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JonnyCeltics's avatar

What kind of doctor should I see (if any at all)?

Asked by JonnyCeltics (2716points) March 3rd, 2010

I hadn’t been to the gym in a while, and when I went a few weeks ago, I took it relatively easy. I was stretching, a bit too strenuously, and I pinched a nerve in my neck (think). Either way, I had to leave immediately because it was just too painful to turn my neck, and really move.

About a week later, I have noticed that there is a tightness (in a nerve?) that runs down by biceps and inner arm and into my thumb. It is tight and often, my thumb feels numb.

I’m a bit freaked out – what can I do? Which sort of doctor should I see, do y’all recommend?

Thanks so much!


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34 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Talk to your GP and let her or him refer you to a specialist if it’s necessary. You may just need physical therapy.

filmfann's avatar

You might benefit from a good Chiropractor

babaji's avatar

yeah i would see my primary DR first, and see if he wanted to refer me to a Specialist,

njnyjobs's avatar

I probably would go to my acupuncturist, if not the Sports MD at the health club

lilikoi's avatar

General practitioner as @dpworkin already said – they will recommend a specialist if necessary. Quite often specialists won’t even take appointments directly from random people – they require a doctor referral.

wundayatta's avatar


john65pennington's avatar

This is something not to fool with. i am having the same problems as you. i am seeing a neurologist. i have just had a myleogram and a cat scan. i have four discs that are causing pain down my left arm and burning pain in all my left hand fingers and thumb. go to your primary doctor first and he will refer you to a nerve doctor. hate to tell you, but it will not get any better.

Rarebear's avatar

By the way, don’t freak out about this. These usually get better with therapy and time.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

As other people have said, your GP will be able to point you in the right direction. This not an issue to see a chiropractor about. Your GP may recommend seeing a neurologist, a physiotherapist, or possibly send you for some x-rays and an MRI, then handle it himself.

shilolo's avatar

Don’t let a chiropractor come within 10 feet of your neck. Never, ever. Go see your primary doctor, who will likely recommend an MRI and follow-up with a neurologist. What you describe sounds like a mononeuropathy. It will probably improve on its own, but best to get it checked out.

sevenfourteen's avatar

I agree with what’s been said. If your thumb feels numb you most likely pinched your radial nerve (starts right under your shoulder and could have been pinched when you strained your neck). The biceps is supplied by another nerve, but it’s most likely the same situation. You def should see your doctor to verify but it’s not too serious if it’s just a pinched nerve. the gym claims another :( Word of advice- do NOT see a chiropractor.

snowberry's avatar

And just to even things up, go to a chiro first. I’ve seen ‘em produce miracles. Why re-invent the wheel?

dpworkin's avatar

I agree, as long as you don’t go to a chiropractor or an orthodontist.

snowberry's avatar

Hmmm. OK, years ago, I strained my arm. It was very painful, and after a while, I lost the use of it. I went to my MD, and he prescribed muscle relaxants for me. I got no results, so I went back. He told me to take more. Well, after a month or 6 weeks of this, I could see this was going no where. So I took myself to a chiropractor. She got me the use of my arm back and out of pain in 3 visits. I should have gone to the chiro in the first place and saved myself a lot of agony and wasted money on the MD.

dpworkin's avatar

I stopped going to a chiropractor after my head rolled off the table and onto the floor after an adjustment.

snowberry's avatar

@pdworkin That must have been terrible. Do you still have the same head, or is this a new one?

dpworkin's avatar

Before reattachment it needed a thorough spray wash because the floor was very dusty.

janbb's avatar

poor keppie

snowberry's avatar

I’m also very very careful about who I let work on my neck. I’ve had some chiropractors who have messed me up so I couldn’t sleep or work from the pain. A good one will relieve the pain, and set you on the right road again.

shilolo's avatar

“Why reinvent the wheel”. Are you suggesting that chiropractic is as old as the wheel? Are you aware of its origins, and how it was promoted as a panacea? Chiropractic adjustments are a very modern invention without scientific basis.

snowberry's avatar

@Shilolo, no, of course not. Re read my post. Most people would understand what I meant. The medical doc wasted my time and my money. The chiro got me the use of my arm back. I’ve also seen good stuff happen at a physical therapist, but that’s what happened to me.

