Right thumb tingling, forearm and back biceps

by Jim

Am 54 yr old male. Had shoulders hurting before but no tingling. I use to lift lots of weights and have done hard work most my life. About a week before this started I had a sudden shock like feeling go through the palm of my right hand. It felt like a shock; it hurt but went away after a few minutes.

Then about a week later I woke up one morning with a stiff neck. When I tilt my head back it hurt, when I looked to the right and looked up it hurt like it would catch sudden pain at that moment. Then it kind of faded away after a few days.

Well a few days later I was working on my wife's new phone trying to get it all up to date which I ended up having to call the company and ended up working on it four or five hours. Right at last when I was putting the last bit of info on it every time I would hit a letter with my thumb it would tingle. This is how it started. Next day my thumb would tingle off and on then next day thumb tingled also a spot on top of my forearm and the back side of my biceps. No pain in the arm. I noticed if I put my elbows up on the table like I always do it would trigger the tingling. Soon as I got up it would quit. Also I could pull my head down and to the left and it would stop. Raising my hand above my head will help stop it also. As long as I am working am fine but a lot of time soon as I sit down with my elbows on my knees to rest it would start. But if I leaned back it would stop. Sorry so long. Hope you can shed some light. No pain in arms just in neck when turning right and some left also.

One other thing if I get a tennis ball and roll it around on my back. Right in the almost middle of spine a little more than half way up on the left a inch are so and on the right an inch are so when the ball rolls over it wow it's a hurt but a good pain. It kind of shoots a pain up to my neck but it's a good pain that feels great. If that makes any sense. Thanks Jim

Hello Jim,
Yes it all makes a lot of sense. Let's take it one part at a time.

Spurling's sign is pain in the lower neck, and especially if it radiates down the arm, when you turn to the side of pain and look up.

Relief when raising the arm is called the Shoulder Abduction Relief sign.

Pain in the midback, associated with the problems around the biceps is suggestive of a c5 nerve root lesion.

However, pain in the thumb is more likely to be C6.

It's likely that the Upper Limb Tension Test is positive. Find it using the search function at Chiropractic Help.

All in all, what's needed in the first instance is a set of xrays of your lower neck, including obliques, and a thorough examination.

It could be a slipped disc in your neck, but more likely wear and tear in the joints of Luschka or facets. It's treatable, but can be intractable.

Let me know what the pictures show.

Dr B

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Jun 08, 2015
by: Jim

Thank you very much. What u have said is right on with what my Chiropractor has said. Again thank you. A wonderful website you have here.

Pleasure Jim, glad you found it useful.

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've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's 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's 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 painfree. 

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's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's 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 walk 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.

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. Xrays 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 year 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's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 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 couldn't 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 shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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