Hand and arm pain

Posted , 4 users are following.

I have suffered from CS for 9 years now, which has slowly degenerated over the years. The main problem I have now is that I get pains in my hands and arms, making writing and more dextrous activities difficult, like opening up jars or milk cartons. My hands always ache or feel as though they are cramping up and sometimes my arms as well.

I am presently awaiting the result of an EMG/NCS test where they tested how long messages/electrical currents were taking to travel along my arm to my hand. A tad painful, but hopefully will give a useful result.

Does anyone else have these symptoms or even had the same electrical test that I have had.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Keep smiling!!

Backspin Alien

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi

    Yes. I recognise the hand / arm pain plus clumsiness. I also had EMG tests which help define where the nerve compression is actually happening in the neck. Also MRI scans. About a year ago I couldn't use hand, not even to write....no power and numbness. The pain disappeared after about 4 months but hand remained numb. Slowly I learned to use it again and am not experiencing much difficulty now. Hope it lasts ! My neurosurgeon decided not to operate as I seemed to be managing ok. I think it's different for everyone, but I like to think that a wait and see policy, if it's not too painful, can bring it's own surprises. It seems to me that the neck can gradually make adjustments of it's own, without interference, that can change or alter the various reactive symptoms. Your neuro should be able to advise if the degeneration is so severe that the only option is surgery. Otherwise it's down to self management, painkillers and learning how not to aggravate the neck.

    Good luck

    Gerry

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  • Posted

    Hi Gerry,

    Pain not too bad this morning, although it was waking me up a couple of times during the night.

    Thanks for your thoughts on EMG tests. It's good to know that other people have had this test as well, but as I said I don't know the result as yet. Although I have had CS for 9 years I have never been referred to a Neuro only a rheumatologist. Depending on the results I might meet my first Neuro this time!

    Apart from EMG tests did you have any other tests to determine the damage done to the nerve?

    Thanks again, Neil :lol: :lol:

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  • Posted

    HI Neil

    Apart from EMG tests and Mri scan, I had many muscular and nerve reflex tests, done manually. They were trying to compare the differences between ok left arm / hand and problem right arm /hand. I'm a manual worker, decorator, so the loss of power and dexterity affected my work quite seriously for about 6 months. I also managed to knock over and break two bottles of whiskey at my local Sainsbury's as I was reaching for the bottle I wanted. It was late in the evening and the supermarket was practically empty. £30 quids worth of damage...but they accepted my excuse and didn't charge me. Probably thought I was just a drunk. Didn't bother me because I knew the real reason and thats all that matters....Accidents will happen !

    When my arm was painful I couldn't lie down or the pain would increase. Sometimes I had to drape the arm right over the head (hand to opposite ear) to get relief. I found that sleeping on a sofa with head tilted up slightly, using soft pillows, was easier and after about 4 months the pain disappeared. Still got numb / clumsy hand but the power is returning slowly. Got a letter from my neuro today confirming she didn't think surgery was necessary as yet, so I guess I'm one of the 'lucky' ones. One of the strange outcomes of the arm/hand thing is that I get less headaches than before, and this is a big plus for me. I'm still trying to figure out why. I suspect the neck is reacting differently now that the nerve is compressed, whereas before it was overdoing it trying to protect this from happening. Less muscular reactions equals less headaches. Swings and roundabouts....Just a theory.

    Gerry

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  • Posted

    Hi Gerry,

    Thanks for your thoughts and experiences concerning your neck. Today it is far worst as both my hands are giving me considerable pain together with the lower half of my arms. I am at work at present and it is driving me silly. Last night I kept on waking up, as like you, lying down, or even sitting down makes things worse. Various fingers go numb then come back to life all in the space of a few minutes, really weird!

    My left hand just feels weak as if I can't do much with it and my right hand isn't far behind. Standing up and walking about does seem to help. Good to hear that yours has improved to some degree. As fas as headaches go, I have never been subjected to these in connection with my CS, I guess I am very lucky in that respect as for some it seems to dominate their lives.

