Avatar universal

Does This Sound Like a Pinched Nerve in the Neck??

For over two months, I've been living in fear of the unknown as my body constantly produces neurological symptoms that I've never had before.  My problem started last June when I banged the back of my head against a board.  The history of symptoms has been:

In July:

Neck pain - lasted for 10 days then went away completely
Strong tingling and numbness in ring and pinky finger tips, sometimes entire pinky and side of hand
Shooting pain from my elbow to hand
Pain when bending my elbow on placing my forearm on a surface

I at this time, I saw my family doc and an orthopedist.  Neck xrays didn't show anything and they did not believe there was a problem with my neck.  I was diagnosed with cubital tunnel syndrome, although nothing conclusive.


Neck pain returns
Pain in both elbows now
On and off pain in upper arms, biceps
Shooting pain into the palm of my hand
Numbness in fingers goes way down, almost 100% gone


Neck pain is constant and severe
Feel intense pressure in the back of my neck when bending down
Feel a buzzing sensation in the bakc of my neck
Shooting pain down my arm to my hand when typing on the computer

Sounds like a pinched nerve right?  I don't understand why the neck pain would go away though and come back much worse.  Is it possible that I am so tense and stressed that my neck musciles are pushing on nerves?  What is the worst possible scenario with a pinched neck nerve?  I am terrified that I might wake up  and be paralyzed.  I have no insurance and don't want to pay for a MRi and still not have answers.  

Any response would be appreicated.  Thank you.

6 Responses
Avatar universal

It sounds as though you have either a pinched nerve or spinal cord compression in your cervical apine(neck).  Such injuries can be chronic, meaning that they may be ongoing and with this they may, at times, appear worse or you may see improvement.

X-rays show monly your skeletal system.  An x-ray will not show nerve or spinal cord injuries, ligament or blood vessel damage, etc.  Over time, the damage or injury caused by nerve or spinal cord compression, ligament damage or a lack of blood flow (caused bt impingement) ususally becomes permanent or irreversible.

At this time you have no idea as to what is going on.  The abovementioned are simply worse case scenarios aimed at impressing the importance of finding out your actual diagnosis.

You mentioned that you don't have health insurance.  Do you live near a major University with a medical school or medical center. Medical schools usually provide some type of program for the uninsured or under insured where you will receive treatment from a Resident who is under the guidance of an Attending doctor.  

Don't be put off by this.  Just in case you are not familiar with the program, a Resident is an MD, so he or she has completed medical school and permformed usually a minimum  two year internship and is in the process of completing a two to three year stint as a rResident at a hospital associated with a medical school.  Residents have to be accepted into a program, so if you are near or can find a good medical school you will be treated by an elite crew of MDs.

If you cannot access a medical school, check your area for free clinics.  If you are in a metropolitan area, there WILL be free clinics in your area and they are not all based on income.  If you are not in a metropolitan area, try to visit such an area or use your online research and get creative.  During the times when you feel up to using the keyboard go at it with determination.

I wish you all the best!

Let us know how things go.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply.  Just seems like I am totally screwed.  I do live near UAMS in Arkansas, but they will not let me see a specialist without a referal.  Honestly, I just feel like giving up. I've tried 3 times to get personal insurance ,and denied for pre existing conditions like high blood pressure.  Every damn clinic in this area wants $100 - 200 up front to see a doctor.  They have not cut me any slack.  I've already spent almost $400 bucks and still don't have answers.   The free clinics are only open one day a month, a huge waiting list, and they only cater to low income people.

Besides, seriously what good will a doctor do me?  I'm still in the same boat of either praying that this goes away or surgery which could leave me with even more pain.  I refuse to go down that road.  
527589 tn?1301678178

I have all kinds of neurological problems, MS and B-12 deficiency symptoms, neck pain and fizzing, etc and I don't have any insurance either nor a job or income of any kind. I would love to pray away all these problems but I'm afraid that won't work for either of us.

It does sound, from all I've learned online, like a possible pinched nerve. Of course there could be a 100 other explainations as well. Be that what it may, getting angry and upset is not making it any easier and, in all probability, making your symptoms worse. Not having insurance or money to see a Physician you must do what you can for yourself. Eat well
Sleep well
Drink plenty of water
Relax - it is a must. When you begin to feel tingles, tightness, pain or stress building you must stop and breathe deeply. Relax your shoulders and breathe. Relax your arms and legs and breathe. This will not stop your symptoms but will keep your from tensing which certainly makes them worse.

I wish you well
Avatar universal
The symptoms do suggest of  a pinched or an injured nerve. There could have been an injury to the spinal cord and vertebral column due to the sudden blow to the head and neck. Neck pain may go away when the pressure on the spinal nerves is released a little and may become worse when the nerves are compressed. MRI is essential to know the location of the pinched nerve, any disk problems or other associated causes of the nerve symptoms. Persistent nerve compression does lead to paralysis. Nerve decompression by surgery and physiotherapy is essential to avoid complications. Please consult a neurologist as soon as possible. Hope this helps you. Take care and regards!
144586 tn?1284666164
You have a pinched nerve in the cervical area, and a condition known as a subluxion injury.  They are a bear. An x-ray won't show anything, and an MRI is nice, but not necesssary. These injuries have been treated for hundreds of years without an MRI. The pain dermatome defines the exact point of nerve pinching.

Treatment is axial traction six times a day for ten minutes per session, as of yesterday.

Plus initially anti-inflammatories. Prednisone 60 mg first day of treatment, Taper down 10 mg a day. Then 800 mg ibuprufin in two divided doses for the next thirty days.

The axial traction devices do not require a prescription and run about $35. Throw away the water bag and put a cup hook in the middle of the door, and set up a seat and lightly let yourself down, not letting the full weight of your body pull. Ten minutes per session, separated by an hour or two first day. Second day every two hours. Third day every four hours.

After a week you are going to need "range of motion" exercises, rotatinhg your head 360 through the limits of pain.

If you don't do this, you'll end up with what is known as a "frozen shoulder" and end up with no movement in your hand and constant pain.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the replies.  It's good to know that I have several options.  I called UAMS, and screw them.  They charge $130 to see a doctor, even a resident.  

I do have a week's supply of  Prednisone.  Been saving it for when the pain just gets unbearable.  It hasn't reached that level.  I'm still able to go to work, and I sleep good at night.

I think my best option is to go back to the chiropractor until my insurance kicks in this Jan.  
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