why does my right arm feel heavy

Hi, I m a 27 year old male and have been experiencing what I am convinced are symptoms caused by ALS. I am not so naive to expect a diagnosis but I am so worked up, just some replies from people with any experience wether professional or patient would be appreciated. I apologise in advance for the following lengthy, perhaps rambling account of my life at the minute, I just want to get some stuff out. Ok, so I ll start with my symptoms- of which there are many. Please know that prior to the sudden onset of the following symptoms, I ve been suffering with things like back pain and chronic fatigue for about a year, but these next ones started I think about two months ago. Arm and leg weakness- cant lift heavy objects, arms feel heavy and weak all the time, Im a naturally strong person (albeit naturally slim) but lately I feel as though my strength has been drained from me. Climbing stairs is a real task, It does nt hurt, just the heaviness/rubbery weakness. Also ankle and knee weakness and shaking. Fasciculations (twitching)- particularly in left leg, but also present in other limbs and tongue. (these only started a few days ago actually but are getting more frequent). Muscle atrophy- particularly visible in biceps and calfs, rapid, so much so that I now have stretch marks on my arms where there was muscle a few months ago. No pain as such although i get a deep burning sensation in my shoulders and upper arms when doing something such as scraping wallpaper, or just holding my phone to my ear causes the burning after seconds, making me keep switching arms. Speech problems- this is hard to describe without someone being present to physically hear but I cant seem to articulate properly, certain words come out slurred or mumbled, also my lips and tongue feel strange. Balance/co-ordination- both standing still and walking. When standing I often stumble backwards, when walking I feel unsteady,weak, like my legs are nt fully part of me, wobbly, etc. Nasal/ear/throat- Ive had what i thought were stuffy sinuses for months, particularly in the morning or late at night, but lately Im so nasal, and I ve started to need to clear my throat a lot and my voice is weak and hoarse. Not sore, just hoarse. Breathing- Slight rasp/wheeze when inhaling. Shortness of breath particularly when lying down, like i cant fill my lungs. Shaking- Pretty much everywhere. when I lower my head from looking up position it kind of judders back down, arms feel very shaky although not always visible. Legs shake visibly with certain movements/positions. Fatigue- This is chronic. My sleep pattern is usually up and down anyway but when I do manage a good 7-8 hours uninterrupted, I wake up feeling worse than before I fell asleep, a lot worse. Also started to get hypnogogic state (sleep paralysis) a lot lately, which isn t pleasant. Also, with the fatigue, I must mention that even just walking to the kitchen from the living room is excruciating. And as I mentioned before, going upstairs Is hard, I need to hold onto the rail to support myself. Emotional changes- Anger/sadness mainly, the odd moment of euphoria/elation, briefly. Wether this is caused by the anxiety of all this I don t know. One more thing that I ll mention is the burning sensation on/under my skin, mainly on the top and palms of hands, wrists and topside of forearm (can t think of the correct term), neck and sometimes chest and top and soles of feet. It s just a wierd hot, flushed, burning feeling. Anyway, I ll leave it there although there are more but I feel like an idiot and I know I ve written an overwhelming amount already. One small sidenote: yes, I suffer from anxiety, always have, always will. But I ve had it long enough to know that the physical symptoms I am experiencing aren t related to that. Oh, also, I m currently awaiting a neurology appointment as all blood tests came back normal, apart from a slight vitamin D deficiency, which frankly, has only led to an increase in my fear (that they were normal, so obviously its caused by something else).


