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mlerin (@mlerin)

Excruciating pain from cervical (C7/T1) radiculopathy

Spine Health | Last Active: Mar 3 11:43am | Replies (22)

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@birdman518

I recently posted about my experiences with realizing that I have (99% probability) cervical radiculopathy, plus possible ulnar nerve damage that causes pain and tingling from my neck down to my right hand. All fingers are affected, but mostly my thumb and index finger.

But the most pain I have is in my shoulder. I have assumed this was related to the neuropathy, but then I realized that the amount and intensity is almost the same as when I had a rotator cuff injury from playing tennis… probably at least 15 years ago. But I have not done anything like that to cause that problem to recur.

Does this sound to anyone here like it is part of the nerve issues? Has anyone with C6/7 nerve pain had shoulder pain?

Thanks,

Mitch

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Replies to "I recently posted about my experiences with realizing that I have (99% probability) cervical radiculopathy, plus..."

@birdman518 the moderator referred you to me.. my Cervical problem were two fold..I went to my spine surgeon who had 5 years before done a successful lumbar fusion. I complained that now I had a pain in the neck with pain down my arm. He injected an epidural and told me to come back in 3 days. The epidural did not help, so he then said that I had cubital tunnel syndrome..a problem with that nerve that runs down the arm around the elbow (as crazy bone). He referred me to an arm surgeon who fixed the problem.. my spine surgeon also noted that my Cervical discs were getting very thin …he prescribed a cervical traction device that I put on the floor, get down in it and pump it up .. which stretches my neck some. ..I worked with a physical Therapist who showed me how to work it. . That traction gave those discs some relief…. I've been doing that for over 15 years and it really helps giving relief.. I am 83 now and get around pretty good.. That OKC doctor really knew his stuff…

@birdman518 I had a collapsed C5/C6 disc which did cause pain in my shoulder blade area. I also have thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) which also affects that, and TOS does also cause the ulnar nerve to be affected. You can have issues in all of those areas adding to your pain, and it is important that your doctors figure out where your pain is coming from because surgery in the wrong place isn't going to help the entire problem. It could solve part of it and leave another cause undiagnosed. I had that situation where carpal tunnel surgery didn't fix my issues because they missed TOS. Did your neurologist discuss TOS with you? It is often misdiagnosed and missed and the doctors who are familiar with it are in paces where TOS is treated. Physical therapy helps TOS. My disc had collapsed about 50% and I also had bone spurs pushing into my spinal cord. My nerve roots were fine, no compression, but because the vertebrae were much closer together, if I side bent my neck. I sent some major pain down my arm. I had a C5/C6 fusion which resolved my spine issues and I still work on the TOS in therapy. A surgeon even told me that the shoulder pain was related to the cervical disc issue. You should ask about TOS. There are some arm nerve entrapment issues in the arm too where bending stretches the nerve that have some surgical options. Try to find out why your doctors think the problem is in your arm. That pain can be generated anywhere along the nerve path from the spine, the nerve roots, through the shoulder (where TOS can compress it) and in the arm. It could be all of those issues or just some of them. The doctors need to figure that out. Her are some links about TOS.
https://mskneurology.com/how-truly-treat-thoracic-outlet-syndrome/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thoracic-outlet-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20353988

I have a C6 herniation with severe pain going down into my shoulder that continues down my arm, forearm, into my thumb and index finger. My shoulder pain is so severe they checked to make sure I didn’t injure my shoulder or rotator cuff when I went to the ER (there was not). The shoulder pain is deep and intense.