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  • Pinched nerve in neck

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    Old 09-22-2014, 02:50 AM   #1
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    Pinched nerve in neck

    I was diagnosed with a pinched nerve in my neck that's causing pain that starts at the top of my shoulder, goes down my arm into my hand. I also get muscle spasms in the top of my arm. I'm waiting for a nerve conduction test that I'm getting in two weeks, but I'm trying to do anything I can to minimize the pain. I know to use ice, but do I follow it with heat? I wasn't given any treatment plan because I have to get the test first. Even though I don't think the pain could get any worse, can it? Thank you

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    Old 09-22-2014, 03:08 PM   #2
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    Re: Pinched nerve in neck

    Alternating ice and heat was helpful for me. Pain medication specifically for nerve pain was also useful (things like Gabapentin).

    Are they trying to confirm the pinched nerve? How did they diagnose that in the first place, did you have an MRI, CT, xrays? A nerve conduction study may help exclude other conditions such as neuropathies, but it won't confirm radiculopathy. If they mean EMG (which sometimes gets lumped in with NCS but they are different tests), that can be used to confirm radiculopathy in cases where the motor axons are affected. Motor axons may or may not be affected if your only symptoms is pain. This is why MRI is used as an initial screening test for most instances of suspected neck related radiating pain (radiculopathy).

    I also don't understand the statement that you weren't given treatment because you have to have the nerve conduction test first. Did they give you an explanation for that? It sounds bogus to me. As far as I know, giving pain medication or going for PT to relax the muscles, do e-stim etc won't effect the results of the EMG/NCS at all.

    I don't know how bad your pain is, but mine got extremely bad. Narcotic pain meds did not touch it, and I was pretty incapacitated for nearly 1 month. Hopefully, your pain isn't that bad and won't become so.

    Your pain pattern is very typical for radiculopathy. I would see if you can see a spine specialist (fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon that deals only with spine patients). They can evaluate you for radiculopathy and get you on a proper treatment plan.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes...

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    arm pain, hand pain, pinched nerve, shoulder pain

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