Originally Posted by Joeybags73
This is my first post, although I've happened upon this site many times while researching various solutions to my various ailments. So, hello all.
My most pressing issue has been tingling in the upper back area, near the right scapula, radiating from the T1 spinal process across my right upper back near the trapezius muscles. I've also been getting the sensation of numbness but not actual numbness near my middle back on my left side, in a band like section of the back. This has bothered me for the past year or longer. The neck issue came on gradually. At first it would happen a day here a day there, but for the past 4 months its basically been constant especially while sitting at a computer or any table. My girlfriend is a doctor and she says its probably a pinched nerve due to a forward neck posture while doing my job (strictly 100% computer work). In fact, I'm getting symptoms as I write. It's annoying but no pain at all, just tingling.
My primary care doc had an x-ray done and found very mild arthritis at C7/T1. so, there's at least a possible explanation for the symptoms, but of course, the doc doesn't provide a solution, just the results. Tells me to stretch the area!!! Not a very specific solution in my opinion. Orthopedist said that getting an MRI wouldn't really make sense. all it would tell me is that there's a pinched nerve and there's nothing you can do.
BUT, I want to find a solution nonetheless. Has anyone had such symptoms??? Can anyone offer advice on how I can fix this myself and/or who could help me??? Short of quitting my job and finding some non-computer related work, I don't know what else I can do to get a permanent fix.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
By the way, I'm a 36 year old male, 6'4", 220 pounds, active weightlifter, runner, and mountain climber, for what it's worth.
The upper back, from the lower point of the scapuli, horizontally, all the way up to the crest of the shoulders and then down the upper chest to the axillary crease (where the arm pits start) and the arms and hands are innervated via the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a complex "bunch" of nerves deep within the shoulder. The brachial plexus gives off two nerves that go over the shoulder and they innervate the skin of the upper back and the muscles attached to the scapula. They are the dorsoscapular nerve and the suprascapular nerve. The "nerve pathway" goes from your upper back, via one of the two mentioned nerves, to the brachial plexus and then centripetally via the cervical nerve roots to the spinal cord and then up to your lateral brain, on the opposite side where your brain records various sensations of the skin.
Unfortunately, most physicians first think about the cervical spine as the source of such disturbances, but, you know, cervical spinal surgery rarely helps peoples neurological pain and tingling, etc. Just doesn't. No matter, surgeons keep on doing surgery: good income, I guess.
Usually, the brachial plexus is "where the problem lies". You can see if raising your arm, on the "bad side" up over your head, next to your ear, and hold it for a while. You can have someone stand behind you as you are sitting on a chair and "press down" hard on the peaks of your shoulders for a few minutes. You can "extend your arm at the shoulder" hard" and hold it for awhile. You can have someone put their hand up into the peak of your arm pit and press and hold it for awhile, you can have someone stand behind you as you are sitting on a chair and rotate your head "away" from the problematic shoulder, and hold firm for a bit. All those maneuvers mechanically stress the brachial plexus and often symptoms will develop and if they do it pin-points where the problem is located. If the tests or test is positive well then we can talk, if you want, about what is going on with the brachial plexus.
Neurological problems are probably some of the most difficult, for most physicians, to deal with. In the modern day, physicians want to use MRI's, CAT scans, x-rays, nerve conduction tests, etc., but not many physicians know neuroanatomy in an anatomically sure way. If you look in a medical book such as Harrison's Principles of Internal medicine, under Rheumatoid Arthritis, it will say something like: it is an autoimmune, systemic disease, that it features arthritis, vasculitis, and neuropathy. It features organ infarction, even myocardial infarction. It will say: sometimes the only symptoms that people have are neurological in nature. From my experience, often the only symptoms of rheumatoid disease that exist are of a neurological nature.
Have you ever had low back pain, for instance. Have you ever experienced your arm going to sleep at night if you lay on your shoulder, for instance. Those are various, common neurological keys to rheumatoid neuropathy. Most people and docs get mentally "tied up" with rheumatoid arthritis since arthritic knuckles "stick out" obviously, but it is a systemic disease process and so it has many other manifestations.
Drop a line.