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Sudden Weakness in arms
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Sudden Weakness in arms

In the last few months I have been getting a sudden weakness in both arms.  It comes on suddenly and lasts a maximum of 5 minutes.  When it happens I cannot lift anything.  I feel so weak that I have to sit or lie down until it passes.  This week it hit me twice.  Before these 2 incidents, the last time this happened was a month ago and before that was probably another month (2 times in a week).  The sensation is from the shoulders down to my hands.  Any ideas?

Thanks
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Hello dear,
You should consult a neurologist and get  MRI done as there could be several causes for the muscle weakness such as degenerative spine changes,TIA,stroke,neuropathy,nerve compression etc.Are you  hypertensive?You should monitor his blood pressure levels  regularly You should go for a evaluation and get the diagnosis confirmed.
Best
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I have also had the same experience in the past 2 months, I am always relieved that it happens when I am able to sit or lie down quickly.   It started when I began taking prevacid, nexium, etc. for reflux and wondered if it had some connection.  I have been told by my doctor there is no relationship that he knows of and to also see a neurologist.  Have you had additional episodes or seen a neurologist? Any additional news?   Susan
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Well, I'll describe my "episodes". The first was about 3 months ago and it really scared me. Recently I have had them several times a week though not as intense as the first. Even right now my arms are feeling a bit weak - too strange.
The first thing that happens is a feeling of heat in my shoulders that rapidly intensifies and spreads across the front of my chest up to my neck. And it then quickly spreads down both arms and suddenly that part of my body gets soooooooo weak. I have to stop whatever I'm doing, it's soooo strange and intense. I almost feel like I'm going to collapse.  My arms stay weak for a few minutes after while I just try to get myself back together. At first I thought it was a random experience but I am now getting concerned. I'll let you know if I get any more info. Does this description seem familiar?  
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I can tell you, I don't know what this is, however, I also experience this, please check out my post, ' issues regarding my arms'. Thank you!
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I have also had an episode similar. Its scarey and last for a few minutes.  Could it be stess?  After my arms start to feel heavy, I instantly feel weak.  My last incident was worse. I was walking up the stairs and my arms felt heavy.  My upper body instantly weakened and I felt like if I did not lower my body I was going to fall anyway.  I thought I was having a stroke. Couldn't move for less than a minute but it felt like a century.
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I also suffer from the symptoms described.  But mine has been going on for years...comes and goes.  It is getting worse though now.  No rhyme or reason.  Just arms get weak and tingly....have to lie down and pray that it goes away.  It lastes anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes maybe.  I am unemployed and have no medical insurance, so can't go to dr.  Should I be concerned?
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I have had the same symptoms---I have had the same symptoms....I will be doing various things, and at different times of the day, suddenly I will start having terrible weakness in my arms - starting in my shoulders, and like a wave, traveling down to my fingertips.  My arms feel like they are lead weights -and are sort of numb. - lasting about 5 minutes - and leaving me fatigued for about 1/2 hour.  It has happened twice for several days, and then not at all for a few days, then back again.  It concerns me that so many people are experiencing the very same symptoms- and no answers.....anyone?
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Same thing here. had three episodes that scared me.....pain gripping my nack, check and upper arms similar to what is described for heart attack. Went to ER bt ambulance two days ago. Bloodwork, EKG and nuclear stress test were called "picture perfect".
last night was in the yard and tried to rake up grass and could not do it. Weakness in shoulders and arms.
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anyone know what may cause this symptom? my mother is suffering from this.
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  From time to time I get the same weakness in both arms and shoulders. The arms are numb and the hands tingle. My Dr. sent me for tests which included:  EKG, XRAY, ELECTRO CARDIOGRAM, ECHO CARDIOGRAM HEART, NUCLEAR STRESS TEST, 3 MRI'S, ULTRA SOUND CARTIOD ARTERIES, A MRA (CARTIOD ARTERIES), SEVERAL BLOOD DRAWS, AND A HEART MONITOR. The results showed my heart was in great shape. when I get the results from the neuroligst I'll let y'all know. (I am 73 years old)
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2 months ago I was sitting in my supervisors office and thought I was having a heart attack.  I went to the emergency room and did the stress test, ekg, full blood.  Picture perfect like others I have read about.  I had the same thing about 5 years ago, did a halter with no results.  I am 50, in good shape.  For me it feels like lactic acid in the middle of my chest to start with then goes down my arms, both sides, normally last only about 5 minutes.  This time it has been 24 hours with the weekness.  Going to the doctor again tomorrow to dig further.
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I've had the same symptoms for over a year now. I get an aura that it is going to happen like heat and tingling in my shoulders then pain in my chest and under my ribs and my arms go totally weak like jello. they last about a minute bur my arms are weaker than normal for a few hours. I've had chest two stress tests since and they were both normal. No one seems to know what I am talking about. Sometimes I won't have an episode for 6 months or so. If anyone finds anything out let me know.

TT
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Did anyone find an answer to this puzzling set of symptoms. I have a patient with same problems and I am stumped, even after a million dollar workup
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any luck yet? i experienced the same thing. i'm freaking out. its been 2 weeks now. the neurologist have done EEG test, MRI & CAT SCANS nothing yet.
he also scheduled a tilt table test
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I love these boards because I can find people with the same symptoms, but it seems as if once they find an answer they don't post. Or maybe there isn't an diagnosis. I have the same problem and it is very frightening.  I get the "aura" where I know it's coming....then the heavyness in the shoulders..seems actually to be the outer arms, almost as if it were the nerve that runs down the outside of the arm... then to my fingers.  I usually collapse..sit down when I know it's coming.  It happened tonight for the first time in a while...it was a bad episode.it is hours later and I can still feel it..that weak shakey (shaky) kinda feeling ... Please, if anyone finds an answer please repost and let us all know. Thanks!
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Avatar_m_tn
My experience is somewhat different.

Today for the first time ever, I had the same weakness running down both arms towards my fingers as everyone else. However, my main symptom was pain, and it seemed to originate from my head.

Several hours later I feel exhausted.

Any ideas?
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I HAVE NO PAIN OR NUMBNESS.  IBEGAN LOSING STRENGTH IN MY RIGHT ARM ABOUTNNN 2 YEARS AGO.  IN THE LAST SIX MONTHS I HAVE LOST THE STRENGTH IN BOTH ARMS.  I HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSEDWITH A FORM OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE.  DOCTORS DO NOT SEEM TO KNOW WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF THIS.  I HAD EMG AND IT SHOWED NERVES WERE NOT WORKING CORRECTLY.  WHAT IS IT?  I SOON WILL BE UNABLE TO FEED MYSELF.
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I have a history of arm & hand numbness and had an MRI 3 years ago that showed some spinal canal stenosis and moderate to severe foraminal stenosis with potential impingement of exiting C-4 and C-6 nerve root... (I guess it's about time I look up what those mean)Still the neurologist thought my problems stemmed from mild carpal tunnel. It's taken me 3 years, but I am going to make someone listen to me, the pain and numbness has gotten so much worse. I have been experiencing the SAME THING as all of you for the past few weeks. It is so freaky and scary when it happens, thank God it goes away! It happened twice the first week and then a few days ago and now, twice already today. My arms suddenly feel very heavy and I cannot grasp anything, and cannot move my hands. I have to put my arms down to my sides and can barely lift them even when I try very hard to do so. It happens to both of my arms and hands at the same time, I think from my elbows down. It feels very heavy, almost paralyzed and somewhat painful. I have a pretty high pain tolerance. What if this happens when we are driving! I'll let you all know what I find out IF I find out anything. I will be going to the Spine Center in my town.  I usually end up waiting to go to the doctor until I cannot stand it and then they dont find anything after a ton of tests and I pay a bunch of co-pays with no answers...Good luck to all.
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I just had an episode that sounds just like what you described.  Both arms, from the wrists to the shoulders, just felt very odd, like I had been lifting weights, and then they were very weak for about 5 minutes.  then everything went back to normal.  

Have you found out any more about what might have caused that for you?
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I have had this kind of episode about six times in the last two years. It has been very difficult for me to describe, until I found this website. I had my most recent experience about five days ago. It is a sudden, temporary bilateral weakness in my arms. I had just gotten out of a van, and I could not bend my elbow enough to raise my hand from my side to close the van door. I, too, felt compelled to sit or lie down. It is a very frightening feeling. It is similar to blood pressure cuffs being on both arms, and squeezing too tight.

I was sent to the hospital, and an MRI of my brain and neck was performed to rule out stroke, tumors, and blockages of the carotid artieries.  The neurologist thinks that it is related to my narcolepsy. I have never experienced cataplexy before, but they think these episodes are similar to sleep paralysis. I have have two sleep paralysis episodes in my life, and they were both horrible. Anyway, it seems that I am having these unusual episodes while awake.
I haven't seen any followup posts from the people who had these episodes. I hope they will post again with any news.
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First had this about this time last year, called an ambulance as I thought I was having a heart attack but after a thorough checkup they could find nothing wrong. All has been fine untill this week, but I have had several attacks over the last couple of days, the last being a few minutes ago.

As I type this my hands are tingling and my arms feel heavy.

