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Thread: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

  1. #141
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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    I tried acupuncture combined with massage a couple of times a few years back at my wife's suggestion. I did start to get some relief, but could not afford at the time to keep going. This time around my neurologist who also does acupuncture said I am probably too far gone for it to help. I'd say it was worth a try......

  2. #142
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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    Well, I'm back to square one. The neurologist wanted me to get a MRI of my head and spine which I was willing to do until I found out from my insurance that I would be responsible for about 2000 dollars of the bill. I can't do that. Maybe as a last resort but not to throw away 2000 for them to tell me I have a pinched nerve. Anyways................any of you guys have advice for what to do for a pinched nerve. Chiropractor, physical therapist? Ill try a few more steps to see if I can resolve this and go back to the MRI later if I really have to.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    I'm not sure about that. The neurologist did tell me we needed a MRI with contrast and that a CT scan wouldn't show the detail needed.
    I have had at least 5 MRIs of my lower back since 1989, and had 3 back surgeries (1989, 1993, 2004) to remove a bulging disc that was pressing into the nerve bundle which was branching out from the spine at that location. (I'm not trying to say you need surgery, just that I have been in a similar situation to you).

    If you need an MRI (with contrast), then you need the MRI. The only ways I know of to see soft tissue (a bulging disc) well without opening you up is via an MRI, CAT scan, or (old fashioned way) a milogram. If your neurologist says you need an MRI with contrast to see exactly how a disc is bulging into one of your nerve bundles which branch out from your spine in your neck area, then you really need this!

    I would not trust a chiropractor or physical therapist who would treat you now, given your current numbness or pain symptoms, without at least reading a radiologist's interpretation of your MRI (this is a standard work product you should get when you get any MRI).

    I don't know why your medical insurance plan would leave you having to cover $2000 yourself - that sounds like a lot. I had to cover 20% of the cost of the last MRI I got back in 2004, and while I don't have my receipts anymore, I am pretty sure that the total cost of that MRI (which needed contrast) was under $2000, probably around $1000, and that my share of that was less than $300. (if my share had been over $300, I would have a more vivid memory of it!). Part of this might depend on how your doctor (neurologist?) writes the prescription for the MRI. With your symptoms, this should not be considered an MRI being done just for idle curiosity, but for true medical necessity. There might be details of your insurance plan that I don't know, so maybe there is a specific and valid reason (valid in regard to your insurance coverage terms and conditions) that might make it true that you would have to cover $2000 yourself - but this would sound like the total cost of the MRI. It might be worth looking into this again.

    I will feel bad for you if indeed there is no way to get the MRI without you forking out $2000 from your pocket, but if that ends up being the case, you need to do this! If I were in your position, and I did not have another way, I would even sell my Mark VI if I had to. Health is more important than any sax. There are certain types of disc bulges that might require surgery. If your is one of them (and I hope it is not), then you would really need to do this in order to prevent permanent nerve damage. I have a little bit of permanent nerve damage but it is of little consequence - part of the bottom of my left foot always like it is being pressed on a little bit. Think about your hands and fingers. Get the MRI! Do not let old patterns recur that you may have lived in the past, where you allowed yourself to delay getting a diagnosis you needed to get earlier. I wish you the best.

  3. #143
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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    If the new health plan takes effect quickly enough, you may be able to switch to a new health plan and have your pre-existing condition covered. If you can hold out until whenever that happens, you may want to shop for a new health plan that is tailored to your needs. For openers of course, it should cover your MRI.

    It's something to think about.
    Be cool, be kind, and be well.

  4. #144
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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    Quote Originally Posted by LampLight View Post
    If the new health plan takes effect quickly enough, you may be able to switch to a new health plan and have your pre-existing condition covered. If you can hold out until whenever that happens, you may want to shop for a new health plan that is tailored to your needs. For openers of course, it should cover your MRI.

    It's something to think about.
    I think that part takes effect in 2014.....higher taxes first, the majority of benefits later...

