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Old 11-11-2007, 09:31 PM   #1
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Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

8-9 months ago I began getting this tingling feeling around the upper right side of my back (near the shoulder blade I guess). The feeling is best described as something crawling across my skin. I never really thought anything about it because it would only happen once every couple of weeks and lasted a few seconds before completely disappearing.

Two and half weeks ago I began having really bad nausea (no throwing up, just a throbbing feeling in my stomach) and shortly after I found out I had a bladder infection. I also started having heartburn and lost a few pounds (though it might be more than just a 'few pounds' since today my sister commented that I look anorexic...)

I've seen two doctors, the first prescribed antibiotics for the infection and the second told me to take pepcid every night for one month. Those problems, along with the nausea have pretty much gone away.

Two nights ago the tingling feeling in my back returned but it didn't disappear the way it normally did. I've had it every day since then and now I'm starting to feel the tingling on the left side of my mid back and I have upper back / neck pain, along with slight aches and pains here and there.

Last night I was rubbing my neck and felt what seems to be a bone slightly protruding. It's located where the neck meets the shoulders / back and is situated right where my spine is. Is it possible that this is normal and the reason I can feel this is because I'm quite skinny and the skin there is very tight? Or could this possibly be a tumor or something? I'm concerned because I'm having some aching right on my spine around the middle of my back.

I have a doctors appointment on the 20th and I'm wondering, if he can't give me good answers can I ask him to refer me to a specialist? If so, what kind would I see and what kind of tests would I need to have done?

My sister told me that many of the things that I'm feeling are symptoms of multiple sclerosis...I'm not willing to accept that at the moment, but I've been doing quite a bit of reading on it and I do have many of the symptoms associated with it...

But anyway, back to my main question, what could be causing all of this? Have any of you gone through something similar (and discovered what was wrong)? Any type of input would be highly appreciated!

 
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:26 PM   #2
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Arrow Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

Hi Anna,
As I was reading some of your symptoms, my thought was also MS. Then when I saw your famiy member mentioned it, I felt compelled to write you. First, don't let your back probelms make you think that thats all that is wrong with you. You could have several things going on. I have really bad low back problems, waiting for a diagnosis. My MRI indicates 3 disk bulges as well as spondylosis and disk degeneration.

HOWEVER: I have a history of things you wrote about as well. 10 years ago I had a foot problem. 7 years ago something went wrong with my eyes. Over the past 4 years I have had Vertigo twice. This is where the room spins, lose balance and sick to the stomach. I always end up vomiting and very ill. During this phase of my life, a doctor suspected MS. MS is very hard to diagnose and can take years. MS is different for every person.

6 weeks ago I was noticing my arm was 'asleep' alot when I woke up. Then 5 weeks ago my thumb went numb. Then up to my elbow. Then up to the shoulder, the neck, the jaw, the chest and down my stomach. This was all on the left side. I've been numb ever since.

I've now had 3 MRI's, tons of blood tests and have a Neurologist, Opthomoligist-Neuro and a spine doctor. I expect they will want a lumber puncture next (spinal tap).

Other symptoms to consider would be intolerance to heat or hot showers. Exhaustion. Bathroom issues. Blurry vision, loss of color. Cognitive issues; memory, not able to finish a sentence, etc. and many other symptoms you should take a look at.

MS comes and goes and so they call it 'flair ups'. One can go years without symptoms, then it comes on at any time without warning. History is a good place to start. There is no cure, but some medicines that slow the progression, so the sooner one is diagnosed, the better. Like my doc said the other day, we don't want you to be dumb <grin>

In any event, I have gone through some really scary moments the past month or so, and I'm determined to get to the bottom of everything, including my back. There is a great MS site on Healthboards for MS .

You'll find a wealth of info about MS at these forums and many people who are either diagnosed MS or you'll also see that many are in whats called 'MS Limbo' waiting for answers like me. I hope this is not your final diagnosis, but it's important to look into if you suspect it. If you have any problem with your eyes, get to an Optho-Neuro RIGHT AWAY. Drink lots of water if you have vertigo...stay hydrated! Have your neck checked out too!!

Regards,
Jeannie

PS: You said:
But anyway, back to my main question, what could be causing all of this? Have any of you gone through something similar (and discovered what was wrong)? Any type of input would be highly appreciated!

It could be a pinched nerve, but it could be a lesion on the brain interphering with the area's that are going numb. Doctors are good for ignoring things, so take things into your own hands. You want an MRI of the Brain, The C-Spine and blood tests to rule out everything else. You need a Neurologist, preferrably one that specializes in MS. It could also be any of the other things you suspect too

Last edited by greenjeans; 11-12-2007 at 08:11 AM. Reason: disallowed website

 
Old 11-12-2007, 06:36 PM   #3
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Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

Wow, thanks a lot for all of that!

I have such a feeling of dread right now because I'm starting to think that there is a strong possibility that I'll have MS. Nothing is certain, of course, until I have the proper tests done, but I can't help but become a little upset by all of this. I'm still hoping it's something less serious but....