It starts in my arms and is quite painful, then it affects the back of my neck on both sides of the spine. After a few minutes the pain goes and I am left with tingling hands for a few hours.

Someone must know what it is, PLEASE.
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I have been experiencing similar symptoms. It starts at my shoulders and works its way down my arms. Sometimes I will feel a burning like sensation in my lower abdomen and it is occasionally followed by a BM. Has anyone had these additional symptoms. I am a 27 year old mom with 2 young kiddies and it frightens me that there is something going on in my body that no one can explain. HELP?
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After reading all these commentaries, I was relieved to see that my 79 year old mother is not the only one having these terrible episodes.  Where can we find answers to our questions regarding these attacks?  We have had no luck when dealing with her physician and after having run many tests.  Is there a website or professional that can help us?  I am very worried.
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I have been having a heaviness in both arms that comes on very suddenly.  At first the heaviness starts and goes up to both shoulders.  Then they start to feel slightly numb and tingling.  Several times I feel pressure accross my breasts.  It makes me weak and only lasts for a few minutes and then starts to subside.  This happened last night around 12:00 am as I was getting ready to go to bed.  I have been experiencing these symptoms for several months.  I thought at first I was having a heart attack.  I have had my neck xrayed because my doctor wanted to be sure there was no nerver damage.  I had back surgery this past September.  Doctor sent me to a cardiologist and I had thread mill test, EKG, and an angiogram.  My doctor wanted to do the angiogram because my brother had a heart attack in his fifties.  I had 60% blockage in the middle artery but he did not feel a stint was necessary because he only does stints if there is 70% blockage.  Everything else was fine.  I have had an MRI and blood tests which showed my thyroid medicine was to high and was cut down.  I had an spell like this at a store a couple of months ago and had to ask for a chair so that I could sit down.  I was feeling very weak and thought I might faint.  That was the last time it happend until last night.  I was thinking that this was all over and attributed it to the high thyroid medication.  I want to know what is going on!
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Ironically, I just had an episode like this and when I went online I immediately found this string.  I was sitting here at work.  had my phone in my hand, txting a friend back and immediately the phone became heavy for both arms.  I was fighting to finish txting.  No real pain, just a little tingling that was symmetrical in both arms up to the shoulders.  kinda of like when you have a leg fall asleep.  I touched my fingers and the feeling was still there.
I have a history of back problems.  I get pain in my lower back.  if I swing an axe, about 3 swings into it, i will be crawling back into the house.  A TENS unit seems to really help with that.  I have neck pain, I've been told i have ladder neck, where there is not as much curve as there should be.  
I'm healthy by normal checkups, work out most days but not seriously heavy, only 32, smoke and drink, just started electronic cigarettes two weeks ago, and on Lexapro for anxiety type of behavior from being ADHD.
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I've had similar episodes, off and on, for about 20 years. I had one today...which is why I'm on the board. Starts in the shoulders...I can feel it coming on...after a few seconds, heads quickly down one or both arms. Weakness and heaviness - and I liked someone's analogy to having a tight cuff on the arm. It lasts a minute or so. Feels like longer! Sometimes it feels like I can "shake it off" by stretching and moving my arms and shoulders, but I'm not sure if I'm really affecting the duration or outcome. It's scary...the symptoms are too much like a stroke. But an MRI showed nothing wrong with the brain, and although I haven't had a full cardiology workup, my basic numbers (cholesterol, blood sugar, etc.) are good, Blood pressure is borderline high, so that's the biggest area of concern. I take a mini-aspirin as "insurance." No numbness or slurred speech, etc, or confusion other than the confusion that messes up your head when you're freaked out. Usually minor after-effects, a bit of heaviness and less than 100% dexterity in the affected ares for a while. I have had osteoarthritis in by back for years, and my gut feelingis that this related. But it's just a guess. I can totally sympathize with everyone else who's had these symptoms! It's very unnerving.
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A couple more observations, in case they're helpful to anyone...This episode happened about an hour ago. The after-effects are slight but definitely there:

- Normally I do great on the neurological (or drunkedness) test where you close your eyes and walk by putting the heel of one foot in front of (and touching) the toe of the other foot. I tried it about 20 minutes ago...not so well. This could all be from secondary symptoms and the generall shook-up-ness, however.

- Weakness in the affected arm is just about gone, but in certain positions I can feel it slightly. You'd never know from looking at me, I can play the piano, type, etc. with no problem. But *I* can feel the difference.

- Another comparison I thought of is if you're lifting something real heavy for a while or have your arm in a precarious position for a long time. Afterward, it's a little "stuck" and/or weak and takes a little time to get back to 100% normal.
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I am 50 years old, work out on a regular basis (twice a week lifting weights which include arm and shoulder workouts), yearly physicals show I am in perfect health, and I only take calcium and vitamin D.  I started having these same symptoms with weakness in my arms and numbness like described by others.  I went to see a chiropractor because I thought it may be a pinched nerve.  He took x-rays which showed the vertabrae in my neck are compressed a little more than normal.  This was the problem.  I am a dental hygienist and sit with my neck tilted looking in a downward position all day long.  He said it was common in people who spend a lot of time sitting in this position...like computer people,secretaries,hygienists,etc.. After a few months of adjustments...no more problems.  Hope this helps!
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I am 35 yrs young and have been experiancing the same as a lot of you guys.  I have have 5/7 of these so called attacks and the worst one being on Sunday when i was lying in bed minding my own business, the pain gripped into my left shoulder and down my arm over which I had absolute no control over, accompanied by s splitting headache going from my left eye to the back of my head, I also could not speak, and had Stroke like features on my face, it lasted around 30 mins before i came back to my normal self> TIA's have been mentioned and am waiting for a MRI scan in a few weeks, the started off quite mild but each one is lasting longer and are getting more frequent. I spent the night in hospital but they didnt really take much interest as I was Getting back to normal after each episode.  Has anyone had an actual diagnosis of what is happening to them or are you all just as clueless as i am?
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Hi, It sure was comforting to know
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Hi, It sure was comforting to know I was not the only one experiencing these weird episodes.  I too, know moments before an episode feeling the warmth in the chest area then the numbness and almost complete paralysis of both arms and hands, lasting anywhere from 1-5 minutes.  I have gone months without an episode or I can have several in one day.  Since there is only a moments warning when an episode is about to come on and it only lasting minutes, I can never have a doctor actually wittness one of these episodes.  I too, have been through tests and so far nothing.  However my question is, What if we all have something in common such as, I have been treated for Myastinia Gravis then about two years after that, I had an episode of Bell's Palsy, about 1 year later this started up.  I guess I was just thinking if anyone else had any of the neurological type diseases such as myastinia or bells, there might be a connection????
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Have you been tested for creatine kinase (Ck) or acetylcholine-receptor antibodies (Ach-R-Abs) or ANCA antibodies? I asked these from my doctors, because I have attacks of neck, and sometimes also left shoulder, weakness or pain and tremor. Doctors have suggested for instance vertebrobasilar artery syndrome, myasthenia gravis, polymyalgia or vasculitis. Ck is for muscle diseases, Ach-R-antibodies for myasthenia gravis and ANCA is for polymyalgia/vasculitis.

I have had an MRI of the neck, and it was found that there was no compression on nerve roots or spinal cord (only some arthrosis of facette joints). I also had an ultrasound of my carotid and vertebral arteries in the neck. They were about normal, but the vertebral arteries were tortuous at their bases.

Cindy763, how is your mg treated. How was it diagnosed? I have had an ENMG of right side muscles in 2009. I had muscle weakness in my legs. In the ENMG, there was nothing else but  slow activation in two muscles.

I think that my symptoms result from my internal medicine diseases or from chronic sinuitis. I feel like my neck muscles were inflammed. I also have dysautonomia.

Has anybody of you got a panick syndrome diagnosis?
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Hi Helyanne, My myastinia started out in 1996 with double vision which came on very slowly for a couple of days and by the third day was severe, after MRI's, EKG's blood tests and CT's they diagnosed a tumor on my thymus.  A Thymectomy was done and within a couple of weeks my vision returned to normal.  I was on the medication Mestinon for 6 months.  All was well until 2005 had the episode with Bell's Palsy after that all was well again until about 2008 when I started getting these episodes of arm numbness/paralysis that lasted about 1-3 minutes and could occur  several times a day or as little as once every few months and now my double vision is back, not as severe as before but it is back.  Doctors put me back on mestinon, no luck, wanted to put me on steriods with no promise of recovery so I declined the steriods, perhaps if the vision gets worse, I'll reconsider and for now they have no answers for my arm episodes.
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Cindy753, I am sorry for you having so severe myasthenia.

I have not had double vision but once I had pixelling of my sight.
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Thank you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Are you an idiot! Have you even read these posts?

