Injured working overhead 2 years ago on the job. Pain radiating down left arm 10 minutes after completing work. Saw Workman's Comp panel and they test for the usuals, sprains, etc...pain radiated to left shoulder across back and spine...they inspected a possible bruised scapula...pain radiated around shoulder and left hand dexterity was diminished...they did the white hand test and determined that I possibly had TOS....Neck mobility range Left=15 degrees; Right=35 degrees. Took 6 months of PT 5 days a week trying to eliminate 96 pressure points in the upper left quadrant of my back, including neck and spinal discomfort...pain rating 7....Had MRI & EMG, both inconclusive during this timeframe...Because test inconclusive, doctors referred me to Advanced Pain Management Clinic...waste of time...stopped going...Dealt with pain issues and became numb to the problems with ongoing pain rating 4...1 year later problems have begun escalating, pain rating 6...affects ability to go to sleep...affects sex life...affects ability to "Honey Do" list...affects ability of job performance...affects enjoying life with my family. I can't stand the thought of having to endure this in my golden years...just kill me now...I know I am not the only person that suffers from this infliction...anybody have any suggestions in relieving this never ending nightmare?
I asked on a previous post what TOS was, and I guess I got my answer. See, I have all the symptoms you have, but I have a bulging disc at the cervical level with a pinched nerve. When the EMG was done, the min they stuck the needle in my arm the pain radiated up my neck and down to my arm. So, are these similar? I wonder. My docs say the pain in the arm and shoulder are directly related to the cervical level. I have pain in my upper back, shoulders, scapula, clavical, neck, jaw, left breast, elbow, fingertips. I have numbness and weakness in my left arm. My upper back is in constant spasm and I have decreased range of motion in my neck to all directions (up, down, left, right). Aside from the pinched nerve and bulge, I have been diagnosed with arthritis (spondylothesis) and loss of lordosis (natural curve of neck). Did your MRI show anything? Did you feel any of this with your EMG like I did. Sounds like you may need a new MRI and a new doc. My onset was sudden too, started having pain at work and it got so bad in two hours I couldn't move my left arm and I was crying. Right after the EMG I couldn't move my left arm and all the muscles sinched up and pulled up. It really sucks. I would be interested to know if these are similar in some way.
apparently it exists. I found a lot of info online about it. The odd thing was, it was like reading a list of my own complaints!! Now I am confusing myself, could the bulge just be a coincidence? Could I too have TOS?? I would love to write all the info I found and how identical it is to my own situation, but I won't. I guess I will bring it up to my PM doc when I see him and see what he thinks. HMMMMMM.
I was diagnosed with TOS last July following a MVA. Started on my left side and eventually radiated to my right. I have all of the symptoms you describe but as time goes on more are added. Besides the shoulder/arm/neck pain and tingling/numbness, I can add headaches, ringing in my ears, visual disturbances, loss of balance, feeling like I am moving when I am still. I see a chiropractor 3 times a week and a wonderful doctor in my area who specializes in TOS. I have had to make drastic life changes and it is still difficult to manage. My next step is trigger point injections and reducing my hours at work. Again. I am a nurse and have been for 18 years. I never even heard of this until I was diagnosed. There is a lot of helpful info out there, just search for it. Good luck and may you find some answers.
I started having numbness in my arm/hand when I was pregnant. A few years later, saying they might have to remove a rib, they cut by my collarbone and slit a muscle to free the nerve. Twenty years later I had to have surgery for carpal tunnel. Ten years after that I've been told I have scaphoid avascular necrosis.
mel....sounds like you very well do have TOS....its one of those..."if I could just pop my back" feelings that never goes away...yes they found arthritis in my neck with my MRI but determined that it too was inconclusive...you'd think they work for the CIA or something. They can never give you a straight answer because they haven't got a clue. What scares me most about this stuff is the thought of if I ever had to change jobs...I mean, what good am I for a new position? I currently work as a supervisor in a call center, which requires no lifting, but I stand alot and sit alot, both of which make the ability to concentrate with the feeling that there is a permanent knee in my back and the other knee is grinding in the nerve of my left arm...but they say nothing is wrong with me at this point, because not all doctors believe in it to the point that they are willing to say you are disabled enough to receive any type of compensation...can you tell I'm bitter about this???