Right now I'm having some pretty sharp back pain, along with that tingling. My back just aches all over and it seems to get worse each day. I'm wondering what I'll feel like by the 20th

I haven't had any of the other symptoms other than the bladder infection and constipation (which was relieved by a slight change of diet).

Blah. I still have to wait another week to see the doctor.

 
Old 11-12-2007, 08:15 PM   #4
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Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

Your welcome Anna,
I didn't want to scare you, and many things can cause lots of the symptoms you describe. I suppose if I were in your shoes, I'd start with the C-Spine MRI as it will show what could be causing the numbness, and it could show lesions, IF you had any. This would be a double compfort once someone can see what is going on there. It could also be some arthritis starting...which is normal for just about everyone, I hear, but some get it much worse.

The numbness alone would be a good reason to head to a Neurologist, but the back/spine issue could send you in the direction of a spine doc. Either one would start you in the right direction.....

Good luck and don't worry too much....but do start getting checked out...let us know what you find!

 
Old 11-17-2007, 08:21 AM   #5
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Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

Well, I just wanted to give a little update on everything.

Yesterday, probably around 12:00, I became extremely itchy for no apparent reason. My legs, arms, stomach, scalp just itched. So I took a shower and about 20 minutes after I got out I had very severe pain in my right leg and shoulder. It got bad enough to where I was limping.

My parents decided to take me to the ER and by the time we were called back to see the doctor (which was about 2.5 hours later - apparently there was only one doctor on duty) the pain had gone down considerably but had spread to both my legs.

They had me take a urine sample and found a lot of blood within it. The doctor said there was too much blood to be an infection. I had a bit of a fever and was kind of light headed so they first took some blood and then put me on an IV. They gave me a few medications - one was for nausea, one for pain and I'm not really sure what the other one was. I don't really know if they all helped or not but the anti-nausea meds they gave me worked for sure .

They also took a CT scan of my stomach because they thought that I possibly had a kidney stone. But the blood tests and scan results both turned out fine. As relieved as I was, I couldn't help but be disappointed that they didn't find SOMETHING to explain my symptoms.

The ER doctor said I should just go and see my primary doctor and have him refer me to a specialist. He also said that I had the flu and wrote out two prescriptions, one was Lortab and the other was some anti-nausea medicine.

Anyhow, I'm really starting to wonder if I could have MS now. The doctor didn't seem too concerned with the numbness / tingling but did take an interest of the sore spots on my back. I also had a strange reaction to the meds they gave me. My heart rate became rather high and my fingernails turned purple - I don't know if this is normal or not

Last edited by anna00; 11-17-2007 at 02:32 PM.

 
Old 11-17-2007, 09:10 AM   #6
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Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

It's very scary when something is wrong and no one has an answer. I understand it is common for bladder problems with MS, tho this is not one I've had yet.

Are you dizzy with the nausea? Back problems don't cause vertigo, at least I've yet to find the corralation...

Pins and needles and numbness is not normal, and if a pinched nerve in your c-spine cannot answer that question, one must go to the next step. This symptom is classic MS and a Neurologist is the one to see. MS cannot be diagnosed with a blood test. It can take years to get this answer. They will do all the blood tests to rule out any other illness. Then MRI of the brain and possibly the C-spine. Next step is a Lumbar Puncture.

I'm half way thru all this now. My blood came back great this week. I have no lesions on my c-spine, but do have two on my brain. I do not have a pinched nerve, that I've been told about yet.

My numbness lasted 6 weeks...it has tapered off alot lately, but now I'm tingleing on both hands/wrists and both feet up to the knee. Cognitive issues and dropping things, or tripping is another thing I'm dealing with.

Again, I'm not diagnosed yet, but so far, they don't have an explaination for me...so MS is still flapping in the wind in my case....hope to have an answer soon.

See your PCP and ASK for a referral to a Neuro....this will get things moving towards an answer!!

Hang in there!!

 
Old 11-17-2007, 07:02 PM   #7
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Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

I don't have dizziness. Just the nausea, numbness and aches all over my body. My back is still sore but now I have pain where my ribs are and right under them. I've had it for a while now but it has never been this bad. I'm hoping it's just more prominent now because I have the flu (or so the doctor told me). I also have quite a bit of chest pain.

I feel so hopeless right now. I feel that I'll never get better. ehhhhh I just want to know what's wrong with me !!

 
Old 11-17-2007, 10:30 PM   #8
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Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

Hi!

I'm so sorry to hear about your hard times (both of you guys!)! I can't imagine what it's like... I'm sure that the worst part is not knowing what exactly is going on.

I just wanted to jump in and say that even if, God forbid, it does turn out to be MS, it's not the end of the world. My brother has MS, and was first diagnosed about 8 years ago. Since then he's fathered - and raised - 3 kids, and become the chair of his department at the local State University. He had some bad flare-ups at first, but, even in the last few years, they are making real headway in the treatment of MS. Besides a little numbness in his feet on occasion, and an occasional bout of the "dropsies" - he keeps up with his kids and work and does great!

