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Author: IsleofWightPete Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 385022  
Subject: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 10:45
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I suspect I have a trapped nerve somewhere in my neck.

I've got pins and needles running down my left arm, and a dull pain in my upper arm, and in my back, just below my shoulder blade. The strange thing is that neither of these areas is actually properly sore when prodded and poked, neither does moving the arm affect the pain. So I suspect it is the nerve being pinched somewhere which is sending a false "pain" signal to the brain.

I don't have a lot of time at present, so would rather not waste hours sitting in a doctors surgery & getting x-rays or whatever, if all that can be done is a prescription for a bit of cream to rub in.

Does anyone know whether there is likely to be a "cure"? Or do I just ignore the pain & live with it as "one of those things"?
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Author: IShallWearPurple Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253230 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 10:50
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I had something similar, which was eventually fixed by a long course of physiotherapy involving manipulation of my neck, and also by improving my posture - too many years in uniform involving 'chin up, shoulders back' in my case! I was told that without treatment, the nerves could suffer permanent damage. :-(

ISWP

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Author: IShallWearPurple Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253231 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 10:51
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OTOH, I think that pain in the left arm should never be ignored. It might be a symptom of something serious.

ISWP

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Author: FunkyPinky Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253232 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 11:02
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Almost any condition that can damage nerves may cause pins and needles. In these cases the tingling can be extremely unpleasant, with a raw burning character.

Although unlikely, in younger people multiple sclerosis often begins with a prolonged episode of pins and needles for which no other cause can be found.

Other causes include:

* Vitamin deficiencies: although few people in the UK suffer from severe vitamin deficiencies, the elderly are prone to a poor diet and minor deficiencies. Check that you have a balanced diet and consider vitamin supplements.

* Metabolic disorders (ranging from diabetes to changes in blood chemistry that occur during a panic attack. Both these examples are common causes of tingling in the fingers).

* Poisoning, especially with heavy metals.
* Infections.

Note that under certain circumstances vitamin deficiencies occur due to overload of stress hormones and adrenalin.

Watch what you are eating very carefully, in particular when you eat out. If you get a metallic taste in your mouth, take immediate control over the purchase/preparation and consumption of food and WATER. Water heavy metal contamination occurs, particularly in old houses which have lead piping. Mercury poisining is unusual, but the symptoms are a possibility.

Arsenic poisining, could be a possibility. Check your diet carefully!

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Author: Oscroft Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253234 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 11:07
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I've got pins and needles running down my left arm, and a dull pain in my upper arm, and in my back, just below my shoulder blade. The strange thing is that neither of these areas is actually properly sore when prodded and poked, neither does moving the arm affect the pain. So I suspect it is the nerve being pinched somewhere which is sending a false "pain" signal to the brain.

I don't know about the pins and needles, but a dull pain in the upper arm and back can be indicative of a forthcoming heart attack (and it's not sore when prodded and isn't affected by moving your arm). Go see the doc.

I don't have a lot of time at present

You won't have any time at all if you die of a heart attack. Go see the doc.

Does anyone know whether there is likely to be a "cure"?

Don't try to self-diagnose, and don't expect people on a discussion board to be able to diagnose. Go see the doc.

Best,
Alan

PS: Go see the doc.

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Author: rhialto Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253236 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 11:11
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Of course, all the causes listed below are stunningly rare compared to what's already been mentioned - minor trauma and posture related issues.

The list below is rather like hearing hoofbeats in the New Forrest, and then seeing zebras rather the ponies.

I've got to wonder where FunkyPinky eats, if he/she is expecting to be on the receiving end of heavy metal poisoning at local restaurants.

//Andrew


Although unlikely, in younger people multiple sclerosis often begins with a prolonged episode of pins and needles for which no other cause can be found.

Other causes include:

* Vitamin deficiencies: although few people in the UK suffer from severe vitamin deficiencies, the elderly are prone to a poor diet and minor deficiencies. Check that you have a balanced diet and consider vitamin supplements.

* Metabolic disorders (ranging from diabetes to changes in blood chemistry that occur during a panic attack. Both these examples are common causes of tingling in the fingers).

* Poisoning, especially with heavy metals.
* Infections.

Note that under certain circumstances vitamin deficiencies occur due to overload of stress hormones and adrenalin.

Watch what you are eating very carefully, in particular when you eat out. If you get a metallic taste in your mouth, take immediate control over the purchase/preparation and consumption of food and WATER. Water heavy metal contamination occurs, particularly in old houses which have lead piping. Mercury poisining is unusual, but the symptoms are a possibility.

Arsenic poisining, could be a possibility. Check your diet carefully!


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Author: FunkyPinky Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253242 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 11:35
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I've got to wonder where FunkyPinky eats, if he/she is expecting to be on the receiving end of heavy metal poisoning at local restaurants.

