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Severe sharp pain in back, tingling sensation in arm

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About 2 weeks ago, I got a severe sharp pain in my upper left back. I also felt a tingling sensation in my left arm and hand. Over the next couple days, the pain migrated to my chest (the left side) and it became more like a pulling sensation. The pain continued for almost a week and then dissipated slightly...I do still feel it in my back depending on how I move my neck. Also, at the time this initially happened, my left arm became weak, and I still do not have much strength in it now, approximately 2 weeks later. I am 33 years old.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)Specialist
Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.

Thank you for asking your query.

I have gone through the description of your medical problem a couple of times. The sharp pain,tingling sensation, the association with neck movement and most importantly the weakness - all point towards involvement of nerves. Rather than a pain of muscular or bone origin this pain could be caused by the compression of irritation of nerves in the cervical region (neck region) when it comes out through the vertebrae or at a nerve group in the shoulder.

This explains the wider distribution of pain - like pain in the back, chest, arms etc. The nerves which comes out from the neck spinal cord travels to all these places. And when the corresponding nerve is compressed you feel pain in that region, not in neck.

I would recommend you the following.

1.An over the counter pain killer for pain
2.Avoid sudden neck movements
3.Avoid straining neck, lifting weight over the head using the arms.
4.Make sure your neck is properly rested while sleep.

I strongly recommend you to meet a Physician without any delay. Hope you would understand my conclusions are based on the information provided by you. A complete physical examination is needed to come to a solid conclusion. And since there is some weakness it better to get it check without further delay.

Hope this helps.
Thank you

Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)Specialist
MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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