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Arm pain both arms...nerves

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WendyKroyxo View Drop Down
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    Posted: Dec/30/2016 at 10:22am
Hi I wanted to ask a few questions. Maybe someone can help. My brother is 32 and has had severe arm pain for the last 10 months. He wakes up screaming in pain and says he can't take it anymore. His is unable to move both arms inward and up past a certain part. It's equivalent to being paralyzed in the arms but with extreme pain. He can't do anything for himself. He's been to various doctors. He thought his shoulders had a slap tear but the orthopedic surgeon said no after looking at his MRIs of both shoulders. His brain, neck, and spine mri has come back normal. There is no MS. The neurologist booked an arm nerve test months ago but my brother was in too much pain to take it. We just rebooked it for next month and also now ordered an MRI of both brachial plexus sides. My fears are after reading through the internet that if the nerves have been damaged, we waited too long to do the nerve test and it could be permanent. It's crazy to me that someone could damage nerves in each arm at the same time. The only thing we can think of is 3 years ago, he had a car accident and had to pop both shoulders back in. He was fine for the next 3 years and said he was getting out of bed one (11 months ago) and felt severe pain in both arms that hasn't gone away. He hasn't gotten better in the least bit in all this time. It seems he is getting worse. Are these problems fixable or could it be permanent?
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Stevie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/30/2016 at 10:36am
Hi Wendy---

It's really going to depend upon a diagnosis to determine if this pain is permanent. What comes to mind is something such as CRPS ----chronic regional pain syndrome which generally does come on following some sort of trauma.

He does need a good Neurologist to follow and treat him. Has he been put on Lyrica or Gabapentin? Has he tried MMJ?
I'm so sorry to hear that he is in such pain and hope he can find something to help him get relief. But honestly he needs to be diagnosed and treated appropriately. Have you considered going to a major University Hospital?

Please donate to help Chronicpainsite.com continue to help others.

My journey with chronic pain began over 30 years ago, while as a young nurse working spinal rehab, I injured my back lifting a patient. I am now fused from L2-S1. I have multiple thoracic and cervical issues. I'm a retired RN/PA and I know and understand the frustrations on both ends of the treatment spectrum of dealing with CP. It's been my goal since 2008, when we started this site, to reach out and help as many people in pain as possible. We will continue the fight as long as we can. Please, if you can help us continue to help you and others, donate. Thank you.
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WendyKroyxo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WendyKroyxo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/30/2016 at 1:29pm
Thank you for responding. He hasn't tried any of those medications. Just pain killers that the doctor wrote out. I will definitely look into them. The doctor did rule out nerve damage in the spine and neck which is good. Can nerve damage be cured if it's in both arms? Thanks
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Stevie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/30/2016 at 3:54pm
Yes---- please have his Dr prescribe either one of these----they work on nerve pain while narcotics and other pain medications are not very effective.

Nerve pain is so complex. It depends upon the cause and how long it's been ongoing to determine if it will resolve. But there are options such as the medications I mentioned along with other alternative treatments such as acupuncture or the use of a TENS machine or SCS (spinal cord stimulator) that may or may not help. Ice and or heat. It's a lot of trial and error, but first and foremost a cause of the pain really needs to be found.

Please donate to help Chronicpainsite.com continue to help others.

My journey with chronic pain began over 30 years ago, while as a young nurse working spinal rehab, I injured my back lifting a patient. I am now fused from L2-S1. I have multiple thoracic and cervical issues. I'm a retired RN/PA and I know and understand the frustrations on both ends of the treatment spectrum of dealing with CP. It's been my goal since 2008, when we started this site, to reach out and help as many people in pain as possible. We will continue the fight as long as we can. Please, if you can help us continue to help you and others, donate. Thank you.
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WendyKroyxo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WendyKroyxo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/30/2016 at 4:47pm
Do you know if the medicine will help only the pain or will it be able to increase mobility as well? Thank you :)
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Stevie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/30/2016 at 5:47pm
If pain is reduced, maybe mobility will improve. But again, what is the cause of this condition? That's really the bottom line.

Has he been seen by a Physiotherapist? Has anyone ruled out bilateral adhesive capulitis(frozen shoulder)? I've had it---it's painful and definitely reduces mobility. I doubt it's something that "simple" but should have been ruled out. Physio helped me get over it. Just a thought as a really good PT may have some ideas based upon an exam and past medical history. But there are many possibilities and I would think that an orthopedic surgeon should have been able to pinpoint something or at the very least referred him to someone else.

Please donate to help Chronicpainsite.com continue to help others.

