Tingling In Right Arm and Numbness of Hands Plus Other Issues

by Meagan
(Memphis, TN)

Hey Doc!

I will get straight to it. Here is the run down of my health. When I was in labor with my son (11/3/10), I chose to get an epidural. They did it wrong, and spinal fluid came out and back into the IV. They did not seem alarmed, and after later doing research due to pain, I see why. Now, I have problems sitting in one position or standing for long periods of time.

About a year after that, I started to notice my right arm going numb and I was working at a grocery store at the time. I did not see this as much of a problem at the time. Then, in 2014, I worked for a plastic factory and started to notice swelling in my wrist. They changed my job and I have not really had any more issues regarding my wrist.

In July of 2014, I moved to Memphis and started servicing pools. (Family Business). After only a couple of months, the pain in my shoulder became excruciating. I have a high pain tolerance, so for it to be unbearable finally sent up a red flag. Holding my arm up above about chest level was almost impossible. Rotating my arm and doing some stretching seemed to help but the problem just kept arising.

I no longer service pools, I now work in an office selling them. So, now I spend hours sitting and using my computer and again, the shoulder pain returns. Only now, I also have a severe pain in my T1(I THINK) right in between my shoulder blades on my spine. I am a smoker, but beside gallbladder issues, I see myself as being pretty healthy and active. We can add slight chest pains to the mix too.

This may seem like a strictly chiropractic issue but now here's the twist. The two may go hand in hand, or not be related at all. Your expertise may help me tremendously.

Here is what happened. The night before last, I went to bed around my normal time. I woke up unable to talk and hardly able to move. No matter how hard I tried, I could not wake my partner up. I don't remember anything besides those few minutes of panic. Now, I know that sometimes that happens and it's called being in a box, or "having a witch on your back." But what happened to me last night, is what has pushed me to find some answers. I had a very stressful day and at one point, my blood pressure was through the roof. Next thing I know, I have blurred vision, both my hands went numb, and my entire body started to lock up. All I could do was close my eyes and concentrate on breathing. Again, I could not bring myself to speak. Afterwards, I had a splitting head ache, chest pains, pain in my arm pit and numbness still lingering in my right hand. I felt completely drained and even a little nauseous. I ate and went straight to bed.

Today I have been exhausted and was still suffering from that piercing head ache for a couple hours this morning. The chest pains lasted only a few minutes this morning also. PLEASE HELP!!! I do not run to the doctor every time I ache or feel sick, but I am honestly freaked out. I have never experienced anything like this. Like I said, I know all of these things may not be related but I feel pretty battered to only be 23 years old. I just want some answers.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your feedback.

Hello Meagan,
You need to see your doctor immediately. I don't know what "through the roof" was (did you measure your BP yourself?) but a TIA needs to be ruled out. A temporary ischemic attack, especially at your age, must be taken seriously as it's the prelude to a major stroke.

I think it's unrelated to your other issues; a repetitive strain injury in the wrist, a pulled muscle or bursitis in the shoulder, and probably a subluxated rib between the shoulder blades; lower than T1, more likely around T5. Mind you, C5 supplies the muscles between the shoulder blades and that would fit with numbness in your arm. T1 true does supply the skin of the armpit area, but there are a lot of other structures there that cause pain, especially as you had difficulty raising your arm.

You know it, of course, but it's time to give up the weed permanently and completely. Do it. It will knock years of your life, and if that was a TIA a lot of years; or worse a stroke.

Let me know what your doc thinks.

Good luck,

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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