numb hand and alternating severe shoulder pain

by Melanie
(Las Vegas, Nev.)

Numb hand and alternating severe shoulder pain points to old injury in the lower neck and probable degenerative change in the joints of Luschka.

My right hand has been numb/tingly very similar to CTS patterned numbness. But it is this way 24/7..for about the past 18 mo. I guess I have a knack for picking bad doctors. After a few chiropractic treatments and adjustments, he said the problem is in my neck and told me I need to see an Orthopedic surgeon.

I haven't been to another doctor yet because of my lousy insurance and it has gotten progressively worse. When I turn my head in either direction, it radiates pain down the back of my right arm.

I'm getting severe shoulder pain in one shoulder for weeks to the point I cannot lift it. Then it will gradually go almost away and it goes to the other shoulder for a few weeks. I have also lost mobility in my right thumb; chiro said arthritis, and is very painful to even barely squeeze that hand. What is it? neck or other? I don't know where to go.

Two years ago I had blunt force trauma to the area of my sacroilliac joint. I was hanging a shower curtain and when I started to step onto the edge of tub I lost balance and fell straight back, landed on the toilet, on my low back/high butt rt.side, full force. I got up, but for 11 months, I limped, and walked, leaned some to the left to relieve pain. And nobody could tell me what was wrong. I found exercises for Anterior rotation that helped but what the heck did I do? Please help me find answers...
I am a 62 yr old female.

Hello Melanie,
There are different things going on here. Most carpal tunnel problems do indeed have their origin in the neck, as does very often the alternating shoulder problems you are having.

That's confirmed by the fact that turning your head causes radiating pain into the arm; known as Spurling's sign.

You almost certainly have some degenerative change in your lower neck, most folk of 62 do, from an old injury and perhaps even from that fall in the bathroom. I would start by getting some x-rays including oblique views.

Leaning to the side to relieve lower back pain is called an antalgia; unusual to have gone on so long, and you're lucky not to have radiating pain down your leg as you do in the arm.

Start doing our lower back exercises that you'll find in the navigation bar every morning before getting out of bed.

There are no easy answers to this, Melanie. You've neglected it, and the prognosis isn't that great. Start hunting for a chiropractor who comes highly recommended by friends and family. He's going to have to work hard, and you're going to have to be careful, do the exercises and no more playing silly buggers in the bathroom!

I wish I could be more helpful. Yes, it's going to cost you; how important is your health? If you don't look after your body, where are you planning to live?

That probably is arthritis in the thumb, and unrelated. Look to getting on to an anti arthritic diet; basically many coloured fruits and salads with olive oil.

Dr B

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