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Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 64136
Experience:  MBBS MS. Post doctoral fellowship in Sports Medicine. General surgeon and sports medicine specialist
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I took myself to a&e this evening after having a numb left

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Hello there. So I took myself to a&e this evening after having a numb left arm for 4 days now. The first part I had my blood pressure checked where I was told it was a little high but nothing concerning and probably because I was worrying. I then went to have my ekg checked and bloods taking. Then systems were down at the hospital I was left waiting 7 hours to be told I’d have to wait another 7-9, I couldn’t wait any longer as the time was then 3am. But I’m scared I’m having a heart attack, I’m a female only 37 I’m hoping the chances are very low. I just have a numb left arm at the top. Unfortunately a&e was a waste of time as I will have to start the process again to be seen. All I can do is ask my gp for the results. What I was wondering is if my blood pressure wasn’t concerning then what are the chances that I’m having a heart attack?


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Thank you.

The numbness of the left arm is not likely due to the heart. It is due to pinched nerves in the neck.

A heart attack causes pain in the left arm and not numbness. Going on for 4 days and your age makes it more unlikely to be related to the heart.

The following measures would be helpful;

1) Neck care in the activities of daily living.

a) No working on the computer for more than half an hour in a single stretch. Same for TV/ IPad/ Mobile.

b) Monitors and televisions exactly in front (180 degrees).

c) Contour pillow: Should fill the hollow when lying on the back /straight or sideways. The principal is neck to be in a neutral position and supported. Available over the counter.

2) Soft Cervical Collar or Brace

3) Cervical traction

4) Anti-inflammatory analgesics like Ibuprofen etc.

5) Some physicians do give oral steroids in severe radiculopathy cases, in whom pain/numbness/tingling is quite significant.

6) Physiotherapy: gradually increasing exercises from passive stretching to active ROM and against resistance regime.

7) Electrotherapy in the form of TENS, interferential and laser, and ultrasound.

8) Hot fomentation

9) Local analgesic patch/ointment/ spray.

10) Gentle massage.

11) Acupuncture

This is an exercise resource;

https://www.spine.org/Portals/0/assets/downloads/KnowYourBack/CervicalExercise.pdf

The investigations advised are;

MRI of the neck.

Electromyography

Nerve conduction velocity study.

Vitamin B-12

Blood sugar

I hope your symptoms resolve soon.

I would be happy to assist you further if you need more information.
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Dr. Arun Phophalia and 3 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you for the reply.
I’m a nervous wreck and feeling very tired and worried today. I feel for the NHS I know it’s not their fault and I also worry I’ll never be seen and it’ll be too late. Would you say an MRI scan on the neck is urgent and requires an assessment right away?

It is not urgent but if the symptoms are persisting at least you may get the neck physiotherapy started.