Bicep weakness, aches, and shaking

by Sam


I've been diagnosed with tos neurogalgia and have been rehabing with a chiro for 3 months and off work for the moment.
While it's been helping resolve numbness and tingling in the hands and some of the forearm aches, I am most concerned about my right bicep has only slightly improved. How is the biceps tendon reflex? Is there wasting of the biceps? Are there fasciculations?

The symptoms went from extreme shaking on eccentric motion with out any weight, like it was catching, about 3 months ago. Then I noticed pain and numbness especially near the elbow on both sides. I stopped trying to rehab with 5 lbs curls at this point. A denervated muscle will only complain if you put it under too much load; this should have been entirely predictable.

Now it seems less numb (not that I'm testing it much) but I get aches with movement of any weight, weakness(even hanging clothes or putting my arm out and back to grab something) and over all fatigue with too much movement.

Is this normal? Fixable? I have not seen this online and my doc and chiro do not say much about it. I'm 28 female and in shape; it only moves normally if my arm is held out at shoulder height; then I don't have the shaking at least. I'm concerned that tos won't go away with out surgery, I'm losing hope I can return to my life of lifting, art let alone my job without constant issues.

Hello Sam,
I always remind folk that the purpose of the gym is make you more healthy, not give you serious issues like these. Clearly there's something about your gymming that's entirely wrong. Only you and an experienced biokineticist can work that out.

If the gym makes you sick, if banging your head on the wall gives you pain, find another way to get fit. A skipping rope takes a lot of beating and is a lot cheaper, considering your medical costs; maybe not what you want to hear. I could make a good living out of gym injuries!

TOS is diagnosed in my book by a positive Adson's test, more pain when working above your head, a first rib fixation and extreme anterior and medical scalene muscle tenderness. Does that fit?

You have no cervical rib?

You make no mention of neck pain; if you turn your head to the right and then look up, what happens?

Is the upper arm tension test negative? (Use the Site search function in the navigation bar on your left at chiropractic help to find it?

Sam, this difficult and without examining you there's no likelihood that I can make a diagnosis or serious recommendations. Reading between the lines, and perhaps I'm entirely wrong for which I apologise, my gut feeling is that your eagerness to rush back into the very lifestyle that caused the problem in the first place is not being helpful.

There are 10,000 ways to stay fit and healthy; find one of the other 9,999 at least for a few months until this has entirely healed; otherwise you may find yourself saddled with a lifetime problem and believe you me, TOS surgery through the armpit is not nice.

Go and talk to Tiger about it; we watch with interest how long he continues to play the circuit.

I'm not sure this ramble really contributes; take what seems relevant from it.

Let me know in a couple months how you are getting on?

Dr B

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Jul 02, 2018
by: Anonymous

Actually it wasn't from weight training, and I haven't lifted seriously since January. It was from playing metal guitar and my regular job made it from an elbow issue to a problem from hand to forearm, and bicep to chest.

My neck is only a tad stiff and sore, it's more my pec area which is irritated. I don't have cervical ribs and a negative emg. I'm not diagnosising myself with it.

I do need to be able to lift 50 lbs and repetitive motion for my job so staying fit muscular wise is important, esp for my hyper flexible elbow joints.

I'd like to be able to lift again to prevent atrophy and so I don't get hurt because I'm prone to golfers' elbow and from repetitive work which is why I stopped guitar. I've been training since 12 and I have excellent form and never hurt myself in the gym except on trying to dl which I know I can't do so I don't.

It sounds like the days of that heavy lifting are over; otherwise you'll be saddled with this for the rest of your life.

Further, I'm afraid I have nothing else to offer.

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 have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is 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 is 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 pain-free. 

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 is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has 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 stroll 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; he has a short leg.

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. X-rays 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 few months 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 is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year 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 could not 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 should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

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