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Old 09-19-2008, 04:57 AM   #1
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Cant raise either arm, both shoulders to painful

Hi everyone, I woke this morning with both arms to painful to move. Could not lift my coffe without spilling it. Feels like something is pinching in my right shoulder. I know its coming from the spine, my upper back has been so sore.
The pain is radiating to the bicep area in the left arm. Anyone experiance the same. PM appointment monday & I am desperate to try to figure out what area is causing this. Thanks for taking time to read this, Sammy

 
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Old 09-19-2008, 06:58 AM   #2
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Re: Cant raise either arm, both shoulders to painful

Sorry to hear you are hurting so. You know, before my ACDF I had the exact same problem. I didn't even have any neck pain. My OS thought I tore my rotator cuff again and the pain was so excruciating he rushed my surgery. Turned out my shoulder was fine minus a few spurs. Both of us stumped for weeks and the pain getting worse by the day, especially after being in a sling, we both deduced that perhaps it could be my neck.

I had an MRI done, sure enough two very large herniations were impinging my spinal cord. I had the ACDF done and viola, pain totally gone! So yes I relate completely.

When was the last time you had an MRI done? It might be time to check again to see what's going on. If all turns out OK then it could be your rotator cuff(s).

I started having problems again over the last few months, now understand I'm anti-steriod injections, but knowing I have a history of bursitis I begged the PM to do an injection to rule out it was my neck again. I know I have 2 new herniations and broken hardware so that was my first thought. At any rate it seems to have done the trick for now.

Let us know what the doctor thinks and please don't ignore it. I know how bad the pain can get and feel so bad for you.

Keeping you in my thoughts
Kissa
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:01 AM   #3
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Re: Cant raise either arm, both shoulders to painful

Thank you so much Kissa, I had decompression done last jan in the left shoulder. I know its coming from the spine, ended up with a awful headache last night I could feel it starting in my neck. I know I had tendonitis/burstitis & arthritis in the left & dont doubt there is something in the right but the pain & ROM problem remained in the shoulder even after the surgery.
Where was your problem at? I am in so much pain in the mornings with that right shoulder, that is unusual for that much pain there. I have had a alot of pain in the upper back lately to. I have a feeling its all coming from one source.
My last MRI on the C was 2 years ago I believe.
I dont want anymore ESIs till I find what area is really causing this. I am curious to see where your problems were to see if its one of the areas my PM talked about.
I so appreciate your time. I was really hoping someone would have some knowledge of this type of problem. To be honest it gets scary when both arms are effected. My hands are feeling abit week to. Especially the thumb on the left hand, it can hurt like mad.
please let my know what you think. Sammy

 
Old 09-21-2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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Re: Cant raise either arm, both shoulders to painful

My shoulder pain, as it relates to my neck at that time, was all over the place, it was on the front, side and back and felt like it was inside the joint. The pain began to shoot down my arms and probably some of the worst pain I've ever had. Imagine if you will, not even being able to use the restroom because just sitting there was so excruciating. I've had pain in my life but never like that without it being something post op.

I had numbness in my thumb, pointer and index finger as well and extreme weakness in my right arm. Left appeared fine. Basically the same symptoms you had. Never once did I have neck pain which is why I had shoulder surgery even after and MRI indicated no tears. We were so sure it was a tear.

The pain was so severe I would take my pain medication, wait for it to kick in and use a heating pad on my shoulder (again absolutely no neck pain), sleep 3 hours, wake up, rinse and repeat. I lived like this for months until the surgery was done. According to the nuero surgeon it was literally in the nick of time, my spinal cord was being severely compromised and the herniations that had shown on the MRI had grown quite large in that short period of time from November to February.

Lately the pain is frontal and in the joint which is why I had an injection in my shoulder, more of an indication of bursitis. The injection helped so it was on the money. But once in a blue moon (it's been 3 weeks) I do get a sharp shoulder pain. Numbness is always there in my fingers.

