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VHDud78 07-01-2015 02:40 PM

ALS? Very Scared
Hey everyone. About 3 months ago i started getting tingling/weakness in my left arm. I saw physical therapy and it pretty much cleared up. I went back to weight lifting with light weights. After a few weeks of lifting again I began getting sensations in my neck..range of motion in my neck was poor...hand coordination was poor..dizzy..and I was beginning to get cramping in my right leg. I went to a neuro 2 months ago. My exam was normal. He suspected an onset of MS. MRI was normal. He said, "You're fine." My orthopedic doctor ordered physical therapy. My range of motion in my neck is back...but my legs still feel Charley Horsed. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking on a weird surface. It feels like my legs are heavy.I sometimes have pins and needles feeling in my legs, too. I saw another neurologist today. My exam was normal. He looked at the MRI of my brain and he said it was normal. I asked him if it could be ALS. He laughed and said, "I'll check for that..but your exam was normal and nothing stuck out. It's not very likely. " He said patients with ALS typically get pains later as the disease progresses. He ordered an MRI of my lower back and an EMG. I feel like I'm living in fear. I can walk..but it's very awkward and sometimes I feel like I'm going to fall over. With two normal you think I'm clear of ALS and I simply have nerve impingement? I keep reading that ALS is motor neuron and won't cause any sensations.

ChuckStr 07-02-2015 11:54 PM

Re: ALS? Very Scared
It doesn't sound like ALS at all. It doesn't sound like your neuro found clinical weakness in your exam so I'm not sure why ALS would be in the differential. Also, your symptoms are way too much about "feeling".

I would get your neuro to order a cervical MRI as well. Cervical spinal cord compression can cause all of the symptoms you mention. The leg heaviness, pins and needles and hand clumsiness are all hallmark symptoms of Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy(CSM) which is the syndrome caused by cervical spinal cord compression. The feeling you describe where you feel like you're walking on an uneven surface is probably due to a loss of what's known as proprioception (awareness of yourself in space). This is also a common complaint in CSM.

So, yes I think it is very unlikely you have ALS.

VHDud78 07-03-2015 10:55 AM

Re: ALS? Very Scared
Hi Chuck.

An orthopedic surgeon already did an MRI of my neck and said it was normal. The neurologist that I just recently went to contacted my orthopedic doctors office and they sent over the images. Today I went walking and my right leg really started cramping and I started to get dizzy. I'm hoping it's lower lumbar.

ChuckStr 07-03-2015 03:24 PM

Re: ALS? Very Scared
The original upper body symptoms definitely sound like a pinched nerve especially with the loss of range of motion in the neck. The problem with conventional MRIs is that they only show your spine in perfect alignment. In extension, the area for the nerves and spinal cord can be reduced by 35% and injury at that point can cause compression that isn't really visible on standard MRI. Often spine specialists will order flex/extension x-rays as well which will sometimes show issues. This is more common in people with a little bit of instability in the spine. This will show up in MRI as retro/antero listhesis. Do you recall a particular time of onset of the arm/neck symptoms? Was it during lifting or twisting? If so, that could be the issue there. Another possibility with the upper body symptoms is a brachial plexus injury. That would have been initial, very severe, arm/shoulder pain resolving after a few days to a few weeks with overlapping weakness.

Lower lumbar nerve compression could definitely account for the symptoms in your lower body but obviously wouldn't account for the upper body symptoms. As mentioned above though it is possible that was due to a separate cervical process. The dizziness is interesting. It could be the result of damaged proprioceptors in your legs.

Good luck and let us know the results of your other tests.

Medward 07-13-2015 06:12 PM

Re: ALS? Very Scared
Hopefully you don't have ALS. I have it and I'm not scared. Maybe I'm living in denial. My right hand started twitching to a point to take a pain pill.

VHDud78 07-28-2015 03:46 PM

Re: ALS? Very Scared
Hey Folks. I went to a very well known chiropractor/wellness doctor here in town. He figured me out in 2 visits. I have a few things wrong. My C1 is way out of alignment. I also have arthritis at c6. Because of my neck issues the nerves in my thoracic spine are pretty much choking. I have some degeneration at L5. My hip is way out of alignment and I'm applying more pressure to the right side of my body. I right foot is much flatter than my left. So that's why it feels like I'm walking on an uneven surface. I've had a few adjustments and I'm beginning to feel better. My hands aren't stiff or weak. My leg pain has almost diminished. I'm beginning to walk a little straighter. My range of motion is has improved in my neck. I'm still not 100%..but the chiro said it would take a while for the atlas to re align again.

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