My upper cervical neck, shoulder, down the arm with tingling and numbness is all on the left side, not on the right.

by George G
(Syracuse NY USA)

Ever had x-rays of your neck?

Ever had x-rays of your neck?

Three weeks ago while sleeping against propped pillows, I was awakened by excruciating pain on the left side of my neck, all over the front of my shoulder, upper inside of the shoulder blade, collar bone leading down my arm into my left hand accompanied with sweating on this one side of my upper torso. The pain was so intense, and sensitive to the touch that I wasn't sure if I broke something, was having a stroke or heart attack.

With struggle for about 15 minutes, I sat up but the pain and tingling were intense while feeling the law of gravity attempting to intensify the pain and sweating. I sat in the dark with tears caused by the struggle and pain. My mobile phone was near me, so I called 911 for help. While the 911 operator spoke with me, I used my dresser bureau as a right side support to stand up and get to my living room on the same floor. I sat down on the living room couch, still on the phone with 911 operator.

About 20 minutes later Metro Ambulance arrives. Nearest hospital, four blocks from my home. At the hospital, I was given an EKG for probable heart attack. No heart attack. And then without any further tests, the ER doctor only told me to be still, stop complaining about the pain, it's only a muscle spasm. The doctor wrote a non-refill prescription for Naproxen(500 mg)and Valium(500mg) to be taken 2x daily with food. I was there in the ER for almost 6 hours with no pain medication, a rude nurse mandating insurance information that came in about 3 hours after I arrived there.

Finally I was given one capsule Naproxen and sent home. The medication is finished and I still suffer with this pain and tingling. I have researched this ailment, found your website and it is a treasure! Any advice? I would greatly appreciate it.

A little more background please, George. Why were you sleeping propped up against pillows? There's a likelihood that your head would start to go into strange positions whilst sleeping.

Do you have any history of neck pain; any tingling in the arm before? Have you had any significant old injuries to your neck.

Did anyone examine your neck at the ER?

Two more questions: please answer as accurately as you can.

1. When you are having tingling in the arm, raise it above your head; do the paresthesias increase, or are they reduced?

2. When you turn your head to the left, and then look up, what happens.

Let me know, sticking to this thread.

Dr B

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