Finally, a possible explanation of what’s been causing the numbness and pain in my right arm, hand and shoulder.  After more than a year of seeing different specialists and doing what seems like a million tests , it turns that I have something called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome…or TOS for short. 
In a nutshell , because of my anatomy I have a lot over developed muscles in my neck and shoulders that are pinching some nerves and arteries that run through the area, making my right arm and hand numb and making my neck muscles hurt all the time. Lifting weights at the gym was actually making it worse, which would explain why I always felt crappy after working out.
A really cool Sports Medicine doctor at UCSF made the diagnosis last week.  Kind of a relief to finally know whats been going on.  For a while there I didn’t think they’d ever get to the bottom of this.

The plan for now , is to treat it conservatively with Physical Therapy . They want me to go to PT twice a week for 6 weeks , then they’ll re-evaluate. If it doesn’t get better, there are other options, including surgery to cut away some of the muscle( yea..right )
Hopefully the Physical therapy will help and I’ll be able to resume some upper body strengthening in the future,  but for now it looks like the only exercising I’ll be doing is walking and stretching…..It’s always something huh.

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6 thoughts on “The Culprit

  1. Joey says:

    Glad you got a diagnosis, even if it does mean more PT and work for you and limiting your excersise…Hope the PT clears it up or at least helps. Sorry I’ve not been around, lost a friend last week and have been dealing with that.

  2. Fran says:

    Hey steve,

    Good to see they might have figured out what’s been happening. Good luck with the PT. That’s cool about Boston. I still owe you lunch/dinner from last year so it’d be cool if I could return the favour in Boston!!

  3. Amy says:

    I hope PT does the trick and you can avoid surgery–I’m sure you have no great desire to be in a hospital bed again.

  4. michelle says:

    Hi Stgeve,
    I found your blog from Chris’s blog and just thought i’d pop over to say hello and read your blog!!!!

    Hope the PT helps your pain and numbness!!!


  5. shafter says:

    Just watched your neb tx vid. Really cool. I was looking around for images to use for a presentation on ABG’s to a chem class here at UO. I have asthma also but, very mild and am an RN. I love your site – hats off to you. S.

    1. Stephen says:

      Hi, Thanks very much for reading my stuff. If it will help, I actually have several hundred of my actual ABGs ( some VBGs as well) results from prior admissions buried somewhere in this blog. If you want I can email you the PDF. I think they’re typical asthma values.

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