I am a 54-year-old male, 6'9" tall, 220 pounds, and up until recently physically active.
About four years ago I noticed a tremor in my right thumb when holding a pen. Around the same time I began to develop an ill yucky feeling in my upper body that would occur about three times per week lasting for about one hour. The tremor has gotten worse that it is very difficult to drink out of a glass. When I am anxious my right hand will bounce around like beating a drum. If I concentrate I can stop this fairly easily. Several months ago I started having a mild ill feeling all the time, with several periods throughout the day feeling very uncomfortable. For the past four days the uncomfortable ill feeling occurs all the time.
A year ago I went to the Mayo Clinic and they told me I have an essential tremor exacerbated by anxiety. They said it was not Parkinson's. My internist prescribed citalopram for my anxiety. I was on this for about nine weeks and stopped about a month ago. My neurologist suggested I stop this because it appeared it was increasing my tremor. He suggested I try a Requip and gave me some samples.
I also have started some cognitive behavior therapy.
But the fact is, the ill feeling is getting worse. Here some other strange symptoms that occur from time to time:
out of breath, clammy feeling, ringing in my ears, back stiffness, neck stiffness, cold right hand, numbness in my pinky finger, numb feet. It is difficult for me to write anything and to use a keyboard and mouse. My right wrist and hand have become much stiffer the past few weeks.
If I am cooking and stirring (with right hand) something in a pot my ill feeling increases. My ill feeling also increases when watching action movies. It also increases if I sit down in certain chairs like a recliner.
I feel there's something else going on. I had an MRI of my neck a year ago and it showed osteophytes and possible nerve impingement in the C3 C4 area.
I have been tested for heavy metals and that was negative. I tried acupuncture, and meditation. I am working on my breathing techniques. A recent test showed my end tidal CO2 to be about 25 mmHg and it should be 35?
I am frustrated . Is this early stages of Parkinsons, or some other neurological condition? Could it be that the neck osteophytes are growing causing more nerve impingement? Or is it all anxiety? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
I believe C3-4 disc can affect your breathing.numbness in hands/feet,ringing of ears,neck stiffness and hand stiffness can certainly be from nerve impingement from the neck. I also had alot of hand tremors, but the other stuff (ill feeling) you describe is kinda vague and may be anxiety related. Have you seen a neurologist and are you getting any treatment for your neck. I can tell ya first hand that spinal problems mess with your head and can cause stress related symptoms, so try to treat the stress to.
Thank you for your question. Although without being able to examine you I can not offer you the specific advice on diagnosis and treatment that you need, but I would try to provide you some relevant information about your health concern.
It appears that your symptoms may be due to nerve irritation in the cervical (neck) spine because of injury or prolapse where contact between the edges of the vertebrae can cause neck pain. In few people, this pain may be referred and perceived as occurring in the back of head, shoulders, arms or chest, rather than just the neck. Other symptoms may include vertigo, nausea (dizziness) that you felt and symptoms like neck pain and stiffness can be intermittent. It will be best that you consult a neurologist who would like to prescribe Pain killers, steroid and muscle relaxants. Other treatments could be cervical orthosis such as a soft cervical collar or stiffer neck brace to restrict neck movement. In addition, cervical traction may also be suggested by the doctor, if condition is severe. Hope this helps.
Thanks for your comments. I have seen a neurologist. I have been to a physical therapist and they gave me some McKenzie exercises. I sit in a chair and move my head horizontally back and then tilt it back. I feel some pain when it is tilted back. So I feel there is something going on with my neck, and I know my symptoms are exacerbated by anxiety.
Recently I went to a psychologist and he thought I had obsessive-compulsive disorder. His recommendation was cognitive behavioral therapy and diaphragmatic breathing.
Thanks for your comments. About 10 years ago I fell forward while water skiing and landed on my forehead and felt something click in my neck. I was okay afterwards, but always felt that this may be a factor. I am also an IT consultant and have worked on many computers where the ergonomics are not right for me since I am 206 cm tall.
I don't feel pain in my neck walking around, but if I tilt my head backwards it hurts.
I had an MRI of my neck in February 2009. The report is as follows:
Vertebral body height is preserved. There is mild scoliosis. Degenerative changes are noted, especially at C3-C4 level. There is osteophyte formation on the right side causing the right C3-C4 foraminal stenosis. Mild thecal sac indentation is also noted. There is no cord compression or cord lesion present. Cervical medullary junction is unremarkable. There is no destructive bone deletion or paraspinal soft tissue mass notice. Minimal spondylosis at C4-C5 and C5-C6 interspaces. Impression - osteophyte formation at C3 C4 level costing thecal sac compression and right foraminal stenosis with the possibility of exiting nerve root impingement.
It has been a year since this MRI. Perhaps this osteophyte has grown and is the reason for the increased symptoms. Do you think I should have another MRI to determine this. Thanks again for your recommendations.
Wow, I can empathize pretty well here.
I have a similar problem: "c3-c4 level there is a large right-sided disc osteophyte complex possibly causing foraminal stenosis at the exiting c4 nerve root."
I had that MRI done just 3 months ago. ---->
NOW... When I was 11 I believe it first popped up as acute pain in the back of my right arm & shoulder persisting for days. It resurfaced again when I was 18, causing me to try physiotherapy but only did it for a while. After that my shoulder never seemed totally ok.
At 25, I came home from work in the snow & shoveled the driveway. Within 20 minutes I had acute pain & went through another week of it. My shoulder never totally recovered, always feeling like it was dragging a bit, but I wasn't afraid to use it.
5 years ago, at 28 it came on again, this time causing some tendonitis in my right forearm along with the extreme pain in the back of my arm & shoulder. It took months for the tendonitis to subside at all. My arm was & pretty much is useless when it comes to strenuous activity. I began physiotherapy 4 yrs ago as advised by my Dr & an orthopedic-surgeon who only tried x-rays & found nothing. I've developed a regimen of daily physio but I can only handle so much. I know that if I were to strain myself the wrong way I'll end up with immense pain.
I'm seeing a neurosurgeon in Feb 2011 & I'm trying not to get my hopes up but I don't know how I can deal with this. For 5 yrs now, regardless of the other times, it's been a constant problem. I can't do ANYTHING physical with my arm. I have to be careful ALL the time. It's caused me so much emotional, psychological & physical distress.
What I'm saying with all this is, it looks like the only way to fix this is through surgery of some sort. You can't just take medication to make osteophytes go away.
I'm 33 now & I'm worried it's only going to get worse as time goes by.
Any thoughts? Has there been any option of surgery for this?
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