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  • Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

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    Old 03-23-2004, 04:38 PM   #1
    Searching Eagle
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    Question Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    Hello,
    I have had a back injury since 1992. It reaccures about every yr. Since the yr. 2000 I have been out of work because of it. My injury originated at the T 7 - the T 10 with muscle spasms from that area through the neck area. I have in the last two years had MRIs done that only found two bulging discs in the C5 and C6 area of the neck. Since April of 2000 I have had knumbing in my hands, neck and the T7 - T10 areas. Since 1992 I have seen many doctors that treated me like I was to young to understand or didn't believe me about the severeity of the pain. I have tried to explain to the doctors that my tolorence for pain now is a good 5 times most peoples tololence. I have been to a chiropractor which seemed to make it feel worse. I have been in physical therapy 5 times and the last time was for two years. It makes it feel better at the time but about a week after therapy I feel the muscles returning to original injury. Since April of 2000 I have had knumbing in my hands that as the muscles get worse with spasms travels up my arm, also I go knumb in my neck and the knumbing in my back travels from the T7 - the T10 down my side. I have been seen by two neurologists and one said I don't have carpal tunnel syndrome yet the other says I do but neither one tested my neck or my back. The one that says I do have carpal tunnel. made a guess that my knumbing is from my thorasic muscles, and claims the bulging discs in my neck couldn't cause knumbing because it is only a minor bulging. My question is can mucle spasms cause knumbing? Can anyone help me?
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    Old 03-24-2004, 04:40 AM   #2
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    Re: Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    [LEFT]For better answer please explain: You said: injury; did you have an accident, do you have some underlying disease (spondilytis, arthritis...) or you just meant that bulgig discs were discovered at that time? Can you say "knumbing" in other words?
    To find "minor" bulging on MRI it doesn't mean it can't cause great problems. And perhaps myelography should be done, because this gives (as I know) the most accurate picture about "what is there". (This investigation is taken before every spine surgery, where spinal cord or spinal nerves could be the cause of the problem).
    Carpal tunnel syndrome rise from inflammation of tendons in the wrist and is most often caused by repeated overuse of the wrist, injury, arthritis. Symptoms are always distal to the wrist - that is in the wrist, hand and fingers and never travel up the arm.
    Muscle spasms can be the reaction to pain - body tries to hold the position which doesn't cause pains. Or the spasms are caused by direct pressure of the bulging disc on spinal nerves. Pressure on the cervical nerves would cause spasms in the arm, and pressure on the thoracic nerves spasms in chest and back. The same pressure can cause weakness or numbness of related area.

    Your first aim should be to get the precise diagnosis; it seems that there are more parts of your spine affected (so what is the underlying condition: is it weakness of connective tissue, spondilitys...) But even if it stays only the bulging disc on the end, there's a minor operation available now: endoscopic discectomy which can be performed at outpatients'.[/LEFT]

     
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    Old 03-24-2004, 06:08 AM   #3
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    Re: Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    sounds kind of like what i have. except i dont have any pain in the arms. i only have pain in the shoulder and neck. i do occasionally also get weird pains in my chest if i bend over. the shoulder pain seems to come on without warning but i can create it by bending my neck as far forward or backward as it will go. i dont have any mri results though so im not sure what it is. from what i read it seems i have symptoms of both cervical and thoracic disc problems but neither of them are complete symptoms. no arm or rib pain. the only time i can actually know the pain will come is when i jog or to crunches at the gym. other than that it is spontanious.

     
    Old 03-24-2004, 07:00 AM   #4
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    Re: Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    Hello Modrijan,
    Sorry for the unanswered questions. I think I have the same problem explaining to the doctors. My injury stems from a work injury. I use to assemble fiberglass ladders. From 3' to 12' platforms. There was a bench that helped form the ladder in a parralel form and when I finished the front I would have to yank it out of the bench and carry the front og the ladder to a table to put on the accessories then bring it back to the form bench push it back in and assemble the back of the ladder. After the back was made I had to yank it back out and bring it back to the table to finish putting on the rest of the acccessories. It took a whole day to make 6 12' ladders if you rushed. I had made 6 12' ladders one day then went to my second job for another 8 hrs. By the morning of the second day I was a little sore then I was told the company needed 6 more 12' ladders. By the 3rd. ladder I felt like I had yanked one out wrong and the pain started to gradually get worse. I finished the 6 ladders but had to go to the second floor to get someone else to move the last ladder so I could put the accessories on. He asked if I was ok because tears were automatically comeing out because of the pain. Now, I am not someone that cries at the drop of a hat or anyting so for him to see me that way worried him. I went home that night instead of going to my second job and soaked hopeing it would help. By the morning I was not able to turn my head and could barely breath from the pain.Though I was such pain I still drove myself to the hospital. I hope this has answered your question of if it was an injury or a disease. I have been checked for arthritis and found just a touch on one or two of the bones but even the doctors were suprised since my age is 39. They said they normally see more in someone of my age. It also is not my weight since I am maybe 70 pounds over wieght. I will find another doctor and discuss with him about the myelography. My doctor has given up at whats wrong and sent me to a pain clinic. I am not ready to give up. I want to get back to work which means I need to find out what is wrong. Thank you for suggesting the myelography. As for your it looks, confusion, about the discs. The discs are bulging in the neck and the mid back is more the doctors say to be just muscle spasms. I keep asking if that is the problem then why does th pain always star in one place in the back and as it gets worse moves through the upper back, and if that is the problem then why am I ging knumb in the back. so far noone has answered my questions. That is why I am looking for another doctor. Thank you again for your help. Now I something else to discuss with the doctor. Have a nice day.
    Searching Eagle

