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Old 02-04-2011, 02:01 AM   #1
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new neck pain and numbness in arms and hands

hi i posted last week about problems with my lower back and leg pain, i would like to say thanks for the replies. i would like to ask for more advice. in the last few weeks iv been waking every night 4-5 times and my hands are numb can only feel my little finger, iv a new pain in my neck since then too, its at the top of my neck half way between hairline and shoulders, its very sore to touch feels bruised maybe a bit swollen.im getting pain across my neck and shoulders too and i woke 2 days ago with bad pain shooting up my arm. iv pins and needles in my hands and arms all the time too. these are all new symptoms as iv only ever suffered lower back and leg pain. could it be referred pain from my back or could it be a new problem. iv never had any tests done on my neck or top of my back. im not seeing my neuro surgeon till august and my orthapedic surgeon said he dosnt need to see me unless things change as he has done all he can so he referred me.any advice would be great, thanks again for listening, take care shelsers

 
Old 02-04-2011, 02:52 AM   #2
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Re: new neck pain and numbness in arms and hands

I have the same problem, narrowing disc space in the neck vertebrae.

Try hugging a big pillow when you sleep. It offered me a little help. also Icy hot patches.

You may start to notice muscle loss in your arms from atrophy. Atleast I have.

 
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:36 AM   #3
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Re: new neck pain and numbness in arms and hands

[QUOTE=guy484;4676679]I have the same problem, narrowing disc space in the neck vertebrae.

Try hugging a big pillow when you sleep. It offered me a little help. also Icy hot patches.

You may start to notice muscle loss in your arms from atrophy. Atleast I have.[/QUOTE] hi thanks for replying, i just had to fill out a form for disability it hurt my neck and half hour later my hand is really sore, i think il have to get all these new symptoms checked. do u also suffer from low back pain, thanks again shelsers

 
Old 02-04-2011, 04:57 AM   #4
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Re: new neck pain and numbness in arms and hands

I have the same problem with my neck also, and wake up several times per night with partially numb arms due to a couple of herniated discs in my neck. I got a memory foam pillow which has helped a lot as it keeps my neck from going into weird positions while I'm sleeping, so you might want to look into a pillow that doesn't allow your neck to move into a flattened area of the pillow.

 
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:39 AM   #5
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Re: new neck pain and numbness in arms and hands

I'm Jenny and a regular on the Spinal Cord Disorders board where most of the neck people hang out.

First, a neck problem can cause low back pain but not the opposite. If the spinal cord is compressed in the neck, it can cause pain and problems anywhere below that level. Pressure on the cord in the low back only goes from that level down so some of your low back pain may be from your neck.

And neck problems can get worse very quickly as the area is much, much tighter. So I would urge you to get a cervical MRI to take to the spine surgeon in August. You may need the neck treated before the lumbar.

Your symptoms are classic for a herniated disk with possible nerve and cord compression at C5-6.

And if you have problems in your lumbar spine, you almost always have some problems in the cervical spine....OA doesn't just hit the low back but the entire spine. But the problems in the neck can be life threatening. If you get cord compression high enough and bad enough, it can shut down your ability to breathe(think Christopher Reeve). If your cord becomes compressed to the point of losing blood supply at C6, you're looking at paralysis from the waist down and both hands. With the lumbar, you're looking at a leg or part of a leg.

So please have the cervical MRI and see what is going on. I dislocated 5 vertebrae, breaking 3, in my neck and I've been battling back form paralysis for 4 years...it's not fun. You can probably wait until August to see the spine surgeon but at least you'll have both MRI's for him and he can then decide which needs to go first. In the meantime, don't look up at the sky...that is stretching the cord and can make things worse. I use a horseshoe shaped neck pillow to support my head either flat on the bed or even on a pillow but it keeps me from bending it backwards.

Any questions, please let me know or come and say hello on the SCD board.

hugs.........Jenny(fused from C3 to T1)

 
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:46 PM   #6
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Re: new neck pain and numbness in arms and hands

Hello,

Your symptoms are very similar to mine. Of course I can't diagnose you, and you probably should have a cervical MRI done, but I have cervical stenosis and a massive disc herniation at C5/C6 that's impinging my spinal cord. I used to wake up during the night too, though my entire arms and hands would be totally numb. After it kept happening for a while, I started to take note of when exactly it was happening. At first it was only happening at night and I noticed it seemed like anytime my head was tilted back, even just a little, that's when my arms would go numb. Sometimes I would also wake up with severe pain in my fingers (this occurs on both of my hands, sometimes one at a time, other times fingers on both hands get this pain). A couple yrs ago I had thought it might be joint pain and told my Rheum about it, but he shrugged it off. Now I know it was nerve pain due to all the compression in my cervical spine. I also have to watch not to tilt my head to either side as that causes nerve pain in my upper arms and causes pins & needles in my fingers. If my heads to side for more than a few minutes, my hands will also go numb. I also get deep, aching, sometimes throbbing pain in my neck in about the same area as you & sometimes it goes into my left shoulder. I've also described it as feeling like a deep bruise. It just feels very inflamed.

Now I sleep with a bunch of pillows piled up, my upper body propped up a bit, and on top of my pillows I also use a horseshoe-shaped cervical pillow. I think mine is stuffed with buckwheat inside. The first time I tried sleeping on it, I didn't think it would be comfortable but....you wouldn't believe how much better my neck felt the next morning. I didn't wake up during the night either. It's a small pillow, but I think it's great. And the pillow filling can be pushed/molded around to wherever I want. It's not "soft", but not too hard either.

I had started out with low back problems, but not long after I started having bad pain & spasms in my neck and shoulders. My rheum knew all about my low back problems (spinal stenosis, disc herniations, etc..) but seemed to dismiss my neck. He ended up diagnosing me with fibromyalgia. Whatever, I don't go to him anymore. I went for several years with on & off neck and shoulder pains and spasms. Then maybe about 2 years ago my neck started slowly getting worse and I started getting the numb arms, nerve pains in my fingers and other symptoms. So it is totally possible to have both lumbar and cervical problems at the same time. Just don't let your doctors tell you one thing at a time, or let them focus only on one thing.

 
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:30 AM   #7
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Re: new neck pain and numbness in arms and hands

hi , thanks so much for all the information. i feel myself something is not right. i know a lot about th back but as this neck issue is all new its great to get some help and reassurance. i will go to my gp on monday and see can he arrange an mri for me, i actually have a ct scan of the brain on monday as i was having right sided tremors and they diagnosed hemi plegic migraine, now i wonder is it linked to my neck. i feel like im falling asunder, i hate whats happening to me and feel bad for my family i have so much pain i cant do things with them anymore. i have a very supportive family and lots of help but i just wish someone would finally help me its been 7 yrs of chronic pain now. thanks for all the info l will read up on it now, i will invest in special pillows too. thanks again for listening and please feel free to chat to me at anytime. take care shelsers

 
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