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'pins & needles'& muscles cramps in right neck & shoulder

  A little over a month ago I went through a two week period of what seemed
  to be mild, (but distracting), neck and shoulder cramps, concentrated to
  the right seemingly focused right beneath the juncture of cranium and neck. This correlated with an onset of 'jaw popping'. I occasionally felt a burning sensation on the right
  side of my face and neck. Trips to two different Drs yielded a diagnosis
  of 'swollen lymph node' and seperately 'strained muscle', neither of which
  seemed to fit my symptoms, but they went away and I disregarded it as a
  passing condition. Starting two days ago, I woke with a very painful 'pins
  and needles' sensation in my neck, restricted to the right side,
  immediately adjacent to the spine, and extending into my right trapezius
  and down around front to my collar bone. After a day and a half
  of this, it has evolved into, (again), muscle cramps in the right neck
  and shoulder blade. They are uncomfortable, making it hard to relax, and
  they give me a headache. I have another appt with another Dr, but I am
  looking for feedback to use in formulating questions for the doctor.
  Any thoughts on my symptoms would be most appreciated. Thanks.
Hello Liana!
Discomfort in the neck and between and around the shoulder blades can be the very first symptoms of irritation of a spinal nerve root in the cervical spine, most often related to neck arthritis. This can cause nearby muscles to have cramps and spasms, and eventually numbness and weakness in parts of the arm if actual compression or "pinching" of the nerve occurs due to a disk bulging or herniating. A plain X-ray of the cervical spine can screen for the presence of arthritis, and a test called an EMG can detect early signs of nerve root irritation or damage sometimes even before other more bothersome symptoms occur. A prior history of head or neck trauma, even remote, can predispose to the development of such arthritis, as can advancing age. Intermittent or minor symptoms can often be successfully controlled with anti-inflammator medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen etc., but persistent symptoms may warrant more aggressive treatment like epidural cortisone injections, physical therapy, or surgery in instances where actual compression of a nerve is occurring and weakness or numbness is present and persisting. Please remember that information provided on the forum is intended for general medical informational purposes only, and that the actual diagnosis and treatment of your specific medical illness should be strictly in conjunction with your treating physician(s). If you would be interested in an evaluation at the Cleveland Clinic, our number is 1-800-223-2273; ask for spine center or neurology appointments. We hopr you find the information helpful.

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