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Having tingling in upper back and numbness in arm. What should I do?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 5165 Questions
I am having tingling in my upper back periodically most days and numbness in my right arm periodically (like when I raise my arm to fix my hair or talk on the phone). also, numbness in my right arm sometimes at night when I sleep on my right side. What should I do? Please respond by email...I won't be available by phone today.
Posted Mon, 17 Jun 2013 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Vaibhav Gandhi 1 hour later

Thanks for writing to us.

I am Dr XXXXXXX Gandhi, I am orthopaedic surgeon and spine specialist.
I have studied your case.

This kind of pain is due compression of nerve due to spinal disc bulge.
Nerve compression leads radiating pain,with tingling and numbness which aggravated in particular position.

The other possibility is that it can be thoracic outlet syndrome- leading to partial blood flow obstruction
for this you need to consult orthopaedic surgeon for clinical examination.

Till that time take tab methylcobalamine 1500mcg once daily.

You may need to take X XXXXXXX spine, and MRI spine to look for nerve compression.

Take care,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having tingling in upper back and numbness in arm. What should I do? 4 days later
My tingling in my neck and periodic numbness in my right arm started, I believe, when I started sleeping flat on my back on a small flat pillow. The pillow hasn't supported my neck too well and sometimes I woke with a stiff neck. I started doing this about a year ago, because I thought it would help me correct my rounded shoulders and head forward position (I spent 25 years in clerical work...but am now retired). So, now I have been sleeping on a better supportive neck pillow (it's like a Tempurapedic pillow) and I have been more conscious of my neck position at night. I have no pain in my arm and the tingling is not there for the last few days. I had a chiropractic adjustment on Friday last week. I guess my question to you is, do you think I can cure it myself with time? Also, are there any exercises I could try?
Answered by Dr. Vaibhav Gandhi 10 hours later

Thanks for writing to us

As your pain is not severe, you can continue neck and shoulder exercises.

For exercises, you should take consultation of physiotherapist.

If you maintain good exercise workout and posture maintenance, surely you will be pain free soon.

Take care
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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