Sensation of heaviness/tingling on both arms/face cheeks and neck stiffness

by Crisol
(Lake worth, Florida, United States)

For two weeks now I've had a sensation of heaviness and tingling in both my arms. The sensation doesn't affect both arms at once. It started out only affecting my left arm and shoulder blade and trapezius muscle. Now I've had it on my right arm for 4 days now. The sensation/tingling affects my whole arm, shoulder blade, and all of my fingers except for my little finger.

When I don't have the sensation/tingling in either arm, I have a very stiff neck. My neck feels like it's going to break if I make a sudden movement. It hurts to look up or to turn my head sideways.

For two days the sensation /tingling in my right arm came all the way the right side of my neck and the right side of my face, up to my cheek. My left trapezius muscle was a little swollen compared to my right side but with massages the swelling has gone down, but it still is a little swollen. I don't know if that has to do with it. When I touch my neck and upper back bones along the spine, they feel very sensitive and almost bruised. I have no trouble sleeping at night nor does the pain wake me up at night. I wake up fine, but as soon as I start moving around the sensation/tingling starts. I have a hard time finding a comfortable position to sit it due to the pain in the back of my neck.

I've tried hot compresses and applying bio freeze. That helps only for a little. A doctor also prescribed me a muscle relaxer which does help relieve the pain but it's still there just less noticeable. I'm a 21 year old female who is very active. I haven't been running in 2 months due to mild pain behind the knee. But I used to run 4 miles a day five days a week. Now I take an hour walk once a week and haven't been able to start running again due to the neck pain/stiffness.

Taking a hot shower, being in the sun, and throwing the ball outside seems to make the symptoms go away. I've quit caffeine thinking it was effecting my nerves. I've set up an appointment with my primary for a general check up, but I was also going to ask them about my symptoms. I went to my primary for another symptom that involved mild chest pain that felt like a cramp. The doctor said it was musculoskeletal pain. Those symptoms subsided on their own, but then these other symptoms started.

Hello Crisol,
Whenever these sort of symptoms affect both arms, there's reason to be more cautious. I'd start by asking your doctor to have an x-ray taken of your cervical spine, doing a neurological exam and checking for enlarged lymph nodes and a breast examination; and your thyroid.

Run your fingers down the joints on either side of the breastbone; is there obvious tenderness on one of the joints? Is there a swelling?

When the tingling excludes the pinkie, carpal tunnel should be considered, but my gut feeling is that this is more complex.

When it affects the face, once thinks of jaw joint problems, and very rarely parathyroid gland conditions that affect calcium metabolism.

Frankly I'm really quite unsure, and just shooting off ideas that come to mind; initially, my gut feeling is that this may be a medical rather than chiropractic condition.

Let me know how you get on.

Dr B

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