Comments for Pain in neck,right shoulder,arm pain and finger numbness

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Sep 24, 2012
Thank you
by: Mark G

Dr. B,
I found this case report and your comments very helpful. I have this exact problem. I am athletic, healthy and not under stress.
I am 45, but awoke 5 weeks ago with neck and shoulder pain and spasms. A day later my index finger and part of my thumb are completely numb, like they are gone. I can't feel anything in my pocket, when I pet my dog, I don't feel anything in my index finger and thumb. My forearm hurts as does the back of my shoulder by the scapula. Also, the top of my hand is numb.
I am growing more concerned every day. I try to stretch my arm, but it hurts and I try to rest my wrist but it hurts.
My family doctor called me in a Medrol dose pack, which did nothing but keep me awake for a week. I hope a local Chiropractor can help, but if they are unsuccessful would you send me to a neurologist or orthopedic specialist? Also, message therapy or physical therapy?
Thank you once again for this great site!
Mark G.
Hello Mark,
You have a very typical C6 neuralgia, and it's of concern because you are now developing "hard neurological signs". Not just pain, tingling, a feeling of numbness, but actual numbness and weakness in one or muscles is probably developing, most likely the triceps.
The nerve is tethered in your neck so stretching out your arm will only aggravate the nerve pain.
Have a look at the "upper limb tension test" in the Search this site menu at C-H. The test is almost certainly positive.
It's time for an X-ray of your neck, if you can afford it or have insurance, an MRI scan.
Medicine's approach is that this is an inflammation, and thus the pills you were prescribed. We see it as a physical problem, and needs to be approached from that angle. Like you wouldn't treat a broken arm with NSAIDs. You'd set it and put it in a cast to heal.
It is one of the most difficult and painful musculo skeletal conditions faced by any practitioner, so I won't promise that it will be plain sailing with chiropractic. Chances are it won't be.
Consider a supine home traction unit as an adjunct. I find they often help.
Good luck, let us know how you get on, and what the scans show.
Dr B

Jun 20, 2012
numb index finger and thumb
by: Anonymous

I can not sleep because the throbbing pain goes down my arm now, I want to die

Hello again,
Like I said, this is one of the most painful conditions. Nerves are extremely sensitive to pressure; they complain. Loudly!

If it's throbbing then a vascular condition also needs to be considered. Any swelling, discolouration of the arm? Does turning your head hurt in the arm?

See a local experienced chiropractor.

Dr B

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