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sir_buzzalot
@sir_buzzalot

Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 24, 2018

Burning Pins Needles in Arms and Hands

Posted by @sir_buzzalot, Sat, Nov 24 12:01pm

I just found this discussion group and thought I would reach out and possibly learn more about learning to live with my condition. I've had some form of hand pain for more than 15 years. After many MRI scans and lots of meds I had spinal surgery (c5-c6) 5 years ago for narrowing and possible pinched nerve. Unfortunately ended up with c5 palsy which is now better but still weak. Now I get severe pins and needles maybe 4 to 5 times a day with no trigger. Lasts 1 to 5 minutes and then vanishes. I haven't seen much about arm an hand neuropathy. The neurosurgeon has no clue, neurologist has tried more meds, finally the hand surgeon believes there's nothing with my arms and hands but stems from my neck. Got my cannabis license but don't like being in an altered state. Sorry for the long post. I'm open to ideas.

REPLY

@sir_buzzalot , I just opened Connect and your post was right there. Since I deal with some cognitive aka memory issues, I thought I should respond right away. My medical experiences somewhat parallel yours. Neck surgery and a reverse shoulder to try and alleviate some of the discomfort. Both did that somewhat well. I do want to ask if your neurologist has done a skin test for SFN, small fiber neuropathy. That was the test that led to my diagnosis and treatment plan. The pins, needles, tingling, are irritating to say the least. My choice for pain control has been and continues to be Medical cannabis. My neurologist and I have created an integrative approach. Part of that plan is a compounded topical to keep the pins and needles at bay for a bit. You can use them at night for ease in getting to sleep. I also use a cannabis topical during the day. And you never have to be in an altered state if you learn what products give you dosage control and you learn about their start and stop effectiveness time. Welcome, you have great resources here. If you want to get back to me, I am happy to share experiences with you. My journey is better with Connect. Chris

Hello @sir_buzzalot, I would like to add my welcome to Chris's @artscaping. Chris has shared some great suggestions that help her. I would also like to recommend that you join in another discussion that may be helpful where you will meet other members that share similar symptoms and learn what they are doing for treatments also.

Groups > Neuropathy > Living with Neuropathy – Welcome to the group
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-with-neuropathy-welcome-to-the-group/

@sir_buzzalot have you found anything that helps you?

There is a good easy to understand explanation of small fiber peripheral neuropathy by Matthew B. Jensen. Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Wisconsin that may be helpful:

John

Liked by Jamie Olson

@sir_buzzalot Here is something to think about. The nerve pain you have can come from any point along that nerve path where there is a physical compression. You can have multiple points of nerve compression too of the same nerve. I'm a Mayo spine surgery patient and had cervical canal stenosis at C5/C6 with a collapsed disc and bone spurs. I also have thoracic outlet syndrome that caused compression of nerves going to my arms and it caused pain, numbness, tingling, and my hands would turn blue. I had carpal tunnel surgery too. These were all issues on the same nerve pathways. The surgical path creates scar tissue, and with the frontal approach with ACDF surgery, that scar tissue is in close proximity to the already tight muscles in my neck and shoulder because of the TOS. TOS in a postural problem too and muscles that are too tight are holding the shoulder in the wrong position.

Spine surgery made my TOS worse for a while when I was in my neckbrace and I had to stop my PT, and had tight scar tissue I came to Mayo because many outside doctors do not understand TOS and I needed spine surgery at a place that understood both. If you have this, that could be a reason why you still have pain because you could have another problem like TOS as they have some overlap in symptoms.

Surgery creates fascial scar tissue which tightens everything and can increase pain. MFR work with a therapist trained in the John Barnes methods can break up that scar tissue and get things functioning more normally and reduce pain. See myofascialrelease.com for info. You can also call Therapy on the Rocks in Sedona , and ask for names of PTs who have trained there if you don't find any near you from the website. Here is some information about TOS. I hope some of this might be helpful. Treating the scar tissue might make a difference. FYI, a lot of doctors don't understand or accept the MFR therapy, but it works for me. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thoracic-outlet-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20353988

@jenniferhunter, @sir_buzzalot, I forgot about the scar tissue and fascia issues after that surgery. That is in large part why the MFR, Myofascial release therapy massages were recommended to me in the first place. And your analysis is much more thorough than mine. I also had one nerve so damaged prior to surgery that there is no way it can heal in my anticipated life time. So I just try to keep it happy. I do make sure that I can turn my head enough to drive safely. I have 4 of those little blocks in my neck.

@artscaping

@jenniferhunter, @sir_buzzalot, I forgot about the scar tissue and fascia issues after that surgery. That is in large part why the MFR, Myofascial release therapy massages were recommended to me in the first place. And your analysis is much more thorough than mine. I also had one nerve so damaged prior to surgery that there is no way it can heal in my anticipated life time. So I just try to keep it happy. I do make sure that I can turn my head enough to drive safely. I have 4 of those little blocks in my neck.