My journey with chronic pain began over 30 years ago, while as a young nurse working spinal rehab, I injured my back lifting a patient. I am now fused from L2-S1. I have multiple thoracic and cervical issues. I'm a retired RN/PA and I know and understand the frustrations on both ends of the treatment spectrum of dealing with CP. It's been my goal since 2008, when we started this site, to reach out and help as many people in pain as possible. We will continue the fight as long as we can. Please, if you can help us continue to help you and others, donate. Thank you.
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WendyKroyxo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WendyKroyxo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/31/2016 at 11:01pm
I would think an orthopedic would be able to pinpoint something as well. Do nerves show up on MRIS? He had a thoracic spine, cervical spine, and both shoulder MRIS done that came back as normal. If it was the brachial plexus (says its a network of nerves around the neck and shoulder) would that have shown on any of those MRIS? He hasn't seen a physiotherapist. He says every movement hurts worse even when the doctors touch him. It's so frustrating. My head feels so cluttered from worries.
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Stevie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/01/2017 at 11:46am
No---nerves don't show on MRI's.

The fact that touch hurts him changes a lot. It's not sounding as if something mechanical is wrong to cause nerve pain. I'm wondering about something like Myositis or Fibromyalgia. He should have had blood work done to check on his Sed rate or C Reactive Protein to check for an inflammatory process or autoimmune disease. At least rule that out.

Perhaps his Dr can try a short course of steroids if his labs show inflammation which would help the pain. Also, the other drugs I mentioned in an earlier post.

Please donate to help Chronicpainsite.com continue to help others.

My journey with chronic pain began over 30 years ago, while as a young nurse working spinal rehab, I injured my back lifting a patient. I am now fused from L2-S1. I have multiple thoracic and cervical issues. I'm a retired RN/PA and I know and understand the frustrations on both ends of the treatment spectrum of dealing with CP. It's been my goal since 2008, when we started this site, to reach out and help as many people in pain as possible. We will continue the fight as long as we can. Please, if you can help us continue to help you and others, donate. Thank you.
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Edie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Edie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/02/2017 at 12:23am
The  findings of an MRI on any area of the spine would show the state of the discs and vertebrates. It can show if there are herniated discs, bulges, stenosis, etc.  From these findings, the doctor deducts whether there is  compression on the nerve roots. Nerve root impinging can cause excruciating pain on the area they cover. For instance, impinging on the cervical nerves roots can cause pain down the arm on the respective side. This often comes with tingling and numbing of the arm, but not always.

Other then trauma, Osteoarthritis is often the cause of these disruptions.

When your brother had his MRI's, did he follow up with a consult with an Ortho or Neuro surgeon? These are the doctors who usually will make a diagnosis after an MRI. Since his problem is in the arms, a Neuro Surgeon with be my suggestion. They are the ones that usually deal with the cervical area of the spine.

After reading all your posts, Fibromyalgia, started to sound more and more likely. A check on this would be a good idea...There is a Forum in this site dedicated to this condition. You may want to take a look and see if you find something helpful in it...Edie

I hope your brother will find what is causing his pain soon so he can start working on it.


Chronic pain throughout the spine caused by osteoarthritis (DDD). Started at neck, spread to thoracic, and lately to lumbar area. Most of my spine is affected by bulges, disc height loss and dehydration, bone spurs, annular tears, foraminal stenosis, probable nerve impingement, and degeneration at end plates and facets.

The disease extends from Cervical C2-3 to C7-T1. Thoracic T4 to T10.
Lumbar T12-L1 to L5-S1.
It is all non operable.

Other conditions
TKR R Knee.
Torn ACL, MCL L knee,
Pain on legs and calves
Deep vein thrombosis
Migraine headaches
Painful spots all over scalp
COPD
Hypertension
Chronic Hyperventilation. Caused by anxiety or stress
Chronic depression and insomnia
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WendyKroyxo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WendyKroyxo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/02/2017 at 1:49pm
Thank you Stevie and Edie. I truly appreciate the help. He had the MRIS in the hospital and I think the neurologist there looked at it after the radiologist and said normal. Also we took the disc to the new neurologist who just ordered the the nerve test and brachial MRIS but more out of guessing, not because she saw something on his MRI. I'm unsure of his CRP but his sed rate was 2 which is super low.
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Jeff View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/04/2017 at 4:45am
Your brother might need a myelogram to look more closely at the spinal cord.  I have pain from damage to my spinal cord due to years of compression of the cord and the nerve roots, and I had spine surgery to remove the bone spurs that had grown into my cord and caused a deep bruise.  Can you describe the kind of arm pain he is having in more detail?  Is it a throbbing ache, or is it like being stabbed with a knife, or like he is getting electrocuted, or pins and needles piercing into his fingers, or what?  Does the pain radiate down the arm or feel like it is in the neck and arms at the same time?  Does your brother ever get numbness or tingling in the arm or hands?

Jeff
Ankylosing spondylitis & osteoporosis -> compression fractures -> facet & ligamentum flavum hypertrophy-> stenosis -> spinal cord & nerve root compression -> cervical myelopathy & radiculopathy -> bruise & deformation of my spinal cord -> incomplete spinal cord injury -> postlaminectomy syndrome of cervical region. Cervical laminectomy & fusion decompressed my cord but I now have severe chronic pain. Pain meds = Oxycontin, Percocet, Lyrica, Soma, Cymbalta, Voltaren Gel, & Ketamine pain cream. 11 surgeries including 5 orthopedic & 1 neurosurgery.

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