numbness when I lift arms

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numbness when I lift arms

Postby pixi » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:45 pm

Hi I have syrinx from T5-T10 post traumatic. I was diagnosed in 2000. So far, I haven't had many symptoms. Recently I have had low back pain and went to a Physical Therapist. He massaged my back pretty hard and had me do some stretches. Nothing really major. Every since I have had a dull numbness in my thoracic area where my syrinx is. When I sit or lay down I'm fine it's just when I lift my arms or reach out or carry anything the tingling starts. I live in SF, Ca and have a Neurosurgeon who has been following me since I was diagnosed. This has been on and off for two days. Should I be worried or could this just be that my back is swollen from the PT. I'm a little concerned because it feels weird. I wonder if anyone has had these symptoms that could come and go?

Thanks,
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Re: numbness when I lift arms

Postby chrisw » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:18 pm

I think we are supposed to be careful with massages/streatching in these areas. I know that when I went to one PT person they made me stretch and it hurt so bad I would spend the next couple days in bed. I guess you can't do anything until monday anyways. Unless your really concerned you could take a conservative approach and see if it gets better before monday and then call the NS if it has not. If you are really worried it is always best to go to the ER and get some emergency MRIs taken. I wish I could be more help, but I have these symptoms constantly. I hope its just swelling and not something serious.

Chris
SM, Chiari 0 (Rosner), Diagnosed 8/08 after car accident 6/08, Vitamin D deficent
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Re: numbness when I lift arms

Postby pixi » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:45 pm

Thanks for the reply. I'm not too worried since I have had these same symptoms before. It's just a little scary because I just don't want the syrinx to grow. I didn't think that massage would effect it. He wanted to crack my neck and I said NO... Good thing I didn't do that. He was a super aggressive PT and I did tell him that I had a syrinx. He did help to relieve my lbp though. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it gets better but it has been tingly since yesterday..It's not constant only when I start folding laundry or cooking or doing anything that causes me to lift my arms up to bra level.

Do your symptoms come and go?
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Re: numbness when I lift arms

Postby chrisw » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:05 pm

They due, but I'm on lyrica/cymbalta that keep them at bay. The drugs work so well on thed pinching and tingling I totally forget I have them or hope they are gone, then step down on the drugs and BAMM they come back with a vengeance!

Even when I had the symptoms, some days/times where much worse than others. Even now, sometimes I still feel them through the drugs occasionally, especially when its getting towards the 12/24 hour marks or on really um bad days especially when a low pressure storm comes through.

I don't seem to have the mental cloudiness that some people have with the lyrica, and probably need the antidepressant anyways so the side effects are minimal.

Just curious, because most/all of my docs say that post traumatic syrinxes are either a myth except in cases of a broken back, was your accident really bad? Did you have serious spinal damage that led to this? Mine was diagnosed post traumatic also until the NS said that a post tramadic syrinx doesnnt happen except in the years following an accident. They actually told me if it was due to my accident I would have been dead, growng 3mm in 3 months (and since then its grown more???)
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Re: numbness when I lift arms

Postby medicpt » Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:48 pm

Just a thought, massage should improve circulation. Deep tissue massage will also potentially give you some tenderness, inflammation of tissues. Since arm numbness can often be from impingement at the cervical spine, is it possible that you have some tissue inflammation/ impingement secondary to increase fluids at the cervical spine causing this numbness? Mind you, it is not normal... but can be from increase tension of the muscles at the neck. In addition, given the syrinx and old injury do you have cervical spine problems? Like arthritis, or a disc bulge or herniation? These type of problems can also cause arm numbness.

Also, you saw a PT, and he wanted to do Grade 5 manipulations? That is not typically in the realm of PT practice, more theoretical than law. Generally, chiropractors do Grade 5 which are more forceful manipultations. I would not advise with a syrinx.

Hope your symptom resolves. wendi2
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Re: numbness when I lift arms

Postby pixi » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:35 am

Hi Wendy,

Thanks for the informative reply. I don't have arm numbness I get numbness when I lift my arms and the numbness is in my thoracic spine area where my syrinx is. Yes the PT was asking to crack me but I said no. Not sure what he was thinking. The numbness is getting better but still there so I am still scared.

Thanks,
P
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