Pain and tingling from jaw to fingers

by Sherri Jackson
(Calgary, Alberta)

Which fingers are affected?

Which fingers are affected?

About two months ago I had a nasty Novocaine shot that zapped my tongue. Afterwards I had two issues. The first was a frozen jaw, but that went away in under two weeks. The second persists and as of today has gotten worse. My right hand tingles constantly, but actually buzzes if I really extend that arm (reaching for something, for example). Not painful but very annoying. I also have pain in my upper right arm, sort of between the bicep and tricep.

Today I twisted my arm to pull a window open and felt a huge pain in my shoulder and mid-upper arm. It felt like something snapped, or stretched and is stuck. I can feel a buzzing up to my jaw and some pain beside my shoulder blade. I cannot move that arm much now without pain and I cannot press down on anything without pain in the shoulder and down the right arm. If I forget and make any kind of twisting motion, much worse with pressure behind the movement like cutting or chopping, the pain is bad and the buzzing appears in hand and up to jaw.

I have a good chiropractor but have had people tell me that it will go away in time. Well, time's up as far as I am concerned. Is this something my chiropractor would be able to help with? I am a bit fearful of getting an adjustment when it feels like something is trapped in there!

Thank you for your help.

Hello Sherri,
There's no need to be fearful; the very thing you are anxious about, a trapped or irritated nerve, is the very reason why you should be consulting your chiropractor.

I'm not convinced the novocaine, tongue and jaw issues are related; the nerve supply to the arm and the face is quite apart.

Start to take note of exactly which part of your hand is affected, and which movements of the shoulder provoke the pain in your arm.

And whether any movements of your head and neck provoke either neck pain, or that buzz in your hand.

I'm speculating of course, but I suspect the irritated nerve in your neck is causing both the sensory change in your hand and has weakened one or more shoulder muscles; consequently you have now pulled a muscle in the shoulder; it sounds like a rotator cuff strain, but your chiropractor will examine you and confirm what is, and isn't going on.

Perhaps print this out and take it with you.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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Sep 04, 2017
Thank you for the info
by: Anonymous

Thank you for the info. The thumb and adjacent two fingers plus part of the ring finger are affected. I can start the buzz by really extending my right arm (to pick something up off the ground, for example) or by tipping my head all the way back. I will go see my chiropractor about this. Cheers!

It's following the median nerve distribution, so either in the wrist, elbow, shoulder or in the interscalene triangle there's an entrapment.

Extension of your neck means it's probably in your spine too; what we call a double entrapment syndrome; both areas need to be addressed.

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.

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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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