For several years now I have been suffering from sharp lightning like attacks of pain in my chest on the left side behind my breast, this is combined with a weakness and numb like ache in my left arm from the neck to my finger tips. When I have an "attack" my heart rate increases and I briefly have trouble catching my breath. There seems to be a connection to caffeine intake but pain occurs without any caffeine or any action. I have had normal EKGs and they have taken pictures of my heart and done tests and they say it is fine. I also had a nerve conduction study done and it was normal. My family practice doctor has suggested it could be Thoracic Outlet Syndrome but there is no conclusive evidence to substantiate this claim. My arm was kicked by a horse many years ago and I suffered minor muscle damage, but it wasn't until several years later that the attacks started. I am a 22 year old female with only the regular stresses of life to deal with, except this. What the heck is it?
There are a few things which I can think of. Firstly, such electric shock like pains are quite common in hands and esp thumb in patients of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. CTS is a medical condition in which the median nerve is compressed at the wrist, leading to pain, paresthesias, and muscle weakness in the forearm and hand.
The other condition I can think of is brachial plexus injury. A brachial plexus injury occurs when the nerves that connect your arm and spinal cord get stretched or torn.It is a part of thoracic outlet syndrome.
The third thing which I can think of is Multiple Sclerosis but the chances of which seem less likely.
I sincerely advise you to consult a neurologist and discuss these three possibilities with him.Only after thorough examination and investigations like MRI , nerve tests and EMG can a diagnosis be made.
Hope it helps. Take care and pls do keep me posted in case you have any additional doubts.
Wouldn't the brachial plexus injury have shown up in the nerve conduction study I had a few years back? It came up normal and the neurologist made me feel like a child who didn't know anything so I haven't been back to him. Thanks for your suggestions!
Since this post, I got a job working for a Chiropractor and I get seen very cheaply and he has discovered that I have a subluxated or displaced rib in my upper back so that is what has been causing all of this pain. Thanks for your help!
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