About two months ago I would wake up in the night with severe tingling sensations in my right arm. It started from the top of the shoulder and would shoot down to the tip of my fingers. It progressivly got worst and it happens every night. Now when I get the pain it wakes me up, my fingers are swollen, the tingling sensation is very intense. It is so excruciating painful, it about knocks me to my knees. I have tried hanging the arm off the bed, stretching by pulling away and or pushing into a door jam. I have tried different exercises, stretches, shaking my arm, to makimg huge arm circles forward and back. It is so bad that I have found the best thing to do is just get up and try to proceed as normal through the day. I cannot even use my right arm to open the fridge or grasp a coffee pot. Slowly, the horrilbe pain subsides but the tingling sensation never goes away. In the last three weeks or so, my left arm has started doing the same thing and is quickly catching up to the same symptoms and intensity of the right arm. Both arms from the top of shoulder down to the tip of fingers are extremly painful. Again, I just have to get up and start moving to get the gripping pain to become tolerable, the fingers swelling goes down through the day, however, the tingling sensation from the shoulders into the tip of my fingers never goes away.
Do you have any idea what could be causing this? I have tried sleeping in different bedrooms, on different mattress's and the floor, thinking possibly the beds were the problem. Nothing makes a difference.
Yup. You have a textbook case of nerve compression in the cervical region. Am x-ray is worthless, but an MRI will generally show the compression. Treatment involves anti-inflammatories, axial traction and range of motion through the limits of pain. You really need to see an M.D. before starting these treatments just to make sure you don't have something deteriorated in there that could be damaged by the excercise. I would defininitely NOT go to a chiropractor. I am not against chiropracty, but definitive diagnosis involves an MRI and such a recommendation is above his pay grade. An x-ray, which some chiropracters provide, is worthless except as an unnecessary exposure to radiation. The pain and numbness may increase if not treated and you will end up with what is called a "frozen shoulder". Fortunately treatment is not expensive and usually effective. The first thing a good physician would do is to rule of the possibility of a fracture which could damage the spinal cord if you exercise. That is why you need to see a physician. A question he will ask us whether you have had any sudden neck flexure (such as bumping your forehead). This pain is common in what is called a subluxion, which is the result of a head injury a year or two ago.
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