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  • Kb5050
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    Post count: 1

    Hi Dr. Corenman –

    I recently, for other reasons, had a brain MRI and the doctors discovered three small spots that they thought might be MS. My only MAJOR symptom was a series of events in my left arm that included

    (all below symptoms were in the whole arm from the shoulder to the hand.)

    #1 – 3 days of left arms feeling asleep but not completely numb
    #2 – 10 days straight of a “strong consistent electric current” with random “shocks” in my left arm followed by 3 days of a dull ache in the arm
    #3 – The arm symptoms are now EXTREMELY faint and at most time not noticeable although I do feel a tingle or odd feeling from time to time.

    I did have other symptoms on the left side of my body, but, they were so minor that I tend not to give them much credence.

    In my tests for MS, they did a neck spine MRI and the results were as follows below. I will say that the arm pain has nothing to do with me moving my neck. I cannot move my neck in any way or do anything to cause the arm symptoms to start or stop.

    I was wondering if the arm symptoms could be from these findings rather than potential multiple sclerosis?

    C4-5: Tiny midline disk ridge not causing significant stenoses.
    C5-6: Bilateral uncovertebral osteophytes cause mild to moderate bilateral
    foraminal narrowing. C5-6 degenerative change with mild to moderate bilateral foraminal narrowing
    from uncovertebral osteophytes.

    Side note: I have had neck pain for 7 years and have been seeing a Chiropractor at least every 2 months for a neck adjustment.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8455

    Symptoms of “left arm feeling asleep” and “strong consistent electric current” with random “shocks” in my left arm followed by 3 days of a dull ache in the arm” are neurogenic in nature. The question is, can the foraminal stenosis at C5-6 cause these symptoms or can MS (Multiple Sclerosis) also cause these symptoms?

    Foraminal stenosis causes a mechanical deformation of the nerve root. The foraminal volume increases with neck flexion (the nerve hole gets bigger) and decreases with neck extension (the hole gets smaller). Typically, patients will notice increased symptoms with looking up and obtain relief with looking down if they have foraminal stenosis. This would be one differential in the diagnosis.

    Also, if only one nerve root was involved due to foraminal stenosis (in this case of nerve compression, this would be the C6 nerve), there would be a specific pattern of referral paresthesias (pins and needles) and numbness down the arm to the hand. See the section on the website “Symptoms of cervical nerve injuries” under the category “Nerve injuries and recovery” to understand the symptoms generated by the C6 nerve.

    MS generally should cause more diffuse symptoms that cross multiple dermatomes. If the “whole arm” is involved (C5, C6, C7, C8 dermatomes), this would not be from a single nerve root that is compressed and the diagnosis would lean more to MS.

    Dr. Corenman

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