Neck/Arm/Hand Pain

My neck started hurting and then my right shoulder starting getting inflamed, after a while it started radiating down my arm to my hand. My hand & wrist would become numb and cold at the same time (feels like when your outside in the 0 temp and come in and run hot water over your hands). My hand will swell at night waking me up. The pain radiates from my neck to my wrist 24/7. This has been going on for 2 years now. Not once have I asked for pain med's because I am afraid I will get addicted. Anyway after Xrays. 3 MRI's. 2 nerve conduction test. 3 cervical epidurals, 1 cortisone shot in wrist, 3 cortisone shots in shoulder, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractor, muscle relaxers, and deep tissue massages still hurting just as bad and the doctors are clueless. Just when back to family doctor and he said "what do you want me to do". When you have the doctor saying that after the 7  different ones that he has sent me to I feel hopeless. Anybody else having the same problems?

12 Replies

  • Thanks Daniel for your reply. I know these doctors are sometimes at there wits end. I will keep trying and hopefully get some relief one day. I know there are a lot of other people with a lot more pain than me so I should not be complaining.

  • I have very similar symptoms, to the point i am not able to even touch my own shoulder, arm, etc. After looking deeper in to the MRI results they found i had Ankylosing Spondalitus. 

    Maybe ask to see a Rhuematologist (spelling) and ask them to look into your results, maybe they will have some answers


  • Thanks stix! I hope you get better or some relief as well.

  • What if the rheumatologist just pushes Cymbalta?

  • Sorry explain in more detail 

  • I saw a rheumatologist once for strange swelling & pain in my neck.  He offered Cymbalta.  So asked what it would help & he sai "nothing, but you'll stop worrying about it".  When I declined to take it, he said "when you're bad enough, you'll take it.   Until then, I can't help you.". So, I'm not feeling very well supported by the one rheumatologist in my area :-(

  • still unsure if there is a point to this message, but if this really happened the doctor probably would of got a slap, or your merely just insulting me !!!

  • No insult intended to you!  I'm so sorry if you took it that way.

    I empathize with you & hope you have a more helpful rheumatologist than I found.  There is nothing wrong with people who find relief from Cymbalta or any other med for that matter, but to be given only one option without a thorough exam is frustrating.  

  • Not surprised the doctors are clueless.  They are trying to take a snapshot at one point in time.  If the event causing the difficulty is not occurring at the time of investigation the doctor is going to find nothing.

    You are going to have to develop your own tools for investigation.  You are going to have to learn how to observe your own body.  You are going to need to learn how to quieten your mind so you can look and observe the subtle things that are happening.  This is not easy as you have skills to learn and they will take a little while to learn.

    Start with having Alexander Technique lessons.  This will help you with observation and maybe reduce some of the problems you have.

    This book which is a free download is a very good introduction to meditation , mindfulness and posture.

    I think you might be having muscle spasms which is causing pressure on the nerve root and blocking the free flow of fluid back to the heart.  This is not present all the time so nothing can be found.  I also suspect that your head is badly balanced on top of the spine.  This is Alexander Technique territory.  There is also the possibility you have some mild muscle spasms which are in the wrong place.  This McTimony chiropractic territory.

    This is for you to investigate to see if what I say has some truth or not.

  • Thanks Johnsmith I will definitely try it. At this point I am willing to try anything!

  • Yes!  I have tingling head & face, spasms in front & back of my neck, sore shoulders, sharp pains in my upper arm and cold tingly hands.

    My GP says.  "Hmmmmm.... I'm sorry....."  My neurologist said my one option is anti-inflammatories & if I won't take them why do I bother asking for help.  I explain that I have evidence from my gastro that they are causing stomach & esophagus issues & he just shrugs. 


  • I know it's what you don't want to hear, but in the end it's about you because these doctors with nerve pressure issue are at a loss, and I learnt a long time ago that your on your own and if you have money there are more avenues open, but in the end it's accepting your condition and trying to find a way to cope, and believe me these pills anti's and opiates are problematic, but they do give you respite from the constant pressure of managing the pain, in the end you come to some understanding (hopefully) and then learning what makes it worse, and avoid it if possible, but if you try to be independent, then that depends on you and the effort can be difficult as the neck does get worse, so you may have to rethink your views on these meds, or go and sit in a chair and stagnate, it's difficult I know, but if you want any kind of life, then you may have to rethink, anyway best wishes Alex

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