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Numbness caused by lowering head

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A week ago, I was attempting to pop my neck (in particular, I leaned my head back and twisted my chin to the left several times until I felt a pop on the left side [which was the goal]). It is not unusual for me to do this (although I know it is a bad habit), and I have never had a problem until now. When I looked down to the book open on my desk, I experienced an intense numbness (not quite pins and needles; more like the tactile equivalent of white noise) in between my stomach and pelvis, which stopped when I raised my head back to level. When I lowered my head again, I experienced the same thing (although a little less intense) and the feeling dissipated in a few seconds.

Every time I look down after I've been looking up (above level) for a while I experience the same thing to a varying degree. Sometimes the numbness is centralized higher or lower in my abdomen, and I have felt it even as far down as my left hamstring. The problem only occurs when I look straight down (not down and to the side), and is worse when I look down suddenly (and not as bad when I look down gradually).

I also have a slight numbness in my right fingertips, and I feel like I have slightly decreased bowel control (but not to the point where I can't make it to a bathroom in time), and loose stool (the decreased bowel control might simply be a result of this).

I have been to see a doctor who suspects a pinched nerve (but isn't sure), and recommends rest and time; in the case that my symptoms don't improve, she recommended that I see a neurologist in a few weeks.

I have noticed that the symptoms are less intense upon waking but tend to worsen during the day. I'm not sure if my condition is improving.

Any ideas? Should I be worried that doing nothing is making things worse? Should I go back to normal exercise or could that make things worse?

I am a 19 year old white male living in the United States.
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replied September 24th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
hi
one thing to be aware of that you may not know. when you bend your neck forward you are stretching the covering of your spinal cord. this can cause strange sensations or even pain down below. so its not necessarily the neck pinching your nerves.
my guess is that yes you can do regular activities.
i had that problem and was sure my neck was gone but when my neurosurgeon explained it i felt much better!!!!
by the way a canadian study indicated that snapping the neck disturbed blood vessels and actually caused strokes!!!!
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replied September 26th, 2010
I'm having very similar symptoms! It's been going on for about a month after several days of constipation. It doesn't feel like anything too serious, but the fact that it hasn't gone away is driving me crazy. I really want to know what it is. I haven't been to a doctor yet, but I probably should by now. You say it's numbness, but I would describe it as a painful pulling sensation between my tailbone and a spot left of my anus. And it does get worse throughout the day. It also hurts (more as the day goes on) to jump up and down or bounce. Yet, I'm having no trouble with bowel movements at all. It freaks me out that it's agitated, not by bending over, but by bending over AND lowering my chin to my chest. The whole neck movement triggering the pain down there seems weird. I like what pete81241 said about stretching the covering of your spinal cord; makes sense.

Does ibuprofen help your condition? I actually helps a lot for me. But, I also don't want to be taking Advil for the rest of my life (can't be good for the kidneys), so I'm determined to at least figure out what's wrong and hopefully get rid of it. Keep me up to date.
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replied September 26th, 2010
Actually Steve, I don't think that your condition sounds much like mine except for the trigger.

I think that my condition is improving slightly, or at least I'm getting used to it. It doesn't disturb me like it used to, I'm having no more problems with bowel control, and the once-persistent numbness in my fingertips has lessened (and is not there at all most of the time). I don't have a pins-and-needles feeling in my hand anymore.

I have been taking an ibuprofen about once every other day, but I don't think it affects my condition at all. I do it just because I think it might help a little.

I still get a numb feeling in various places throughout my body depending on how I incline my head (how much I push my neck forward while inclining my head seems to affect where I feel the numbness -- chest, abdomen, legs), but I believe it's getting better.

Next task: break the habit of cracking my neck.
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replied September 26th, 2010
Hmm, well I guess we're not the same. I just got excited because I'm having trouble with finding others with pelvic pain that's triggered by the neck. That's great that your condition is improving, hopefully you won't be cracking that neck anymore.

I might be going to the doctor's soon for an expert opinion. Anything that improves by taking a single Advil tablet can't be too serious, but it's been 7 or 8 weeks. So maybe a specialist could help me out.
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replied January 19th, 2012
I hope your still paying attention to this site. I'm having the exact same problem. It amplifies severely when I drink alcohol. It's bad. Taking Advil and waiting about an hour will relieve it to the point where it's tolerable . It hits my left arm so bad that it looks and feels like I'm paralyzed. I know it's something in my neck. I don't know what to do.
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replied September 27th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
steves....
theres nerves down in the sacrum....s4 i believe ....that go to the area youre having trouble with. it doesnt sound too seious but if it bothers you more go to ortho spine surgeon for a diagnosis.....good luck...pete
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