Long time reader, first time poster. I'm a 45-year-old man who has always prided himself with being fit. I've participated in a running and weightlifting regimen since I was 15 years old. I joined the military at 18 and of course had to stay fit for nine years of service, I was then employed by a federal law-enforcement agency at 27 and I've also had a fitness requirement with my employment ever since. Long story short, I've been relatively fit my entire life and never overweight.
I have had neck/trap issues for years though. As far back as 2007, I remember getting an occasional lock up of my neck and having it treated with E-stim and manipulation by a chiropractor and it always seem to get better with time.
I had a particularly difficult time in 2011 2012 with my neck as I had chronic trap tightness, really, really tight and was in misery just holding my head up. I had an MRI that had minimal findings and then had another MRI shortly after that had what appeared to be a little bit worse findings.. This resolved with time and deep tissue massage.
I'LL PASTE THOSE RESULTS AT THE END
Fast forward to a few months ago, as an manager I no longer work in the field, and I spend a lot of time at a desk with a mouse in my hand. Six or seven months ago, I noticed my right hand would get a little tingly and so I started switching mouse-hands and alternating. This was the solution for a while and I didn't give it much more thought other than maybe it was just an overuse syndrome.
Fast forward to approximately a month ago, while moving from Texas to Florida and driving down the interstate, noticed my right arm was kind of feeling like I was asleep on the steering wheel. It continued upon my arrival but seemed to be very minimal.
I want to see a neurologist in Palm Beach and he gave me the standard neurologist test with reflexes etc. and said I didn't have any neurological symptoms. He scheduled an EMG and I returned and got poked and zapped and he said you have a very slight carpal tunnel in both hands and that is your problem, but I disagreed with him and told him I really believed this was coming from my neck and he dismissed me and didn't want to talk about
That was mid January. I'm not sure is progressing any worse from day to day per se, but it is definitely worse than it was when I got here a month and a half ago as I now have numbness in my right hand and my left, but not usually at the same time, and not following any particular pattern like the last two fingers or the first two fingers.
I'm really not having any pain to speak of, just a little aggravating pain at times in my lower neck upper back area where I've always had aggravation and tightness and it seems to be focused there, it's just that my hands are constantly falling asleep to one degree or another, usually when I'm doing something with my hands out in front of me like typing on a keyboard, or an iPad, or writing on a piece of paper.
Most of the time it is just numbness in one hand or another, not the whole hand just part of it but not following any pattern. Sometimes though, in the late afternoons, and evenings, especially if I've been messing with it and trying to stretch, my whole right arm from the shoulder down will ache something crazy, and then it will dissipate and go away and a little numbness will set in again.
There is a self-stretch on the Internet that I watched a video of, where you tuck your chin not down, but straight back. When my right arm is really acting up, (achy/numb) if I do this stretch, like magic I'll regain feeling in my arm almost immediately. It doesn't last for long though the feeling comes back shortly thereafter.
One thing of interest that I have to mention, is that I'm very careful about
how I sleep, on my back with a thin pillow and I sleep very well and wake up feeling very good. I feel so good in the morning with hands not numb and no pain at all that I really don't even want to get up, and I fantasize while there in bed that all my troubles will be gone. Shortly thereafter the while brushing my teeth I'll feel the numbness creep back into my fingers usually my left hand first.
Another thing of interest is other than slightly achy at the base of my neck at odd times and usually my hands are not numb when the neck is achy, my neck feels great! I can touch my ear to my shoulder and my chin to my chest or rotate my head all the way around with no pain at all in my neck or anywhere else. In some ways, my neck feels better than it ever has...yet the numbness and achiness in my right shoulder and upper arm is very aggravating.
I do have an appointment with the Palm Beach Orthopedic Center on Wednesday. My sister had surgery there for a shoulder problem and loved the experience and they have two spinal specialists on staff and the one of the most highly thought of practices in the area. I expect when I tell the doctor of my experience she is going to order an MRI and I'll be going from there I guess. I am very curious how this next MRI is going to compare with the MRIs I had in 2011 2012 as they really showed nothing significant.
Doing a lot of reading one of the biggest concerns for me right now is if this was just a pinched nerve it would be affecting one arm or the other but not both, which makes me think there's more involved here.
I just don't understand how i'll have numb fingertips on my left hand in the morning and achy right arm or numb finger tips on my right hand in the afternoon.
And of course I'm thinking worst-case scenario and major, possibly career ending surgery.
Anyone have any food for thought?
Opinion, advice, conjecture?
MRI FINDINGS FROM YEARS PAST
First MRI, 2011
C3-4 Very minimal disc bulge without neural encroachment
C4-5 Minimal disc bulge without neural encroachment. Minimal right neural foraminal narrowing
C5-6 Minimal disk bulge without neural encroachement. Minimal right neural foraminal narrowing
C6-7 There is minimal disc bulge. There may be a tiny middling annular tear without neural encroachment
Second MRI, 2012
C2-C3 No significant disc bulge or protrusion visualized, No evidence of neural encroachment
C3-C4 Minimal disc dessication and disc bulge without significant neural encroachment
C4-C5 Disc mildly dessicated with loss of disc heights. There is a small, broad based right paracentral disc protrusion that does efface the thecal sac anteriorly and partially extends into the right neural foramina, resulting in moderate right foraminal narrowing. This is more conspicuous when compared to previous exam.
C5-C6 The disc is moderately dessicated with loss of disc height. There is a broad-based right paracentral disc protrusion that effaces the thecal sac anteriorly. There is mild central canal stenosis with AP dimension of the thecal sac measuring 9mm. The disc protrusion may have a small overlying osteophyte and does result in moderate narrowing of the right neural foramina. This is more conspicuous with compared the previous exa,m.
C6-C7 The disc is mildly dessicated. There is a broad based left paracentral disc protrusion with small annular tear that does efface the thecal sac anteriorly. No central canal stenosis is present. There is very mild narrowing of the left neural foramina.
Post Edited (Kevlar) : 2/26/2017 1:14:19 PM (GMT-7)