They have all done what you suggest! They are looking for something concrete to pursue not the same drivel they have gotten from their doctors. If you don't have something useful to say, you should keep quiet.
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I too am suffering the very same symptoms . I am a 49 yr old woman . I have always been in great health and wonderful shape and have never experienced any thing like this before . I personally believe this to be a virus that remains in the body like chicken pox and hits us when we are a little under the weather or have stressed our selves .I particularly notice more episodes when I am cold or have stressed my muscles . I believe in time our bodies will fight it off just going to take some time . Could even be a form of shingles  as it is affecting the nerves , but until then I will be eating properly , taking vitamin supplements  and not sweating the small stuff . Hope all will be well with you all .. Prayers straight up straight away !!!
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Mine just happened roughly 15 minutes ago..  It was the first time ever..  I didn't know what was happening, I just know that my arms basically became paralyzed..  I couldn't lift them, and I could feel it was because of my biceps...  I didn't have neck or shoulder problem, but both arms felt extremely heavy, when I tried to lift..  I was sitting eating a snack, and found I couldn't grab the snack with my fingers...  I am fine now with a little soreness in the biceps...  But it's strange and that's why I am searching because I could not use my arms for a good 2 minutes - I couldn't move them..  Also I felt like I was going to pass out and was feeling nauseous..  Luckily I was already sitting down...  I hope someone has an answer soon...  I would hate to have to go through loads of tests, for something that isn't even a concern...
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I looked up this post because my arms seemed weak the last several days when I needed to raise them (to get down dishes, etc.)  I do notice that I had been waking up with my arms over my head for a few nights (cause or symptom).  I normally have an excellent back (at 62) but I somehow tweaked it yesterday and now have a pain in my lower back opposite my hip.  I'm going to go to the chiropractor.  I rarely get back pain, but when I do, the chiropractor fixes it immediately.

So perhaps, in addition to all the medical tests, you should try a chiropractor.   Maybe we are out of alignment and pinching nerves.  
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I just got back from the chiropractor.  I feel about 40 pounds lighter.  He put my hip back in place.  I walked out of the office without that pain.  I kept babying it thinking it was still there but it is gone.  The weakness in my arms is gone.  For some people, it may just be an alignment issue - nerves getting pinched that shouldn't.  Just sitting here in my computer's office chair - it hurt to this morning, but now it feels fine.  Good luck and God bless.
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Check to see if it could be fibromyalgia.
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It may be fibromyalgia. Make an appointment to see a Rheumatologist.
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HI, I am a hygienist as well and have been in practice almost 40years. I have recently been experiencing the sudden weakness in both arms that last for about a minute. Once I was sitting very quiet and today I was standing waiting for the dentist to check my patient. I know I have cervical stenosis but it's very scary as to where this is headed.
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I have had this happen several times- exact same as describe by everyone- it happened twice this weekend and my arms are stiull feeling a bit weak- somebody must know about this- the symptoms are too similar in alol of us
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Man, I have the same thing. I'm a pretty active 61 year-old, have been experiencing neck pain and have been diagnosed with mild rheumatoid arthritis in C 4-5 but lately I've been having the "aura", for lack of a better word, then a wave of tingling numbness across shoulders and down both arms. Lasts maybe 2-3 minutes. I've come to find out that TIA means "anything" transient and explains nothing except "attack". I'm clear on all tests, MRI, blood, etc. You ever find out what this is ???
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i been having the same my arms and legs are weak when i lift them stright across but it never got weak where i will colloesp i think it could be because i was running and i caught my body from slamming into the wall with my hands but it last straghit for 2days so far my mom said it could be me sitting in my room all day
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I am a 58 year old male and I get the same feeling of an intense wave of sensation starting at my shoulders and it evenly goes down both my arms making them feel like they weigh about 50 lbs. each. It is so intense that I feel like I want to grit my teeth while it is happening. I can feel it coming on and it last a couple of minutes.. One thing I noticed is that it seems to happen when I am on the computer, and I know my neck could be messed up because it snaps, cracks and pops alot. When I try to sit very straight and keep my neck straight with good posture it does not seem to happen, which would lead me to belive that I am pinching a nerve in my neck. Can't afford to go to the Dr. and get a bunch of high dollar test done so I think I will do some research on some sort of neck thearapy.
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I am a 34 year old mom of 3 and I have been feeling these episodes on a daily basis.  I am so thankful to read the experiences of others going through the same thing.  I thought I was having a stroke!  I could not get out of my chair, my father had to lift me up and he prayed for me.  It occurs very often on a daily basis, before it was mixed with dizziness and I was going to the ER every week.  First the nurse said I probably blew my nose too hard that is why I am feeling like that, then another time nothing cause they could not find anything wrong with my tests.  It was happening so much and getting worse I demanded a MRI but they said nothing.  I went to get another opinion from a doctor because not only was I dizzy, vomiting, and my body was feeling so heavy couldnt get out of bed or lift my arms, I was having problems communicating and expressing myself the doctor said it could be expressive aphasia.  Now my doctor said to get an xray of my neck since my MRI was negative that was 2 days ago and the nurse calls me today to say that my doctor wants to follow up with me about my xray results and to do more tests.  I asked the nurse, cant the doctor tell me on the phone whats going on and she said that I need to come in and he needs to tell me in person.  I asked her if it was bad and she said no.  I wish I knew what it was.  I cannot afford to be sick, I have a big family to depend on me.  I pray that everyone here will get an answer and I give a prayer for healing.  I know what you are experiencing and some of you are over 50 years old.  It makes me feel is my body breaking down very early for my age?  I wish everyone the best and always try to get a second opinion.  God Bless.--Susan
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I have the same symtoms (symptoms) as most here, the sudden onset of burning, weakness and pain.  I too sit at a computer all day long, even well into the evening at times, and I know I have lousy posture.  About 13 years ago, I managed to herinate three discs in the cervical region, which, while not giving me a lot of pain, have resulted in the overdevelopment of neck muscles and a loss of side to side motion of the head and neck.  While I have only had five of these episodes to date, they are not enjoyable.  Unfortunately, the first two were spearated by a year of so, but now I've had three within a two week period.  I think I may try the chiro to see if that helps.  However, between the disc porblems and overly tight neck muscles (caused by the muscles trying to compnesate for the lack of cushion between vertabrae in the spine), I'm fairly certain that it is a momnetary impingement of the spine that causes the espisodes.
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I am 34yrs old and have had this happening since I was in my early 20's. I have to sit down and hunch or lean forward  to do my hair. Everything I read about these symptoms points to muscle disease. Weakness in my back causes my legs to go numb and weak if I raise both arms above my head and sometimes it happens if I stretch one arm above my head as if to reach for something on a tall shelf.
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Wow! Just had my first ever experience that all of you have decribed .Makes me feel so much better that I am not on my own.  I thought i was having a stroke but when i typed into google, 'stroke symptoms' i knew this was not the case So i typed in tingling in both arms starting acrooss the shouldrers--and here i am with all you guys! i am wondering if I too have had the experience as i was lying on the sofa in an unsupported situation , working on my laptiop and vaguely also watching a TV programme. I think the spine impingement theory could well be what happened to me But it was VERY scary. Intense sensation in shoulders and the burning tingling sensation spreading down my arms Do hope this is a one off.
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I have had the same issue. 30 year old female, mother of three. Had some back pain  across neck and between shoulder blades that has now become weakness in my arms. I can still lift them, they just "feel" weak. This first happened yesterday, but they still feel kinda weak today and am having some back pain between shoulder blades. I am on Biaxin because I had pneumonia plus I started my period. My recent chest xray was clear and my blood pressure is perfect. Had MRI's of my back and neck in the past and was told I was born with a spinal birth defect but doctors didn't seem concerned. So, I'm assuming it's the result of the medicines I have been on. Which is a lot. Or my cycle maybe? I guess I will know once I finish the antibiotic (which is tonight) if this is due to my medicine, and once my cycle is over whether it is my period. But I found this online that may help:

Acute Brachial Plexus Neuritis: An Uncommon Cause of Shoulder Pain
JIMMY D. MILLER, M.D., STEPHANIE PRUITT, R.N., and THOMAS J. MCDONALD, M.D., North Mississippi Neurosurgical Services, P.A., Tupelo, Mississippi

Am Fam Physician. 2000 Nov 1;62(9):2067-2072.

Patients with acute brachial plexus neuritis are often misdiagnosed as having cervical radiculopathy. Acute brachial plexus neuritis is an uncommon disorder characterized by severe shoulder and upper arm pain followed by marked upper arm weakness. The temporal profile of pain preceding weakness is important in establishing a prompt diagnosis and differentiating acute brachial plexus neuritis from cervical radiculopathy. Magnetic resonance imaging of the shoulder and upper arm musculature may reveal denervation within days, allowing prompt diagnosis. Electromyography, conducted three to four weeks after the onset of symptoms, can localize the lesion and help confirm the diagnosis. Treatment includes analgesics and physical therapy, with resolution of symptoms usually occurring in three to four months. Patients with cervical radiculopathy present with simultaneous pain and neurologic deficits that fit a nerve root pattern. This differentiation is important to avoid unnecessary surgery for cervical spondylotic changes in a patient with a plexitis.

