Burning sensation in neck and shoulders
by jorman, Jan 09, 2009
I am under considerable stress and every morning wake up with an irritabvle burning sensation that radiates from my shoulders down my arms and up into my neck. It stays most of the day.  it even feels warm to the touch.  I have lived with stress all my life but lately things have been worse.  This is the first time I have ever experienced any pysiological pain so it does concern me that something else maybe manifesting itself.

I have never heard of this before and can't find anything on the Internet,

by Neuro ForumBlank, Jan 11, 2009
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.

Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not comment on what the cause of your symptoms are nor how to treat them, however I will try to provide you with some possible explanations.

It sounds like you have unfortunately been under a lot of stress. Stress can often lead to physical symptoms. Stress can also lead to muscle tension, which can cause spasm of the muscles around the spine, leading to back and neck discomfort. This would best be treated with a short course of anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant, and physical therapy.

One possible cause of back pain with sensory symptoms in the arms is due to a spinal cord problem such as a contusion (bruise), trauma, syringomyelia (a cavitation in the spine) etc. Another possible cause, though less likely is a neuropathy, or a problem with the nerves to the arms and legs. Neuropathy usually involves the legs and arms together in patients with symptoms similar to yours, but can sometimes involve mainly the arms.. There are several categories of this type of neuropathy, and there are many many causes. Sensory neuropathies can involve just one nerve or several nerves in the body. The symptoms are sensory loss and if motor nerves are involved ,weakness. Some types of sensory neuropathies occur and progress very slowly, others sort of wax and wane (with flare-ups) and some are progressive. One of the most common causes of neuropathy is diabetes, and sometimes only glucose intolerances, or abnormal rises in blood sugar after a glucose load can be the only indication (this is called a oral glucose tolerance test. Other causes include but are not limited to hereditary/genetic causes, autoimmune problems and demyelinating diseases (such as CIDP). Vitamin B12 and B6 deficiency, as well as excess vitamin B6, can also cause neuropathy. Some toxins can cause large fiber sensory neuropathy. Other causes include abnormalities of protein metabolism.

It is always important to have a thorough evaluation by a physician before symptoms are attributed to stress. Therefore, I recommend you see your primary doctor/regular physician and after he she examines you/obtains a history, he/she can determine if further work-up is indicated and what treatment is suitable. Also, it is important to address your stress and depression if you have any, counseling to help you cope with the stress and medications may be useful.

Thank you for using the forum I hope you find this information useful good luck
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