Neck and chest pain and arm weakness

Posted by cjfutrell @cjfutrell, Jun 28 4:49pm

Hi everyone. I’ve been on here for a little and have a few posts discussing my symptoms. Everyone has been very helpful and my doctors and I are still trying to come to a diagnosis.

My current symptoms are chest pain, neck pain, upper back pain and arm weakness. The chest pain is a constant dull ache with shortness of breath that lasts all day every day, and occasional jolts that can happen anywhere on the chest at random times and only last for a few seconds usually. The neck pain is more on the trapezius muscle and is only on the right side. The arm weakness, my right arm feels heavy and weak and there’s some pain in the arm pit.

I have asthma, allergies, GERD, and anxiety. My lungs and heart have been checked out and they are fine. Ive had EKGs and chest X-rays and blood tests and also ruled outt the heart kidney liver and anything blood related. I will be seeing a gastro soon to rule out anything related. Anxiety is my new diagnosis by one of my doctors but I have been having pain 24/7 and I get no relief. I want to make sure I rule everything out first.

I guess I am asking if there is anything nerve related that could cause pain where I am feeling. Thanks so much in advance as always.

@cjfutrell The symptoms you describe can be from thoracic outlet syndrome. I have TOS and am seeing a physical therapist who also does myofascial release. It takes long term physical therapy to treat TOS. It is misunderstood by most doctors and the diagnosis is often missed for many years. Here are some links to information about TOS and MFR therapy. There is a provider finder on the MFR website. My TOS was missed when I went through carpal tunnel surgery and that surgery did not resolve all the symptoms. My hand used to turn blue and get cold. TOS can be caused by an injury like a whiplash, or computer use, or repetitive sustained activities with arms raised above the head. It is hard to find a specialist to diagnose this. Often they are thoracic surgeons and work at teaching medical centers that list TOS as a condition they treat. A neurologist in a center like that should be familiar with it.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome https://trainingandrehabilitation.com/how-truly-treat-thoracic-outlet-syndrome/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thoracic-outlet-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20353988
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/

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@jenniferhunter

@cjfutrell The symptoms you describe can be from thoracic outlet syndrome. I have TOS and am seeing a physical therapist who also does myofascial release. It takes long term physical therapy to treat TOS. It is misunderstood by most doctors and the diagnosis is often missed for many years. Here are some links to information about TOS and MFR therapy. There is a provider finder on the MFR website. My TOS was missed when I went through carpal tunnel surgery and that surgery did not resolve all the symptoms. My hand used to turn blue and get cold. TOS can be caused by an injury like a whiplash, or computer use, or repetitive sustained activities with arms raised above the head. It is hard to find a specialist to diagnose this. Often they are thoracic surgeons and work at teaching medical centers that list TOS as a condition they treat. A neurologist in a center like that should be familiar with it.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome https://trainingandrehabilitation.com/how-truly-treat-thoracic-outlet-syndrome/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thoracic-outlet-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20353988
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/

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Hi I’ve seen this before when trying to diagnose myself lol. I do believe that at this point, after ruling out many more urgent reasons for how I’m feeling, that it’s likely more musculoskeletal or nerve related

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@cjfutrell

Hi I’ve seen this before when trying to diagnose myself lol. I do believe that at this point, after ruling out many more urgent reasons for how I’m feeling, that it’s likely more musculoskeletal or nerve related

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@cjfutrell Your best bet is to find a TOS specialist for an evaluation. Look at the websites of the medical centers you are considering and see if they list TOS as a condition that they treat. When I came to Mayo for spine surgery 4 years ago, they re-confirmed my TOS diagnosis. The neurologist listened to my pulse in my neck and had me turn my head which causes the pulse to be diminished. They also evaluated me in the vascular lab and put tiny blood pressure cuffs on each finger as well as my arm, and then moved my arm into a raised position. That also cuts off he blood supply. I have also had Doppler studies where they did the same thing and confirmed the circulation was affected with arm position and/or head turning. If you look at a side view of yourself in a mirror, you might find that your shoulders are forward instead of staying inline with your body. TOS tightens the front of the chest and pulls the shoulder blades out to the side and forward. You should be able to squeeze your shoulder blades together on your back. If you can't, that needs some evaluation. The hard thing about this is finding doctors who understand it and there are a few different types of TOS and different compression points that affect nerves and circulation. You might also ask for a physical therapy evaluation, but first look for a PT who is knowledgeble with TOS. That might help further your progress. A neurologist told me that TOS is usually glossed over in med school and doctors think it is rare. It's not rare, but what is rare is finding a doctor who understands it. Myofascial release helps me a lot, and my PT also used a Dolphin Neurostim device on me which helped a lot. What happens with muscle spasms is that they hold a charge that keeps the muscle in a knot, and if you can neutralize that charge, it can release. We did MFR stretching while using the neurostim current on the same spot and it made a big difference. Dry needling also works this way, but I'm not a fan of needles, so I have been hesitant to try that.