Acute brachial plexus neuritis is an uncommon disorder of unknown etiology that is easily confused with other neck and upper extremity abnormalities, such as cervical spondylosis and cervical radiculopathy.1–3 Patients with acute brachial plexus neuritis present with a characteristic pattern of acute or subacute onset of pain followed by profound weakness of the upper arm and amyotrophic changes affecting the shoulder girdle and upper extremity.1,2,4 In 1943, Spillane5 was probably the first to recognize acute brachial plexus neuritis as a distinct clinical entity. In 1948, Parsonage and Turner6 described 136 cases of this condition and, in view of the doubts of pathology and etiology at the time, gave it the name “neuralgic amyotrophy.”

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I had the same symptoms last night and we called an ambulance as I thought I was having a stroke.  Like many of the others, I am in perfect physical condition - I go to the gym 5 or 6 days a week, have perfect blood pressure, perfect heart rate, low cholesterol, don't smoke and am never sick.  They checked my bloods at the hospital last night, put me on a heart monitor to cheeck heart rate and blood pressure and everything came back perfect. I have now been referred to my own Doctor so that I can be sent for a Head Scan and also an exercise heart test so will see what happens.  My symptoms are exactly as most of you are describing and like all of you, no one else seemed to have any idea what I was talking about.
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We all have a common "something". What others describe here for the most part is exactly what I have started experiencing in the last few months. I agree, the first time in particular was so bizarre. So suddenly appearing then gone in about two minutes. Intense shoulder pressure / aching bilaterally and gradual spreading of a heaviness / numbness from shoulders on down toward the hands. In a store one day I had to set down what I had in my hand as I was afraid I was going to drop it. As a female heart attack symptoms can be much different than a man so that was my first thought.  But it dissipated so fast. Any and all ideas welcome. The cost of a work up for these kinds of symptom is going to be high with the symptoms so general and with those symptoms crossing so many body systems - cardiac, neuro as primary.  There has to be a commonality here.
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I have this daily. I had a serious adverse reaction to an SSRI 6 years ago. But the weakness has gotten much worse in the last 2 years because I have had 4 strokes. So my weakness and inability to use my arms is related to extreme fatigue caused by strokes and previous neural damage. This ability comes and goes and is scary. My problem may be very different than others posting here. I am only 40.
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HAS ANY BODY GOT THYROID CHECKED????
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I suddenly have developed upper arms weakness and need to sit done.  I wonder if it could be from leaning my elbows on a computer's chair arms while working on a computer.  I am age 61 and had an EKG and physical this spring and doctor said I was in good health but then this came on me.  I do wonder if nerves from leaning on my elbows while sitting in a computer chair could be bringing this on.  I did have a lower back problem last fall but this seems to be in the arms and radiating up and down the arms into perhaps the neck shoulder area.  Does anyone else think this could be related sitting in computer chairs and leaning on our arms too much.  I would love an easy fix like this to our medical issue.
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See my comment below that I think it could be tied to leaning on the arms of my computer chair for too long.
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I had been having this off and on for years. They even put me on physcotic meds because they couldn't find any cause. It was like they were saying I was bringing it on for attention. As you all know that isn't the case. I have physical therapist coming to my house twice a week working with me now after being in a rehab for a month. They are noticing that the position I have my neck in seems to bring on the episodes. When this first started years ago it would wake me from my sleep if I lay on my back. I now sleep sitting up. Reaching into a cabinet or closet would bring it on also. If I stand sideways and reach up it is better but if I raise my arm when standing facing the cabinet it happens. It seems to be something in my neck causing it.



















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This just happened to me as well, the same as described in this forum.  Chest tightness, almost burning weakness, radiating bilaterally down both arms to make them drop to their side with no strength.  I had some shortness of breath and just sat for a moment and tried to catch my breath. I have osteoarthritis in the neck and spine, sit at a computer all day and happened to be stressed and feeling a little under the weather.  I've had previous episodes of my chest tightening up for no reason and then the feeling goes away.  
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Have had the same general symptoms, arms suddenly feel like hundred pound weights and fall uselessly at my side. Once while standing at the stove, could not hold the spatula and had to let it drop on the floor. Several other times while at the computer. My episodes are accompanied by excruciating pain across the chest and back that lasts only a minute or less, the same amount of time as the attack. The residual effects don't last more than a few minutes and I am back to "normal". Instantly come on with no warning.

Have had them twice in one day but sometimes months between attacks. MRI, Nuclear heart scans,, treadmills, CT, all with no positive results. I do have degereative disc and joint disease and pain in my back daily. But still can't figure why the attack frequency has no relation to activity or time of day, etc. No logic, but frightening in any case.  
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Hi  i am really going crazy i just had an attack just came out of no where my upper arms felt so weak and a burning pain had to keep rubbing my arms and my hands were so weak i could not even squeeze my hands it lasted about a few minutes ...this has been about 5 or six times this has happend within the last 5 months .....what could this be it is so strange and i am really worried about this... please if any one has any answers i would love to hear from you.....
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Just had an attack....worst ever as it lasted several minutes. A wave of weakness goes across my chest into both shoulders and then both arms get heavy. This time i couldn't hardly use my mouse, as in the past it wasnt that weak. More scary this time than any other. Do have some back issues, do sit at a computer all day, recently had some inflammation of shoulder muscles.
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I just experienced these symptoms for the first time.So glad to hear the experiences of others.I was standing, buttering bread, when a wave of weakness came down both my arms to my hands.No burning sensation just went completely weak, couldn't hold the knife and felt slightly light headed and had to sit down. Hands started shaking and then after 3 or 4 minutes it passed away leaving me with slight ache down both forearms and slight pain around kidneys/lower back.I am a 65 yr old male in good health.I have a metal on metal hip replacement and worry that it could be related to cobalt poisoning as my levels are 'elevated' due to the hip my doctor says.I notice that several people here report that they have osteoarthritis. Does anyone else have an artificial hip?
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Were your symptoms consistently there, or would you consider them attacks that come and are then gone 5 minutes later?  Thanks!   ~ Eric
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have had this for years, one day it got so bad my family called an ambulance, all heart checks done, all ok, but it was bad enough for them to keep me in for a couple of days, morphine ect. I was use to these attacks coming and going lasting 5-6 minutes, then disapearing for a day/week or so but this day they just kept coming one after another.Consultant heart guy said I was having an arterial spasm,they dont know what causes them ,traped nerve, stress etc. so put me on heart drug to stop spasms, I now never get a full blown version, just that horrible feeling one is coming on but it usually stops their Good luck  they dont know every thing yet so look up arterial spasms on the net.
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Hi Vasi, add me to the list, In the last monthNov 2012 I have had this happen twice. I just went on ASK and found your case. A few minutes ago this happened again while I was getting something to eat. It happened for the first time a month ago and I just let it go without thinking anything of it.
This overwhelming weight suddenly hits both my arms and I am unable to lift them. I feel totaly weak after this for about an hour. It does radiate down the side of both arms.I am 54 and in good shape. I am totaly confused as to what is happening. I do not associate it with blood pressure as it doesnt start from the head as if I was going to faint. It starts at the shoulders and starts down both arms where I loose all strength. My pulse is 80 and blood pressure is 120? This happened over an hour ago and my arms feel like jello. Anyone?
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Hi, I am having the same symptoms exactly. I have had two in the last month. I recognized I had a problem after the second one hit today. I was making lunch and that feeling started in my shoulders then down the outside of my arms. Real weird!! My arms felt totaly fatigued and I couldnt hardly move them durring the incident and for awhile after. Someone in another post talked about a lactic acid dump? There are so many people with the identical symptoms??? I  am not looking forward to the next one. Where will I be? I had to sit down so that my arms could recover from the incredible weight that they felt like they were supporting. The fatigue in my arms was so overwhelming. I am 54 in good shape 120/82. Please let me know if you learn more...
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I have this same issue. I do have a herniated thoracic disk, so maybe that is part of it. I get a strange sudden feeling of warmth spreading down from my shoulders to my fingertips and down my back. I feel like I'm going to fall down if I don't sit...feels like I couldn't lift anything, even just my arm.
If anyone has advice, bring it on! :)
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Hi Linda,

