uncomfortable ache down my right arm with tingling in my last two fingers

by james
(wales, uk)

I am a 46 year old male, always on the go physically generally in the garden or writing and can be heavy handed without realising my own strength and am right handed.

However for a few weeks now I have been experiencing this dull ache I thought from my shoulder at first but it seems to stem from my armpit and down the bingo wing side all the way down to my hand with pins and needles in my last 2 fingers (my pinkie and ring finger).

I try to sleep with the arm supported by pillows but it doesn't always help, however if I put my hands behind my head it does ease a bit or if I bend my right arm and pull my elbow towards me with my left hand it does ease. If I push a bit into my armpit it hurts there and down the inner of my arm (bingo wing).

I have got to a point where I can't get a proper night's sleep, I am waiting on an appointment to see a GP as new to the area but it's really getting to me, I already suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome and have done for years and to add to it in the last year have developed painful lumps in both arches of both my feet and have been waiting for over a year for a scan.

I really hope you could shed some light on what's going on as I feel ready for the scrap heap.
Thank you.

Hello James.
You're not ready for the scrap heap yet, otherwise I'm already well fossilised, but certainly some changes need to be rung in.

You have a fairly classic C8 dermatome brachial neuralgia; meaning nerve pain in the arm. It's classically worse at night.

Interestingly you make no mention of neck pain. However that's probably where it's coming from as you describe the shoulder abduction relief sign to a T. Does turning your head to the right, and then looking up cause no pain? That's called Stirling's sign.

Looking out for weakness developing in the fingers.

Another less likely possibility is a thoracic outlet syndrome where the nerve bundles are affected in the inter scalene triangle.

You need to start with x-rays of your neck, including the oblique views which show the condition of the uncinate processes in the foramen where the nerve exits; that new GP should order them, then National Health will pay.

Start looking for a chiropractor who works with feet too; you may have plantar myofascitis, or even wear and tear in the joints of the feet.

Good luck, and let me know how you get on.

Dr B

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Jun 21, 2016
NEW SURGERY APPOINTMENT 24.06.16 ....fingers crossed
by: James from Wales

Hi Barrie
Thanks for responding so quickly to my question. I have screenshot your advice and will be showing my new GP at my appointment this Friday. I just hope he is more professional than my last GP.

When I went to my GP last June about the lumps on my feet, I did mention plantar myofascitis he disagreed with me & requested a Ultrasound on my feet, I rang the hospital 10 months later only to find out it was cancelled as my GP missed clinical information off the request form!! I really hope I don't have to wait another year just for a ultrasound, they are agonizing every day.
I think this website has brilliant advice, thanks again.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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