Jump to this post

@artscaping Thanks, Chris. It sounds like you've been through a lot. I'm lucky that I have only one fused level and my range of motion is normal. Have you tried Arnica gel? I used to put that on my neck before I had spine surgery and it helped dull the pain. My physical therapist also used a Dolphin Nerve stimulator to block pain neurotransmitters. It helped temporarily. You could buy one of those if it helps you. You could get a PT to try it on you. It sends a small current in-between 2 handheld devices. A tens unit could help and works like that, but with electrodes that stick to your skin.

@artscaping

@sir_buzzalot , I just opened Connect and your post was right there. Since I deal with some cognitive aka memory issues, I thought I should respond right away. My medical experiences somewhat parallel yours. Neck surgery and a reverse shoulder to try and alleviate some of the discomfort. Both did that somewhat well. I do want to ask if your neurologist has done a skin test for SFN, small fiber neuropathy. That was the test that led to my diagnosis and treatment plan. The pins, needles, tingling, are irritating to say the least. My choice for pain control has been and continues to be Medical cannabis. My neurologist and I have created an integrative approach. Part of that plan is a compounded topical to keep the pins and needles at bay for a bit. You can use them at night for ease in getting to sleep. I also use a cannabis topical during the day. And you never have to be in an altered state if you learn what products give you dosage control and you learn about their start and stop effectiveness time. Welcome, you have great resources here. If you want to get back to me, I am happy to share experiences with you. My journey is better with Connect. Chris

Jump to this post

Your recent post seems to have renewed my hope that, perhaps, I might be able to get some relief from this darn pain I have been wrestling with for 19 years. I do have my card from the Mass. DPH which allows me to have access to medical marijuana. Problem is I have never used that stuff so I do not even know how to begin or what to ask for. I would welcome and appreciate any thoughts/suggestions on what I should get and how to use it. I do thank you for your insights.
Arnrob

@sir_buzzalot If it is helpful…here are some things I learned after quite a bit of experimentation with medical cannabis. If a friend can be your coach, that is wonderful. If you can identify with one of the staff at the dispensary, that can also be good. I have James at the dispensary who is close to my age. When in doubt I ask for James.

After experimenting with quite a few of the product options, I eliminated those that were unreliable in terms of dosage or over promised and under delivered in general. Edibles…..my advice is to not go there. The dosage level is unpredictable. Choose one or two products that have a slow start up — 30 minutes or more. yet have longer effectiveness, e.g. 3-4 hours. Find dosage levels in these that allow you to medicate but do not interfere with activities requiring attention, e.g. driving.

For me, the long-lasting tinctures are my choice to be taken under the tongue or in a beverage. They are available with different CBD/THC ratios. So, you do need enough THC to activate the calming effects of the CBD. I choose 2:1 (2 parts CBD – 1 part THC) for my morning dose and one full dropper. If my afternoon discomfort, aka pins and needles, is a bit worse, I will choose a 1:1 (50% CBD and 50% THC). I use less than a dropper for this strength and put it in a beverage. Sip it while doing something relaxing…meditation, a good movie, yoga.

That often takes me through till bedtime. For breakthrough discomfort or anxiety that brings on more pain, I use a vape battery called the Palm and then a cartridge of whatever ratio works for me. The relief is immediate. However, wait at least 15 minutes before using it again. And a couple of no-nos. Do not use cannabis on an empty stomach. Do not mix cannabis with any alcoholic beverage. Remember this rule…..you can always have more….you can never have less. This might be too much information. So feel free to ask questions. You may soon run out past my realm of experience because my situation may be very different from yours. Be safe, be pain-free. Chris

@artscaping

@sir_buzzalot , I just opened Connect and your post was right there. Since I deal with some cognitive aka memory issues, I thought I should respond right away. My medical experiences somewhat parallel yours. Neck surgery and a reverse shoulder to try and alleviate some of the discomfort. Both did that somewhat well. I do want to ask if your neurologist has done a skin test for SFN, small fiber neuropathy. That was the test that led to my diagnosis and treatment plan. The pins, needles, tingling, are irritating to say the least. My choice for pain control has been and continues to be Medical cannabis. My neurologist and I have created an integrative approach. Part of that plan is a compounded topical to keep the pins and needles at bay for a bit. You can use them at night for ease in getting to sleep. I also use a cannabis topical during the day. And you never have to be in an altered state if you learn what products give you dosage control and you learn about their start and stop effectiveness time. Welcome, you have great resources here. If you want to get back to me, I am happy to share experiences with you. My journey is better with Connect. Chris

Jump to this post

Chris, thank you for the supportive reply. I have tried cannabis in multiple formats. I’m self conscious of smoking and with the pins and needles coming on quickly and only lasting two to ten minutes topical really doesn’t make a lot of sense so I try indica capsules ever so often. Problem with that is it hits me a couple hours later and can put me into an altered state. I have to be careful since I still work and I don’t like to be out of it when I’m out with family. My neuropathy is a bit different in that it doesn’t get worse at night, just constantly flares up during the day. Looking forward to learning more on Connect.

