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Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

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Old 09-30-2007, 09:37 PM   #1
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Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

I have had this terrible neck and shoulder pain, even below the front of my neck. I have had numbness and tingling in my right arm for a couple of months too. I recently had an EMG done on my arm and it came back normal, thank goodness. Now, my primary care doc wants to do an mri of my c-spine. I was diagnosed with fibro a couple of years ago and don't know if I am just having a flare up with it or if it could be something different. I just got done with a six day prednisone pack and it didn't seem to work at all. I have also taken Flexeril, advil and aleve for the pain, but that didn't help either. Any ideas on what this could be? Should I do the mri or just wait to see a rheum doc (mine just recently retired). Thanks

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Old 10-01-2007, 06:36 AM   #2
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Re: Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

hi turtle!!!
how nice to see you here. missed ya kid.
better to have peace of mind and do the mri. then you will know for sure if you are in a flare or have something new to incorporate into your reality. pointless to waste precious energy with worry.
since i experience the same symptoms (went thru it just yesterday) and i have had more mri's than i can recall i know mine is fibro messing with me. it's gone today.
good luck with your new rheumy. hope you find trust with her/him.

Old 10-01-2007, 12:52 PM   #3
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Re: Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

Hi Blue,

Nice to hear from you too. I will keep you updated
I just want this pain to subside....ugh

Thanks again, turtle.

Old 10-01-2007, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

I have the exact same thing you do..right arm too..the tingling is driving me up the wall...I also just did the prednisone pack and no help at all..I have MS too and don't want to go to neuro because he will think it is MS..I know it isn't because the tingling is different, there is pain and it is aggravated by certain ways I lift my arm..also the prednisone should have helped if it was...
I'm new at this Fibro thing so I wasn't sure what the heck it was, by what you say though, we have the same thing and sounds like's been 6 weeks for me...I have to baby the arm and would like to get back into things I need to do..

Old 10-01-2007, 09:57 PM   #5
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Re: Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

Hi Turtle,

Did your dr. ever discuss Myofascial Pain Disorder? I have that in addition to Fibromyalgia. Essentially with Myofascial Pain Disorder you have muscle knots (called trigger points) found typically on each shoulder blade about midway down your back. There can also be knots and tightened areas around the neck, back, and front of the chest. These knots can be so bad that, like in my case, you can feel numbness and tingling down one or both arms. At one point, half my face was numb due to a knot in my neck. My neurologist performed an MRI with contrast and it came back normal.

I saw a Physiatrist (Dr. that specializes in Physical Therapy type issues) who gave me the diagnosis. Physical therapy and trigger point injections were suggested. Instead I saw an accupuncturist. She performed a method called cupping on each bad knot. This helped out tremendously and eventually the numbness and tingling went away.

Hope this helps. Good luck to you and I hope you feel better!

Old 10-02-2007, 11:49 AM   #6
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Re: Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

I have FMS & had those same symptoms. I had been painting at the time, looking up at the ceiling & holding a paint brush in my hand. I would wake up at night with this horrible burning pain in my neck that radiated down my right arm & hand. My hand strength seemed weak & I couldn't grip a glass without a significant amount of pain. I had to lay on my tummy & hang my arm over the side of the bed to try & get relief. I had several middle of the night hot baths after taking 800 mg of Ibuprofen. After an MRI of my neck & an EMG & NCS on my upper back, neck & arms, the neurologist diagnosed me with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I learned to pace myself more while painting or doing any projects where I have to look up. So far it's under control without having surgery. I hope you find relief soon.

Old 10-02-2007, 12:19 PM   #7
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Re: Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

I had an on the job shoulder injury in April 2005. I was initially diagnosed with muscle strain/sprain. From this I developed chronic myofascial pain syndrome. I have a lot of pain in my shoulder, neck, down my arm, and sometimes I have numbness and tingling down into my hand. I have done a lot of reading on the internet regarding this diagnosis, and all of my research indicates this problem should resolve at some point. However, after 2 1/2 years of dealing with this I remain on medication for pain, muscle spasms and numbness and tingling. I am being treated by a physiatrist who also gives a combination of trigger point injections/acupuncture. The thing that I have discovered is that I may feel the pain one place but the actual trigger point is somewhere else. There are areas of "referred" pain related to trigger points in different areas, and you can have a trigger point in almost any part of your body. I have multiple trigger points in my shoulder, and neck. The area that is flaired up is often related to whatever I have been doing at work. This is one of the most frustrating things I have ever dealt with in my life, and has caused me to limit and even eliminate a lot of my previous activities that I enjoyed. This condition is not widely recognized though, and is often found in patients that have fibromyalgia.

