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Dr Subbanna MD
Dr Subbanna MD, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5284
Experience:  American Board Certified Neurologist, Internal Medicine
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Hello I am 56 and have suffered from severe panic attacks specially

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Hello I am 56 and have suffered from severe panic attacks specially since starting menopause 2 years ago. Now i have panic at times, specially when something in my body does not feel right. Like right now I have pain in the back of my left arm, going down to my ring and little finger. The pain comes and goes, and also hurts onto of my hand down to my middle finger. My back hurts on the left side as well, just around at the high where my arm starts. I keep thinking it could be my hurt, if I should go to emergence room. I do not want to go and find out this is another form of panic attack.
Hi, I am Neuro Doctor, an American Board Certified Neurologist with vast clinical experience.

If you are worried that these new symptoms could be due to some serious problems like a tumor or something major then I reassure you that these symptoms are not pointing towards anything serious or major. Also you have not mentioned any severe chest pain, or shortness of breath etc so this is unlikely from any heart diseases. So there is no need to go to the emergency room now. Patients with anxiety disorder & panic attacks may experience various serious looking symptoms but they are unlikely from anything serious.

Other than panic disorder you may also might have developed some mild ulnar nerve irritation in the elbow or a mild pinched spinal nerve in the neck or back area and these conditions too can cause the type of new symptoms you are having. These mild nerve injuries heal by themselves on most occasions, but if these symptoms persist then you need to see your clinic doctors.

One or otherway there is no suspicion for anything serious and there is no need to visit the ER now. If these symptoms persist then you may see your doctor in the clinic in the next couple of days so that you can undergo a thorough clinical examination and relevant investigations, however I once again reassure you that serious possibilities are unlikely based on the pattern of your symptoms and accordingly there is no need to go to the ER now.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. And if you feel you have received the answer to your question please rate me Excellent to compensate me for the time and effort put by me in answering your question.

Best regards,

Neuro Doctor
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you doctor Subbana. Your response had given me some inner peace and appeased my panic. I have no shortness of breath or chest pain, mainly the pain is concentrated around my neck, left shoulder and arm and left side by the scapular area. I remember that a year ago I had an event of an inflammation of the muscle in my back that caused spasms and much pain to my left arm. I am sure this is similar situation because I have been swimming for the past 3 months and lately after 15-20 minutes I have to swim on my back to relieve the pain I feel in the middle of my back. I swim for 40-50 minutes without taking a break, maybe I need to change that. What do you recommend?
thank you.
You are very welcome.

Yes this indeed sounds like some muscle inflammation that is causing your symptoms in the areas you have mentioned including the neck, shoulder, left arm & fingers. Lots of swimming may cause such muscle issues. You may try to swim for shorter duration now at a stretch and take frequent breaks. Swim for some time then give adequate break (say for at least 10 minutes or so) then you may swim again and you may continue like that swimming with rest in between.

You may try some hot or cold compressors to the painful areas and also try some anti-inflammatory pain killers like Aleve or Motrin etc. Myoflex or Aspercreme muscle relaxing cream too can help in relieving the muscle irritation. If the symptoms persist you may see your clinic Dr too to undergo a thorough clinical examination & relevant investigations however most likely this will subside with making the modification with swimming duration and the additional treatments mentioned above.

I once again reassure you that serious conditions like heart problems, tumors or any other serious possibilities are unlikely and this is expected to resolve soon.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. And if you feel you have received the answer to your question please rate me Excellent to compensate me for the time and effort put by me in answering your question.
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