Neck pain radiating to midback and fingers

by Katie
(North Platte NE)


Neck pain radiating to midback and fingers is a serious business; weakness and numbness are about to set in.

About a month ago, my family and I were eating breakfast and I turned my head to the left. My neck cracked and there was instant pain. Pain like I've never had before and it radiates down my neck (into between shoulder blades),goes into right shoulder and down my entire arm into my fingers.

I cannot lay on my right side even more so now, and even carrying objects with my right arm is painful all the way back up. It continues to get worse. Even carrying my purse is painful if placed on my right shoulder.

Lately it seems as if my right shoulder is slightly down further than my left? I can pinpoint the area in mid neck region where pain begins. After the incident, my neck was very swollen, was also observed by my pain specialist asst. (I have lower back problems).

My concern is, I already take pain medication, if the pain is breaking through all of that at a constant, I'm afraid something is seriously wrong.

Just looking for some professional advice.

Hello Katie,
Firstly, when you have serious issues in two different parts of your body, it's a good idea to stop for a moment and look at the bigger picture; otherwise next week it'll be starting in your stomach, or your shoulder, or somewhere else.

Is there something in your general lifestyle that you should be facing up to? If so, deal with it, or there's yet more trouble to come. Are you getting enough exercise, are you eating enough fruit and salad, when did you last take a proper holiday, and so on?

As far as your lower back is concerned, are you doing a set of simple exercises EVERY morning before getting out of bed? That's the place to start.

Then, yes, this is serious in your neck; you know it instinctively; you should have already consulted someone about it. X-rays of your neck, and even a scan are necessary.

A pinched nerve in the neck is one of the most painful conditions we treat; you're not whingeing about nothing. The most likely causes are either a slipped disc in the neck, or degenerative joints of Luschka; of course there are many other possibilities.

If your neck is really swollen, and not just muscle spasm, then even more concern. And precisely which fingers are affected; it's most unlikely to radiate to all of them.

Consult someone soon; like today.

Dr B


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