A pain in the neck

The mysterious tingling leg, part2…

While I was waiting the six weeks for my nerve induction test (EMG), I developed a sore neck.  It was like a stiff neck that you might get from sleeping in a bad position except that it didn’t get any better after a few days of a heating pad like it should have.  The likely culprit was my baby daughter and the way that I was holding her to feed her a bottle.  In the end, this little culprit turned out to be a savior.

My doctor prescribed physical therapy for me.  I have mixed feelings about the PT.  Learning a few exercises primarily for my traps was not a bad thing.  However, it wasn’t much more than going to a personal trainer for a few exercises and getting a massage.  The massage of my neck felt good, but I question the long term benefit of the treatment.  After a few weeks of repeating the same exercises that I could easily do at home, I did just that and stopped going.

Then one day while I was holding my daughter and feeding her a bottle I noticed something very peculiar.  When I turned my head down and to the left to look at her, I felt the tingle in my thigh.  Every time that I moved in that direction the same thing occurred.  I mentioned it to my wife who mentioned it to our doctor.  “Have him come back in to see me immediately”.

I thought that I had solved the mystery.  It must be that I have a pinched nerve in my neck.  That might explain both the perpetual stiff neck and the tingling leg.  My doctor disagreed.  He explained how it was unlikely because the nerve fibers going down to the leg would be buried well inside of the spinal cord at the neck.  A sensation in my arm or a pinched nerve in my lower back might make my idea more plausible, but not a neck-thigh combo.

I had no other symptoms at all and was basically very healthy.  My doctor suggested sticking with the PT and watching it closely to see if it gets any better or worse.  Then, as I was walking out of his office, he called me back.  “Let’s not wait.  Let’s get an MRI done and see what’s going on in there”.

Good call Doc.

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