First: all the standard disclaimers. I am not a doctor, neither are you, and what you post is not “medical advice.”
Now then. A good bud, age early forties, a regular gym-goer and a hairstylist, has developed the following set of symptoms.
(1) Growing numbness, beginning at his neck and left shoulder, gradually spreading down his left side all the way to his feet, and subsequently down his right arm–not all the way to his right foot, though. Occasional stabbing or shooting pain.
(2) The triggering event was pumping iron at the gym. I don’t know the name of the exercize, but it’s where you lie on your back and push a weight upward toward the ceiling, with your arms. He felt a sudden sharp pain in his upper back / neck region.
(3) But the numbness didn’t start right away, but slowly increased day by day over several weeks (now, months).
(4) He has basically lost muscle coordination in his hands and fingers, and has a fairly severe degree of “glove anesthesia.”
(5) X-rays show no sign of a tumor, and no collapse of a spinal disk–nothing obvious, in other words.
(6) When he gets his heart racing, he gets a “pins and needles” sensation throughout the affected areas, which is quite uncomfortable.
(7) The severity isn’t constant, but rises and falls more or less by the hour.
He has no medical coverage, can’t afford an MRI, and is basically at the mercy of the public health system. The doctors speculate that it’s a pinched or “bruised” nerve high up on his spine. But they are inconsistent in what they tell him to do, how soon it will heal, what to take for it, etc. He goes to a chiropractor regularly: doesn’t seem to make much difference.
One doctor said it was arthritis, which makes no sense to us, given its relation to a triggering event. I suppose it might be a little bit of bone or calcium-flake trapped in a bad spot. Sometimes it also sounds to me like an infection of the nerves; but that’s just speculation.
Comments? He’s frantic, and doesn’t want to think he’ll be this way, or worse, for the rest of his life.