I refuse cervical injections, had them and they didn't help. ESI's or steriod injections as a whole only work for swelling, things that are damaged or herniated, it will not help at all. My own PM admitted this during my injection. I did the shoulder injection to rule out my neck and had had them in the past when I first started having bursitis issues at age 20 so I knew, for me, if that didn't do the trick it's back to the neck. Not saying you should have injections in your shoulder, in fact I wouldn't even do it until you know for a fact what the problem is. Steriods are bad for your joints, cartilage and ligaments when done repeatedly.

Because both of your arms are affected the likelyhood of a torn rotator is pretty slim unless you did something major to both arms at the same time. Have you lifted any cars recently? (just a little humor)

Rotator problems generally do not cause numbness, bursitis generally does not cause numbness either unless your bursa is so swollen it might be pinching a nerve. I suspect is is your C-Spine and really encourage you to get a new MRI done since it is both arms.

I can tell you rotator cuff tears are pretty painful as well. The last one I had I was unable to lift my arm above my head, in fact I couldn't lift it to a level horizontal position from my body. It was incredibly weak and my bursa sac actually became so full of fluid it popped out of the joint and it looked as though I had a baseball stuck under my shoulder skin.

The primary disks invovled at the time of my ACDF were C4 - C7. Each disk has a set of nerves that correlate to it, when impinged certain fingers will often be numb. There's a map called a dermatone map that clearly defines which disk relates to which set of nerves.

I still have numbness in both hands/fingers. I have new herniations and am maybe 5 years post op? I forget, I've had so many operations. A year after my surgery I was rear ended while at a dead stop, it broke some of my screws. I have gotten several MRI's since then and it has shown that between the last one and the one previous, which was less than a year apart, a 4.5 cm herniation has grown. I also have permanent muscle and soft tissue damage as a result. Debating myself wether to go under the knife agian or not. My neck probably causes the worst pain of all my joints and I get massive headaches.

When the shoulder pain started I thought oh no here we go again, I'm just glad as far as my shoulder itself so far so good.

Can you ask your PM to do another cervical? That's how I ended up getting my last one. He's pretty good when I ask him about having things checked out as he knows my long history of joint problems etc. I didn't go to the neuro about it, still haven't as he's rude. I'm not sure how much longer I can go on like this though.

Last time I went he told me nothing was wrong other than broken screws and ignored the small herniations (which are now large). He said his surgery was perfect so he wasn't the problem. Not sure what it is with nuero's but that's the mindset around here.

Good luck to you, please get an MRI done, even if it's just for piece of mind!
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:05 AM   #5
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Re: Cant raise either arm, both shoulders to painful

Kissa, Thank you so much, the PM has worked (ESIs) I believe at the C7 level, I am asking him today since I have my follow up. I had the T1 done & had so much other pain its hard to tell how much relief or whether I got any real relief or not from that ESI, I mangaged to go without my rib binder so perhaps there was some small difference. I dont know it that makes sense but when I have so much discomfort & pain from one area it can kind of radiate enough to make it difficult to be able to tell how much an ESI may of helped alleviate anything in another area.

I know exactly what you are talking about with that pain. I would have dry heaves from it when it was out of control & still do. If I moved the left arm at all or push on that area it would flare up the pain, even the Rehab. doctor who was treating me would not move or touch the area at times out of fear of causing more pain. I had more front pain at the time & now it is pretty much as you described, all over the place.
I am in awful pain today & for some reason its hit my back between my shoulders & abit lower, feels like someone has a belt around me & wont loosen it up. Its excrucitaing & I am really glad I have an appointment today. If it gets any worse I wont be able to take it. I am counting the minutes down till my next pain meds are due. I cant believe how bad the pain & pressure are.

I do believe some of the shoulder problems contributed to the all around pain before the surgery so I wont say it was not needed, but I am still left with the majority of pain & its increasing with the symptoms moving into the right side. I have been getting cervical headaches just in this past month on & off.
I am hoping this will help my PM out when it comes to trying to figure out whats going on. I have had so many MRIs on other areas & that is the one test my insurance must pre-approve. I am really thankful you explained how rapid yours progressed. I am not one who fully trusts all those tests anyway.

