Tingling and numbness on inner aspects of pinkie and ring finger pain and stiffness in neck, and R shoulders

by Jean
(Hampshire, UK)

Fell and fractured last 3 fingers in R hand Nov 14. Pneumonia and lung surgery (R LUNG) March 15. Noticed numbness and tingling a few days before collapsing with Pneumonia and Pleurisy in March. I am now recovering well but my neck and R shoulder are becoming increasingly painful with audible clicking and a 'crunching noise' when I turn my head. During my followup after lung surgery I discovered I have lost an inch in height so I am awaiting the result of a bone density scan (early menopause at 41 yrs, no HRT).

Up until my pneumonia I was a fit and healthy person; I exercise regularly and have a physically demanding job in Healthcare.

The car I was driving was hit from behind by a large lorry in 2010 but I did not experience any ill effects afterwards. I am becoming increasingly worried that I will not be able to return to my job. I recently had a long car journey and after 2 hours I had sciatica in both legs. At 56 I am starting to feel like an old lady!

So the numbness and tingling in the C8 dermatome began before the surgery to your lung, right? I don't quite understand; surgery for pneumonia must surely be very exceptional.

Conditions in the apex of the lung can certainly affect the brachial plexus and the pinkie and ring finger are most often affected. Are you a smoker? If there is a positive Upper Limb tension test, then I would think unrelated to the fractures in your fingers. Unless the fall also injured your neck.

During an anaesthetic, the neck is extended to keep the airway open; this is mostly the cause of your symptoms in the arm. It's not uncommon at all in chiropractic practice, and I would presume in physiotherapy clinics too.

Lots of coughing can certainly affect the lower back.

You have no specific question, so I hope this contributes.

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Jul 21, 2015
Back, neck and shoulder pain
by: Jean UK

» Back neck and shoulder pain

Thank you for your reply. I had to have lung surgery to clean out my lung as medication and drainage were not clearing it fast enough.

I have recently been diagnosed with a right Frozen Shoulder which I believe is a common complication of lung surgery. I am having acupuncture to relieve the pain and stiffness but I am still suffering from neck pain and stiffness and pins and needles in my left hand and now cannot drive for longer than an hour before developing sciatica. I am still awaiting the results of a bone density scan 6 weeks ago but this may not explain my neck and hand symptoms as it only looked at my left hip and lower spine. My GP suspects I may have a collapsed disc and this seems to be a process of elimination as there may be a number of conditions which have all been triggered by my illness. My right shoulder was the most painful area so I am greatly relieved to be getting somewhere with that and I guess I'll just have to be patient and wait for my other problems to be dealt with one at a time although I suspect there is a connection which is why I mentioned my r.t.a. 5yrs ago as I have wondered if my lung illness exacerbated an underlying problem which would have eventually started to show itself.

Hello again, Jean,
A frozen shoulder is also a sequela of all the neck pain you are having. Look for the frozen shoulder exercises at Chiropractic Help, and discuss them first with the acupuncturist who is caring for you. You may find the shoulder won't go over until your neck has been treated and the tingling has stopped.

It's unlikely the bone density test will contribute much to these pains. They are not primarily caused by osteoporosis.

The test for the collapsed disc is the Slump test for sciatica. Let me know the result.

How was the Upper Limb tension test?

Dr B

» Back neck and shoulder pain

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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 have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is 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 is 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 pain-free. 

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 is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has 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 stroll 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; he has a short leg.

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. X-rays 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 few months 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 is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year 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 could not 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 should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

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