  5. #145
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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    Hi Neff,

    I've put off posting here to you for a while but feel compelled to try again to compose something coherent. I hope I succeed.I tend to ramble.

    I second Harmonizer's input & experiences in regard to further treatment although for me, it was a Chiropractor who initially diagnosed my problem from his xrays. I suffered your problems for years including some of the vision issues. I had fusion of C5-6 in 1999 at age 43 and was stronger than ever (hands & arms) and pain free, even playing contact sports again within 4 mths. And the vision stabilized. Prior to that surgery and even now, I found the only relief that wasn't induced by substance was something similar to the traction you tried. It is called inversion where you suspend upside down & the amount is variable based on your pain/comfort levels. If I hadn't had multiple subsequent injuries I believe I might never have needed the fusion.

    There are various methods to invert, try an inversion table Google search to get more of a grasp of the idea, consult your Doctor before trying it. I say that to cover my butt. A no cost way to invert is to suspend over the edge of the bed or the arm of the couch but I suggest you do it no longer than a minute at a time, several times a day if you tolerate it, and have someone help you to suspend and get back up without wrenching or bending your neck. Here in Canada some Chiropractors even have Inversion as treatment. The concept is the vertabrae are pulled open by gravity hence it is gentle, and the disk can reposition some and grant relief to the nerves that are trapped or being pressed upon. Over time they can actually heal when not entrapped constantly or damaged to the point of rupture.

    My experience and the process in Canada is that a Neurologist will do a nerve conduction test to determine where the problem is stemming from, then a Neurosurgeon is going to require that and then the MRI to assess a treatment plan that may or may not involve surgery. To me, because your symptoms are the same as mine I suspect that you are a candidate for the fusion. I suffered new injuries a year ago and now require another fusion to the C6-7. Similar pain, numbness & weakness as well as vision problems again. I was warned of this likeliihood back in 1999 as there was some damage there at that time. The inversion and raising my music stand to force my head up as well as learning and maintaining proper posture and ergonomics kept me mostly painfree until the injury last year. Since then and now likely after healing (hopefully) from my surgery next week I use a sling that still allows me to play without putting pressure on the neck. Fortunately the sax only requires minimal finger movement that although slower and some days unco-ordinated, I can still get the job done well enough to stay with it and entertain the mind & feed the soul. I can no longer fret the guitar. Hopefully back to normal again after healing. Just like the 1st time. I have no option as the pain never stops but for some moments while lost playing.

    I hope this was of some use to you as I know the fear that goes with this problem and can't imagine not having insurance or the financial means to seek help right away. Even here it took me a year + to get to this point of having surgery. I hope you can get treatment without it but more important, get a diagnosis that leads to answers and solution options. You've already had your share of medical monopoly. As have I.

    Well, hands are sore from typing, eyes blurred from this small typeface. Keeping good thoughts for you Neff. I'm around until the weekend before heading off to my big city hospital adventure. Feel free to ask questions, I'll keep an eye on the thread.

    Kevin
    Always start with something very simple. Jackie McLean
    I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down Bob Dylan
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  6. #146
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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    Thanks guys. I have an adult student that has an inversion table and he said I could borrow i so I will try that. I e scheduled my MRI for next Friday. I hate spending the money as I have to pay taxes also but you have to do what you have to do and even if they don't find anything at least I will have peace of mind a bit. I'll keep you updated.

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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    Also, the thing that also makes me a bit worried is that the PT person mentioned that sometime with prolonged nerve compression and pinching the affects can be permanent numbness and muscle loss. That scared me because I feel the affects now and it's bugging the tar out of me. To think it might be permanent is very depressing.

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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    I had prolonged nerve compression and pinching that resulted in very bad, prolonged leg pain. When I woke up from spinal surgery, the pain was gone and my leg felt like it was asleep. The surgeon told me that this was normal and would disappear within a few months. He said most people just notice at some point that they are recovered. Sure enough, I remember noticing a few weeks later that the problem was all gone.

