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HouseDoc, Attending Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 3262
Experience:  Licensed by the State of New York
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my right arm has a tingling sensation, my shoulder hurts, my

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my right arm has a tingling sensation, my shoulder hurts, my thumb on my right hand is tingling/numb and has gotten worse the last week. seems like when i tilt my head a certain way, the tingling in my arm goes away but the tingling in my thumb never goes away. i am diabetic. my last a1c was around 6.3 - 6.5
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  HouseDoc replied 6 years ago.

Your symptoms are suggestive of a cervical radiculopathy. This essentially means that you may have a pinched nerve in your neck. Since you symptoms involve your shoulder and the lateral aspect of your arm upto your thumb, this is suggestive of C5-C6 nerve root involvement. If you've had a head injury in the past (whiplash or any kind of blunt trauma) it is possible that you herniated a disk at that level. From your description it seems that the disc may be compressing the root on the right side more than the left side. This is the reason why you may be getting more symptoms when you turn or position your head of your right shoulder.


This very likely has nothing to do with your diabetes. Your next step should be to get an MRI of your cervical spine. This will help determine if you have a herniated disc. In the meantime, you can consider taking an over the counter anti-inflammatory medication such as Aleve. You should also try to apply moist heat to your neck region to help reduce muscle spasm. This should be followed by very gentle massage. If this does not work, your doctor can prescribe a stronger medication. In some cases, neurologists have prescribed oral steroids such as a Medrol Dose Pack to reduce inflammation.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX answer is what I expected. Just needed to hear it from a Dr. We are on vacation in Orlando and will be flying back to Philadelphia tomorrow. I will contact my Dr and request an order for an MRI. Is there a way to cure this problem if they find a herniated disk?


Also, I note you are in Manhasset, NY. One of my roomates from college lived in Manhasset and I believe he is a Dr their now. His name isXXXXX? Are you familiar with him? What a coincidence that would be!!!

Expert:  HouseDoc replied 6 years ago.

If the disc is significantly herniated to the point of pushing on the spinal cord, you may need to see an orthopedic surgeon for a cervical fusion where the vertebral bodies above and below the damanged disc are fused together.


If the herniation is minor, then you can consider getting injections which can ease the pain. Over time, the herniated disc will reabsorb on its own. In most cases with minor disc herniation the management is supportive with anti-inflammatory medications, massage therapy with heat and physical therapy.


Unfortunately I am not acquainted with Dr. Rubian. Regardless..I hope the information above is beneficial to you and that you seek medical attention as soon as you get back home. In the meantime, enjoy your vacation and have happy and healthy new year!


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