It's funny you say that.  That's the only thing that I could think of when it happened to me for the first time.  I had been leaning over the counter plucking my eyebrows, and for some reason, whatever position that I was in seemed to bring on the episode.  I have now had two episodes and recently just had episode of bell's palsy that still has not resolved.  In just the last few years, I have also had a tumor on the left lowest rib (removed), and profuse sweating that will not let up.  It is BUCKETS of sweat.  highly uncomfortable.  Thought I would list everything so maybe it could help someone else.
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I am so glad I found this post.  Up until then, I was thinking I was all alone in this.  Its amazing to see my exact symptoms as they were so hard to explain.  At one point I was beginning to wonder if I had been dreaming.  I've only had 1 episode which ocurred the week before Thanksgiving.  Everything seemed to happen in slow motion.  I was sitting when I felt that my arm was numb.  Thought maybe I had slept on it.  I stretched it out, wiggled my fingers trying to get rid of the tingling sensation.  My arm then dropped to my side, then the left arm.  Then my upper body slumped.  It was the scariest thing I had ever experienced.  I was home alone at the time. I initially thought I was having a stroke.  After a few minutes, I was able to get up and get to the phone.  It took me a few tries to dial the right number.  My mind knew the numbers, but my fingers wouldn't dial them.  After a few tries, I called my mom and had her take me to the ER.  There they ruled out heart attack and stroke and sent me home.  Once home, my family would rotate in and out of my house to sit and stare at me.  LOL!  No one knew what it was, we just didn't want it to happen again.  I took the advise from a few of you who posted and went to neurologist who then sent me to have an MRI .  Unfortunately I went into panick mode after being inside that tube for a few minutes.  So needless to say, I wasn't able to complete the test.  :(   I have to go to another facility where they have an "open" machine.  So glad I now have people I can talk to who understand what I went through.  I pray that we all figure out what this is so we can treat it.
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Same thing here.  I tried to help my husband unroll an area rug and had to stop halfway through the process to sit and dangle my arms.  It took approximately 15 minutes before they were usable again.  Walking across the parking lot to my car is a bigger chore than it should be due to leg weakness.  My rheumatologist says it is polymyalgia rheumatica and is treated with daily Prednisone tablets.  I've been taking 20MG of Prednisone for the past 6 months with good success.  Polymyalgia rheumatica is an autoimmune condition that affects the neck, shoulders, arms and legs causing weakness.  It is usually self-limiting...lasting about 3 years.  So, it should go away, eventually.  See your rheumatologist.  I hope this helps!
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I, too, was so grateful to find this post!  I had my first episode in May of this year and suffered 3 attacks within hours of each other.  Same symptoms, burning sensation running down my neck, across my shoulders and down to the elbow with, what feels like paralysis in my upper arms.  It lasts for less than a minute.  Scared me to death!  I continued to have this happen every two or three weeks and finally took myself to the ER.  They did an MRI of my brain and checked the veins in my neck and found nothing, other than a few tiny spots of white matter in my MRI, that the radiologist considered normal for my age.  I continued to have periodic episodes all summer and finally went to see a Neurologist.  He ordered an MRI of my neck and spine and found some disc degeneration in my neck.  Thought maybe that was the cause.  I have seen a neuro-surgeon that says that the pinching of nerves would not cause those symptoms, so he didn't think the disc degeneration was the cause.  However, I have found that stretching my neck several times a day, seems to stop the episodes. Kindof sounds like my neck!  I am being tested for MS next week.  I am really hoping that isn't it, but I would sure like to get to the bottom of this!  Hang in there everyone, and please try to update with any new findings
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MS had came across my mind as well.  I'm going to have my MRI this wednesday.  I haven't had any other episodes.  I do stretch my arms and neck when they start to feel tingly.  Good luck!
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  Please let us know what the results are. I can't imagine we all are coming down with MS.
I keep waiting fo someone to get a diagnosis that we could all look into.

       Good luck..
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I had the first episode last summer while sitting in a chair having a pedicure.  It was as if I had been shot in both arms by a dart gun, not painful but paralyzing and really heavy.  I felt as if I couldn't lift them.  It only lasted about 10 seconds and then I got an anxious feeling in my chest.  It has happened twice since then and once tonight.  The only thing that I can piece together is that both times, I was sitting with my feet slightly elevated.  It is scary and two months ago, I went to the doctor to make sure I was having a heart attack or stroke.  He assured me all was fine.  I am a 45 year old woman who is in search of an answer.
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I have sat and read all the comments as I have had similar symptoms over the last for five years. I'm also in good shape - 52 male  and play hockey twice a week, eat right and watch my weight.  I had gone in a few years ago to rule out heart issues and they found nothing wrong.  I started seeing a chiropractor and the pain and symptoms went away completely.  I really believe that most people on here are experiencing nerve related episodes in one form or another. The thoracic area ( t-4/5) are responsible for those areas and can give you heart attack like symptoms if pinched. The nerves from those areas run across your chest and into your shoulders. Chinese medicine calls t-4 the wind and heart tunnel for good reason !   I am on here because the symptoms have returned and I had become alarmed and wanted to read to see if anyone has had them as well.  I went back to the chiro on  Friday and got adjusted and instantly the waves in my shoulders have mostly stopped.  I am convinced I have spinal issues from all the sports I played. Have any of you noticed the more active you are the less this comes on???   I also have an inversion table to relieve the pressure on my spine!  Just an FYI the t-4/5 areas are hard to diagnose as they are usually not the areas common to have issues. Also surgeons usually will not operate on these areas because they are so complex and filled with nerves!
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Did you ever get results or diagnostic explaination?  This is the 3rd time I had it in my right arm and was by myself wondering if this was a stroke, should I call for help or am I just being foolish?  I get a little nauseated as well as weak for awhile after the episode of the right arm wave of weakness.
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my wife a cashier is pretty healthy and clears all recent test ...shes has had 3 attacks of weak arms  now.. once last week and today she had 2  such events 3 hours apart.NOT on meds at all and really all she has is arty bugging her on them rainy cold days mostly mid back right side.These symtoms (symptoms) so many described sure sound like DEB.she is 51  ..Since we are just getting aquainted with this  I will describe what she has dealt with. Each of the 3 times it starts at the biceps (thats when she begins to recognize it) and goes quickly following down to fingers with all that tremendous weakness and last two to three minutes. 2nd and 3rd time she has feeling of fatigue in the arms after the heavy feeling.No pain she says No burning and she hopes there will not be... I thought nerve pinching when first she told me about it but now since getting to know all you it sure seems like agood chiropractor and posture attention would limit the attacks at the very least. That certainly seems the reasonable choice to try and cheaper...of course after making sure that you are healthy that is...Thank you all for posting and I sure wish you never had to  God Bless and Heal us all.
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NowI can relate to you post, for a while since last year I have been feeling to same thing, no one I know has any idea what I experiencing, and they always say oh that sounds like diabetes', well I don't have any health issues at all I know I am in very good health. About last year, we went to eat out at a resturannt, and went to the store to shop and  it hit me, I was feeling so? weak so much that I felt like lay down on the floor,I was not exhausted because we had only went to eat and just walked into the store, but 30 min after eating I was weak, no diabetes is in my family at all, I have very low blood pressure and have always eaten lots of salt, and drinked lots of sodas, but I had quit drinking them at that time, so I thought maybe I was having caffeine withdrawals but was not, because long time later I start drinking coffee and now went back to sodas, so its not that at all,  it does not matter if I have caffeine or not Its still happening,  the weakness is still affecting me, I just ate some of them package soups and now I'm feeling weak again. I thought it maybe that it could be the msg that is in the foods at some restaurants, because after we would go out to eat at restaurants, then I would get sever head aches. If eat home it dont usually happen unless its somekind of package foods like from a box or a wrapped food from and envelope or plasic  like boxed dressing of a noodle soup in a package, not bl
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Sorry I hit the post button to soon as I was saying not blaming anyone, or place could just be me, but I did not have this issue and all of the sudden it happened after eating,, so I try not eat out at restaurant that have msg in their foods,  but most of them get the foods already packaged that way and mix it up
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Also I had found out that I could tolerate certain fragrances,  my mom and would very bad headaches if we sprayed certain fragrances like  air fresheners and colognes, not all did this just certain one would make our heads hurt so bad, it got where we would not use them, and took a break, its ok now for me to tolerate them at a time, but my mom could not tolerate fragrances at all, she used to like spray alot of air fresheners,and use the sprays colognes too, but could not take it any more,  she did not have the weakness as I started having so it must be two different issues,  I know I can not tolerate msg  and certain fragrances at all!  but I do like the smell and taste,lol , maybe  someone can check in to the effects of  these things, lol just suggestion, no one made me eat the msg but I feel as though they should have warned me before I ordered it and maybe informed me that it could cause severe headaches, or what ever it does to you,Just to put it in to the food to make it taste better is not a good reason to sacrifice our health.
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Just wanted to update everyone on developments in my case.  After extensive testing, my neurologist has diagnosed me with having had an episode of transverse myelitis.  I have a scar on my spine, via the MRI, that he says indicates an infection at some time, probably when I first experienced my symptoms.  Negative for MS.  I continue to have these sensations, though not as regularly.  I am going to consult a chiropractor near me and see if that might help.  I did see a chiropractor last summer and experienced a benefit, but stopped going after finding out the condition of my neck vertebrae.  It scared me!  Armed with my MRI's, I may find that they can help.  I continue to go back and forth in believing that this is an accurate diagnosis and thinking it is caused by something else.  Please, all, continue to update with new findings and I will do the same.
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I have paralysis in both arms and legs that comes on suddenly I have to lay or sit down immediately, it goes away after about 15 mins. I have been to the ER done all the tests with no diagnosis
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Thanks for letting us know about the transverse myelitis diagnosis.  I have the same symptoms as you all and I have SLE Lupus.  So the myelitis makes sense as the lupus causes inflammation in various places, must've targeted my spinal cord this time which is where the diagnosis of myelitis fits in.  All the rest of you who do not have lupus need to go on a anti-inflammatory diet or gluten free diet for a few days and see if you get some relief.
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I have had my right arm go to sleep at night at times where it burned so bad I had to get up and shake out my arm to get the tingling and pain gone. My eyes and right hand are swollen, retaining fluid.  I cannot put my hand in a fist and have to wait hours for my arm to get back to normal.  I have had to live with this for years, coming and going.  I went to everyone possible, and like everyone else, nothing.  A friend finally told me it is SUGAR and WHEAT.  I am a horrible sugar addict and went cold turkey.  I am allergic to wheat, so it had to be sugar for me. Every symptom went away.

