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I have a cold, had a coughing fit and my chest hurt and my…

Customer Question
I have a cold...

I have a cold, had a coughing fit and my chest hurt and my arms went numb and hurt. why do the arms go numb

Doctor's Assistant: Do you have a fever? Do you have any other existing medical conditions?

No fever no other conditions.

Doctor's Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?

No. I was just curious why this would happen. it's never affected my arms before.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Medical
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/26/2017
Doctor: Dr Uzair, Doctor replied 4 months ago
Dr Uzair
Dr Uzair, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10,088
Experience: MBBS, FCPS (R) General Surgery. Years of experience in Emergency Medicine.
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Hello, my name is***** and I shall be assisting you today. I'm reviewing your query & will get back to you shortly. Thank you for your patience.

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Doctor: Dr Uzair, Doctor replied 4 months ago

Can you please tell me your age and gender?

Do you have any previously diagnosed medical conditions? Any neck problems or cervical spine issues?

Let me know.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
i'm 59 and femal
Doctor: Dr Uzair, Doctor replied 4 months ago

The foremost cause of numbness in the upper extremity after a sudden bout of coughing is nerve impingement.

The nerve impingement can be caused either by compression of the nerves of the upper limb (brachial plexus) in the cervical spine since during coughing the paraspinous muscles can contract causing the space between the cervical vertebrae to reduce and compress the nerves exiting the foramina. This is more liable to happen in individuals who have some reduction in the disc space already due to age, degenerative disc disease etc.

Another cause is nerve compression under the scalene muscles, which are muscles of the neck and also used as accessory muscles for respiration. During an extreme bout of coughing, these muscles violently contract compressing the brachial plexus of nerves, that passes between them. Both these causes explain your symptoms.

This is nothing to be worried about acutely however, you do need to discuss this with your PCP on a scheduled visit so that a cervical spine x ray (2 views) can be done to rule out degenerative disc disease and also to rule out reduction of c-spine disc space.

For now, you can wear a soft neck collar for neck support and massage the back of the neck and shoulders with an anti inflammatory gel of your choice.

Sitting in a warm tub of water with your neck and shoulders immersed will also relax the muscles and provide relief.

I sincerely ***** ***** I have helped you, and that I have earned my 5 star rating today! Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). We can continue here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

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