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    Old 01-14-2001, 12:08 AM   #1
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    Numbness and burning in fingers

    About twenty-five years ago I had a terribly painful and immobilizing six month episode which was never correctly diagnosed but which I believe was related to a herniation in the area of C6 & C7 (I've done some reading about this).

    The immobilizing pain gradually went away but there always has been some residual numbness and restricted motion. However within the past few days I have experienced an increasingly severe sensation of tingling and numbness in my left hand, extending upward to the shoulder. I find that if I apply pressure in the crook where the shoulder and neck conjoin it seems to relieve it.

    This morning I noticed that a milder but similar sensation is now occurring in my right hand (but not up the arm).

    Does this sound familiar to any of you folks?


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    Old 01-16-2001, 09:26 PM   #2
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    Re: Numbness and burning in fingers

    Mike, I have a C 5/6 injury (SCI) and have similar symptoms to yours. My pain is more constant in both hands and doesn't get higher than the elbow. Above the elbow is more burning and deep aching when its cold. My understanding of C 6/7 your pain could be spinal cord related from that area. My guess is the medics will want to rule out a spinal cord problem. If they want to operate make sure other treatments have been exhausted. Regardless it probably won't get better until you can find out what's wrong.

    Good Luck, God Bless, Mace

    Old 01-16-2001, 11:13 PM   #3
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    Re: Numbness and burning in fingers

    I'm sure you're right about the doctors. I had my fill of their routines way back when I had the initial problem. I went from one to another to another, including a few quack chiropractors, and none of them did a thing.

    I notice that the symptoms I was having the other day when I posted my message have subsided to nearly zero, so apparently this problem is a periodically recurring thing, probably triggered by some sort of inflamation.

    Anyway, thank you for your response. I hope your problem subsides, too. I'll repeat what I mentioned in my first post: There is a spot at the base of the neck where I can apply finger pressure to instantly relieve the pain when it gets really bad. Probe around there and see what happens. Push real hard.


    Old 01-21-2001, 07:56 AM   #4
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    Re: Numbness and burning in fingers

    Tingling & numbness are common from the cervical disc problem you describe. Again, an accurate diagnosis is essential and as a Nurse Practitioner I would advise seeking the advice of a board certified neurosugeon. I am 9 days post-op ACDF from 2 levels, C-5 through C-7. I put this off for 2.5 yrs until the numbness/tingling/pain worsened.
    You may get some relief from the proper physical therapy and of course avoiding surgery is certainly a goal to reach for. On the other hand I wish I did this sooner,
    before the symptoms worsened and before perhaps some permanent nerve damage occurred.
    Time will tell how successful this surgery was.
    Good luck to you.


    Old 01-21-2001, 03:19 PM   #5
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    Re: Numbness and burning in fingers

    Dear Elissa,

    Many thanks for your reply and advice. I am presently trying to stay away from doctors because I dread the inevitable progression of eliminative diagnostic procedures. I know I have a problem and I'm reasonably certain that it's related to a previous compression of the radial nerve. But it's something I've been living with at varying levels of discomfort for about twenty-five years.

    I have established what I consider to be a tolerable level of pain, which I measure by relative intensity upon arising in the AM. At this stage I am able to immediately relieve the burning and tingling by applying firm lateral finger pressure to the side of the neck just above the deltoid muscle. When I am no longer able to do this I will assuredly follow your advice to the letter.

    Again, thanks for your thoughtful reply.


    Old 01-22-2001, 11:01 AM   #6
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    Re: Numbness and burning in fingers


    If & when you seek a qualified physician for a diagnosis he/she would recommend a painless MRI which would locate the herniation (if any) or any bulging disc/nerve compression. There really is no need for an EMG, which can be slightly uncomfortable. Once you receive a diagnosis physical therapy can truly be of benefit. I do know in this area that the HealthSouth PT people are excellent and I believe them to be nationwide.
    The fact that you get relief from applying pressure says to me that you may avoid surgery in the future by a good PT program.
    I have also gotten some relief in the past by applying pressure at the base of my skull with a small ice-pack. The ice also helped with inflammation. This may be an option for you as well.
    Whatever route you decide to take I wish you luck.