I will say something is definantly wrong. I had several mornings I could not lift my arms & kept spilling or dropping things. The pain in the right shoulder was really intense the other like you described deep pain, hard to actually describe. It did feel like a pinching pain at times. My left arm hurts pretty bad today, wirst area & thumb, along with weakness in my hand. The pain is going around to the front of my ribs, I feel like a tremendous amount of pressure in the back this morning & that started last night.
Yesturday it hurt to the bi & tricept area. Every darn day can be different & I think that is throwing me off & perhaps my PM to. I can so relate to what you were saying & really makes me wonder if there is a hernitation of some sort. I am looking back at my last MRI results soon as I can.
I went through all the injections on the shoulder before the surgery with not any real relief & that is a process I do not want to repeat.
Does anything I am describing to you sound familier? I am really listening to what you are sharing with me & beginning to wonder. The pain I have can be so hard to describe, but when you said it was kind of all over the place that really caught my attention.
In my line of work, which was pretty physical in the past I have no doubt I hurt or damaged something along the line there. I am still working but not as much & this has me really worried, no way could I have made it in today if I was due to work.
You very well could have giving me some clues I have been looking for, so I cant thank you enough for you time. I will dig up my last MRI results & see what was in them. I am pretty sure it did say something about a small herniaton or bulging, I know it meniton DDD in the cervical & a couple other small problems. I will let you know & see what my PM has to say today. Once again thank you so much for your time & I hope you do not end up suffering to much, when will you be going in to your doctor? Good luck & let me know.
God bless, Sammy

 
Old 09-22-2008, 12:56 PM   #6
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Re: Cant raise either arm, both shoulders to painful

Just reading your response brings back the sense of extreme pain I had with my shoulder due to my c-spine. I never want to go there again, it scares me. Living with daily pain is one thing, but living with excruciating pain to the point you can't function, think or move is another. I would never wish that my worst enemy.

I hope your appointment today went well for your or at least maybe could get you some of the diagnostic test(s) you need. A herniation can grow quickly, slowly and even be absorbed. Looking at the last two MRI's I had done the C3 grew it seems from just over 1 mm (not cm as I indicated) to the 4.5 or so it is now. My lumbar though is a different story. Hadn't had one in years and was herniated all the way down but it appears the smaller ones are now gone. Didn't think it possible but still have that large one on L5.

Anyhow, my point was that, if you did, or even didn't have a herniation there could be one now and it could be impinging on nerves or spinal cord. Mine impinged to the right hence the right arm pain. Before the surgery it did hurt some in the left shoulder and arm but was insignificant compared to the 4 months of torture I went through on the right side.

You are right something is definately wrong here. Please be persistant with your doctor or doctors. If it is a nerve impingement problem the longer it is left untreated the risk of permanent damage is increased.

I'll tell you something though I remember the day I had my ACDF done. The pain was so excruciating that when they tried to lay me down on the operating table I screamed. Instead of putting on the sleeping mask they did the injection first to knock me out before they could place me on my back.

Now here's the funny part. When I woke up, other than this fog I always get post op, especially with high levels of pain meds flowing through my system the first thing I said to my husband and the nurse standing there was "it's gone, it's completely gone" I began to wail my arms around. The nurse freaked out, yelled at me not to move. I told her but you don't understand, I lived with the worst shoulder pain for months and that was the first time ever since the pain started that it was gone, completely!!!

I was so estatic that the pain was gone, really gone! It never came back either. Occasional bursitis/arthritis pains like recently, but no more of that pain like you suffer from now. If only all my surgeries stopped pain that fast I'd be a happy camper!

