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Feeling tightness in neck and shoulder muscles. Getting numbness in face. MRI clear. What's the problem?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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hello,
I get really bad tight neck and shoulder muscles and when that happens I get numbness on half my face (no loss of control and I can still feel things but just numbness) and it runs down to the elbow and down to my pinky and ring fingers. I had an MRI done 2 months ago and it was clear, what could this possibly be?
Posted Thu, 30 Aug 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 2 hours later
Hi,

Thanks for posting your query.

One possibility is presence of a Cervical rib that could cause your symptoms. I assume you have got MRI of the cervical spine. Please let me know if otherwise.

It also could be a milder form of cervical spondylitis or Ankylosing Spondylitis.

The numbness on the face could be due to pressure on the nerve or idiopathic facial palsy.

Hope I have answered your query. Please do write back for follow up queries that you may have.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Feeling tightness in neck and shoulder muscles. Getting numbness in face. MRI clear. What's the problem? 17 minutes later
the MRI was done both on the brain and cervical spine no contrast and everything showed up clear. its only on the left side and always happens when Im stressed which is alot since im in pharmacy school, I spend alot of time on the computer and I noticed it does go away with NSAIDs. could it be possibly just muscle tension pinching the nerves leading to these episodes?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 50 minutes later
Hi,

Thanks for writing back.

I am glad that MRI of both your brain and cervical spine are normal. Stress is definitely one of the reasons for this symptom. Spending a lot of time on the computer aggravates the problem.

It most probably seems like a muscle strain as NSAIDs relieve it. Please continue to take them when in severe pain. In addition, do physiotherapy and stretching exercises of your arms and shoulders, as they increase the blood supply to the muscles and decrease the strain on them.

Do not take too much stress at your pharmacy school.

The possibility of cervical rib, spondylitis, and facial palsy are all ruled out in you.

You shall be fine soon.

Please let me know in case you have further queries to ask.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Feeling tightness in neck and shoulder muscles. Getting numbness in face. MRI clear. What's the problem? 8 days later
Hi,
I forgot to ask do these symptoms show any signs on TIA or stroke? Again there was an MRI done on my neck and brain and I wanted to know would an MRI pick up a TIA or stroke. These symptoms started last year
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 2 hours later
Hi,

Thanks for writing. Hope you are doing well.

TIA or stroke is rare in your age although not impossible. These symptoms alone do not suggest TIA. MRI of the brain would detect TIA, if it was present.

Please get your blood pressure recorded once, if it is normal then you do not have TIA.

Hope this helps.

Do write back in case you have follow up queries to ask.

Regards,
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