    All the best, Neil :lol: :lol: :lol:

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  • Posted

    Hi Heil

    Happy to share experiences. I only had what you've described in one arm/hand, so I'm not sure that the same methods I used to relieve it will also work where both arms are affected. It's gotta be more difficult to find sleeping positions that will suit both arms at the same time. I've got a bit of a crazy theory going on, probably treated with great scepticism by others, that the symptoms can be reduced or relieved by continually altering sleeping positions. How the neck behaves, when we sleep, seems to determine the severity of the following days symptoms. When we sleep, the neck relaxes, and this is the most likely time for nerve compression to occur. When we're awake, the neck muscles stiffen to protect the nerve and less compression occurs.

    So, learning the best positions for sleeping seems to affect the next days symptoms. I'm pretty sure that if I'd carried on sleeping in my normal bed that the pain might not have shifted so soon, if ever. Eventually I shifted to sofa completly for one week, and the pain disappeared. Taking naps on armchair, sofa, whatever , might help determine which method works best, and if stuck to for a few days I think you might be surprised by the resulting changes. A lot of C/S symptoms seem to be exacerbated by continually sleeping in the same bed and in the same position.

    I'm aware that suggesting to people that their bed may be half the problem doesn't always go down too well. It's only natural for someone to react when their one comfort zone is questioned ! I'm no different, but having felt the benefits of making changes, I now feel I can't recommend it enough. As far as I know, there have never been clinical tests carried out on sleeping positions for C/S , so there is no info out there on it's benefits. Perhaps, because of it's simplicity, it has been overlooked, or it is difficult to monitor ... I don't know. There are lots of ideas explored on Cervical Rumminations Page. Have a look or join in.

    Gerry

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  • Posted

    oh boy am i getting in my postings tonight,,lol. my arm pain is in my right arm mainly in my shoulder, bicep, and hand. i take solpadol which has helped for a while but now i am going to see about having an injection because it is far too much to take it keeps me awake all night and can affect my neck. i am told that i have two frozen shoulders and nothing to do with my neck but a new gp in our practice is now willing to rfer m to a rheumotologist to see if it is fibromyalgia???? i wish i knew. chris xx
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  • Posted

    Hi Chris,

    You mentioned going for an 'injection' are you talking about a facet joint injection?

    Neil 8) 8) 8)

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  • Posted

    Hi to everyone,

    I was diagnosed with CS last April although i have suffered with neck, shoulder hand and arm pain, all affecting my right side ( I am right handed) for the 4 yrs , Doctors said that it was tendinitis then finally i was referred to an Orthopedic Surgeon , had MRI scan and was diagnosed with deterioration in C4 C5 and C6 with some spinal compression, i have had endless Physio which does not help and the Physios have all said that they cant do anything else for me, I have constant pain in my shoulder, neck, arm and hand and i am unable to cook a meal , as i cant chop veggies , use can openers and lift pans.

    I am 32 yrs old and what gets me the most is having to rely and ask people to help and do things i am now unable to do.

    Sorry folks if i sound like a moaner I'm just so relieved to find people in the same position, I'm on Morphine sulphate now as well as amitriptyline and gabapentin which do no good , i feel at my wits end and feel doctors are doing very little to help , i have had to stop working as a support assistant and have been assigned to office duties for the last year now, CS has changed my life in so many ways , it is such a debilitating condition with little help or support for us, and it really agrivates me when people say it's 'WEAR AND TEAR' because if they suffered with it day in day out they would know how painfull it is .

    thanks for being here , fifihen x

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  • Posted

    hi your not alone with the pain,ive gave up my work as i have cervical spondilosis,i have degenerative narrowing of my spine at 4L/5L i have had 2 mri,s 1 ct scan 3 lumber durals a spell in hosp im loosing control of my bladder and im on amitryptoline(75 mls)at night,i have also had steven johnstone syndrome which means i can,t take pain relief as i go into shock its a severe alergic reaction,im in pain 24/7 the doc doesnt seem interested the hosp treats you like another number,theres no relief im trying meditation this is my first week i,l tell you how it goes i just want answers am i disabled,do i have this for the rest of my life,can i get supports for my wrists as there sore too.
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