Let's hope that it's not that. I hope it's something simple and that you can get back to just concentrating on the back pain. That we can help you with!

Take care and please tell us how it goes.

I'm rootin' for ya both!

David

 
Old 11-18-2007, 12:41 PM   #9
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Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

Thanks for jumping in!! I must say that being on a message board (not this one) full of people who are MS'ers or in Limbo (like me) gives me the same hope that you refer too. MS is not a death sentence, like some think. It's something that comes and goes throughout life and compared to many other things, this is something I could 'live with'. If I have it, my history is that it comes to visit every 3-4 years. Not the worst thing that could happen to someone

In fact...My back problem is much more of an issue to me than MS...its all day, every day!!

 
Old 11-18-2007, 12:42 PM   #10
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Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

[QUOTE=anna00;3311763]I don't have dizziness. Just the nausea, numbness and aches all over my body. My back is still sore but now I have pain where my ribs are and right under them. I've had it for a while now but it has never been this bad. I'm hoping it's just more prominent now because I have the flu (or so the doctor told me). I also have quite a bit of chest pain.

I feel so hopeless right now. I feel that I'll never get better. ehhhhh I just want to know what's wrong with me !![/QUOTE]

HOpe you feel better soon...You'll get an answer, just keep looking

 
Old 11-18-2007, 01:01 PM   #11
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Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

Anna, dear, don't panic please. All the symptoms you have can be so many different things.
I have all the symptoms you have, I had major spinal surgery 20 month ago, I have fibromyologa, Vertigo, Menier's disease, fluid in a lungs and sever heart problems, sever muscle spasms, nerve damage in my feet and legs, very weak and painful muscles and pain all overy my body.
My 3 Drs suspected MS too, but when they sent me to Neurologist in NYC (he is the top one in US) - even though I got some changes in a white matter of the brain, MRI of the brain, this is not changes you see during MS. Neurologist said the the first thing they see during MS - is specific area in a brain has been changed which confirms the diagnoses.
See what your Dr tells you, definately go and see specialist and if you are not satisfied, go and see other opinions until you get all your questions answered.
Best of luck you!

 
Old 11-18-2007, 02:10 PM   #12
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Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

Reading all of your replies has definitely made me feel better! Honestly, if I do have some type of disease or disorder, and it does turn out to be MS, then it will really be more of a relief than anything else. I just want to know what's happening to me and how to make myself feel better =D

I just have a question, what else could be causing the numbness & tingling? I believe a pinched nerve was mentioned, but would that also be the cause of aches and pains all over?

 
Old 11-18-2007, 06:25 PM   #13
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Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

anna dear, boy can i feel your pain really, i hope you get answers soon. The waiting is the hardest! I finally have my first Neurolist appt. tommorrow first thing and it's been a long six months. It's so weird that i have recently went through what you have, er visit ect. and no real answers and i am wondering the same thins about MS but the only thing with my case is that i did fall at one point but i get the creepy crawling feelings all over now and since all this my left arm goes numb alot more and all my emg nerve tests come back normal, and i am beggining to think if they come back normal it sounds more like an MS thing in my opionion but i am trying to think positive as to alot of people told me it was nerve related but it doesn't make sense. All these other things have popped up along the way. I am also waiting for results of a hidiscan as i am like you, maybe it was stomach related, but haven't found anything thus far, so i'll we be thinking of you dear! I hope we all find the answer so we can go about our lives a little happier!
Love, Monkey

 
Old 11-18-2007, 11:06 PM   #14
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Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

@ Monkey
I do hope you find answers soon! It's already nerve-racking enough to have all of these symptoms and not feel well, and along with that, having to sit and wonder about all of the possible disorders you could have...

Please let us know if you find out anything new!

 
Old 11-19-2007, 09:12 AM   #15
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Re: Numb / tingling feeling and back pain

I can't seem to stop looking for answers myself

I finally went to the arthritis site and not one person answered me. Apparently I don't have 'their' symptoms.

As far as a "Nerve" thing goes... MS is a Nerve thing (Neurological)

It's not a pinched nerve, but the brain not talking to the arm, or leg, or whatever is numb or tingleing.

My MRI of the C-Spine did not expose a pinched nerve, and it would have to be there for the arm to be affected.

I'm just in limbo still...I see my Neuro AND Spine Doc next week. All the tests should be back by then, and even tho I am getting my own results, I know they have gone to school for years to be able to read them.

I'm still wondering if the spine doc will tell me "Stenosis"...but the Radioligist did not use that word...but seems my leg's being numb and tingeling could be that....or it could be MS....For HEAVENS SAKE!! Hard road we are going down.

I'm with you Anna...I just want an answer. If they do say MS, I've no doubt I'll fall to the floor and cry my eyes out, but at the same time, the relief of knowing WHY I've had so many issues over the years and being able to do something about it is what is important now. Copaxone or Tysabri are both good fairly new drugs that help stop MS...not cure it, just help...

On another note...I do want my L-spine to get better...at minimum a problem all it's own

 
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