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Having pain in neck which spreads through arm. What could be the reason behind this?

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Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 349 Questions
I have a migraine/headache in my neck and have waves of tingling going through my right arm/hand and my lips go numb. It doesn't stay that way, just in waves. I notice it happens more often when I move either my head or my limbs. This also happens sometimes when I don't have a headache. Sometimes it just happens randomly. It will last for a day or two, three at the most.
Posted Mon, 17 Dec 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Piyush Ostwal 1 hour later
Thanks for the query.
The symptoms that you have described are difficult to explain with a diagnosis of migraine. The tingling going down the arm is more suggestive of involvement of nerves in the neck region. The increase in these symptoms with neck movements also support the same thing. Since the lips also become numb so upper part of the cervical spine may also be affected.
I would like to get you evaluated with a MRI scan of the brain and cervical spine.
The combination of headaches, the tingling in limbs and face may be explained if there is a problem in the scan at craniovertebral junction.
You can discuss along these lines with a neurophysician and he will guide you further.
Hope I have answered your queries. If there are more queries, I will be happy to answer.
Good luck.
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Follow-up: Having pain in neck which spreads through arm. What could be the reason behind this? 9 hours later
Thank you. What kind of treatment would be involved if there is something that shows up in a MRI of my spine?
Answered by Dr. Piyush Ostwal 5 hours later

Thanks for the follow up.

The treatment may need surgery. However, if problem is less severe, then medications and physiotherapy alone are sufficient.

Good luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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