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Old 03-25-2010, 06:33 PM   #1
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Arm Pain & Numbness

Yes, I am back with yet another question.

This time it relates to those of you who have arm or hand numbness.

Aside from the loss of my vestibular function, the numbness that began in my fingers and palm was the first (technically second) symptom of my MS that I noticed and sought treatment for. It has since progressed to my hand being completely tingly to the point that it feels like it has fallen asleep virtually all of most of time.

What I am trying to figure out, and hoping for some feedback from all of you, is whether the PAIN and ache I feel in the tendons in my forearm around my elbow are from MS or perhaps do I also have something going on with my arm. Do those of you that have numb hands also have sheer pain and aching in their entire arm?

In the process of my diagnosis, I was treated by a chiro who helped me a great deal. When the chiro was trying to adjust me to alleviate the numbness, he worked my arm and you could hear "gristle" in my elbow that sounded like I have issues with cartilidge or tendonitis.

I am now getting monthly solumedrol to help with the numbness, but I'm wondering if its really the pain in my elbow area getting worse rather then the numbness in my hand. Perhaps I should be looking into making sure there wasn't another problem in my arm in addition to the MS stuff?

I realize that anything is possible, but I'm trying to get a feel as to whether the pain normally comes with the tingle? Anyone have any similar issues?

 
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Old 03-25-2010, 06:44 PM   #2
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Re: Arm Pain & Numbness

Whenever I have a pain, I will ask my neuro if it is MS related. I get pains in my hands sometimes, but mainly numbness and lack of coordination. During the summer months I usually have more hand numbness for which I immerse my hand in ice water. This helps most of the time. I also have simply gotten use to the numbness to a certain level to where I have what I call my normal level. While abnormal to most people, I have accepted my limitations as my new normal and I do not sweat those things anymore.

A chiro is not recommended due to the damage from MS which may be worsened by manipulation by the chiro. A physical therapist would probably be better. My GP has a massage therapist available, although she has not been able to help my MS related problems, my non-MS problems have been helped greatly.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:11 PM   #3
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Re: Arm Pain & Numbness

Thanks for the feedback.

I haven't seen the chiro for many months. When I told my dr about the zaps in my back, an end was put to that. My MS doctor did say it was okay to get my TMJ adjusted but to keep it at that.

I think I may ask to have an xray of my elbow or an MRI to see if there is damage in there that could be cleaned up. And/or a cortisone shot. Then again, the solumedrol may be stronger then cortisone, I'm not too sure??

 
Old 03-25-2010, 09:29 PM   #4
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Re: Arm Pain & Numbness

You might seek the opinion of an Orthopedic Doctor if your neurologist feels it is not MS. Just remember to let the orthopedic Doctor know you are on solumedrol.
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:37 AM   #5
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Re: Arm Pain & Numbness

Wilc, Ive suffered with numb/ tingling fingers for 5 years. It was my onset symtom which took me to my doc and eventually led me to the MS dx. Later on, I learned that I have some cervical issues. Some compressed discs in my upper spine, near my neck.

To this day, I have had PT, tried nerve drugs such as Lyrica, Cymbalta and Gabapentin- none of them have offered any relief and actually the PT made things worse....and Ive seen both Orthopedic surgeons and Neuro Surgeons. Ive explored accupuncture as well as massage therapy however my Neuro has adamantly told me to stay away from Chiro care.

Once again, to this day, I still have absolutely NO IDEA if my tingling/numbness comes from MS or from Cervical issues. No one is ever going to tell me for sure- with all the radiographical testing Ive had over the past 5 years (I should glow in the dark and be a human magnet) but even with it, no conclusive results. As Jayhawk said, "its the new standard of Normal" for me. I notice that in the high humidty and heat, my tingling/ burning gets worse....in the extreme cold, its more noticable. And, like Jayhawk said, ice water seems to relieve some of the symtoms. Ive been known to just "hold" an icepack in my hand for ten minutes at a time in the middle of the summer.....in the winter, I try very hard to wear warm gloves always.

MS is caused by nerve damage. Much of which, especially long term symtoms is not reversible. As for solumedrol vs. cortisone. Solumedrol is MUCH higher in dosage then any cortisone shot; however I have tried cortisone shots in my arms and even in my neck area, where the pain radiates from- they help, but only for a very short time. Possibly a month. Im now exploring the idea of a spinal block (like an epidural) which is supposed to be much more effective and longer lasting. Solumedrol doses in the past have done absolutely NOTHING for my tingling pain or numbness, however I have always had success with that method for eye related, or leg related weakness. Solumedrol is an "all over' type reduction of inflammation, whereas the shot, is a specific - what they call trigger point- injection, specifically geared towards reducing inflammation in a specific muscle.

I hope this helps you somewhat.....be very careful with not continuing the Chiro, it cant help you long term and can actually do more damage then good. Same with PT, only try it if the therapist has extensive knowledge about MS and Neurological conditions. PT can also manipulate the nerves, which is not necessarily a good thing....as for for the TMJ. I had the surgery many years ago, and fixed that problem in under an hour! Thats never come back. A good Oral Surgeon can help you with your jaw issue....maybe get a consult?

Hope you feel better soon.
Nikki
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:32 PM   #6
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Re: Arm Pain & Numbness

Thanks all!

Just to clarify, it is not the numbness that I am focusing on at the moment. It is the aching pain in my elbow, forearm and upper arm that I am trying to figure out the root cause of. The numbness and tingling I know comes from the neurological issues with MS. But does the ache and pain also?

I talked to my GP on Friday on something else and talked about it briefly with her. She also said to run it past the neuro and if he doesn't think it is MS, then they will refer me back to ortho to have some scans or xrays of my elbow.

I am not seeing the chiro for my arm, nor have I seen him for my jaw since before the new year.

 
Old 03-27-2010, 07:31 PM   #7
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Re: Arm Pain & Numbness

I think you have done the right thing in speaking with your doctor. With any luck this is not MS and it should be treatable. If it is MS related, ice packs may relieve. When I get pain in my leg (MS related), I use a heating pad. You might try the heating pad.
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