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Pinched nerve?

Do I likely have a pinched nerve? I had, for about 2 weeks, tight neck/shoulder muscles. Since I had this a couple years ago I saw my Doctor and was prescribed muscle relaxers again. I knew my left arm was weaker feeling but attributed it to the muscles being  tight for so long. I then realized that my left triceps was not working at all(before taking muscle relaxers). I also have some pain in my left shoulder and elbow. The relaxers have worked but my muscles do feel sore, like after a workout when it's been a while since working out. Thanks for any info/help.
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Avatar universal
Your muscles being sore is the key to this.  I think you have wrenched them somehow and could be a massage therapist can finally give you relief, and also heat from a bath or water bottle can help you along with getting better.  On the other hand, yes, you could have a pinched nerve, or could be swelling is pushing on one, or even the possibility that you have a disc bulge in your cervical spine.  If your muscles don't let up pretty soon, you could visit a neurologist and he'll do a scan, to see what's going on in there...OR you could ask your regular doc to do an ordinary black & white X-ray, it would reveal if something drastic is wrong with your neck.  Those would be my ideas.
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Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Dear Ford, welcome to medhelp forum. I can understand your anxiety over this ill health. These symptoms could all be due to a pinched nerve which is nerve compression or damage from various causes. These could be bony spurs, herniated intervertebral cervical disc or spinal canal stenosis. These could cause pain, numbness, pins and needles and weakness of the muscles in the arm, shoulder and hand. Consult a neurologist for a clinical examination, MRI spine to check for the discs. He may want to do a nerve conduction study and EMG if required to check the affected nerve muscle function.
You are welcome with further clarification.
Wish you all the best.




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Avatar universal
Thank you for the information. I had a neck x-ray done and it showed cervical spondylosis with some small spurs, but my Doctor said they were not pinching the nerve. He said nothing showed nerve damage. He did prescribe Prednisone to relieve any inflammation. I still have no use of my left tricep. Could the nerve be pinched in the shoulder? I have no other symptoms since taking muscle relaxers has taken the tightness away. He suggested going to physical therapy for the nerve. How long should I try these before requesting an MRI or Neurologist? Thank you again for you help.
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Avatar universal
Since the muscle relaxers helped your triceps work better, I think despite the findings of spondylosis and bone spurs, you are not in terribly serious trouble, rather you've likely suffered more of a muscle injury and not a nerve injury.  If your triceps weren't working at all or were terribly painful, when you combine that with the findings on the X-ray, that's when you do visit a neuro.  My understanding is tricep injuries should be treated with rest rather than physical therapy, but you can do a regular search from your home page about injured tricep treatment.  You COULD visit a sports doctor, they are very good with injuries to the musculature of people who workout with weights, for example.  On the other hand, if a nerve is trapped or a joint is a little out of whack or some small area of stiff muscle is still in your shoulder, then physical therapy CAN "unstick" parts of the body that sometimes get in a bind.

I might add something here about you saying you had an X-ray and the doc said he could see no way you had nerve involvement... the trouble with that is you cannot really see the nerves on a black & white X-ray, if that's indeed what pictures were done.  An MRI shows nerves.  However, your doc could probably tell that the spondylosis and bone spurs were such that a nerve wouldn't be affected, other than by swelling perhaps, thus the Prednisone.

I think if you are still having a problem in December, could be better imaging studies would be helpful, and visiting either a neuro or sports doc would be a good idea, mainly because of your symptoms of pain in your shoulder and elbow... throwing the elbow in could mean a nerve problem or perhaps even a torn ligament or tendon, perhaps.  Sorry I twisted and turned you in diff directions, but hopefully you can sift thru my thoughts and choose what direction to go.  Let us know how things progress at the very least, but I think this would be the extent of at least my knowledge on this sort of thing.
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Avatar universal
The relaxers had no effect on my tricep, it did take away the stiff neck and shoulder muscles. I did not have tightness in my tricep, I have no use of my left tricep at all. There is no response of the tricep when I try to push with it. I had no injury other than the tight muscles. If I don't get any improvement from the physical therapy in 1 week I will inquire about other tests. Thank you for your responses.
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