The last year my sugar addiction hit full force again, and I am again going through the same problems, only this time both arms are tingling.  I have lost strength in both arms and am scared.  I have cut down my sugar 90% starting yesterday.  I hope it works as well this time as the last.

Everyone's comments here are very interesting.  Thank you for that.  :)
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I have the very same symptoms.  Have had tests and doctors don't know what it is. Did you ever get an answer from your doctor?
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has anyone gotten a definitive answer for this?  I experience the same  sudden  weakness and weird sensations going down both arms, starting in the shoulders (traps). I moves quickly. It seems to last 5 minutes or so. I have been having these symptoms for several months and they are becoming more frequent, sometimes several times a day. Many times I can reproduce the symptoms by putting my arms in front of me  folded, hand over hand, then lean in on a counter or desk.
MD says it is skeletal, chiropractor says get mris, neuro scans etc.
I would think that if it were truly life threatening that after all these months I would be dead already.
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I should add to the above post , that sometimes moving my head to one side or the other with my arms slightly at almost shoulder height also starts the symptoms.  And that I do have degenerative discs in neck and lower back
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yes same problem here constlay feelin tired then also have the similar weakensee and also pain traveling threw both arms ,  neck and back, it just comes and goes i could be doing somthing for a while and it brings it on or just after a day of waking and not doing anything to strenous then when im ready to relax to sleep i get this pain for a while, then it goes away . I started to feel this pain 2 years ago and started to work out slowly and got the pain to go away as i also went on a strict diet of certain foods. but now like 3 years later its all come back again and a bit worse than before ... when i first started to feel this pain i was about 22 and now im 27 i dont have health care so have not been able to see anyone about it and im affraid all this is somthing leading to a heart attack or stroke.. been eating fruit n veggies drinking lots of water even some natural pills to see if somthing will help but nothing is really helping anything go away .. but i do notice that i have a lot of musscle loss ... just want to feel like the healther energetic yung person i was ... this pain is really not letting me do anything and i cant really carry out a job without going to have one of these 15 to 20 min or more eppisodes
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Wow, good to know I'm not crazy.  Have had very similar episodes over the past year and a half.  Discussed with my doctor who ordered a carotid ultrasound.  It was normal. I hadn't had an episode for maybe a year until the past two weeks.  Now have had several in the past few days.  Starts in the shoulder and spreads down the arms to fingers very quickly and with both arms at once. Feels very heavy and weak and shaky.  Can't hold anything.  Have the urge to lie or sit down as others have described.  Lasts 1-4 minutes, wiuth residual tingling and weakness for a few more minutes. Very disconcerting...worried I was having a stroke.  I have had back pain off and on, but not concurrent with these episodes.  Recently had a total thyroidectomy and am on replacement thyroid.  Levels seem to be in the normal range.  Also have taken Nexium, and currently take Dexilant for GERD.  Take Atacand for high blood pressure. Would love any answers if anyone has one.  
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Hi   I had exactly the same symptoms , once 4 years ago and again last week. Has 3 days in hospital, 5 ECGs ; 2 Echoes ; 1 exercise ECG, Blood work: enzyme test and X-rays. Result - unexplained symptoms and no idea as to why.   I was worried about TIA but everything was fine.
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I have these same symptons of internal shakey (shaky) feeling arms, painfull hurting wrist , tingly fingers and my arms are dead wieght and hurt really bad. wtf is wrong with me? IM ONLY 18! 18 years old and im having these problems?
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I have these same symptons of internal shakey (shaky) feeling arms, painfull hurting wrist , tingly fingers and my arms are dead wieght and hurt really bad. wtf is wrong with me? IM ONLY 18! 18 years old and im having these problems?
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same here guys. no point describing the symtoms (symptoms) . Its the same as all of you . Anyone coming up with a solution. No doctors have any ideas? Funny so many people have this and no diagnosis. hmmm    
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Hi...just wanted to pass on that I have had the very same issues and yes it is scary but I'm convinced that it's not serious.  Everything I've read points to people who have had all sorts of tests with normal results.  Everyone who seems to have any relief are those who have gone to chiropractors so I decided to try this.
The chiropractor was recommended to me by my husband and his mom.  He said he had never heard of this but did find issue with my thoracic region.  After the second visit I did begin to have an episode but it was dramatically reduced with only light weakness in the back of my arms and it didn't last as long.  I have had 3 treatments and we now believe that this is T4 syndrome which just presents a little differently in some patients than the textbook version.  I have finished treatments with no further episodes and my chiropractor and I agree that should they start up again I will just go in for another treatment.  It's an inexpensive and simple solution to rather scary episodes.  I hope you all find similar relief.
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No one has mentioned Guillain Barre Syndrome.  That is
what I got in searching the symptoms I had today.  Just like everyone else's except in my legs.
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This hit me again while I was driving (yes, scary but I was on the interstate and couldn't pull over immediately) but since I am used to it now, I wasn't alarmed.  After yesterday, I believe this is tied into a nerve problem. Yesterday, I had been driving for a few hours and my right hip area was bothering me from sitting so long and using the gas pedal (I guess reason for the right hip/leg discomfort) and I was trying to move around in the seat to change positions, etc.  Then suddenly, I got the dreaded "sensation" and I really believe it is tied to a nerve.  I do have lower back problems every so often if I don't do my back exercises or after heavy-duty house work (yes, Gentlemen, housework can get a little heavy-duty at times :-)   ) and therefore, since it has happened so many times and I have had physicals and doctors have found nothing ......I believe it is some nerve problem maybe tied in with the sciatic nerve and sitting too much (like sitting in front of a computer or in a car and not moving/changing positions enough).
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I've been having this same condition for years. It has something to do with the arthritis in my neck (from an old accident) and is alleviated by seeing my Chiropractor. Meds don't help it, an adjustment does.
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Ok all of these symptoms sounds just like how I was feeling. I just had another episode that didn't go away when I went to sleep so the next day when I woke up I went to my dr and was sent to the ER right away was having a heart attack at 32 years old. Who would've thought. I had 2 blockages and was told that I had several small heart attacks until my last which was a huge heart attack. So please go get checked. Heart Attacks are the #1 killer in women because we blow it off and don't do anything about it.
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Have just had these same symptoms start as everyone describes, had my first episode only 2 days ago, then second episode last nite while driving home. I am tending to think it's a nerve issue or something being pinched...I notice lately that I am  putting my arms over my head when resting in a chair/bed, also hand/arms in odd positions for long periods of time when mowing the yard (bent at the elbows for an hour or more), also when at the computer, of course arms are bent sometimes for hours...I also have anxiety which is under control but when these two episodes came on me, I have that scary feeling inside as if I'm in a full blown panic attack, however thankfully that only lasts for a few minutes...I was doing dishes when the first attack hit me, I had no idea what was happening but went to where husband was in other room, sat down and told him something was wrong/happening...I feel very weak as well after the episode....This morning I still have a slight burning tingling feeling in my shoulder area...I am 61 years old, have my thyroid under control, no high blood pressure, AFIB controlled with medication, anxiety under control with meds, so other than it being a nerve issue I can't say what else it could be....I'm just glad to know there are others out there with the same symptoms....I will bring it up to my Dr however and see what she thinks....I also don't have the numbness, just the 'rolling tingling/weakness that starts at my shoulders and goes down the outer ridges of both my arms, lasting maybe a minute then it's gone only to leave me with incredible weakness more or less all over my body but mostly arms that are to heavy to lift up...Also I don't feel like talking just sitting quietly, hoping that it doesn't happen again....So this is my story, I know we're all different but just reading that others have the same or similar issues makes me feel as tho it's something we're doing in our lifestyle that is 'causing' it....I'm not saying that's the case for everyone, but for me, I truly am believing that certain ways I hold my arms when doing tasks/chores, etc, is the culprit....I am going to try and remember to 'not' put my arms above my head when watching t.v. etc also going to take notes however to make sure I know what I was doing when and if it occurs again....these are all good things to know, for future reference....Good Luck to all of you with finding out what is causing this, please if you do, post it so others may be helped......This site was a God-send for me, as I was about to reach panic attack mode before finding it....Have a gr8 day all!!!
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I have simliar episodes although I've actually timed the duration of mine and they last only about10-15-seconds, not minutes (if I hadn't actually timed them I would have guessed they lasted minutes.)  Mine seem to start in the front of my chest and move down my arms.  I don't have pain just an overwhelming feeling of immense heaviness and total weakness in my upper torso and arms. I also can't lift my arms from my sides during the episodes.  I can go months between episodes or just days and there is no rhyme or reason for them. I, too was referred to a cardiologist and all tests, including a stress test came back perfect.  My blood levels are all where they should be.  I do see a common thread among many posts...cervical disc problems. I have been diagnosed with this and it has caused carpal tunnel syndrome (and surgery) in both hands.  I agree these episodes are very scary especially when your GP, Cardiologist, and Neurologist all tell you they have no idea what the cause is.  It's comforting to know I'm not the only one experiencing this.
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I get this nd have other neuro symptoms. I am being tested foe multiple sclerosis. Any of you have MS?
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I get it in my arms and legs. In my legs it's when I'm sitting on floor with my infant child.I sit with legs straight out, but slightly bent, and I get hot/cols/numbness,ten when I straighten them I get horrible pain in my legs.
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OMG. Can't believe I found this site. I started with the onset of the symptoms that many have previously described on July 3 this year, 2013. Its a wave that starts out with burning in my chest followed by weakness in both arms that completely unnerves me. Today it lasted for about 15 minutes and though the weakness is gone, the remnants of burning in my chest are still lingering though not as much as when they started. I just made an appointment with a cardiologist so hopefully that will rule out heart. However, Im concerned there will be no results to work with since I've seen a cardio before and am otherwise in excelled health. Any more thoughts....?
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YES! It feels exactly like a blood pressure cuff that pumps up to like 1000, then slowly releases. Totally unable to move arms, grasp anything with hands. Lasts for a couple of minutes, then the pressure releases and everything works like normal. It normally happens to me during late afternoon or in the evening. I first experienced this about 10 years ago. Asked my MD about it, and he asked if I slept on my arms. I said yes, but wondered how that could be the cause, as I get up at 6 a.m. and this (when it first started) would happen about 9-10 pm. I would love to know what causes this. If it is nutritional, it can be easily remedied.
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Hi  I just read your comment. and i get the same problems. what could it be. i get really scared. im  only 35yrs old
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I too get that heavy wave of heat from shoulder blades tingling down both arms simultaneously. Arms feel like lead and become numb. My head droops forward and have to sit or feel like I will fall. I don't want to speak. I think I can but trying to pay attention to the episode. Today on the golf course it happened when I leaned onto my left arm across the seat. Mostly happens at rest. After reading all the posts here, I am equating it to pinched nerves. I wake up with numbness in my shoulders from sleeping on a bad matress. Bad circulation can kill nerve endings and even my hands and fingers are now feeling arthritic. I feel like it takes hours for my body to feel normal after a long night sleep. My body hurts every moring from my mattress being too hard and pressing and pinching nerves in my shoulders, back and hips. I went away for 15 days and slept in soft bed with a memory top. I felt so healthy and pain free when I woke up that I know now that I definitly need a new mattress. I think I speak for most people that we all hate to spend $1000 or so for a good mattress. Good luck everyone!
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Ok..I'm not going to list my symptoms as they are the same as those described in this post.  Here is my history and I wonder how many of you have something similar.

