Neck arm shoulder hand problems.

by Michelle Green
(south yorkshire)

I am a 39yr old mum of three who has suffered mild neck pain for 8 yr due to whiplash, then last year everything began to get worse. Over the last 16 months I have had nerve conduction tests, physiotherapy, chiropractic visits, accupuncture,MRI scans, benn to see an orthapaedic doctor, vascular dr and now i have been reffered to a spine specialist.

My symptoms are as follows

Ear Pain
Sometimes I get tinnitus in ear, severe pain just under ear lobe, and headache pain runs over the top of ear and skull area.

Jaw pain
Feels like I have dental pain, runs all the way down from under ear along jaw line, mainly lower jaw but occasionally on cheek bone. I get a severe electric stabbing pain just under my chin which makes me jump and it is as though someone is sticking a pointed knife up and in my chin, sometimes when I eat it starts it off, and sometimes its for no reason, but the pain is terrible, and brings me close to tears. Sometime when I hold my jaw area it feels numbish, tingly, and other times it just hurts, and the pain can feel like it is an infection in my gums.

Front neck pain
Feels like a tight elastic band that runs up the front of my neck right side of adam's apple, and its like it's being pulled really tight, and other times it can feel as though someone has tied a knot in it and I have to move my neck or rub it till it goes, a simple movement can trigger the knot feeling. Other times the pain is in a wider area covering the right hand side of my neck front, and I always feel as though my glands are swollen in my neck but on both sides, and behind adam's apple.

Shoulder Pain
In and around shoulder socket, can travel into my shoulder blade, and into my collar bone, into my neck and down arm all at the same time and sometimes separate. Wakes me up every night without fail, I find myself waking up nursing it, and I have also woke up with bruises just lower than my collarbone where I must have been unconsciously rubbing it in the night.

Arm Pain and weakness
Pain runs down from shoulder and feels weak and fatigued like flu, runs into elbow (hypersensitive) muscle in lower arm can feel strained and bruised, where in higher arm tends to be more lethargic and heavy feeling. Sometimes pain is under arm in the armpit area.

Back Pain
Mainly down middle, but doesn’t generally go down more than two thirds. Pain similar to collar bone, feels really tooth achy and horrible. Sometimes it runs into my shoulder blades (both sides, but mainly right) and is though its sharp and dull at the same time, and makes me feel like someone has hit me over the back with a baseball bat,and when i walk the pain vibrates up through my shoulder blades with each step, in which case i find myself putting my feet down very slowly and softly to try and preven the vibration pain that winds me, other times its just sharp and shooting.

Collar Bone
Collar bone is always sore, but then there are times when it is like severe toothache, and all I want to do is rub it, a little like when you have tooth ache and you bite on it, and it hurts but its also nice. Can run from there into my shoulder and also up into my neck.

Pelvic Area
I keep getting pins and needles in my private pelvic area and bottom, again it mainly occurs when sitting, really wierd feeling.

Sometimes my elbow is really sensitive and the slightest touch can make me jump a mile.

Hand Pain
Hand and fingers turn blue, swell up and go freezing cold, feels dead. At times I have no strength or grip and find it difficult to hold a pen and write. Even when I can write or use the computer (like now) it drains my arm of energy and makes my shoulder and collarbone ache. Fingers sometimes feel numb or tingly. Sometimes my hand goes bright red, hot and my veins swell right up, its as though my hands have no temperature controll. Sometimes if I carry bags out of supermarket my fingers can set and it can take ages to get them to move out of the position they have set in.

Wrist pain
Wrist feels weak and lethargic as though there is no strength in it, and it hurts alot, again I find myself nursing it. When bad I am unable to open lids on jars, pick kettle up, open door handle, I rely on my left hand and wrist now more than ever, although symptoms are present in left side but a lot milder.

Knees (both) feel strained tight at the back, and find it difficult to get up from kneeling position. Knees also get pins and needles in the knee caps, mainly when been sitting, and when I go to sit down I get a pain and a tingly feeling behind the socket of the knees, I find myself rubbing them, not that it helps.

