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What causes severe pain from neck to shoulders?

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Posted on Mon, 28 Jul 2014
Question: My mom has severe pain that extends from the back of her neck to shoulders, the pain is so intolerable that just by simply raising her arm she has excruciating pain from her elbow to under her armpit. The back of her fore arm down to her wrist and fingers. She can't lift anything because she can not sustain the weight?
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Answered by Dr. Karl Logan (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Cervical disc prolapse

Detailed Answer:
hi,

thanks for your question.

your moms symptoms are consistent with a cervical disc prolapse. that's when one of the discs between the bones in the neck pushes out and presses on a nerve.

the pain is from compression of he nerve. she may have some weakness also in the muscles that the nerve supplies and some numbness.

the diagnosis can be made on an MRI scan of your moms neck. most 1st time disc prolapses will improve spotaneously but can take a couple of months.

there are medications that can be taken such as Advil, pregabalin, Hydromorphone to help with the pain.

sometimes CT guided injections around the nerves can help with the pain. surgery to decompress the nerves is a last resort but can be very successful in relieving the symptoms is they persist.

I hope this answers your question.

best wishes
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Karl Logan

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 705 Questions

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What causes severe pain from neck to shoulders?

Brief Answer: Cervical disc prolapse Detailed Answer: hi, thanks for your question. your moms symptoms are consistent with a cervical disc prolapse. that's when one of the discs between the bones in the neck pushes out and presses on a nerve. the pain is from compression of he nerve. she may have some weakness also in the muscles that the nerve supplies and some numbness. the diagnosis can be made on an MRI scan of your moms neck. most 1st time disc prolapses will improve spotaneously but can take a couple of months. there are medications that can be taken such as Advil, pregabalin, Hydromorphone to help with the pain. sometimes CT guided injections around the nerves can help with the pain. surgery to decompress the nerves is a last resort but can be very successful in relieving the symptoms is they persist. I hope this answers your question. best wishes