     
    Old 03-24-2004, 04:04 PM   #5
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    Re: Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    [B][COLOR=Indigo][SIZE=3][FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium]If you are seeing a neurosurgeon, that is great, but if he is doing nothing for you you should find someone else. Another test that might be helpful is the MRI with contrast. Doctors usually reserve the myelogram for patients that they are pretty sure they will have to do surgery on. If you do have surgery suggested to you, please get a second opinion...fusion surgery should be the last choice. I wish you tons of luck in your search for help.
    Carol[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]
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    Old 03-24-2004, 10:07 PM   #6
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    Re: Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    Hello it hurts,
    Yes it sound much like me but it is not pain in the arm, it is knumbing. Have you seen a doctor at all about yours? If not I suggest going soon. Given propor therapy my help and to be sure it is not severe disc problems if the doctors do not suggest an MRI you suggest it. The longer you go without knowing the more chance you could make the problem worse.

    For Carol632
    I was not suggested that surgery was necessary, yet, but my doctors have given up so I am looking once again for a new one. That is why I am here. I am trying to research my problem so I can go into the next doctors office with a little ammo. They seem to treat me like a child or like an idiot. I am 39 but look about 29 yet move more like an 80 yr. old. I also hate those doctors that treat women like they are nothing.

    Thank you both for replying and hope life treats you better day by day.

     
    Old 03-25-2004, 03:55 AM   #7
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    Re: Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    Hello, Searching Eagle,
    I will try to sumarise what we all wrote down about your problem so far (to prevent confusion).
    From description of your work it seems very clearly that your problems are coming from there. I can't find anywhere what means "knumbing", howewer it is not important if it is coming from spasms, important is where do spasms come from (since you don't work currently if I understand you right).
    Our suggestions about diagnostic method was more like information - what's available. The doctor will be the one who will decide which diagnostic method will use. He will also recomend the treatment.
    If you will discus about surgery:
    -LAMINECTOMY is removal of little part of bone in spine to make more room for compromised nerves
    -DISCECTOMY is removal of part of intervertebral disc at the point where it compresses on the nerve.
    -FUSSION is filling the emptied space between two or more vertebra with bone or artifical material and is only done after larger laminectomy. After this the spine cannot be bent in that part.
    It's very important for you to tell the doctor the working part of your history along with DOCUMENTS with results of all investigations which have been done so far.

     
    Old 03-25-2004, 11:42 AM   #8
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    Re: Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    Hello Modrijan,
    Thank you for your information. I have been trying to figure out what all the different discussions in here. Sorry my spelling is not the greatest. I sound the words out and spell them the way it sounds. "Knumbing" is the tingleing feeling that if I don't stop it it starts to hurt. It literaly feels like if someone stuck a needle in the spot I would not feel it any different than the tingleing that is going on. You are correct if the fact that I am not working as of now. The spasms get worse if I lift a basket of laundrey and carry it down to the basement or cleaning the tub or standing to long at the sink to wash the dishes. I also try to do what the doctor told me to do which is to do sit ups and push ups but it causes spasms. The doctor said to continue anyway also to walk at a quickened pase for a mile but I maybe can do that about 100 ft. before it makes me drop in pain. I tell him and he says to do it anyway. I am angry that he doesn't understand the affects it is causing. I am now getting all my doctor and physical therapy notes and going through them. I figure the next time I go to a new doctor I will be able to show him or her what others have said and go from there. I have notice that any doctor I have seen basically doesn't look at previous doctors results. Thank you for your help. Have a nice day.

     
    Old 03-25-2004, 04:32 PM   #9
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    Re: Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    Maybe I am missing something here, but I do not understand why a doctor would be telling you to do situps and pushups!! Nor should you be walking at a quickened pace. I really, really, hope you stop as you could be doing more harm than good. I would urge you not to do anything in the way of exercise until you have been seen and evaluated by someone else. Something does not sound right about this doctor.
    If something causes pain and spasms then obviously it is not good for you!!
    I wish you much luck in finding someone who will deal with your problems.
    Carol
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    Old 03-25-2004, 07:55 PM   #10
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    Re: Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    Hello Carol 632
    Yes I have desided to stop the exercises. I was tired of all the pain. That is why I am looking for a new doctor. I spoke with someone today that gave me a pain management doctors name. She says he will give me a better understanding and be able to help with the pain. Thank you and have a nice day.