When one suffers symptoms, one has to eliminate possible causes. When you eliminate possible causes, and the symptoms still exist then you know that that was not the problem.

When you eliminate possible causes, and the symptoms vanish, one can draw conclusions or one can just say it is extremely unlikely.

I agree, it is unlikely, but possible.

The most likely cause of pins and needles, are sitting in a strange position. Possible sciatia, or even a sports injury.

It is extremely unlikely to be able to prove heavy metal poisoning, except in a post mortem. It does happen!

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Author: Oscroft Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253243 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 11:49
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I've got to wonder where FunkyPinky eats, if he/she is expecting to be on the receiving end of heavy metal poisoning at local restaurants

Here, perhaps?
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l289/russian_window/DSC00927.jpg

Alan

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Author: rhialto Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253248 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 12:43
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The most likely cause of pins and needles, are sitting in a strange position. Possible sciatia, or even a sports injury.

It seems pretty unlikely that the OP's problem of parasthesia in the left arm is caused by sciatica, especially in the abscence of symptoms in the leg.

IsleOfWightPete - it's another case of best to actually show your problem to someone who knows what they're looking at, by default your GP. These boards are often a source of good advice, but once he's been able to examine you I'd suspect your GP will be able to come up with better ideas than sciatica of the neck or heavy metal poisoning.

//Andrew

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Author: rhialto Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253249 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 12:48
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It is extremely unlikely to be able to prove heavy metal poisoning, except in a post mortem. It does happen!

I'm guessing you mean other than by means of hair sampling, X-Ray imaging, blood levels, urine levels, blood microscopy and a number of other investigations?

//Andrew

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Author: Mike4 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253250 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 12:53
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I suspect I have a trapped nerve somewhere in my neck.

I've got pins and needles running down my left arm, and a dull pain in my upper arm, and in my back, just below my shoulder blade.



This is exactly the sort of symptom that would have me running to my osteopath rather than my GP.

Firstly, osteopaths don't just 'do' back pain, they do all skeletomuscular problems. Secondly, as they are private, so you make an appointment, get seen on the dot at the appointment time and half an hour later walk out, cured.

That's my experience anyway. (Head down, awaiting a storm of objection!)


Cheers!
M4

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Author: spudulica Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253254 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 13:10
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Left arm pain = go and see a doctor now

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Author: krobaa One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253257 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 14:44
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It is best to see a Doc just in case it is something serious. However what you are describing is very common as people get older and is known as spondylosis.
This has been discussed in the following thread.
http://boards.fool.co.uk/Message.asp?mid=10386870&sort=whole#10387620

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Author: scragm Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253258 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 14:49
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Statistically given that it came on reasonably quickly and has not been associated with any other symptoms of angina or heart attack I suspect a strain of trapezius muscle which is compressing the nerves coming out of the upper thoracic area.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trapezius

Massaging this muscle yourself may prove to be as effective as seeing an osteopath ( and a whole lot cheaper), heat, mobilisation, rest and a trial of antiinflammatory. Ibuprofen 400 mg three times a day is a good starter so long as you are ok to take ibuprofen.

Things that aggravate Trapezius are hovering your mouse arm at the desk for a long time. Leaning forward at your desk - trapezius stops your head falling off your shoulders when leaning forward.

If you have been doing these already for a week or two and things are no better then a trip to the GP would be in order.

good luck

scragm

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Author: loafalot Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253274 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 16:10
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I've got pins and needles running down my left arm, and a dull pain in my upper arm, and in my back, just below my shoulder blade. The strange thing is that neither of these areas is actually properly sore when prodded and poked, neither does moving the arm affect the pain.

Hi IoWP,

My father-in-law had these symptoms one morning in 1992. He was 76 and rather overweight. He looked a bit worried, so the mother-in-law made an appointment to see the GP over the road. I was staying with them at the time and said something banal by way of trying to put his mind at rest. An hour later the Doc duly gave him a thorough examination and declared him to be fit as a fiddle. Just in case though (and for peace of mind) he was asked to get the bus up to A&E for a cardiogram. Last thing his wife ever said to him was while they were stood at the bus-stop. "How are you feeling, John?", she said. "Fine, ta", he replied. Next thing she turned around to find him unconscious on the pavement. The GP who'd just examined him came rushing out (bit of a shocker for him) and he was taken to A&E in an ambulance. All to no avail - he'd had a massive coronary and was dead on arrival. Way to go, really ... great last words!

Hope you're OK IoWP ... you're one of the good guys. Get it well and truly checked out though.

Loaf

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Author: IsleofWightPete Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253276 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 16:37
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This is written in a bit of a rush as I think I have angina, complicated by arsenic poisoning and the after effects of a stampede of zebra in the New Forest!

Seriously, thank you for all your expressions of concern: I am as sure as sure can be it is nothing more than a trapped nerve, and (if I am right about the diagnosis, obviously) Scragm's advice to give it a bit of a rub and take some pain killers, and see how it develops is probably the closest! (except I don't do painkillers, so that makes it easier still!)

