Severe deep left arm pain, pins and needles; thumb and index finger pins and needles and index finger feels cold at tim


Had an injection of lidocaine in upper back by the shoulder blade for preparation of removal of a surface mole. Couple of days later neck pain started when turning head from side to side.

One week later severe pain radiating deep in left arm and throbbing of forearm. Tingling and index finger feels like it is cold inside (but not to the touch) and thumb are now getting pins and needles. Pain originally was most apparent at night but has now become constant.

I can't see how the injection could have caused this, unless you lay with your head turned to the side, or had a general anaesthetic.

The throbbing nature of the pain does invite questions about it being vascular, but far more likely is an injury in your lower neck that is pinching the C5 nerve root.

You need first an x-ray of your cervical spine, including oblique views; an MRI would be very helpful if you have the money or insurance.

It's one of the most painful, and frankly difficult conditions that all doctors and therapists face; I would take time off from work, carry nothing in your left arm, ice and heat your lower neck; the surgeon lurks, waiting in the wings.

And then decide whether you are going to a chiropractor, physical therapist or physiotherapist. Rome will not be built in day.

Let me know how you get on.

Dr B

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