain both hands numb and feel like they both are both very depressed and angry,please help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello Michael,

Please give a lot more detail for a cogent answer. And, please start a new thread.

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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