Keep us updated!!
Many Blessingings,
Kissa
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:57 AM   #7
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Re: Cant raise either arm, both shoulders to painful

Kissa, I was in such pain from the mid back up & then after coming home from ER & waking up this morning the pain was going from my mid back down to the very bottem of the lumbar. Pressure, just a ton of pressure. Now my neck feels stiff & I dont want to turn it at all, I can feel the pain starting on the left side & trying to go up the side of the head. Did you feel alot of pressure with you herniation & did the pain travel at all? I am really kind of scared about it going into the lower back like that. Pretty much my entire back hurts along with that left arm & the pain is wrapping around that left rib, even can go down to the hip area. Anything sound familier to you?
I am due for the MRI at 8:00pm & pray something comes from it. My PM said when I was in today that he feels there is alot of mucsle invovlement along with nerve pain. I just dont know anymore. I am sick of this & looking for any clues I can get. Thank you so much for your time, I am curious to see if you felt alot of pressure in any areas. Hope to hear from you soon. Sammy

 
Old 09-25-2008, 08:43 AM   #8
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Re: Cant raise either arm, both shoulders to painful

you have gotten some really great advice from kissa about just how your spinal cord being affected can create absolute hell in certain areas of our bodies. been there done that one too ya know? what you keep mentioning about this 'pressure' you are feeling really brings me back to before my cavernoma was removed from inside my cord days? i had sooo much freaking pressure from under that shouderblade area just from that cav even being there that it felt like the alien baby was going to suddenly pop out from under that blade. it was horrid pressure and prying sensations from hell that tormented me 24/7 just becasue the problem was IN my cord and was just there,always sitting there. i really do think,as i mentioned in your other post too,that obtaining that full spinal MRI really would be in your very best possiible interest right now sammy,really. like kissa mentioned,spinal issues can change VERY quickly over time and it doesn't take much either. they can just progress that fast at times. and when you think about everything that has been pushed and pulled and the insane way you move in your sleep sammy,anything is entirely possible up there,ya know? anytime you are sent to a specialist for spinal issues they want the MRI you have to be done at least within the past six months,thats how much certain issues can change. six months. considering that you already had issues up inthe c spine area alone really ups that need for that follow up c spine and also the rest of your spine as long as you are getting that one area redone,the cost wont be as much like if you just had the c done then had to go back at some point for that T to be done? you know what i mean? they can do it all in one shot for you. and you simply really DO need to get a good hard look at the T spine too right now.

its just time for you to start getting a bit more demanding towards finding reasons for what has been going on already for way too freaking long without any answers yet ya know? they have to start somewhere and it might as well be that spinal MRI. this would at least rule it in or out and them you can move on. i would just plead your case to your PM at this point and beg him to just do this for you if you have to,you just need to know ya know? tell him it is for YOUR own peace of mind and will help YOU in just knowing if nothing else. this IS affecting you way too much right now and believe me you have every right to be confused,angry and feel a bit depressed too. this just all simply sucks sammy. just explain to your PM how truely vital knowing whether or not your spine is playing a part in all this actually is. or just ask him to tell you exactly what is going on and why. if he cannot tell you that,you simply need to start ruling things out to get to the 'why' ya know?

just where exactly did they do that MRI on you? you didn;t state that part in the above post hon. i hope something actually showed just so you know anything at this point ya know? please let us know when you find out the results hon. i do hope they did all levels of your spine with this or at least thru the T spine area. hang in there hon,marcia
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:10 AM   #9
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Re: Cant raise either arm, both shoulders to painful