     
    Old 03-26-2004, 03:04 AM   #11
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    Re: Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    Hello Searching Eagle

    It's a general rule about exercises: You can do them only until pain appears and then you have to stop unless you will very likely to worsen your condition. It's a medical rule! Your doctor probably meant that you're just too tense and that you need some streching which would stop your spasms. Tingling (feeling something when you shouldn't), numbness (feeling nothing when you should) weakness and pain in affected part of the body are typical for pressure on the nerve or nerve root (from bulging disc or narrowed spinal canal or foramina through which spinal nerves come out from the spinal cord) or nerve injury or damage. Muscle spasms by themselves wouldn't lead to such symptoms as you described and spasms are very likely the consequence rather than the cause. Your neurologist (not your GP) will very likely suggest you an EMG (Electromyography) to find out this. It's a common procedure. All people with back problems who I know have had it.
    Please stop us if we are becoming to bother you.

    modrijan

     
    Old 03-26-2004, 09:37 AM   #12
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    Re: Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    Hello Modrijan,
    No please don't stop what you are doing. You are helping me understand what is going on in what I call laymin terms. Thank you for the spelling correction of numbness. I hope you understand that sometimes I get frustrated trying to explain what is going on with me and ussually it is when I am sitting to long and my back starts to talk to me while I am explaining so I end up sound annoyed or angry. I have stopped doing the exercises resently and I think the reason my doctor said wht he said was because he is almost at retirement age and can run 20 miles at a quick pace yet he sees a woman he says is slightly obeast, Yet I am only 70 lbs. overwieght, that can't even walk a long distance. In one sence it seems to think I am lying but in the other sence knows when he uses the pin wheel I don't feel a section of my back and knows I can't twist left or right more than a 10 or 20 degree motion. This is what is angering me. He is flip floping his words without pin pointing what is wrong. I want to get better to go back to work and if it is found I won't be able to I wish he would just say so. There is something I don't understand. I have had MRI's done on both thorasic area and neck area yet the only thing found is two slightly bulging discs in the neck. What could be causing the muscle spasms and numbness in the thorasic area if the MRI shows no discs bulging? The numbness accures when I hold something such as a baby in my arms and it gets so bad that I am afraid of dropping the baby and set it down. I have had an EMG but only on my hands because the neurologist automatically assumed it was carpal tunnel syndrome and check nothing else. He also did the test a little wierd. He made me bleed and if a nerve didn't get the reading he wanted he would reincert the pin and move it around till he got the reading he wanted. He said that he would not do a test on the thorasic area because it was probably just the muscles causeing the problem yet he didn't write anything about the thorasic in his report. What you wrote last was what I thought that the muscles are not the cause of the numbness and that there is a more prevelent problem but noone has found it yet. Thank you for your help and have a nice day.

     
    Old 03-26-2004, 07:48 PM   #13
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    Re: Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    Oh honey, please tell me you have either found a new dr, or are in the process of doing so!!!!!!! I'm sorry, but this man is doing more harm than good! How long ago was your MRI done? If your discs were only bulging before, they sure sound herniated now!
    NO amount of numbness is normal. NO amount of pain is normal. Granted, you may have arthritis that is considered more than is normal for your age; it happens. Unfortunate, but happens.
    Kinda sounds like you have a couple things going on. The pain in your thoracic area does sound like spasms, but they could be occuring because of the neck pain. When your neck hurts, you tense up, putting extra strain on your thoracic area. Plus, if the discs are herniated in your neck, they are not supporting the rest of your spinal column properly, causing more strain and more pain.
    Pain management is a wonderful way to treat pain, but you need DIAGNOSED properly first. PLEASE find a orthopedic or neurosurgeon SOON to get you the help and treatment you need!
    Keep us updated, and good luck!

     
    Old 03-26-2004, 10:17 PM   #14
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    Re: Thorasic and neck pain w/knumbing in back, neck, and hands

    Hello Nitengale,
    Yes I am looking for a new doctor but where I live they are few and far between that are not asociated through the community hospital here. I have found those doctors are not to good in any of the areas of medicine. The better doctors are about an hour and a half away, so to find one a little hard. I have one of my native american friends checking in her area for me. My last MRI was about two months ago and the doctor says it has not become any worse. They also say I don't show signs of arthritis, except a minute touch of one tip of a bone. He was glad about that. Yes you were right on the money about the neck and tension. I do my best to not stress about things so I don't tense up. My girlfriend can't understand how I can stay calm on most things but she doesn't the pain it causes when I don't stay calm. Thank you for writing and have a nice day.

