Pain and weekness in arms

For quit a long time I was waking up with sharp neck/back pain. I determined that my mattress was just worn out/too soft. I purchased a firm mattress and OUCH! I began experimenting with pillows for neck and under legs. No help. I tried a 4" memory foam topper, then a 2" topper. Still in pain and getting worse.

About two months ago I purchased a memory foam mattress, very soft but I thought supportive too, yet the pain increase was horrible. Now my arms, from bicep to elbow and elbow to wrist are weak all day, feels like muscle fatigue.

My wrists shake uncontrollably, I get spasms in the bicep near elbow and about mid way up. The area of my shoulders where it meets the breast bone have dull to sharp pain.

So, now I go back and forth between the firm and the memory foam trying to diagnose what is going on. The memory definetly is worse. My neck and back are in severe pain as well as the arms.

Then I go out and by a very expensive gel infused mattress on a very expensive adjustable base thinking I need the support of soft firmness and by raising the foot/head position just right I should be good to go. It's been almost a month of experimenting with positions and my neck/back are slightly better, whatever pain/stiffness is there works out some and I could function but my arms are almost useless all day.

Are my shoulders being pushed forward too much? Is something being pinched? Is it blood flow? (head sometimes feels pressure, legs weak, upon first getting up.) Is it muscle fatigue from pushing self up/out of the bed that has built up and is not recovering? Help would be great, I am about at the end of my rope.

Hello RR,
End of the rope is sometimes a good place to reach. Because it means that you must go and do something you should have done months ago: get professional advice.

Reading between the lines, I suspect the bed, hard or soft, inexpensive or very pricey, has very little to do with it.

That tremor in your hands and spasms in the biceps MUST be assessed. Soon.

If you don't regularly consult a chiropractor (you make no mention) then frankly I'd start with your doctor. And don't just accept pills. What's need is a diagnosis, not medication. If your doctor can't make the diagnosis, ask to see a neurologist.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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May 31, 2016
Arm pain
by: Anonymous

The weakness and pain in my arms from sleeping on a tempurpedic is unbearable. I am not crazy, this bed is the problem. I don't feel like I will ever be the same. I feel like I'm permanently injured. Horrible experience.

There's no one size fits all. If a bed doesn't suit you change it before it does damage; one usually knows within a week or two.

Dr B

Feb 07, 2016
Forget your memory foam mattress
by: Anonymous

I had the same problem with memory foam mattress for 5 months. I went to Ika and bought a regular mattress for $200, and next day, my problem solved, no pain. Mainly I think that I couldn't turn my body when I was in sleep, and lack of blood circulation cause the pain.

Thank you for your contribution; moral of the story is don't wait five months if you don't like the new mattress. Anyway, glad you are happy with the new one.

Dr B

Jan 20, 2014
Where's my old bed?
by: Anonymous

Interestingly, I have had the SAME problems. While, yes-it seems one could certainly look to the medical side (chiropractic side) why is it that when one googles the words memory foam and elbow pain, there are a zillion testimonials stating exactly as this person has, and I myself am experiencing? My husband has a terrible back, and seeks regular chiropractic help both for preventative work as well as crisis work. I myself have never had sleep issues or back pain, soreness, stiffness, etc. Our mattress was 25 or more years old, and naturally it was time for a new one. We decided on a mattress that was more supportive (without springs), so it was firmer than our soft smooshy "broken in" one..but YOWZAS! Immediate pain for me. Within 72 hours, I had lost all upper body strength. I wake up with extreme elbow pain and stiffness all over. I too have purchased 2 different toppers (memory and gel), and over the course of 90 days (I gave each new item time to make the change), I am still suffering. It is not a coincidence that so many people switch to memory foam/firm/gel toppers and experience the exact same symptoms? When I say no upper body strengths, I mean (I am a farm girl and can throw a bale of hay into a loft :) I cant even lift my briefcase successfully for work! I have no idea how to fix this bed problem...I have done the research, have read streams and streams of threads, have tried just about everything. I am 35 years old, and feel like an old lady. Its the bed...not my body...argh! signed-going crazy along side you :)

Hello Anon,
Hopefully you haven't discarded old faithful, because you need her back!

I'm not one of those who believes that because a bed is 25 years old that it must go to the dump.

One of the difficulties is that one size definitely doesn't fit all. The old mattress may be your husband's problem, but the bed is perfect for you.

How does he react to the new bed?

If he doesn't like it either, then take it back to the shop, and try another. And if necessary another. After all, if you're going to keep it another 25 years, it better be right.

Meantime, any other beds in the house? Try moving to one of them.

Let us know how you get on. I know there'll be others interested.

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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