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Having pain in hand and neck. Should I go for head MRI?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3397 Questions
I saw a Neurologist last week who recommended a Head MRI

Since then I have had intense pain in my neck and hand problems, like today, my hand was really heavy and I felt like I wanted to shake it or throw it and it felt shaky.

My question I guess is do I need to keep appearing to doctors, or since a test is in place already, shall I just leave it. I don't think the Neurologist had the full picture of my health but then she must have picked up a little.

I am also unsure what constitutes hand weakness, I am having trouble moving my hand - if I spread my hand out the middle finger moves from left to right. Two of my knuckles look bigger than normal and am getting shooting pains at times. Plus trouble moving my fingers as if playing a piano.

A month ago I had stroke like symptoms but am 33.
Posted Wed, 15 Aug 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 3 hours later

Thanks for your query.

The pain in the neck, weakness and pain in hands is a typical presentation when there is a compression over the cervical spinal cord.

I recommend a Neck spine MRI more than a Head MRI.This may show any kind of deformities in the cervical (neck) spine which may be compressing the part of spinal cord which supplies the upper limbs.

The compression of the nerves supplying the upper limbs arising from the cervical spinal cord does present with weakness, shooting pain, abnormal or loss of sensations and rarely swelling due to autonomic disturbances.

I suggest you to get the scan as soon as possible as this is a progressive condition and may need an emergency intervention to cure it.

Please feel free to ask any doubts if you have.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having pain in hand and neck. Should I go for head MRI? 18 minutes later
That would make sense as my neck causes me alot of trouble which is unexplained at present.

Could this cause tingling in face too. There was one incident where I had vision problems and then the heavy hand also and neck problems. I was seeing big blocks of colour rather than clearly and then had trouble controlling my hand.

Whenever I see a doctor they say possible stroke or too young to have a stroke, can the neck compression cause those kinds of sensations also? and possibly confusion?

My mum says that neck problems can cause Migraines and so on, which would explain why I have the symptoms at the same time. I have had them in the past put everything down to Migraines, but I know that it is at least muscular.

I have had varied other symptoms over two years like confusion and sickness and frozen shoulder, tight muscles. I saw a very good physio said I had tightness all over my spine from my pelvis to loose scapula. They did athroscope on my shoulder but nothing on my spine.

It would be a relief if it was something they could find through the MRI. Very good too as I keep having problems but no firm diagnosis, except for a Migraine.

I did have an incident in a car years ago where the car went over a bridge and suddenly dropped, my mum hadn't seen the 5mph warning and my neck went back and forth. Possibly whiplash but never had it checked, then a couple of years after that I was on a rollercoaster and it seemed to flare up again and about two years ago with a chiropractor who crunched my neck and then I was sick after.

Before he the chiroprator had done that he had taken an xray which he said showed I had stiff neck like a soldier, and that he can't see if there is anything else going on but would tell my doctor. But the doctor said he was probably trying to get money.

Many thanks for your time. It helps being able to be prepared before seeing a doctor as I can be clearer that I do have a problem which needs addressing.
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 21 minutes later
Hi again,

Thanks for writing back.

The accident or the minor whip lash like movement in the neck could have been the start of all this, the Xray showing stiff neck could be a clue to consider.

The numbness is a typical and most expected symptom in cervical cord compression, but the vision and Migraine would not be a direct complication but could be an association.

MRI neck would provide detailed insights into the condition and help us to formulate specific management.

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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