     
    Old 03-26-2004, 10:36 PM   #15
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    Odd numbness & other symptoms that stump doctors

    [QUOTE=Searching Eagle]I use to assemble fiberglass ladders[/QUOTE] It sounds like the doctor who examined you said no carpel tunnel and the bulging discs not the problem directly?

    I was wondering if there are chemicals you were around in this fiberglass company? I know there are in the plastics and the dry cleaning business ... ones that cause the 'gulf war syndrome' symptoms. I find these to be rampant in the general population, too, but during war-time worse, because they don't know how debilitating too much exposure to 2-butoxyethanol (ethylene glycol monobutyl ether) is and the troops get exposed over and over and over ... and they get very advanced 'gulf war syndrome' symptoms even grande mal seizures; serious fatigue, suicidal tendencies, etc.

    Do you have fatigue? If so, first thing to check is your red blood cells
    (Retic ratio & what size are the red blood cells? What shape?)

    Some of these other things you mention ARE symptoms your body will give when it has too much of a chemical exposure (this chemical or other) [quote]Symptoms in order of most frequency: "(most common first) include: headache, sore throat, voice change or loss, constant humph, catarrh, unexpected tiredness, fatigue, [b]sore/watery/gritty eyes[/b], irritability, anxiety, depression, loss of concentration, short-term memory loss, reactions to other chemicals, dizziness, blocked nose, rhinitis, mouth ulcers, bad/metallic taste in mouth, lip sores, chest tightness, shortness of breath, chest pains, asthma, sinusitis, nasal discharge, nose bleeds, ulceration of nasal mucosa, [b]itchy burning skin, rashes[/b], dermatitis, aching joints and muscles, fibromyalgia, uncontrollable twitching, heart arrhythmia's, palpitations, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, tinnitus, earache, pins and needles, numbness in fingers and toes, Raynaudís Syndrome, menstrual irregularities, pain/difficulty urinating. Other areas of concern include liver damage, cancer, teeth and gum problems, reproductive effects and lack of interest in sex.

    Everyone should have this posted where they can check for new 'signals' your body is giving you .... that you may have a chemical exposure.[/quote]

    Well, I went looking and found out about fiberglass: [quote]Facts about Fiberglass

    [b]What is Fiberglass?[/b]
    Fiberglass, sometimes called fibrous glass, is a man-made fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is glass. Fiberglass is used in various ways, such as reinforcing plastic materials in sports cars, boats and bathroom fixtures; as insulation in buildings, stoves, refrigerators and furnaces and to manufacture certain textile products, such as fiberglass window drapes. The structure and size of these glass fibers vary. The smaller fibers, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, are suspected of entering the lungs, while larger, visible fiberglass particles can be irritating to the skin, eyes. nose and throat.

    [b]Who is Exposed?[/b]
    Workers in the building construction and maintenance industry, especially insulation workers, are at risk of exposure to fiberglass. Workers in the fiberglass manufacturing industry and automobile body repair workers may be exposed to the lung hazards of fiberglass and its associated chemicals in the workplace. According to the Federal Government, fiberglass is used in the manufacturing of about 20,000 products, and about 200,000 workers in the United States are exposed to it. Do it yourself homeowners who install fiberglass insulation or who disturb existing fiberglass insulation in the process of performing home repairs are also at risk.

    [b]How Does Exposure Occur?[/b]
    Workers using fiberglass may be exposed to airborne fibers from the fiberglass itself and to various chemicals associated with using it.

    FiberglassDirect contact with fiberglass materials or exposure to airborne fiberglass dust may irritate theskin, eyes, nose and throat. There is a possibility that these fibers cause permanent damage to the lungs or airways, or increase the likelihood of developing lung cancer. inhaling the fibers may irritate the airways, resulting in cough and production of excess mucus, a condition known as bronchitis.

    [b]Epoxy Resins Epoxy Resins are chemicals used in lacquers, varnishes and plastics, or in combination with other components to form plastics.[/b] They are also used to strengthen, harden, or give flexibility to fiberglass. Breathing epoxy resins may cause chest tightness, shortness of breath or wheezing. Skin contact can cause rash.

    [b]Styrene Styrene[/b] is part of the polyester resin used with fiberglass. It is extremely irritating to the eyes and nose at low concentrations; at higher concentrations it causes headache, dizziness, and sometimes nausea.

    [b]Acetone and MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) Acetone and MEK[/b] are commonly used solvents in fiberglass lay-up and spray-up. They are irritating to the eyes, nose and throat. Inhaling the vapors may cause drowsiness, breathing difficulties, and more serious damage to the lungs and nervous system.[/quote]

    Last edited by Dear Maggie; 03-26-2004 at 11:05 PM.

     
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