I hope someone will reply as I ve never felt as scared and alone as I do now. Mike.
Right arm numbness suggests abnormal or altered sensation in the right arm that may involve the proximal part or may extend to involve entire length of right arm. Most cases are seen in temporary or permanent shortage of blood supply, but sometimes damage to nerve may also present with right arm numbness. Other common causes include malignancy, infection, inflammatory process or moderate to severe trauma. Below is a list of some common causes of right arm numbness and treatment options that can be employed to manage the issue. 1. Pinched Nerves Pinched nerve is seen in the setting of inflammatory or traumatic incidents that involve trunks or branches of brachial plexus at the level of shoulder or when the nerve travels in the upper limb. Common causes of pinched nerve include excessive pressure on the nerves as a result of trauma to cartilage, bones, muscles and tendons that causes irritation or inflammation of nerve sheath and may present with painful movements across the upper right limb along with numbness and altered sensations. The management of pinched nerve depends upon the primary pathology. Most helpful treatment options include physical therapy that helps in relieving the pressure from the nerve by restoring normal anatomy of supporting tissues. For severe pain and discomfort pain killers, corticosteroid therapy and narcotic analgesics can be employed. More severe cases of numbness may respond to surgical methods that aim at removing stress and strain from the tissues by relieving pressure from the nerve sheath. 2. Stroke If stroke affects the part of brain that controls the activities of upper limb, paralysis, weakness or numbness may occur. As a result of neurological damage to brain tissue due to impaired blood supply, loss of consciousness is the most common symptoms that follows severe sudden episode of headache. Paralysis is mostly one sided, i. e. right sided paralysis (paralysis of right arm and/ or leg) is due to stroke induced brain damage of left brain and vice versa, but symptoms may overlap, depending upon the blood vessel involved and part of brain affected. Most cases of stroke require emergent and urgent medical attention that must be delivered in time. Depending upon the cause of stroke, anti- coagulation therapy (in the form of aspirin and tissue plasminogen activator) can be started in case of ischemic stroke. Management is entirely different for hemorrhagic stroke. That's why extensive radiological testing is required before starting interventive therapy. Most cases respond slowly and gradually to rehabilitation and holistic methods of treatment like physical therapy, speech therapy and strength exercises involving upper limb. 3. Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) Transient ischemic attack represents vascular issues involving perfusion of brain (that should be taken seriously). Most attacks of TIA last no longer than a couple of hours and usually resolve without leaving any residual deformity. It could cause sudden one-sided numbness or paralysis in the face arm or leg. If you are experiencing frequent attacks of motor/ sensory weakness or right arm numbness, speak to your healthcare provider for complete evaluation of your medical situation to prevent serious complications. Certain medical drugs like anti- coagulants, blood thinners, diet and exercise modification also helps tremendously. 4. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Carpal tunnel syndrome is seen in cases when median nerve is obstructed or irritated during its passage through the flexor retinaculum at the level of wrist. It may cause numbness and weakness, as well as pain in fingers and arms.


Other factors like obesity, pregnancy and soft tissue trauma may also present with features of upper arm numbness. Lifestyle and diet modification often helps in the management of carpal tunnel syndrome. For more serious symptoms, pain- killers and non- steroidal anti inflammatory agents are most commonly employed. 5. Hyperglycemic Neuropathy Long standing and uncontrolled high blood sugar levels can increase the risk of inflammation of nerves that may present with numbness and tingling sensation in upper limbs or lower limbs. Hyperglycemia induced neuropathy may present as one of the primary symptoms of diabetes (along with increased urination, weakness and increased thirst) as well as in advanced stages of complications seen in long standing diabetes. Management of blood sugar levels can help in the management of symptoms. 6. Nutritional Deficiency Chronic deficiency of some essential vitamins may also present with right arm numbness which includes vitamin B6, B12, B5 and B6, Vitamin D and C along with minerals like calcium, phosphorous and magnesium. Correction of nutritional abnormalities can resolve the problem without needing any other intervention. 7. Other Causes Pregnancy due to changes in the hormonal environment of the body can affect the circulation of blood, leading to numbness. Migraine headaches and Multiple Sclerosis also produce symptoms of right arm numbness due to nervous involvement. Other common causes include Cervical Disc Disease, Herniated Disc and Raynaud's Syndrome. Right arm numbness is mostly a trivial symptom seen in the setting of minor injury or inflammation of nerve sheath or it may also be a symptom of an ongoing serious organic issue. Consult a doctor or healthcare provider immediately if you are experiencing these symptoms: First of all the right arm symptom doesn t look like secondary to stroke, also it is not coming from the lower back area. It is not heart related either, since heart related symptoms, if they go to the arm, most often it is the left arm that gets involved. Based on the details you provided I will consider Brachial neuritis (Brachial plexopathy). It is the disease of a nervous system structure called as brachial plexus and this structure supplies the whole arm. Brachial neuritis is caused by varieties of conditions like trauma, infections, vaccination etc, but in your case no such history is available, so this could be what we call as Parsonage Turner syndrome (idiopathic brachial neuritis, idiopathic means cause is not identified). You need an EMG/Nerve conduction study (a nerve muscle test) of right arm. If EMG test confirms the brachial neuritis then an MRI of the brachial plexus is ordered. This will help in exploring any structural abnormalities in the brachial plexus area that might be causing brachial neuritis. If such structural possibilities are ruled out then the diagnosis of Parsonage Turner Syndrome is confirmed. This condition is treated with a course of oral steroids physical therapy. Also avoid sleeping on to your right side as much as possible. If EMG test shows no brachial neuritis then you need an MRI of the brain just to make sure it is not some out of the box possibilities like MS (multiple sclerosis) etc. I understand you have no insurance but in my opinion you need to see a neurologist in the clinic for the further needful that will include a thorough clinical examination, investigations treatments as discussed above. And I do not think the knee symptom you mentioned is related with your arm condition. If the knee symptom persists or worsens then it requires a separate evaluation. You have already paid once, so clicking accept button again is purely optional for you. And thanks for the payment. Please ask if there are any further questions. Best Regards, Dr Sathya.

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