Patient : I have continual left shoulder pain and spasms. My arm, thumb, index finger will go numb instantly in certain positions. I have see a chiropractor twice a week for 3 months to fix this problem without results. What should I do?
According to your description, a cervical nerve compression must be ruled out in your case also an inflammation of the peripheral nerves at the level of the arm and hand, for example a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In the younger patients, cervical radiculopathy may be a result of a disc herniation or an acute injury causing impingement of an exiting nerve. In the older patient, cervical radiculopathy is often a result of spinal canal narrowing from bone (osteophyte) formation, decreased disc height and degenerative changes due to aging process. The treatment strategy usually includes: physical therapy program aimed to reduce pain and inflammation, and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs (as “motrin”, “advil”),TENS, also a re-education of habits and posture to improve quality of life. You should be independent in a stretching and strengthening program and continue with these exercises under the periodic supervision of a physical therapist initially and then completely on your own. Patients whose condition fails to improve with a comprehensive rehabilitation program and selective injections (medrol dose kit) should be presented with a surgical reevaluation. Often, patients should show progressive improvement over the first 6-8 weeks with conservative treatment.
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.