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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hi everyone,

I have known problems/history of lumbar spine problems, including surgery, however, I have had some flare-ups of severe neck and shoulder pain over the past few years, though I've never had my cervical spine checked out yet. Right now I just cannot afford it.

I have found that I have to sleep or lay down with my neck bent forward a bit. It cannot be straight, and absolutely cannot be bent back at all. The times my neck has been bent back slightly, like during sleep, I wake up with both arms and hands completely numb (though I was not sleeping on them). It would take quite a while for the numbness to go away. Since last year, I've also had several episodes of waking up (and one time during the day) with a large circular area on my right check totally numb, as if I was given a shot of novacaine. This, too, seems to take several hours to go away, once I'm up and about. The time it happened while awake during the day, I had been looking up at a computer screen. Once I was done, the numbness went away.

Has anyone had one or both cheeks go numb like this? I had told my PM about it and he said there are nerves that come off the spine at the base of the neck and back of head that could do that. He also mentioned the trigeminal nerve...but I told him the same, I cannot get an MRI right now, I cannot afford it.

Also, if my head is straight or slightly bent back, and I cough or sneeze, a few times I felt sharp pain down my left arm & into my left middle finger. Come to think of it, I have had deep, achy, almost sharp pains in some fingers on my right hand in the past which would wake me up at night. Now I am wondering if that was nerve pain. When I told my Rheum about it, he looked at my fingers and just said he didn't see any swelling..that was that. Another weird thing that happens when I cough/sneeze with head like this is both of my upper arms get completely & suddenly weak and feel as if someone is squeezing them. That's the best way I can describe it. I also get a deep ache during this down both arms (from neck, through shoulders, through bicep areas).

To me, it is eerily seeming like I might also be getting cervical stenosis, but I am not sure. I had severe lumbar stenosis with neurogenic claudication in both legs...and what I feel in my arms seems a little similar.

Does anything of this sound familiar to anyone?

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