Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Chronic Hand and Shoulder Pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: laurajeanne79
  • May 6, 2008
  • 05:33 AM


I am a 29 year-old female with type 1 diabetes. My diabetes is in relatively good control. Back in December I started experiencing tingling and numbness in my fingers. About two weeks later, I started having extreme pain in my hands, especially my right hand. The fingers started curling up, and to this day I still can't open my hands all the way. Around the same time I started having severe pain in my shoulders. I also developed Raynaud's Phenomenon.

It used to be that this pain would hit me in the mornings and then go away by the afternoon. Now it's all the time.

I have gone to the doctor and had the following tests done:

1. Screening for rheumatoid arthritis: came back negative
2. Screening for carpal tunnel: came back negative
3. X-rays done on my neck area don't show any nerve impairment or damage.
4. Anti-inflammatories don't have any effect on the pain/swelling in my hands.

I don't have a clue as to what this could be. Two things did happen back in December that may have something to do with it. I took a pretty hard fall on the ice (hit my tailbone). I also had work done on a tooth. Part of the tooth had fallen off, which exposed a nerve.

I'm going back to the doctor soon, but the medical bills are starting to pile up and I'm hoping somebody can steer me in the right direction. I have heard some people mention peripheral neuropathy and even brain lesions.

Any suggestions? This pain is unbelievable and I just want it to stop!!

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2 Replies:

  • I am a 59 year old hairdresser. I started with carpal tunnel and have through chiropartic care and massage elevated the pain. Carpal tunnel starts in the neck and goes under the clavical bone and down the inside of the arm. With excercize you can control it. Doctors just want to do the surgery, which only works for about 5 years. Now I am experiencing upper arm pain where the three muscles come togather on the cap of the shoulder. The shoulder, tricept and bicept come togather mid-upper arm and get glued togather from years of repetitive motion. ( such as hairdressing). What I have found to help keep those muscles moving is the Miracle Balls. The website is elainepetrone.com. You lay on these 4 inch balls and release the fasha and the muscles can then work properly.Breathing plays a major role in muscle relaxation also. When we are in pain, we hold our breathe. When you lay on the balls, you mouth breathe and use the diaphram. I hope this helps you.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • First of all, I'm so sorry to hear that you are in so much pain. :( As you mentioned, peripheral neuropathy is a possibility because (as I'm sure you already know) it is common with diabetes. Brain lesions are a possibility as well, but if the symptoms started after two traumas (dental work and fall) then it isn't overly likely to be the cause. However, stress and trauma can trigger other autoimmune disorders (such as MS) that can cause lesions but the onset of the lesions would likely be gradual. Since you do have an autoimmune disorder, I think it is smart that your physician is looking into others since you are predisposed to other conditions. Raynaud's Phenomenon is extremely common in autoimmune diseases. Has anyone examined your spine and spinal cord to make sure you don't have any trauma (pinched/damaged nerve, cracked vertebrae, etc.) from you fall? Particularly in the Cervical and Thoracic regions. Best of luck!
    GD2005 61 Replies Flag this Response
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