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    Unhappy Here we go again (muscle weakness)

    So back in 2016 I suffered from severe right back, shoulder and arm pain. My muscles kept twitching constantly and I started seeing the doctors about it. Being the idiot I am I made the mistake of looking up back pain and muscle twitching which introduced me to the term for them, fasciculations. So I looked up back and arm pain and fasciculations and I'm sure you already know where that led me. Yup, down the A-word rabbit hole I went. I lost over a year of my life to that anxiety. I was diagnosed with a C7 radiculopathy at the time but I was still not convinced. I decided to do the EMG route because I was told that an EMG would put the ALS fear to rest. Of course, what I wasn't told was that if I had spinal nerve issues I would not actually get a clean EMG. So of course when the EMG came back dirty and showed problems that sent me in to the worst and most crippling anxiety of my life. The doctor who did the EMG even said he was 99% sure that the EMG results were due to the spinal issues seen in the MRI and he did not believe there was any reason to suspect ALS to be the cause.

    Eventually time went by and things eased up, the pain diminished and I kept myself from fearing too deeply by doing muscle tests like tricep presses to remind myself that everything was still working properly. A year to a year and a half went by and I eventually improved and was able to return to a normal life with the fear falling to the wayside. That is how things remained until just before New Years of this year. I went to bed one night and suddenly the right back and shoulder pain hit with a vengeance. After a bit it started to move down the arm again and up to this point I was pretty sure the back problems were flaring up. It was again the right upper back, shoulder and triceps that were being impacted again which, of course, falls in line with a C7 radiculopathy as I had previously been informed I had.

    So I decided I'd prove things were fine again by doing the same tricep exercises I employed previously to keep my mind at ease. Well, this is when the problems started. I got the 15 pound dumbbell and did the exercises easy as could be with the left arm, but then when I switched to the right arm I found I couldn't do them. I went down to 10 and I could barely pull it off and the 5 pound weight seems to be the only one truly manageable. Now I know radiculopathy can present with muscle weakness and I know I didn't start doing this last time until well after the radiculopathy symptoms themselves were already pretty cleared up, and it was just anxiety I was dealing with.

    I keep reminding myself that the weakened tricep can be caused by a pinched nerve at C7 but I still can't get the ALS fear out of my head no matter how hard I try. I don't know if I can even handle going through this again and the thought of this anxiety just feels like a weight I can barely stand to bear. Now at this time the back and arm pain has largely subsided but the weakness remains, and I can still trigger the pain through specific neck movements (craning neck back, looking to the right side, etc). I think the hardest part is even though I know muscle weakness can be a result of radiculopathy, I haven't found many people who have reported similar weakness with their pinched nerves. I've found a forum post here and there from people talking about it that put my mind at ease a little, but still just can't get the ALS fear out of my head and it's destroying me. It's now been almost a month since this started, yet again, and I'm already completely and emotionally exhausted. I just can't go through this again.

    And for the record, I've read the pinned post repeatedly. It helps a little, but I still can't help but feel worry because it does talk about muscle weakness which I do in fact have which I did not have last time that I know of. I do say "that I know of" because by the time I started testing my muscles the last time around the primary symptoms had gone and I was mostly just dealing with the anxiety at that time.
    Last edited by tjb113; 20-01-20 at 03:48.

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