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Question: Stiffness on left side

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 purpleyogi - Thu Jun 02, 2005 10:22 pm

I am 25-year old male suffering from frequent stiffness and pain on my left neck , shoulder, hand, back.The stiffness seem to start from the left shoulder and travels upto left neck, left hand, back and sometimes to left leg.The joints feel stiff and often produce crackling sound when I stretch them.
Its history dates back to around 10 years when it was very severe and affected almost all joint s.Since then severity has come down and its confined to left side.
I have made several visits to doctors but they have failed to diagnose my problem.
The stiffness and pain seems to reduce after a good sleep and the area around shoulders feels tender on pressing.It also seems to get worse in cold.
This condition is affecting my concentration at work.
Can it be related to heart ?
Please advice.
 Dr. Wafaa Abdel-Hadi - Fri Jun 03, 2005 4:42 pm

Hello purpleyogi,

So this stiffness is not related to exercise.. what increases it and what relieves it?

have you had an ECG before ....and X-rays on your left side where the stiffness is?

Stiffness is awkward to a heart condition...but it can be something related to your rheumatoid (although you are still young) ...has anyone tested you for autoimmune reactions?

Best regards,
 purpleyogi - Sun Jun 05, 2005 2:34 am

Thanks Doc. for replying.
Exercise does help.Oil massage helps more.
Stuffy places, breathlesness, cold, damp weather seem to make it worse.
I haven't had any ECG/X-Ray/tests for this condition in a long time.
I remember having lots of tumors beneath my lower jaw above the neck years back.Now I can still feel few of them.

When I roll my head or swing my arms I can hear crackling sounds - it must be nerves ..isn't it?
What kind of tests should I undergo and what is this condition called?
Will this lead to any adverse effects ?

Thanks a lot.
 Dr. Wafaa Abdel-Hadi - Mon Jun 06, 2005 1:16 am

Excercise help what?making it worse or better? and oil massage makes it better,right?

What kind of tumors undearneath your lower jaw?? you mean lymph nodes?

I suggest you do a chest X-ray,if your last one was as old as 3 months ago.Get your neck nodes checked as well especially if you didn't have an explanation for them .

About those crackling sounds...where do you feel/hear the sound? and is it painful as well?
Tell me more about your medical you take any medications or supplements for any condition you have? have you had any operations before or have been admitted to the hospital before?

Best regards :) ,
 purpleyogi - Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:43 am

Thanks for reply.
Exercises help make my condition better it seems.Oil massage on the affected area always helps to ease out the pain and stiffness.
Ya lymph nodes...I guess that's what those round small things are called.
What do I expect to come up in a chest X-ray?
The nodes are just a few4-5 in number and they don't hurt.What causes them to appear?
I can hear the sound, its exactly like the sounds one's joints sometimes make when you stretch them out.

I don't take any medications or supplements and have never suffered from any major disease.I was admitted to hospital once for Low BP when I was around 16 and fell unconsious.
There are days when I feel absolutely fine and then suddenly something triggers the condition ..I am not sure ...maybe tension/weather.

Thanks for your invaluable help.
Kindly let me know if you want to know anything more.
 Dr. Wafaa Abdel-Hadi - Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:06 am


Well, lymph nodes can get swollen from an infection...have you ever had Mono infection? because you said they've been with you for years?
Have you ever been diagnosed or got in contact with a patient who had tuberculosis|(TB)?

A chest X-ray is very important and that plain X-ray on the places affected can be very helpful, we can see if your joint spaces are normal...if you have any pathology there, etc...It's a basic thing to do...and if somtheing was query about them . we can ask for more advanced investigations.

I am concerned about your lymph nodes if you can tell me when did they start,how ,if u ever got a bad throat infection,infectious mononucleosis,TB, anything that can be related to them.

If all of these came inconclusive...then we can think of autoimmune rhematoid arthritis .because you said it affected most of your joints(i know you are young) or SLE....but you don't complain of anything but your joiunts.

How did your joints get affected previously...and has it affected big joints only the knees or elbows...and they became hot ,red, tender and just go away by aspirin?

Best regards,
 purpleyogi - Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:11 am

Hello Doc.
Sorry for the long delay.I went outstation and couldn't find access to internet there.
Its been raining here in Mumbai and such weather makes my condition worse.
I have noticed few more things recently.Firstly when I twist my wrists ( mostly left) I can always hear noise as if its coming from an entangled bunch of nerves, its not painful though.The nerves on my head seems tensed and give me a feeling of unwellness.
Even my ears seem to be affected and when I pull them I can hear crackling noise. Its like the tensed nerves get to relax when I stretch them.Pressing the palm of my hands against my table edge also produces a crackling sound.
Regarding your questions I have never known a TB patient or had knowingly got in contact with one.
I had got my chest x-ray done a couple of times many years ago and they were normal.
My lymph nodes started around the time I started getting joint pains i.e. when I was around 16.I remember I used to have frequent sore throats with cold then but never after that.It all started with my neck and slowly spread to my shoulders, hands, back, legs.
The joints has swelling when it all started but now there is no swelling , only stiffness.
 purpleyogi - Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:15 am

Sorry I forgot to add that lately my eyes always get red after sleep.I went to see doctor and he said they are getting irritated somehow and prescribed Ocurest.I suspect its related to my condition.
Please tell me what disease I am suffering from, I find it difficult to do any work requiring concentration. I do get good sleep though.
 Dr. Wafaa Abdel-Hadi - Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:23 am

Hello purpleyogi,

Well, i cannot give you a definitive diagnosis...diagnosis depends on clinical picture that involves symptoms(your complaint)....signs(that doctors evaluate) and investigations to reach a definite diagnosis... so I will ask you to go to your doctor...give him that nice breif history that you've given me...ask him to do immunology screen for you including rheumatoid factor and Systemic we can exclude them ...beside the regular kidney functions (especially uric acid), complete blood picture and Acute phase reactants (like CRP) to see if what you are having is in active process or not.

i want you to make sure though tfhat your joint spaces are within normal in the plain X-rays you've got.

Best regards
 budz76 - Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:56 am

I am a 29 year old male who experiences chest tightness on my left side. It usually happens during work but sometimes gets so bad I can't get to sleep at night like my heart wants to jump out of my chest. I went to the doctor and did the ekg and it came out fine. He said it could just be anxiety, and I said could I get something to deal with it and he said yes but it was very addictive, so I passed. Any help to make this feeling go away with out taking zanax or whatever they give you. Or is there something else wrong with me?

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