Years ago my daughter injured her arm. For more than 8 years we spent many thousands of $ trying to figure out and fix what was wrong. MRI’s. X-rays. Medication. Physical therapy. Exercises. Counseling. You name it. Know who helped her the most? A chiropractor.

What? Oh yeah. Don’t tell me. I already know. She was helped by a “placebo effect”. Been there, done that with you already.

snowberry's avatar

Yep, and doctors sometimes screw people up too, but it’s not any more appropriate to say that ALL chiropractors are bad than it is to say that all medical doctors are bad. You have to be careful no matter who you go to. My life took a turn for the worse the day I let a respected, well known, well meaning doctor work me over. So now I’m durned careful who I let work on me or my kids.

To blindly walk into another doctors office (of any persuasion) assuming all will be well the next time is idiocy.

shilolo's avatar

@Rarebear Like I said, never let a chiropractor within 10 feet of your neck. Low back, maybe (not for me, for someone else), but neck, hell no. Cervical dissections, strokes, paralysis….no thanks. As for the dirt behind chiropractic, I prefer this website.

snowberry's avatar

Yep. Listen to Shilolo. He’s an expert on everything.

shilolo's avatar

Education helps in this regard. Some have it, others don’t.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@snowberry A family friend of mine is a university lecturer in chiropractic. He has told me that there are many different schools of thought in chiropractic (14 or 17, I forget which), and only three of those have any basis in scientific research. The others are antiquated and potentially dangerous. The thing is, no one advertises which branch they belong to so it is really luck of the draw which one you get. I find it simpler to avoid the whole profession, and see a physiotherapist instead.

dpworkin's avatar

A Hmong Shaman is safer, and you get the same results, if you’re anywhere near Fresno.

janbb's avatar

Is that what they mean by a well hmong man?

snowberry's avatar

@ FireMadeFlesh OK, great for you. Long ago I learned to be very cautious about ANY doctor I see. That goes for dentist, OB/GYN, whoever. I do my research. I find out about what school they went to, I talk to them and find out their philosophy, and try to make sure I am very comfortable, or at least as comfortable as I can be with my choices.

Sometimes finding the right doctor can be a nightmare for me. Take dentistry for example. Your example of chiropractic seems to pretty much fit the description of many dentistry. I have a life threatening allergy to a commonly used chemical in the dentist’s office. Going to the dentist for me is literally a question of life and death. I moved half away across the country, and now I’m trying to find a dentist I can trust with my life. YIKES!

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@snowberry Sound tough! Since I am in a health profession myself I always use the medical databases to check up on what other health professionals tell me, just as an extra safeguard. That way I don’t have to ask them personal questions or waste their time. It is always best to be cautious, all of my grandparents happened to find terrible GPs, and only when my parents pushed for the appropriate measures were they granted.

snowberry's avatar

Update on the daughter with the messed up arm. She ended up in Japan, and a chiropractor there had her hold her arms both straight out in front of her. It seems one elbow was slightly out of joint, and had been for 8 years. It was quite obvious if you looked at it that way, but it made no difference how many doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, neurologists, psychiatrists, etc. etc. we sent her to here in the USA. Not one of them noticed that her elbow was slightly out of joint.

He manipulated the hand, elbow, and shoulder, and put it back the way it was supposed to be, and her function returned, and the pain left. It stayed that way for 18 months, and about 9 months ago the pain began to return.

She is back in Japan again, living there, and she saw the same chiropractor. He once again worked on her hand, and the pain is gone.

So sometimes it has nothing to do with how much schooling you’ve had. Sometimes you just need someone who can see.

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