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Armpit pain, arm coldness, chest pain sensations in the breast - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2347 Questions
User :   Armpit pain, arm coldness, some chest pain sensations in the breast area and now entire leg goes cold - same side for each - right side
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   from when you have this problem ?
User :   Fall last year - sometime in Nov 2009
Doctor :   may i know your age ?
User :   the armpit pain first - trailed into shoulder and neck area
User :   43
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   arm pit pain started first and than it radiated to shoulder and neck area ?
User :   yes, almost felt like whiplash
User :   you want me to tell you what I have had done since last year?
Doctor :   yes i would like to know the complete history
User :   ok, 6 yrs ago I had a spinal fusion c5 & c6
Doctor :   ok

User :   no problems from that really - on skelaxin eery night - one only
User :   so last year I started with the armpit pain
User :   then it went into the shoulder area to the back
User :   of shoulder area
Doctor :   ok
User :   seemed to go away for awhile
User :   then in Dec it came back
User :   strong pain in armpit
User :   and went into neck like whiplash
User :   went to neuro
User :   he checked the fusion with a CT scan
User :   said it came back fine
User :   said my vit D was low and it could cause the pain - but weird to me since pain was centralized
User :   but ook them
User :   tool
Doctor :   ok
User :   then ordered a nerve conduct study
User :   came back fine
User :   went to a vascular
User :   he did a ultrasound of arm, said it looked fine
Doctor :   ok
User :   sent me to a TOC Dr - thinking possible Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Doctor :   ok
User :   that Dr just said he didn;t know if I had it or not and said PT
User :   then it started on occasion going into my breast area
User :   so had a diagnostic mammo
User :   came back fine
Doctor :   ok
User :   went to a Fibromyal clinic
User :   she suggested the ganglion nerve and sent me to a 2nd neuro
Doctor :   ok
User :   he said possible RSD and gave me Savella and said home PT
User :   that was almost 2 mos ago
Doctor :   ok
User :   no difference in the armpit pain
User :   and arm still aches when doing most minor movements
User :   aches to the elbow area - coldness in arm off and on
User :   and now I have noticed leg sensations when I walk and this past weekend - now my entire leg will go cold, including my foot
Doctor :   ok
User :   very frustrated at this point with all the Dr appts and tests and worried
User :   what do u think?
Doctor :   was nerve conduction tests done on the affected
side ?
User :   yes on arm - and right side of neck
Doctor :   what did the report say ?

User :   oh and that side of the neck - sometimes feels swollen in back and get weird sensations that go up neck into check area under ear
User :   said all was fine
Doctor :   is there any associated weakness of the arm ?
User :   TOC Dr said he noticed some when I was squeezing his hands
User :   I have only noticed that it acts up alot and I have to baby it, so it doesn't get unbearable pain
Doctor :   is there any wasting( loss of muscle bulk) on the affected side
User :   don't think so
User :   sometimes I feel as if I droop that side, but could be in my head
Doctor :   is there any aggravating factor( factor which increases the arm pit pain) ?
User :   just feels like my entire shoulder, arm and armpit are heading towards disabled
User :   movement aggravates
User :   driving, walking and swinging arm, raising arm, using a mouse to work
Doctor :   how about the other sensations like touch, temperature vibration sense at the affected region ?
User :   when I touch the armpit area - it is very sore and it will aggrate yes
User :   feels colder to the touch than the other
Doctor :   is sweating present in the affected region ?
User :   my reg Dr did a touch test and I felt like I felt the coldness more - so I guess more sensative
User :   no
Doctor :   is there any redness of the region affected( color change)
User :   no
Doctor :   applying cold to the affected region will it bring relief from the pain ?
User :   haven't tried that
User :   tried heat when back and neck acted up - and it felt good, as long as it was on - but made my neck feel like it would swell
Doctor :   you have feeling of coldness in the leg, does the toe tips turn blue ?
User :   almost like a sore throat but only on one side
User :   not just cold
User :   could any of this be caused by weight?
User :   I'm 5'1 and 144 lbs
Doctor :   no it is not related to weight

Doctor :   it is some thing to do with the sensory system of the skin
Doctor :   what you are experiencing is called as HYperesthesia ordysesthesia
Doctor :   where in the skin in some part of the body do become hypersensitive and give rise to the above problems
Doctor :   the pain is neuropathic in origin
Doctor :   are you on any medications ?
User :   I am currently taking savella - 50 mg twice a day
User :   and still take the skelaxin at night - 800 mg
User :   so my neck doesn't feel like I slept on it wrong - like stiff
User :   I take goody powders for pain
User :   and butal/apa/caf tabs too - prescribed for migraines
User :   but is all I have for pain
Doctor :   ok

User :   sometimes borrow percocet from friends for pain too
User :   but it is always there, no matter what
Doctor :   have these medicines brought any relief ? any improvement in the perception of pain ?
User :   yes they help, but it always comes back - so feel like I am medicated all the time to get relief
User :   so trying to work, raise kids and do normal housework can be a problem
Doctor :   ok
User :   feel helpless for a fix or even a proper diagnosis up to this point
Doctor :   it is neuropathic pain with associated hyperesthesia / dysesthesia
Doctor :   sorry to say this, there is no permanent fix for this kind of neuropathic pains
Doctor :   but it can be controlled with medications
Doctor :   the goal is to achieve a level where in the least possible dose of medicine will bring maximum comfort
Doctor :   some times it is seen that the pain does go off by itself after causing morbidity for some years.
Doctor :   the exact cause for such pains are poorly understood
Doctor :   diagnostic work up is done to rule out the possible treatable causes
User :   so what type of meds do u think I need to be taking? And what causes something like this problem?
Doctor :   as is said the cause for such type of pains is poorly understood ?
Doctor :   most of th time the cause is idiopathic
Doctor :   regarding the medicines
Doctor :   present medicines if they are providing adequate comfort than that medicine only can be continued along with physiotherapy.
Doctor :   if the present medicines do not provide the adequate relief
Doctor :   than there are medicines which belongs to TCA group
Doctor :   that may be prescribed and it might control the pain
Doctor :   neurologist will decide the dosage and type of the medicine
Doctor :   also the alternative therapy
Doctor :   like acupressure, acupuncture can be tried
User :   so do you think the Savella is in that category?
Doctor :   no it is not in that category
Doctor :   it is in different category used for chronic pain
User :   ok and my Dr would know if I mentioned this - which to try?
Doctor :   definitely he will know
User :   thank you for your time today
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