neck pain, arm numbness, burning pain

by dave
(colorado)

neck pain, arm numbness, burning pain

About a year ago I fell at work, and hurt my neck,and back. I have had two M.R.I.'s on both areas. I have a protruding disc in the c-5 c-6 contacting the nerve roots. My Workers Comp. Dr. says my M.R.I. is normal for someone 40 years old.

Since I have had a nerve conduction test,and passed, why am I still experiencing this. Plus it feels it is getting worse. It always occurs when I look up, or reach up, and when I try to sleep. I get very little sleep now, cause I wake up when my arms act up. This is very depressing, as it effects every aspect of my life. Any help or advise plz.





Hello Dave,
It's definitely time to ask for a second opinion. Firstly it's certainly not normal for a bulging disc to be contacting a nerve at any age.

Secondly, the fact that you get arm pain (or is it only neck pain?) when you look up is called Spurling's sign. More, does it hurt when you turn your head to the side of pain, and then simulaneously look up? In your neck? In your arm.

There's a fairly simple test that you can do at home for a frank pinched nerve. Interpretation of the results is more difficult, but it'll give you an idea. It's called the Upper Limb Tension Test ... scroll down to the video.

Thirdly you are developing what are known as "hard neurological signs". That numbness... if you ignore it (actually, if your doctor ignores it) you could well end up with a permanently lame arm.

Why not have a chat with your own house doctor? See what he thinks. Did the WC doctor examine you thoroughly? Reflexes, skin sensation, weakness of muscles in the arm, orthopedic tests...?

This is a very painful condition. One that I treat frequently, but if you've had this for a whole year now, it's likely to be difficult which every way you turn.

But a second opinion is long overdue. In fact, in your situation, in my practice, I would have asked for a second opinion after 3-5 weeks. A year is far too long.

Gather your scans and tests, get your WC file number and see someone else. You are certainly within your rights to do that.

Slipped disc arm pain ...

Let us know how you get on.


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I hope this has contributed.

Dr Barrie Lewis



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