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What causes pain in neck ,shoulder and arms with numbness in both arms?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10437 Questions
Hello, I have been having left shoulder pain for several weeks, neck and chest tenderness, arm pain and numbness in both arms, but more so in the left arm. I have pain and numbness in my hands. I am very tired, my ears have been feeling plugged for weeks. I feel generally unwell and find it difficult to do much. I am concerned that this could be lymphoma as it doesn't seem to be resolving.
Posted Tue, 11 Mar 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 46 minutes later
Brief Answer: Not likely to be lymphoma. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query. Pain in neck shoulder and arms with numbness in both arms and hands is suggestive of a nerve root compression at the cervical vertebral level due to degenerative disc changes or cervical spondylosis. It happens primarily due to degenerative changes secondary to age in the cervical spine. Past neck injury may also contribute to the degeneration. This is not related to lymphoma. The plugged feeling in the ears can be due to ear wax or infection which needs a direct examination to find out. X-ray of neck in lateral view or MRI will help in the diagnosis. Treatment includes 1. Use of cervical collar helps in immobilisation and brings relief. 2. Medical drugs like pain killers - acetaminophen/ibuprofen and muscle relaxants might be helpful. 3. Methylcobalamin supplements are also recommended for nerve compression symptoms. 4. Cervical isometric exercises are beneficial to maintain the strength of the neck muscles. Neck and upper back stretching exercises, as well as light aerobic activities, also are recommended under the guidance of a physical therapist. 5. Hot fomentation helps in relieving acute symptoms. 6. You can avoid using a pillow. As you try these measures, I also encourage you to consult an orthopedician for both evaluation and to avail stronger prescription medications (if over the counter medications are not helpful). I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Praveen Tayal. For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL
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Follow-up: What causes pain in neck ,shoulder and arms with numbness in both arms? 37 minutes later
Dr. Tayal, Thank you for your quick reply. I agree that what you mention is likely contributing to the way I have been feeling. I still feel like something more is going on. The pain in my back, shoulders, neck and arms feels like I worked out way too much. I sometime drop things from my left hand as well. I also forgot to mention that I have really bad night sweats and chills. I know these are not menopausal because I have experienced them as well. Lately I have been having headaches too which is very unusual for me. The pain in my shoulder is mildly constant, but so severe if I jar it that I feel as though I could pass out. Thank you, XXXX
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 23 hours later
Brief Answer: Need investigations. Detailed Answer: Hello. Thanks for writing again. I can understand your concern. It is best to get yourself investigated. You can get a few blood tests and an MRI scan done which will help in pin pointing the diagnosis. I am sure these symptoms can be taken care of with the help of proper medicines. Lymphoma needs to be ruled out. Hope my answer is helpful. If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer. Wish you good health. Regards
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