    Elissa<p>[This message has been edited by blkbird (edited 01-22-2001).]

    Old 02-12-2001, 10:45 PM   #7
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    Re: Numbness and burning in fingers

    Hi Mike,

    I thought there wasn't anyone out there like me but your symptoms are very close to mine. I was operating a machine which vibrated very violently (trencher) and as always, i was under a tight schedule to get my jobs done. The machine was like riding a jackhammer and I had to turn and look to my right rear of the machine to be sure I kept out of gas lines, etc. I woke up one morning about 5 years ago and my right thumb was in severe pain and my right shoulder-joint area was as if someone was stabbing a long knife to the depth of the joint. On top of this, I had a sharp pain in my neck and shoulder and radiating up to my cervical area. Later I was,(forgive me if I'm incorrect), diagnosed with cervical stenosis at,I think c3,c4/5, and c5/6. Well, the only way to go certainly is an MRI. The doctors do not recommend surgery because of the risks, (I'm not trying to frighten you), but I use an old-fashioned home traction kit given to me by HealthSouth, Inc. All it consists of is a water bag and I fill it to about 15 lbs., and the support structure hangs above almost any door and it straps around my chin and the base of my skull. It looks uncomfortable and as if I am trying to hang myself, but for those days when the pain is not decreasing, I can always use it and expect not immediate, but a less painful day or two afterwards. I don't know if this is the solution for you and I've had titanium screws and rods in the lumbar area, so I'm naturally on heavy medication anyway as well as the lower back pain. I am looking for someone who has related injuries who has operated machinery which has caused over time, similar problems I am having. I was diagnosed at age 34 and I'm now 39 and life doesn't seem too promising,but I am going to give it another try anyway. Good luck, hope this helps you and I'm sorry for sucha a long-winded reply.


    Old 02-14-2001, 09:53 AM   #8
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    Re: Numbness and burning in fingers

    Hello, Slojoe,

    Thanks for your reply. I can't attribute my problem to any specific cause. It originated many years ago when I was napping on a sofa and jumped up abruptly when the phone rang. I believe that a disk (or two) herniated right then because I was immobilized for months with terrible pain (it hurt even to breathe and coughing almost knocked me out with pain).

    It gradually subsided but I still have constant but tolerable residual pain and limited range of motion and mobility in the cervical area, along with periodic onsets of the nature described in my original post (above). Fortunately this latest episode has subsided somewhat and I am able to control the tingling and burning by applying finger pressure to the side of the neck. This apparently has an effect similar to that of your traction apparatus in that it relieves pressure on the radial nerve, which gets trapped between damaged vertebrae.

    I know that the only medical approach is surgery, which I will continue to avoid unless this thing becomes so bad that I can't get around anymore.

    Best regards,


    Old 08-04-2011, 03:30 AM   #9
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    Re: Numbness and burning in fingers

    I though from Indiaa where the numness of fingers is not common, but unfortunately I am suffering from the burning of left fingers and I also fear to go to doctors, only God has to cure me this problem...

    Old 08-04-2011, 04:56 PM   #10
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    Wink Re: Numbness and burning in fingers

    How are you doing now. I had my procedure at about the same time.
    Just like speaking to others who are in the same boat.
    ======================================== ========
    12/9/2010 ACDF C5-6 C6-7 with plate, screws,
    BMP & bone fragment filled cages
    2/14/2011 trying to go back to work as a teacher
    2/17/2011 starting PT
    wearing bone stimulator 4 hours a day
    DDD, arthritis, herniated disks, pinched nerves
    3 months saw a little bit of bone growth (YEAH)
    4/15/2011 Home Tens Unit
    6/2011 end plate growth no more bone stimulator
    pretty good ROM

    Dealt with the pain and issues for more than 5 years
    tried PT, chiropractic, acupuncture, cervical epidural shots and selective nerve root blocks prior to surgery

    Last edited by frenchfri1003; 08-04-2011 at 04:57 PM. Reason: addition

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