I am a 46 year old female with history of cancer of thyroid cured 24 years ago.  

1.  Hypothyroid and on Synthroid.

2.  Had hyperparathyroidism but surgery removed parathyroid tumor and now I am cured.

3.  I definitely have some issues with carpal tunnel.  I sleep with brace on my right hand only.  Left hand is not so bad.

4.  My symptoms have been going on for about 4 or 5 years now.  

5.  I am an office worker and I do spend a lot of time in front of a computer.

6.  I am fairly active and workout on a regular basis.  

I tried to figure out a trigger to these episodes and there really is none.  However, I do notice that it does seem to happen more often when I am on my cycle.  

It definitely seems to be neurologic in nature.  After reading most of these posts, I am leaning toward some sort of cervical stenosis or nerve impingement.  As I said earlier..I notice it happens most often when I am on my cycle ... so it makes me wonder if water retention tends to be a trigger...just some thoughts.  I am going to ask a very good friend of mine who is a neurologist to read these posts and see what she has to say.  

Will get back to you soon.  
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Oh... I forgot to add that I did have a bout of panic disorder back in 1995 but that was under control in less than a year and I haven't dealt with that since.
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Could be a meniplegic migraine, I had one and my whole body went numb then my right side and both arms completely went , can last from minutes to hours
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I had Bells Palsy about 40 years ago. I'm 78. I just had my second episode of these symptoms this morning. I had another one a few months ago.
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My husband has had a metal on metal hip replacement. He had two instances of an "aura" that starts in his neck, progresses to the shoulders, and down the arms to the hands. He describes it as total weakness.

Looked online in this and other forums, and came to the conclusions that it was probably due to neck position and compression of nerves, although none of the attacks occurred while in those positions.

Thank you for raising the idea that it may be related to a metal on metal hip, and cobalt.

Has your situation resolved? If yes, what was done to resolve it?

Thank you
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I am having that feeling right now, as I write. Have had episodes infrequently for 17 years. Most occur when I am facing considerable stress--at work or lots of company coming to stay for a few days. I have been evaluated in every way possible, including complete MRI series of entire spine. I have stenosis of the 2 vertebrae that control my arms. The difference between mine and yours is that I don't feel any heat when my arms get weak.
However, there was a lady here in Phoenix who did have heat symptoms like yours.The Phoenix Arizona Republic newspaper published a long story of a woman who had exactly the same symptoms as you. She felt overly warm before each episode. She made an appointment with the Mayo Clinic here, because she had been evaluated thoroughly elsewhere, with no diagnosis. She had an episode as she was entering the Mayo Clinic, so they rushed to hook her up to tests. She was having a HEART ATTACK. The ONLY way they discovered the diagnosis was because she had the episode at the time of tests. I wish I could remember more about her test
outcomes. She was still living...
I hope you find out the source of your problem.
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Hi Kurtis - I see your episode was diagnosed as a migrane (migraine).  Was your head actually hurting at the time?  My neurologist also mentioned that mines could have been some type of migrane (migraine), but my head wasn't hurting.  Currently scheduled to do a lot of tests.  Including and EEG and an MRI
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I have been having this exact same experience for many years, turns out it's related to my Fibromyalgia. Hope this helps.
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I started having these exact symptoms this year - thought I was having a stroke so the 2nd time I went to ER, then had cardio tests, stress test, blood and everything OK -- and the only difference I can remember is that I stopped eating my banana per day, before this started happening --

I had a concussion 2 yrs ago and the neurologist told me bananas would make the headaches worse and that I should not eat them. I'm wondering if it has to do with not enough potassium. I know potassium supplements stop leg cramps immediately, so I'm wondering if I started eating that banana per day again, if it would stop this from happening.

I had one episode over 6 mos ago, then another 3 mos ago, then it suddenly just happened 3 times this week! I will try eating a banana a day / potassium supplements to see if this stops it. I'd rather have headaches than deal with this. Too scary for words when this wave of burning pain, numbness and total arm paralysis happens. Not to mention nobody seems to know for certain what causes it.
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Forgot to add I also am on synthroid, and the first episode happened a few weeks after the dosage was increased. Original episode had more of a heat wave with it, now not so hot. When I went to ER that 2nd time they gave me estrogen and progesterone Rx - since perhaps was menopause but now I've been on it for awhile and I'm still getting these waves. This time my arms are still weak the next morning.
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I am a 51 year old female and I wanted to look up my symptoms yet again because I was in the ER 2 months ago for this extreme periodic brief weakness.   They did lots of bloodwork, I have had an echocardiogram, and am waiting on the results of a Holter monitor.  I am pretty sure my heart is okay.  It's good to hear that other people are having this- it helps, because when I tried to describe my symptoms to my Dr. he looked really puzzled.  I did get put on BP meds in November, because my BP was very high.  My family Dr. says it was so high because of my symptoms, that they would not be caused by that.  
When I am having one of these spells, I don't get pain, but objects that I lift are abnormally heavy to me.  I can barely lift a glass of water.  I can feel vague sensations inside my body that tell me that a spell is coming on, and I have to try and get somewhere to sit if I can.   It is very scary while it is happening, but I know that if I went to the ER again, by the time I was seen, the symptoms would be gone.  If I am at home, I lie down for awhile.  The other day I was working, so I left, and drove home.  I made it okay, but was so weak I felt like I could barely walk.  It's not low blood sugar, either, because I do experience that sometimes and it is a different sensation.  I have written down some of the things people have  mentioned on here to bring up when I go to back to my Dr. in a couple of weeks.  Also I am considering visiting a chiropractor.  Again, it is very scary to have something that feels so bad happen to me, but it is comforting to know that I am not alone in this.
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I've experienced the arms going numb periodically for several years.  I go for months with no episodes, then 2 today.  I've done the specialist, cardiologist and ER thing with no definitive answers.  I'm fairly convinced that it's a pinched or irritated nerve, especially since I have arthritis with stenosis.  Do research on vagus and/or brachial plexas nerve injury and see if your symptoms fit.  Vagus nerve even goes into the stomach and can cause reflux and other gastric issues.  Unless mine becomes more frequent, I've decided to just accept it as something that's going to happen occasionally.
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I had my 1st episode in Nov 2012.  2nd Episode in October 2013.  I went to a Neurologist.  He sent me for a boatload of tests... EEG, MRI, blood work etc.  Everything turned out perfect.  I'm thinking its a nerve.  But its so scary when it happens.  It has me so paranoid!!  I'll be glad when we get this thing figured out!  :(
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i was taking over the counter refux pills..the one that is pink and blue.. forget the name...and i too had a similar feeling come over me..a weakness in arms..and general overall weirdness and i drink a lot of water.and it goes away quickly... have to go to doc and see what it is all about..I'm 77 gal and in general good health... but this bothers me.. only on occasions..thought at first it was the beginning of allergy to shell fish... judi
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Did the chiro stop your episodes?  Thinking about going to one tomorrow, wondered if it continued to help you?
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Solved the problem.  I quit taking 14 day antacid pills.  Episodes immediately stopped.  Somehow related. An unknown side effect perhaps.  No more 5 minute arm numbness for last year.
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Not sure if that is it since I don't take any antacids. If that works for you, great. Good luck. My doctor said it is from neck/disc injuries that flair up months or a year later. If stenoisis becomes a problem this warm wave of weakness and limp tired feeling can suddenly come on without doing anything.
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I just got discharged from a 2 day hospital stay, having gone there in belief that I had a heart attack while attempting to brush my teeth on Saturday morning.   I had awaken and laid in bed a short time on that day.  I got up and tried to squeeze toothpaste onto my toothbrush.   It felt like the toothpaste tube had turned to stone overnight and I was amazed that it could be so difficult to make it come out of the tube!  I managed to get a little bit onto the brush and then it hit... Both of my arms turned heavy, severely weak and numb, along with my whole upper chest region.  I struggled to move the toothbrush up to my mouth and move it at all across my teeth.  I sat down on the toilet and continued in amazement to try to use my arms.  I then had the cold sweat sensation of being about to pass out and considered laying down on the floor as opposed to hitting the tile floor unconscious.  I couldn't call out to my wife who was 15' away, still in bed.  After what seemed like 3 minutes of sitting there, still conscious, the "heart attack" subsided and I staggered back to bed and mumbled to my wife that something super-weird just happened and I slumped onto the bed.  After a few more minutes I began to try to explain to her what happened.  She was certain that I had just had a heart attack and off we drove to the ER.  