    I know this is easier for me to say, but try not to worry more than you need to. Hopefully, the MRI will be the beginning of the end of your problems.
    Be cool, be kind, and be well.

  9. #149

    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    There is only one thing to do! Stretch! It is probobly a nerve getting squeesed between muscles and bones

  10. #150
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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    I've recently found a lot of relief for the pinched nerve in my neck by using a contoured memory foam pillow to sleep with instead of a standard cotton pillow. I'm surprised it's helped as much as it has.
    If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room.

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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    I went to the doctor (a neurologist) last week because of numbness in my hands and the first question that she asked was "What kind of pillow do you use for sleeping?". Interesting. She also said that it shouldn't be too low.
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  12. #152

    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    I don't even sleep with my pillow anymore. I sleep flat on my back keeping my neck straight and it's helping a lot.

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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    I'm going to a chiropractor on Monday morning. Anyone have any words of advice. I've heard horror stories about chiropractors and am a bit nervous but I'm going to talk to them and get an exam to see what they say.

    I tried 5 weeks of PT and 4 visits with a acupuncturist but it didn't seem to help. I have another try at an MRI this Friday. Hopefully that will happen and I will get some kind of idea what this is. The biggest thing I have noticed is that I now seem to have noticeable muscle loss on the right side of my body. I first discover it when I tried to do some push ups. My left side was fine and felt normal but my right side couldn't even do one push-up. I looked in the mirror and my right pectoral muscle seems to be about 25-30% smaller than my left. Also under my right arm is kind of mushy feeling. My left arm seems firm and solid around the armpit but the right just seems like I'm losing muscle tone or something. I went back to the doctor but he has no answers for me and told me just to wait for the MRI results. To top it off about 5 weeks ago I threw out my lower back. I've done this before and it usually gets better in 3-5 days. This time it's not getting better for some reason. As is typical for modern medicine they gave me pain killers to take which do make me feel better but are of course no long term solution. I wish there was one guy like House I could go see and he could figure me out in one afternoon and fix me. The ongoing pain and discomfort can be a major toll..........Just thought I'd keep everyone updated.

  14. #154
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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    I've been to chiropractors many times over the years, before I learned how to crack my own lower back and neck. Most important thing for you to do is relax when they get around to cracking you. Hope they can help!

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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    A good chiropractor can really help. I have a long history of back problems. After disk hernia surgery and a painful recovery period, what has helped most, in the last 10 years, is doing regular exercise that does not involve stressing yuor back. Walking at least 30 min every day is a great start. You often spend so much time practicing the sax that you forget that you must stay in shape to keep up with it.
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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    I went to the chiropractor and was very impressed. I have to say I didn't realize how messed up my body was until she was measuring it. In a natural position on shoulder is a inch higher than the other. One foot is holding 15 more pounds than the other and then she used all these complex words when she was looking at my spine. She took some xrays and I have a follow up on Monday. She wanted to wait until after my MRI before messin with me which I thought was wise. The good news is I think my playing has gotten a lot better when I take these pain killers! I've never sounded so good.

  17. #157
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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    It's good to hear that you're getting some relief and that the chiropractor inspires confidence. One thing though, about the pain killers: Do they work better to improve your playing than high priced mouthpieces do? Maybe you better send some to me.
    Be cool, be kind, and be well.

  18. #158
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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    Steve, don't you remember, you played/sounded better when you were drunk too.......:-)

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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    Quote Originally Posted by LampLight View Post
    It's good to hear that you're getting some relief and that the chiropractor inspires confidence. One thing though, about the pain killers: Do they work better to improve your playing than high priced mouthpieces do? Maybe you better send some to me.
    They just might!

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    Default Re: Tingling and numbness in arm and hand.......?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Jazz View Post
    Steve, don't you remember, you played/sounded better when you were drunk too.......:-)
    Did I? I didn't remember it the next day............... : )

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