Right Leg
Get pain in lower right leg as though I have had cramp and it has worn off a little, when you are left with that heavy dull tightness.

Right Foot
Get pins n needles in last three toes, which travels up the lower leg but tends to finish around 2/3rds of the way up the lower leg veering off to the side.

both legs
get spasms in thighs and after this happens i walk like a thunder bird and legs go wobbly and weak. If i walk far or fast my legs become painfull, crampy and fatigue really easy, its horrible.

I think the effects of whatever I am suffering with may be causing the following!
Dreaming a lot. Keep having nightmares, wake up and struggle to drop back off to sleep as when I wake up my mind is active with contents of dream, also I am in pain with shoulder and arm.
Wake up tense, and sometimes my fist and jaw can be clenched upon waking.
Feel like I have become allergic to alcohol it just knocks me to sleep.
Find it harder to concentrate.
Noise intolerance, never have telly on, music is ok for 15 minutes but then i have to turn it off. If kids drop something it makes me jump easily, can't stand tapping, dripping, slurping or chewing.
House work and ironing is never done, drives me mad, but it makes me tired very quickly and sets off the pain and weakness everywhere.
After 5 and ½ months off work I returned back in September and have struggled on until feb and been back on sick since, I was just in constant pain, even though they tried to accommodate me, I was only doing 3days a week and 3hours a day, and I was knackered by the end of each shift, and totally useless by the time Friday came. I am only 39, to not be able to manage 3hours a day is ridiculous and I am desperate to find out what is wrong, this has been going on over a year and I have had enough.

Really struggle to lift my arm and dry my hair with hairdryer seems near own impossible, it just hurts so much and drains my arm from energy, always makes pain worse which then makes me feel lethargic, hurts to fold clothes, hang washing on line, pull out furniture to clean behind, hoover
I just needed to write this list thoroughly in the hope some specialist will read it and give me a pointer in the right direction of what it might be, as I am now getting desperate.

Foot pain, especially if been sat for a while, I feel as though my feet are metal and need oiling when I first get up but then it gets easier after a few short minutes.

When I walk for any distance legs feel crampy very quickly and cause pain.

If I take kids out and be active I am bad for a few days afterwards.

Mum has always said I suffered with rheumatic fever as a young child about 5, she said i was like a little old lady and used to take for ever to walk me to the shop, and all the skin peeled on my feet.

Was diagnosed with childhood arthritis at 11, had sever pain and affected my teenage years dramatically, was in constant pain, mum used to carry me upstairs to the toilet, and i used to struggle to simply walk down a pavement when I was having bad days.

17-20 were three of my worst years. Seemed to get better slowly after then and leave me at 21, always had aches and pains since which most people may complain about but compared to the severity of pain i suffered before hand I was 80% better in my mind, until last February where everything has flared up again.

10 years ago had a car crash which i had whip lash, and i haven’t really been right since, had ongoing physio, acupuncture and visited chiro practice for neck pain since and shoulder pain since, but over last 14months everything has dramatically worsened and i feel as though it is impacting on my life as much as it did in my teenage years.

I am fed up and don’t believe there is nothing wrong, it just hasn’t been found yet, surely I can't have the history of pain which I have had as a coincidence.

I'm sure you're fed up, Michelle. You've suffered a lot. And I won't pretend I have any easy answers.

When faced with chronic illness, and no one, but no one, has any answers, I always recommend you go back to basics.

Take a walk EVERY day. What every you can manage.

Eat an apple a day. It's not just an old wives' tale. Lots of research. Apple diet ...

Eat fresh fruit and salad EVERY DAY. They are the source of soluble fibre that keep us regular, the phytosterols that reduce cholesterol and provide us with anti oxidants. What are phytosterols ...

Have a B complex injection periodically. The B vitamins have soooo many functions in the body, and some people have difficulty absorbing them.

Get onto an anti inflammatory omega 3 diet.

If necessary visit our free weight loss programs ...

This is general stuff, Michelle.

My website won't allow me over 10000, send me your email if you wan't more about Chiropractic.

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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