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sudden weakness in shoulders and arms

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Old 05-20-2006, 03:13 PM   #1
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sudden weakness in shoulders and arms

Can a long spell of anxiety/worry cause you to feel weak?? Today i am suffering alot of weakness in my upper arms and into my back across my shoulder blades. They feel heavy and weak. I felt fine all day then i was taking down my daughters pack and play and cleanin up a little bit and it hit me all of a sudden that was about 3 hours ago and i still feel weird. I feel tingly and weak in the back of my neck also and kinda sick to my stomache and have loose stools?? Does this sound like anxiety?? I have also been up since 6am and went yard saleing maybe i have just worn myself out but i cant shake this feeling. I took .5 of ativan about an hour ago to see if that would help but its not, i also keep having hot sweats, i am getting worried and wondering if i should go to the ER. My mom said no that they said my heart is fine and its not my heart but im still worried.

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Old 05-21-2006, 12:10 AM   #2
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Re: sudden weakness in shoulders and arms

stress and anxiety can cause havoc through out your whole body. Try deep breathing excercises, meditation. If it gets worse call your doctor

take care
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Old 05-21-2006, 04:35 PM   #3
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Re: sudden weakness in shoulders and arms

Well i made yet another trip to the ER lastnite and they admitted me and i was there for about 21 hours. They did the normal stuff, baby asprin, lopressor, nitro patch, ekg's, blood work, chest xray and once again i was told my heart is just fine. What started it this time was my shoulder and shoulder blades and arms got so weak and heavy i could hardly move them, i got sick to my stomache, sweaty and felt awful. I took an ativan to see if that would calm me down and it didnt. I waited 4 hours and the weakness and heaviness feeling was still there so i went to the ER. The ER doctor said i should just go ahead with the cardiac cath or i will be doing these trips to the ER for the rest of my life till i know for sure if i have heart disease or not, that the nuclear stress test and echo always have a chance at being wrong. They moved me upstairs and i talked to a nurse for a bit she tried to talk to me about my symptoms and why i always think its my heart. One nurse also told me that if the nitro patch gives you a headache that it means it wasnt cardiac related?? Anyone ever hear that?? The doctor came in to see me today and said my heart is fine and he doesnt think i need a cardiac cath. Everyone keeps saying anxiety and stress can cause all the symptoms i have, i believe that but what about if they are wrong?? When do i start believing the doctors and get on with some sort of a normal life??? He also said that if my newest echo isnt showing MVP that most likely i was misdiagnosed with it back 5 years ago cause the testing is better now than it was and they diagonsed alot of people with it back then that really didnt have MVP. He is the 3rd doctor that has told me that if i had it then it would show, so that there confues me even more. All i want is to feel NORMAL!!!!!!!!!!! UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Old 05-21-2006, 04:44 PM   #4
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Re: sudden weakness in shoulders and arms


I'm sorry about the problems you are having. But believe me you are not alone!
I get all kinds of weird anxiety symptoms and they include weakness and numbness in certain parts of the body and the feeling of passing out. I just had an attack Friday night. Both of my arms felt weak and heavy then I started losing sensation in both of my hands. I went into the bathroom to try to calm myself down because I that point I felt faint too. After about 20 minutes I got myself under control and the feelings subsided.
You know I really believe sometimes these symptoms can come on because of lack of sleep. I had a rough week and found it hard to sleep all week. I think the stress just built up with lack of sleep and triggered all of these symptoms.
I hope you feel better. Take care of yourself--try to eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and get a lot of rest and sleep.

Old 06-01-2006, 02:48 PM   #5
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Re: sudden weakness in shoulders and arms

I've been having the "weak & heavy" arms feeling off and on for the past 3 weeks.

For a while I had a real bad string of derealization (my first time) and it literally freaked me out. After that went away my arms started feeling a little heavy. I figured it was just stress and my Shrink told me it was just a physical reaction of the anxiety, anyone ever had this before??

Now it's driving my mind NUTS because I can't stop thinking about my arms before I move them.

Old 06-08-2006, 12:34 PM   #6
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Re: sudden weakness in shoulders and arms

In trying to understand what's going on, I think you need to look at the order in which events occur. For example, my hands and forearms have felt weak for the past week or so. Part of my brain is telling me that they feel weak because I have MS. The other part of my brain is telling me that they feel weak because I'm currently freaked out as hell about MS. I read up on MS for hours and hours and wouldn't you know arms and hands started to feel weak.

When I went to the doc and complained about this weakness (among other symptoms), he asked me to go over to a heavy examination table and lift it off the ground with each arm (one arm at a time). I did so, and he said to me..."alright, you feel like your arms are weak, this is a subjective feeling. But from a completely objective point of view, they are not weak. You're perfectly capable of lifting heavy objects with your arms. A person with MS or ALS with true weakness in their arms would not be able to do what you just did."

All of this goes to show that when doctors speak about MS (or another disease)causing muscle weakness, they mean that it causes muscle weakness that can be identified during a neurological exam. They're not just talking about a subjective feeling of weakness. I'm talking about MS here, but the same thing goes for other disorders. Fatigue means overwhelming can't-get-out-of-bed fatigue, loss of balance means falling over, loss of vision does not mean seeing floaters, it means losing the ability to see colour, discriminate objects, etc.

Old 06-08-2006, 02:25 PM   #7
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Re: sudden weakness in shoulders and arms

The more tests we do, the more info we learn about our bodies. I went to the hospital in middle May for chest pain, etc. Becuase of my family history they did an entire work up including a cat scan of the heart. Well, today I am hanging out and get a call from my doctor that he just got my radiology report and on the cat scan was a 2mm shadow of "unknown nature" Now, 2mm is tiny, the tip of a pencil basically. I have never been a smoker and I am 38 so I am young. My doc says I should do a follow up scan in 6 months to see if it has grown but that both he and the radiologist think it is nothing to worry about, it could be a scar from a bronchitis or some chest sickness (which of course I can never remember having). Now I will have to figure out how to deal with the next 6 months waiting to hear if this thing has grown. My point is, if I had never had the panic attack and gone to the hospital, I would never know about this lung thing. Is it a good thing or bad thing? I will worry for 6 months+ because it is there and it may be nothing or something. Ugh!

Old 06-09-2006, 11:01 AM   #8
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Re: sudden weakness in shoulders and arms

I can totally relate to the "weak" feeling. Mine was mostly in my legs, though. I did have some in my arms, too. I thought for sure I had ALS or MS, and I went to TWO neurologists. The first one just blew me off as a wack-o, so I went to another one, and he was soooo nice and understanding. He said basically the same thing about not being able to lift anything--that I couldn't have a neuromuscular disease. I wound up taking Paxil and Klonopin for a while, and from time to time I STILL have that feeling, though not nearly as pronounced. I try to just go about my daily activities as usual and not give it any attention...Hang in there!!!!

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