question-icon

What causes severe shoulder pain and numbness in arm?

default
Posted on Mon, 28 Jul 2014
Question: I often wake up with terrible shoulder pain (inside the joint) & numb arm. Both sides but never both at same time. For last 6 months my arm will go numb throughout the day as well, somtimes with elbow pain. Extent of numbness varies, from the elbow down, or just my hand, ... The slightest pressure or position causes very rapid onset. I'm a 30 year old female.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar Sharma (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
It is cervical spondylitis

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

I have read your question and I think it is cervical spondylitis. There is nerve compression in the neck due to disc herniation. This causes numbness and pain in both hand.

To confirm the diagnosis you need to get MRI of the neck.

Till you get this done I would suggest you some thing which I recommend to my patients.

1. Avoid using very high pillow. Also do not keep neck in same position for long time like watching tv or laptop.
2. Pregabalin and Methylcobal tablets
3. Soft cervical collar
4. Neck muscle physiotherapy and traction.

I hope this answers will help you. Let me know if there is any follow up questions.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Naveen Kumar Sharma (4 hours later)
I very rarely have any sort of back/neck pain or discomfort. I do feel as though I have lost my flexibility. The pain I have in my shoulder socket (s) in the morning is quite intense, but my arm will feel numb at the same time. Shoulder will ache throughout day sometimes afterward. The numbness I experience off and on all day is painless. The outside of my hands (pinky side) is most affected.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar Sharma (6 hours later)
Brief Answer:
I still think that it is cervical

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
I understand what you are thinking. But cervical spondylitis does not always causes neck pain. Pain in shoulder is due to nerve compression.
Some time both shoulder impingement and spondylitis can coexist. A ultrasound of shoulder will also be helpful.
A MRI will able to tell you the difference.
Numbness in pinky side is also suggestive of cervical spondylosis.
Thanks
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Naveen Kumar Sharma (2 days later)
When I rest my elbow on somthing (floor, table, matress) my arm goes numb from the elbow down within a few minutes. That can be caused from a neck problem? Are there any other possible causes that you considered?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar Sharma (6 hours later)
Brief Answer:
It can be a B 12 deficiency

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
I will still keep cervical spondylosis as most common cause of your problem. Rarely such symptoms can be due to vitamin B 12 deficiency. B 12 is neruro vitamin and its deficiency causes such symptoms like numbness. I would suggest you to go ahead with the test I suggested.
You can also get a B 12 estimation.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Naveen Kumar Sharma

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 4486 Questions

premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
What causes severe shoulder pain and numbness in arm?

Brief Answer: It is cervical spondylitis Detailed Answer: Hello, I have read your question and I think it is cervical spondylitis. There is nerve compression in the neck due to disc herniation. This causes numbness and pain in both hand. To confirm the diagnosis you need to get MRI of the neck. Till you get this done I would suggest you some thing which I recommend to my patients. 1. Avoid using very high pillow. Also do not keep neck in same position for long time like watching tv or laptop. 2. Pregabalin and Methylcobal tablets 3. Soft cervical collar 4. Neck muscle physiotherapy and traction. I hope this answers will help you. Let me know if there is any follow up questions. Thanks.