@arnrob, I hope I didn't miss you with my reply to another Connect member. Just in case, here is the response to your question. If it is helpful…here are some things I learned after quite a bit of experimentation with medical cannabis. If a friend can be your coach, that is wonderful. If you can identify with one of the staff at the dispensary, that can also be good. I have James at the dispensary who is close to my age. When in doubt I ask for James.

After experimenting with quite a few of the product options, I eliminated those that were unreliable in terms of dosage or over promised and under delivered in general. Edibles…..my advice is to not go there. The dosage level is unpredictable. Choose one or two products that have a slow start up — 30 minutes or more. yet have longer effectiveness, e.g. 3-4 hours. Find dosage levels in these that allow you to medicate but do not interfere with activities requiring attention, e.g. driving.

For me, the long-lasting tinctures are my choice to be taken under the tongue or in a beverage. They are available with different CBD/THC ratios. So, you do need enough THC to activate the calming effects of the CBD. I choose 2:1 (2 parts CBD – 1 part THC) for my morning dose and one full dropper. If my afternoon discomfort, aka pins and needles, is a bit worse, I will choose a 1:1 (50% CBD and 50% THC). I use less than a dropper for this strength and put it in a beverage. Sip it while doing something relaxing…meditation, a good movie, yoga.

That often takes me through till bedtime. For breakthrough discomfort or anxiety that brings on more pain, I use a vape battery called the Palm and then a cartridge of whatever ratio works for me. The relief is immediate. However, wait at least 15 minutes before using it again. And a couple of no-nos. Do not use cannabis on an empty stomach. Do not mix cannabis with any alcoholic beverage. Remember this rule…..you can always have more….you can never have less. This might be too much information. So feel free to ask questions. You may soon run out past my realm of experience because my situation may be very different from yours. Be safe, be pain-free. Chris

@artscaping

@sir_buzzalot If it is helpful…here are some things I learned after quite a bit of experimentation with medical cannabis. If a friend can be your coach, that is wonderful. If you can identify with one of the staff at the dispensary, that can also be good. I have James at the dispensary who is close to my age. When in doubt I ask for James.

After experimenting with quite a few of the product options, I eliminated those that were unreliable in terms of dosage or over promised and under delivered in general. Edibles…..my advice is to not go there. The dosage level is unpredictable. Choose one or two products that have a slow start up — 30 minutes or more. yet have longer effectiveness, e.g. 3-4 hours. Find dosage levels in these that allow you to medicate but do not interfere with activities requiring attention, e.g. driving.

For me, the long-lasting tinctures are my choice to be taken under the tongue or in a beverage. They are available with different CBD/THC ratios. So, you do need enough THC to activate the calming effects of the CBD. I choose 2:1 (2 parts CBD – 1 part THC) for my morning dose and one full dropper. If my afternoon discomfort, aka pins and needles, is a bit worse, I will choose a 1:1 (50% CBD and 50% THC). I use less than a dropper for this strength and put it in a beverage. Sip it while doing something relaxing…meditation, a good movie, yoga.

That often takes me through till bedtime. For breakthrough discomfort or anxiety that brings on more pain, I use a vape battery called the Palm and then a cartridge of whatever ratio works for me. The relief is immediate. However, wait at least 15 minutes before using it again. And a couple of no-nos. Do not use cannabis on an empty stomach. Do not mix cannabis with any alcoholic beverage. Remember this rule…..you can always have more….you can never have less. This might be too much information. So feel free to ask questions. You may soon run out past my realm of experience because my situation may be very different from yours. Be safe, be pain-free. Chris

Jump to this post

Wow Chris, this is really good stuff. I’m going to stop by the clinic tomorrow and discuss options with the tincture. I think that although you go into the clinic and explain your issues they sometimes just focus on what the general public is looking for which is the opposite of what I need.

@johnbishop

Hello @sir_buzzalot, I would like to add my welcome to Chris's @artscaping. Chris has shared some great suggestions that help her. I would also like to recommend that you join in another discussion that may be helpful where you will meet other members that share similar symptoms and learn what they are doing for treatments also.

Groups > Neuropathy > Living with Neuropathy – Welcome to the group
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-with-neuropathy-welcome-to-the-group/

@sir_buzzalot have you found anything that helps you?