Marcia & kissa, Thank you both I put some info. in my other post on being in ER, I really wish they would do the entire spine, just the C & T have been done but never the Lumbar, I have had a doctor tell me in the past that he felt there was definantly problems in that lower back, but he was a naturalistic doc & not all doctor respect their opinions, but if nothing comes from the C & T I am going to push for the lumbar to be done. I need to know. I still have the pressure & pain from the upper back between the shoulders but my lower back hurt all day. What do I have to loose by having the lumbar done. My husband said he think because the majority was in the neck & upper back that the PM focused on those areas, although I told him the entire back hurt he was not concerned with the lumbar. Confusing when I hear people getting pain in abit higher locations & the problems were in the lumbar. I have yet to hear the results from the MRI which was done wed. night. I simply cant believe with all this pain they cant locate the source. I have continued to have pain in the neck & head daily but also pain in the entire back.
Marcia if you think back I never really had much pain in the actual back.
What ever is going on its effecting my arms/shoulder & neck/head.
I am falling a sleep more which is really no me, even my husband is commenting on how fast I will just nod off anytime of the day. That is before starting any new meds.
I just dont get it. I will have to break down & let them test for MS if nothing comes up soon. I do have MS in my family & not sure if that matters or not.
Both shoulders are more effected since this back stuff began.
Alot of pressure in my back. that I cant figure out. I am not sure if a problem in on area of the back can cause pressure in other areas.
Like if there is something is the lumbar can it create pressure in the C or T area? Kissa have you experianced anything like that?
I did look up herniated disc & sure do fit most symptoms.
I dont know what I will do if nothing shows in this MRI, I am scared. NO way is nothing going on with this kind of pain.
Something has to be causing all of this. Any opinions?
Bless you both for taking the time for me, Kissa I still am curious if you had that feeling of pressure in you back, if you can please let me know.
Thanks & god bless, Sammy

 
Old 03-20-2010, 01:52 AM   #10
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Re: Cant raise either arm, both shoulders to painful

HI first of all im Aaron a 22 year old from the uk i am currently employed as a carpet fitter, and in this past week or so i have not been able to sleep properly because of sharp stabbing pains in both my shoulder, at the front of the body, i have obviously felt pain before but nothing absolutely nothing tht compares to this, i cant sleep on either side i can even barely move my arms, i wake up in agony as if im going to cry, its making frustrated angry and helpless, i have been taking nurofen but that doesnt seem to be doing anything, i did consider going to the doctors but im kinda of weary because a) i realllly dont like making a fuss i mean its probably nothing ive probably just pulled the muscles or something and b) i just really dont like finding out my future i mean i cant have surgery or anything like that!!! that will ruin my career and i simply cannot stop working! on a typical day BOTH shoulder hurt sooooo much when i wake up but when it gets to around 9-10 o'clock (when ive been working a couple of hours) the pain dulls down n i think thats because i have heated the muscle up im not too sure! anyways i need some more information please am i just being fussy or is there something seriously wrong with my shoulders? i dont wanna waste the doctors time when he could be treating someone that needs help! what would u recommend i do? i cannot stress to you enough how much pain i get when i wake up, i literally cannot move both my arms and i feel like im crippled or something!! a post back would be most helpful many thanks Aaron xx

 
Old 03-20-2010, 01:58 AM   #11
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Re: Cant raise either arm, both shoulders to painful

HI first of all im Aaron a 22 year old from the uk i am currently employed as a carpet fitter, and in this past week or so i have not been able to sleep properly because of sharp stabbing pains in both my shoulder, at the front of the body, i have obviously felt pain before but nothing absolutely nothing tht compares to this, i cant sleep on either side i can even barely move my arms, i wake up in agony as if im going to cry, its making frustrated angry and helpless, i have been taking nurofen but that doesnt seem to be doing anything, i did consider going to the doctors but im kinda of weary because a) i realllly dont like making a fuss i mean its probably nothing ive probably just pulled the muscles or something and b) i just really dont like finding out my future i mean i cant have surgery or anything like that!!! that will ruin my career and i simply cannot stop working! on a typical day BOTH shoulder hurt sooooo much when i wake up but when it gets to around 9-10 o'clock (when ive been working a couple of hours) the pain dulls down n i think thats because i have heated the muscle up im not too sure! anyways i need some more information please am i just being fussy or is there something seriously wrong with my shoulders? i dont wanna waste the doctors time when he could be treating someone that needs help! what would u recommend i do? i cannot stress to you enough how much pain i get when i wake up, i literally cannot move both my arms and i feel like im crippled or something!! a post back would be most helpful many thanks Aaron xx

 
Old 03-20-2010, 02:01 AM   #12
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Re: Cant raise either arm, both shoulders to painful

Thank you so much Kissa,

 
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