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You didnt state your age, but do you have any family history of Parkinson's or dementia (particularly Lewy Body dementia?)
I was diagnosed at an early age with Lewy Body dementia because i developed shortness of breath, and then started feeling light-headed when i stood up. Also have some of your other symptoms!

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@amesmassage

You didnt state your age, but do you have any family history of Parkinson's or dementia (particularly Lewy Body dementia?)
I was diagnosed at an early age with Lewy Body dementia because i developed shortness of breath, and then started feeling light-headed when i stood up. Also have some of your other symptoms!

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Hi @amesmassage i have a friend who has similar health complaints. I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis. She has gone to several doctors but none were able to help her. Finding an explanation can at least help by learning the disease and knowing what to expect. Can you tell me which health test would identify the illness? Thank you for sharing the information. Wish you well. Were you able to slow down the progression?

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Only a FDG Pet Scan (Fluorodeoxyglucose PET brain scan) can assess brain function in Lewy Body.
EARLY ONSET DEMENTIA is being diagnosed in people as esrly as 30! I was diagnosed at 64. I am now 68.
I was prescribed Aricept which only slows the progression as there is no cure for any of the dementias, but there are 4 different drugs that slow the progression.
I also do LOTS of BRAIN HEALTHY things to help slow the progression, and have actually seen a small improvement in my cognitive abilitities & memory since i started the Brain Healthy prptocols.
Good luck with getting your diagnosis, but GET to MAYO CLINIC or any close medical research clinic/hospital.

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Possibly go with the most simple thing to begin with. Get images and then go to Physical Therapy. There are lots of good moves that can help your posture and then strengthening and relaxing annoyed muscles. Ice/Heat help. I like my osteopathic PT (Rocabado trained), but there are others who are as good. I like the foam roller also. Online, Dr Jo neck and shoulder stretches are great. Sometimes two solutions to a problem help along the way.

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Have you ever had someone put a needle in your arm to draw blood? If so, was there a lot of PAIN at any time?

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@tjaapa

Have you ever had someone put a needle in your arm to draw blood? If so, was there a lot of PAIN at any time?

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@tjaapa, I've given blood many times and have had blood draws for labs many times also. If the nurse or technician is good at it I normally don't even feel the needle going into the skin. I've had a few over the years that left a bruise where the needle went in but rarely had a sore arm.

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Thank you for the message. Because of the needle stick in my left arm I’m a paralyzed Veteran. The pain in my brain has caused me to have 3 brain surgery’s I will include a picture of my left arm just hours after the blood draw. I have read a lot of studies that Mayo Clinic has been doing on needle sticks and hopefully they will take me in as a patient and do a total test so I can be fixed even if it leads to Stem Cells into the brain 🧠

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@tjaapa

Thank you for the message. Because of the needle stick in my left arm I’m a paralyzed Veteran. The pain in my brain has caused me to have 3 brain surgery’s I will include a picture of my left arm just hours after the blood draw. I have read a lot of studies that Mayo Clinic has been doing on needle sticks and hopefully they will take me in as a patient and do a total test so I can be fixed even if it leads to Stem Cells into the brain 🧠

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What may have happened is they may have pushed the needle all the way through the vein. Sometimes a vein blows up. It is very painful because blood escapes into the tissue where it doesn't belong and causes swelling. That has happened to me when an inexperienced person is trying to tap a vein. They can also hit a valve inside the vein which hurts and could cause a misdirected needle. The valves are there so blood cannot back flow since veins are lower pressure. The arteries contract and assist the heart in pumping blood which is why you can feel a pulse. If that is what happened, it should resolve in about 2 weeks. You may see bruising color develop if it gets close to the skin.

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@tjaapa

Have you ever had someone put a needle in your arm to draw blood? If so, was there a lot of PAIN at any time?

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No

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