Now, I am a 52 year old, male, construction worker, non smoker, non drinker, very fit, ballroom dancer who never gets sick and takes no medicine whatsoever... And eats an apple a day!

The hospital ran every test, short of the cardiac catheterization, and determined that my heart is in perfect condition.  Bye bye.  While waiting to be discharged, I came across this website and was amazed to read so many identical occurrences by so many people.  Mentioning this multitude to my doctor at the hospital went nowhere, real fast.  If you read it on the internet.... Yeah.  Anyhow, i'm going to stay tuned and hook up with my Chiropractor about this tomorrow.   Thank you all.
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Hi - I am still waiting to figure out what the episode was.  Yours sounded a lot like mines other than you said you couldn't call out to your wife?  Could you not speak?  I know that I was able to because I began talking out loud because I wanted to hear how I sounded.  I thought I had a stroke, so was checking to see if my speech had changed.  Unfortunately I was home alone, so didn't have anyone to yell out to.
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Cervical spondylosis.  Basically a compression of the vertabrae in the neck, which compresses the nerves leading to numbness, and heaviness in arms and often legs, as well.  Neck exercises, physio can help.
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Im so sorry this is happening to you. It has just started happening to me. It amazes me how much the doctors do NOT know!
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I've just started having these episodes, had 5 in a week including 3 episodes of bilateral vision disturbance.  Spots were missing out of my field of vision.  If I moved my head I could read everything.  It is mostly the numbness/weakness/tingling in my arms.  They have started affecting the back of my neck as well.  I finally called our Ask-A-Nurse service and they said quite sternly to call my primary doctor right away!  I called her and she said, also quite sternly, to go to ER right away! So I went there and they did CAT scan, blood work, and EKG, and found nothing.  I have had many more episodes of the arm symptoms, sometimes with hand tremors, and I type for a living :(.  Once when driving I had to pull over and let my husband drive as I couldn't grip the wheel and I have been dropping things frequently.  I've been to the chiropractor twice and will go back if they don't find anything, but I had an MRI of brain and spinal cord, and expect to get those results today or tomorrow and I have a neurologist appointment tomorrow.  I do know that I have deteriorated disks in my neck and it does not have a normal curve. My eyes checked out ok.  So I am thinking it's either a disk problem or potentially a neuro disorder like MS.  The visual disturbance everyone said was an ocular migraine or a migraine aura.  I will post back.  
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I said I would report back. I got my MRI results today and saw a neurologist.  The visual disturbance I had was attributed to a migraine, and the intermittent numbness in my arms is presumed due to a great deal of arthritis and bulging disks in my neck.  Certainly not the worst it could have been.

Signing off.
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Hi,
Thanks for sharing your story.
I am having the weakness in my arms on and off and it was just recently followed by the vision impairment. I went to a doctor once about the vision thing and they said migraine too. I have problems with my neck and back as well.  I kept thinking the wave of muscle weakness might have something to do with taking meds for cholesterol as they affect muscles.  Do you take anything for cholesterol?  
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interestingly I had too this episodes for several years. I am diabetic and taking insulin, ny weight was under the normal for several years and at that time I had the arms weakness episodes at least twice a week, during th eepisodes couldn't do anything (about 3-5 min at most) Interestingly I started to gain weight during the last year and the episodes totally stoped. I am now about 5 kg over the normal weight and no episode
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I found something that has helped me with your identical symptoms. Once I identified that the bilateral pain comes on when I feel tired or hot (when my shoulders slump forward a bit), I decided to try a series of stretches. 1) I put my knees on the floor facing my bed, put my arms on top of the bed, push my torso down toward the floor, like a cat stretching, and hold. 2) a series of neck exercises: head up/down, look side to side, head to shoulder, head circles both directions, push head back, push head forward, push head/neck side to side. 3) a clavicle/posture brace that holds my shoulders back. 4) exercise the back muscles between my spinal column & outside shoulder by clasping my hands behind my back, raising arms up, and tightening the muscles in my back. 5) a visit to the chiropractor once/month. It's been helping. I sometimes feel like the pain wants to come on, but then it doesn't. So I still sometimes get that "maybe" feeling, but I do not get the pain/weakness episode. Hope this helps. Let me know if you discover anything else that helps you.
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Identical symptoms started about 3 weeks ago. a kind of aura followed by a rush down both arms from the armpit to my hands which then became so numb and heavy I could not hold a mouse or type. The key was that it was accompanied by a sharp pain half way down the right side of my back. My chiropractor knows me well. She lengthened the muscles holding the ribs on the top LEFT of the front of my body which were in spasm. This automatically released the rib half way down my back. One of these areas had been putting pressure on the nerve bundle controlling my arms. No more episodes. Get checked out by a chiropractor. P.S. the onset coincided with a 30 day abs challenge involving sit ups and crunches which put the rib muscles into spasm. STRETCH!
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I was sitting at my computer when I felt a hand touch my chest.  I thought it was my husband behind me putting his arm around me.  I looked on both sides of me and there was no one there.  I looked at my chest and saw an arm on my chest, but it belonged to no one!  I was terrified, and then I saw that it was my arm!  I could not feel my arm but I could feel it touching me.  I had not consciously put my arm there, and I didn't know how it got there.  I stood up quickly, and my arm stayed on my chest, and I started to find my husband for help, when the feeling came back all at once and I could move my arm.  I have spinal stenosis in my neck and am wondering if that caused it.  Has anyone else experienced anything like this?
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just had another episode this morning.  Going to try to get into the Dr today.
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Yesterday, I had a similar occurrence as you describe on Aug 02 104.  I was sitting at the computer.  I felt someone's hand on my back at my waist. I turned around and no one was there ( I live alone).  Then I felt someone massaging my right lower arm.  I looked down at my arm and I saw the tips of fingers massaging my lower arm.  I was horrified and I pulled at the fingers only to discover they were my own!  I was so surprised and horrified that I started to abruptly stand up from my chair while at the same time pulling on the fingers.  I then fell down on the floor. I tried to get up but had a difficult time with this.  Finally, I got up but now my right leg went floppy on me when I tried to stand. Also when walking I could not lift my foot.  My toes dragged on the floor.  I do not know if my leg problem is related to the arm issue which I described.  I also have spinal stenosis.  I went to the ER MD who did a full workup for  (cat scan and MRI & comprehensive blood work) for stroke & TIA but there was no correlation.  I have an appointment with a neurologist in a couple of days and hope to receive some definitive diagnosis and perhaps recommended treatment modalities .I would appreciate hearing from you if you have any further information to share on this problem.
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Just wondering if all that are posting this are women?
Maybe has something to do with menopause?
I get the same feeling every so often
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Well, I had hoped to get a cut and dried answer like the rest of you! Just experienced for the first time tonight what I am reading about on this board. Unlike some of you, I DO have various health issues. Am being treated by a neuro and an oncology doc, but never have felt anything like this. I should mention I am receiving Botox in my neck for cervical dystonia as well as being treated with Neurontin for Neuropathy of the feet. This happened very suddenly while I was making supper. The "Aura" accompanied by my upper arms feeling "squeezed" while a heat like sensation traveled across my shoulder blades. I have had some odd things with the nerve issues, but this....well, it was unnerving...
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