I have had numbness in my left thumb and index finger for about 2 weeks. It began just in the thumb and now includes the index finger. It has been accompanied by intermittent pain in my left arm on the outside and pain in my neck, shoulder and along the shoulder blades in my back. I've no memory of any trauma to my neck or arm but it has not gotten better in 2 weeks.
Taking Ibuprofen for about a week
This is most likely due to the pinched nerves in the neck which are giving you numbness in left thumb and index finger and intermittent pain in neck, arm shoulder blades etc. This can be due to;
1) Herniated/degenerated disc in neck
2) Cervical spondylosis; bone spurs in the neck vertebrae pressing on the nerves.
Following investigations would be required;
1) X-ray of the neck spine
2) MRI of the neck
3) Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) study
4) Electromyography (EMG)
Following measures would be helpful;
1) Neck care in the activities of daily living.
a) No working on computer for more than half an hour in a single stretch. Same for TV.
b) Monitors and televisions exactly in front (180 degrees).
c) Contour pillow: Should fill the hollow when lying on back or straight. Available over the counter.
2) Cervical Collar or Brace
3) Cervical traction
4) Anti-inflammatory analgesics like Ibuprofen
5) Some physicians do give oral steroids in severe radiculopathy cases, in which pain / numbness is quite significant.
6) Physical therapy: gradually increasing exercises from passive stretching to active against resistance regime.
7) Electrotherapy in the form of TENS, interferential and laser and ultrasound.
8) Hot fomentation
9) Local analgesic patch / ointment / spray
You can consult following specialists;
b) MD in Physical medicine and rehabilitation
Please feel free for your follow up questions.
I would be happy to assist your further, if you need any further information.
MBBS MS. Post doctoral fellowship in Sports Medicine. General surgeon and sports medicine specialist