There is a good easy to understand explanation of small fiber peripheral neuropathy by Matthew B. Jensen. Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Wisconsin that may be helpful:

John

Jump to this post

Thanks John. I’ll check out the other group in a bit. The video is interesting but the symptoms are quite different from mine which may be why it’s been difficult to get a diagnosis. I have yet to find anything that helps which combined with not finding any triggers compounds the difficulty in getting a diagnosis. It will be good to hear from other people living with similar issues as it really does seem a lot more supportive than the limited time with professionals.

@arnrob

Your recent post seems to have renewed my hope that, perhaps, I might be able to get some relief from this darn pain I have been wrestling with for 19 years. I do have my card from the Mass. DPH which allows me to have access to medical marijuana. Problem is I have never used that stuff so I do not even know how to begin or what to ask for. I would welcome and appreciate any thoughts/suggestions on what I should get and how to use it. I do thank you for your insights.
Arnrob

Jump to this post

Arnrob, even though I have had my medical card for close to a year I still am a newbie. I tried edibles but wasn’t clear on the dosage. Topicals really weren’t for me since my pain flares up out of nowhere and only lasts two to ten minutes. I really need something to stave off the pain or something that can take immediate effect. So I tried smoking but didn’t like the altered state feeling. So I ended up using indica cbd capsules but even there I would find myself in an altered state two hours after ingesting. Based on reading Chris’s post I’m going to check out tincture which may be easier to control.

@artscaping

@arnrob, I hope I didn't miss you with my reply to another Connect member. Just in case, here is the response to your question. If it is helpful…here are some things I learned after quite a bit of experimentation with medical cannabis. If a friend can be your coach, that is wonderful. If you can identify with one of the staff at the dispensary, that can also be good. I have James at the dispensary who is close to my age. When in doubt I ask for James.

After experimenting with quite a few of the product options, I eliminated those that were unreliable in terms of dosage or over promised and under delivered in general. Edibles…..my advice is to not go there. The dosage level is unpredictable. Choose one or two products that have a slow start up — 30 minutes or more. yet have longer effectiveness, e.g. 3-4 hours. Find dosage levels in these that allow you to medicate but do not interfere with activities requiring attention, e.g. driving.

For me, the long-lasting tinctures are my choice to be taken under the tongue or in a beverage. They are available with different CBD/THC ratios. So, you do need enough THC to activate the calming effects of the CBD. I choose 2:1 (2 parts CBD – 1 part THC) for my morning dose and one full dropper. If my afternoon discomfort, aka pins and needles, is a bit worse, I will choose a 1:1 (50% CBD and 50% THC). I use less than a dropper for this strength and put it in a beverage. Sip it while doing something relaxing…meditation, a good movie, yoga.

That often takes me through till bedtime. For breakthrough discomfort or anxiety that brings on more pain, I use a vape battery called the Palm and then a cartridge of whatever ratio works for me. The relief is immediate. However, wait at least 15 minutes before using it again. And a couple of no-nos. Do not use cannabis on an empty stomach. Do not mix cannabis with any alcoholic beverage. Remember this rule…..you can always have more….you can never have less. This might be too much information. So feel free to ask questions. You may soon run out past my realm of experience because my situation may be very different from yours. Be safe, be pain-free. Chris

Jump to this post

Thank you thank you. Most helpful. One question. I believe you also mentioned some kind of topical ointment/crème. Can this be purchased at a cannabis store or is this something that is best obtained via a compounding pharmacy? Can you suggest the specific ingredients?
Arnrob

@sir_buzzalot

Arnrob, even though I have had my medical card for close to a year I still am a newbie. I tried edibles but wasn’t clear on the dosage. Topicals really weren’t for me since my pain flares up out of nowhere and only lasts two to ten minutes. I really need something to stave off the pain or something that can take immediate effect. So I tried smoking but didn’t like the altered state feeling. So I ended up using indica cbd capsules but even there I would find myself in an altered state two hours after ingesting. Based on reading Chris’s post I’m going to check out tincture which may be easier to control.

Jump to this post

I will also be trying out her suggestions. Let us know how you make out – as will I.
Arnrob

@arnrob

Thank you thank you. Most helpful. One question. I believe you also mentioned some kind of topical ointment/crème. Can this be purchased at a cannabis store or is this something that is best obtained via a compounding pharmacy? Can you suggest the specific ingredients?
Arnrob

Jump to this post

@arnrob, This is from a compound pharmacy called Ambrosia in Palm Desert. The compound consists of Lidocaine 10%, Prilocaine 2.5%, Ketoprofen 5%, Ketamine 5%, Amitryptiline 10% added to a base.
It takes the tingles away just long enough for you to go to sleep. You can also use it during the day as needed. I use a Papa and Barkly Relief Balm in a 3:1 from the Medical Cannabis Dispensary during the day. Chris

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