Old 10-25-2007, 07:26 AM   #8
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Re: Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

When my fibromyalgia was a full-fledged attack, I woke with intensely tingling hands. It was like pins and needles all over the hands and fingers. They felt prickly and the sensations moved all over the hands.

The tender points in the center of the upper back were the worst.

Several days later, the prickly pins and needles went away as if they had never happened!

I had already had the SER nerve conduction tests by my neurologist back in February, and they were normal.

Old 10-25-2007, 09:33 AM   #9
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Re: Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

I have had similar symptoms, all related to chronic myofascial pain--trigger points. Myofascial release by a physical therapist and injections by my pain mgmt doctor solved the problem. I am not sure that is what you are experiencing. If you haven't read it already, i recommend "Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain, A Survival Manual" by Devin Starlanyl. I hope you are feeling better soon.

Old 10-25-2007, 11:23 AM   #10
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Smile Re: Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

Hi Ladies,

I'm new posting here, but not new to FMS or reading all your post. I share and sympathize with all of you. I have such bad neck and shoulder (cervical pain) I can barely sit at this desk and type! I get wicked migraines as well. I am not working currently and it is a depressing life.

My question to anyone is, when you have dental proceedures, such as a root canal, do you experience post pain? I recently had a root canal and each time I saw the dentist I requested Lortab. I was told Tylenol or Motrin would be enough. After the novacaine wore of (another trigger to pain) I was on the phone requesting pain control. Is this related to FMS or could it be TMJ?

Thanks for any help or support.

PS: When the dentist requesting me to come back in, he could clearly see I was NOT kidding about the pain.

Old 10-25-2007, 04:42 PM   #11
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Re: Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

Hi All,

My TMJ is acting up now. I've had a headache for about 3 weeks. I finally got an appt with the dentist that made my mouthpiece. Hopefully he can adjust it. I lost it for about a year... doesn't quite fit now. I had a point to this post...

Oh, does it make a difference in what kind of doctor dx's your fibro? The trigger point injections you talk about.... is that different than a steroid injection beside the nerves?

Is fibro different than chronic myofascial pain?

Thanks, Mary

Old 10-25-2007, 05:35 PM   #12
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Re: Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

hi i have the same, i get all the signs of a heart attack tingle down my left side of my face numbness in left arm and fingers, not good pretty scary wouldn,t know if i was having one, i just think fibro,some docs think your nuts. when i read everyones messages makes me feel lots better knowing im not joints are killing me today ouch trying to go med free , want to see if i can train my brain to react differently, day 4 all im taking is panadole , hurts but trying to stay on top of it . take care all

Old 10-26-2007, 04:22 PM   #13
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Re: Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

The trigger point injection is mainly to stick the pea sized trigger point and once it is injected, the muscle spasms and you feel pain in that muscle of course because it is spasming, but it also refers pain to another muscle. I think my doc uses saline or something. It's not really the liquid, it is the needle that does the work. It provides great relief. It is hard to hit the trigger point though so my doc has to fish around some. It's worth the pain though to get that muscle to release.

Old 10-31-2007, 01:31 AM   #14
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legallyblondied HB User
Re: Neck and shoulder pain, numbness in arm

Hi Katz11....My name is Karen and many times what we think could never cause pain in certain areas that seem so off the
wall is in fact TMJ. I attended a seminar a month ago where
dentists doing postgraduate work in myofacial pain syndrome
and neuromuscular dentistry spoke. TMJ can come from a
trauma to the jaw through an accident or fall, or from osteo
arthritis of the jaw or inflammatory arthritis or a tumor, but
most likely when you have TMJ syndrome, it is because the
jaw is not in a normal relaxed position where there is no pull
and strain from the muscles in the jaw area. The jaw is trying
to align itself in a comfortable postion and it can not because
your bite is off. You can not always feel it and most people
do not have a correct bite but they are
pain. Many people grind there teeth, clench their jaw and
the reason is the bite is off the and jaw muscles are trying
to compensate for this.....therefore they are working over
time trying to correct a problem and fatigue sets in and the
pain begins.....TMJ referred pain can be in the face, migrane headaches, in the sinus area, because of pressue
from the muscles, also pain down the neck shoulders and
into the arms and numbness in the goes on
and before i would just medicate myself which is
getting rid of the pain, i would look on the internet for a
neuromuscular dentist in your area. Just type in what is
neuromuscular dentistry and maybe you will find out at
least this problem can be diagnosed and solved by correcting your bite.....Karen

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