Stinging, burning and itching down both arms.

by Pam

I have had stinging, burning, itching pain down both arms for several years. Was diagnosed with brachialoradial pruritis at the onset. I went gluten free after a bout with (but unconfirmed by biopsy) of herpatiformis dermatatosis. By the time I got into the dermatologist, he basically made the diagnosis by photos. He did take three biopsies as described above but the lesions were all but healed. I started on dapsone but ended up with SIRS criteria and was hospitalized for a week within 3 weeks of starting the med.

As they could find no other reason for the severity of the illness, no one recommends I go back on the dapsone.

I suffer greatly with the burning, stinging and itchy feeling down both arms. More medical journal articles are leaning toward cervical radiculopathy instead of just sun damage as a reason for this. My PCP doesn't really understand how badly this affects my life. I can only relieve the pain with ice. I wake up clawing myself during the night or am unable to go to sleep because of the pain.

I am trying to find someone who might have some insight as to some help with this problem. If you need additional information, I could supply it. Thank you for taking the time to look over my problem.

Hello Pam,
Nasty business and I can't say I've had any such cases in the past, so take what follows with a pinch of salt!

This doesn't sound at all like a cervical radiculophathy, but for all that it would be interesting to have a chiropractor examine your neck.

Cervical adjustments often have effects far beyond what we would normally expect, should he find some definite signs of subluxations in the neck. There again, it could be chicken and egg; did the dermatosis cause the subluxation or vice versa? Both happen.

I'd be leaning towards an autoimmune response to some hitherto unknown stimulus, in which case you should be looking to far more general things. When did you take proper time out to smell the roses, and how good or bad is your diet? Are you getting regular, daily amounts of natural anti inflammatory foods in your food on a daily basis?

Are you exercising and there are a host of unknowns like various chemicals you may be smearing on your body.

My best suggestion is to become a health nut for some months; enjoy a holiday, take a serious, long look at your diet, avoid chemicals both on your body and in your food and start taking a regular walk or swim, or jog or cycle every day. Plant some daisies, and grow green beans; talk to God.

This may not be to your liking, but it's the best I have to offer. I have my doubts about a cervical radiculopathy. Do you have significant neck pain?

Let me know how you get on; there are others out there who will benefit from your experience.


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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