I promise faithfully if it isn't any better in a couple of days I will go and see the doc, just in case!

Oh, and M4, I agree about the osteopath. Unfortunately the brilliant one I have been using on and off over the last 30 odd years has retired, and I haven't found anyone who can do the crack, crack, tweak like he did. They all want to pansy around for 45 mins twice a week stroking it. Not at all the same as the 15 minute wonder of the other fella!

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Author: nanakath Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253279 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 17:20
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They all want to pansy around for 45 mins twice a week stroking it. Not at all the same as the 15 minute wonder of the other fella!

Yep, they don't make 'em like that any more - I had one who could put my back to rights in one visit - how he did it would probably not be considered good practice now but by golly, it worked.

As far as your OP goes, I don't think anyone has yet mentioned carpal tunnel. I always thought that the main symptom for this was wrist/thumb pain, but a friend had been complaining of similar symptoms to those you describe and was very sceptical - nay, dismissive when the consultant suggested carpal tunnel, but subsequent tests proved him right and she is now about to have the operation.....

Cheers Kath

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Author: KingMcKong Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253288 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 06/04/2008 18:18
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I had a trapped nerve once, after a ski-ing accident.

It was the most painful experience I have ever endured, and went on for a week, during which time I could scarcely walk.

The nerve was trapped by contusions, and after the week was up it suddenly became un-trapped as the blood stream did its stuff..

I can still feel the place where it was trapped, about twenty years later, but of course the acute pain subsided.


If you had a trapped nerve I reckon you wouldn't be writing on bulletin boards, you'd be screaming at a doctor.

More likely I reckon you've got high blood pressure and are heading for a heart problem.

Go see the quack - quick!

Meantime, I'd take 200 mg of aspirin every four - six hours, subject to that not interfering with any other medication you might be on, and see if that helps


KMcK

PS - I'm not a doctor

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Author: Salty39 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253335 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 07/04/2008 08:37
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I don't know about a cure but the above general advice seems to be correct - go see a doctor.
Once you know the problem it might be right to ask if anyone has had the same diagnosed complaint and the best way forward. Just get the heart thing eliminated first.

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Author: emptybarrel Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 253874 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 11/04/2008 21:34
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Try going up and down in a lift. The weight reduction when descending can losen tension in the body.

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Author: Longpig73 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 374044 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 08/08/2013 14:14
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I'm sure I have an answer for you...
I had the same symptoms as well as pins and needles in my forearm etc.

I saw the doc who gave me anti-inflammatory pills and painkillers. Weeks later I went through about 8 weeks of physio but no change. I eventually saw a specialist at the hospital who x-rayed me and said surgery might help, or might make it worse.

I fixed it myself by learning how to do the Rubik's cube, seriously; and it's been fine ever since. You don't need to solve it, just twist it around for a bit every day and you'll notice it eases off fairly quick!

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Author: Melonfool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 374048 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 08/08/2013 14:24
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Gosh, I hope he doesn't still have it after 5 years...

Mel

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Author: Julian1106 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 374052 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 08/08/2013 14:51
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Gosh, I hope he doesn't still have it after 5 years...

Mel


So do I although when I had sciatica the prognosis from the MRI scans was that I had a 30% chance of being pain-free after 5 years even with the surgical option. The 5 year mark seemed to be a fairly commonly used milestone when analysing outcomes, at least for various sciatica treatments.

Mercifully I managed to beat the odds and recovered without surgery after about 6 months but it wasn't a nice time. The pain was at the level of a wisdom tooth needing immediate extraction but with no respite for about 3 months, except for that afforded by pain killers. The decision came down to whether I prefered constant nausea from the pain killers or the pain; I mostly opted for nausea. Not fun.

Pete still hangs around here so I'm sure he can update us, hopefully with happy news.

- Julian

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Author: IsleofWightPete Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 374058 of 385022
Subject: Re: Trapped nerve - any cure? Date: 08/08/2013 17:34
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I'm sure I have an answer for you...
I had the same symptoms as well as pins and needles in my forearm etc.


Thanks for your concern, and welcome to the boards. That was actually a long time ago and it is better now!

Mel
Gosh, I hope he doesn't still have it after 5 years...


In the end it got worse, I saw a doc as advised and it ended up requiring an operation on my spine. I had a chunk of vertebra removed to allow room for the nerve to move.

It was excruciatingly painful afterwards (especially as I allowed only a week to recuperate rather than the 2 months the doc thought I ought to take off work!) but he did say it was only post-op muscular pain and not likely to do any harm, so I just soldiered on.

Once that had subsided (after about 2 months, strangely enough), it got much better and no recurrence. The numbness in my finger tips that I had had for years has even gone and I have most of the sensation back!

So no need for Rubiks cube right now.
Thanks for the thought, though!

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