upper side back pain with numbness in index finger after painting a room


This happened suddenly. I was painting a room and got upper back pain on the right side. A couple of days later I also got numbness in my right index finger. Also had, but not anymore, tingling in my right arm with minor discomfort in my right elbow.

The back pain is not as bad as originally but varies in intensity usually worse later in the day. No change in the numbness.

I should also mention I had breast cancer in my right breast but over 6 years ago. I've completed my painting so thought I would wait and see after resting for a couple of days. Concerned about whether I shouldn't wait to see a doctor. I am 66.

Hello,
It sounds like things are improving, so perhaps you could wait a little longer. Having said that, I usually recommend that if it goes down your arm that it's better to get a professional opinion sooner rather than later.

The index finger belongs to the C6 dermatome; anything in the thumb?

If turning your head to the right, and then looking up, provokes any symptoms in your arm, then I would not delay; that's called Spurling's sign and a cause for concern.

If you prick your index finger, how does it compare with the other hand.

This is unlikely related to your breast cancer. Looking up for a prolonged period narrows the foramena where the nerve roots emerge often provoking this type of tingling and pain.

What's important is that you get over this; once it's chronic, you have it for life. Perhaps give it a few more weeks, but not longer.

Everyone who has had breast cancer should make sure you have plenty of lignins in the diet; google it. Freshly ground flax seed is probably the best source; you need a coffee grinder. I would make homemade bread using 100 percent wholemeal flour, if you can find it. We have a lot of pages on the subject at our other site; type bread into the site search function at chiropractic help.

Let me know how you get on.

Dr B


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