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Shoulder Pain and Numb Fingers
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Shoulder Pain and Numb Fingers


  The problem I am experiencing began a couple of weeks ago very gradually. First my right shoulder became a little sore upon certain movements. I could pinpoint the exact spot of soreness, which directly on the side of the very top of my arm. It sort of hurt like the muscle soreness experienced after an injection into the muscle. Gradually this discomfort has been getting worse, especially when I take my right arm and reach across my chest to touch the opposite shoulder, or when exerting even minimal forward pressure, like when washing dishes or pushing a door open, etc. I am noticing a clicking or popping sound, which can also be felt by lightly putting my hand on a specific spot on my shoulder. The spot I am referring to is on the front of the shoulder, about an inch or an inch and a half down from the top of the shoulder. The past few days I am also noticing sort of a cramping or a tightening feeling along the outer part of my upper arm - from the top of my arm almost down to the elbow when I exert even minimal forward pressure.  Now, to complicate matters even more, the past few nights I am waking up periodically with the 4th and 5th fingers (pinky and ring finger) numb/tingling. I shake the fingers to regain feeling, and within ten minutes after falling back asleep they begin to feel numb again.
  These symptoms did not begin as a result of an injury, at least not an injury severe enough to recall. I do have sort of an awkward set up at work, where  I spend a lot of time typing and using a computer mouse. The only reason I mention this is because now I am finding that my symptoms are aggravated when typing and using the computer.
  I have read a lot about rotator cuff injuries, bicipital tendinitis, ulnar nerve entrapment, bursitis, etc. But it seems that I have some symptoms that fit all of these.
  Any ideas?
  I'd appreciate any input you may have.
  Thanks!
  Sue
===============================================================================
Thanks for your question.  The symptoms described in your messages are
suggestive of a peripheral nerve lesion, albeit mild.  However, it is somewhat
worrisome that it seems to encompass two separate territories: the shoulder
symptoms are more suggestive of a C4-C5 nerve root impairment, while the
numbness in digits 4-5 could be cause either by a C8-T1 nerve root, or an
Ulnar nerve problem.  I would recommend an appointment with a Neurologist
(preferably one specialized in Peripheral Nervous System).  One possible
investigational step to take is to perform an electrodiagnostic test called
an electromyogram (EMG) to study the nerves and muscle of the affected limb.
If you wish an appointment at the Department of Neurology at the Cleveland
Clinic, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE, or 1-216-444-5559.
I hope this information is helpful.  Best of luck.  Happy New Year.
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only.
Please consult your doctor regarding diagnostic and treatment options.





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