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Pins, needles, and pain one year after a broken collarbone?

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Pins, needles, and pain one year after a broken collarbone?

Old 05-13-16, 06:06 PM
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Pins, needles, and pain one year after a broken collarbone?

I broke my left collarbone last June; and in the last three weeks I've been having episodic pain beneath it and shooting down my arm. My fingers have also been getting pins and needles. Laying down without a pillow under my neck can set it off, as do other things which I've yet to figure out.

Given a perfect right side and pain in my crashed shoulder going with the rest I suspect a connection.

Has anyone else experienced something similar? A lot of nerves run under the collarbone and could get irritated if scar tissue built up over time.

I setup a Monday morning appointment with my orthopedic guy for a professional opinion.

My wife thinks I should cut back on riding, although reducing mileage would be bad for form leading up to an August 1000 km brevet.
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Old 05-13-16, 06:43 PM
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I have had a couple episodes of similar tingling and pain shooting down just one arm, diagnosed as a pinched nerve in my neck. I wonder if you're doing something asymmetric to favor your collarbone, that's affecting your posture, and thus your neck. Physical therapy and time worked wonders for me both times. I also realized at that point that I had to be more particular about my bike setup. This is one of my reasons for preferring a more upright posture. Assuming you prefer drop bars, I suppose that switching to one of those hinged stems might be a temporary measure that helps you recover before the long ride.

In my case the physical therapist put me through a whole bunch of precise motions, specifically to help me figure out what was setting off the pain, and gave me exercises and posture advice.
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Old 05-13-16, 07:28 PM
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I feel for you, I hope Monday comes with some relief or at least the start to the road for relief. You may get lucky and get some treatment right away that will make you feel better on Monday. Nerves, neck and shoulder pain can be hard to workout, but with the right therapy and other methods, you will feel results. Wishing you good luck !

I broke my my collar bone and dislocated my right shoulder when I was 23 from a hit and run bike accident. I had the same issues you describe and at times I couldn't even hold a pencil. It took me years (young, no insurance, stubborn) of piecemeal painful therapy from a physical therapist but it finally worked. Now 26 years later, my collarbone still protrudes in a unpleasant looking way, but I have zero issues with pain, and I lift and twist a lot at the gym, working on the yard, working on cars, etc.
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Old 05-13-16, 07:59 PM
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The symptoms would be typical for a cervical nerve root problem—common as dirt—and less likely to be related to an uncomplicated, healed, clavicular fracture. See your doc.
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Old 05-13-16, 09:29 PM
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Yup. A permanently splintered C2 vertebrae from a car wreck 15 years ago left me with a clown car of associated dull aches, sharp pains and weird stuff like sudden dramatic spikes in blood pressure. My right side trapezoid muscle is usually knotted up hard as a raw potato.

On good days I just have dull aches and some tingling and numbness, mostly down the right side arm and hand. On bad days, sharp pains that can turn into horrific headaches. If I turn my head too quickly or look up at the sky I'm likely to have a dizzy spell. So I use a mirror on the bike and don't worry about UFOs.

Over the past months I've gradually lowered the handlebar, as my conditioning improved, to reduce wind resistance and get more efficient pedaling. I passed my can-do point when the bar reached saddle height. Adjusting the stem and bar to an inch or two above saddle height seemed to hit the sweet spot between efficiency and tolerability.

But the past few weeks I've been getting pins and needles and aching pains in my wrists and thumb joints. I just got a pair of ergo short finger gloves with gel pads. Felt good on a short ride today. I'll try longer rides this weekend. My next step will be some ergo grips that don't need constant repositioning.

Main thing I need to be careful of is avoiding craning my neck backward -- guaranteed nerve pinch, dizziness and stabbing pains. That's why I'll never be able to ride drops below saddle height again, unless I can ride blind or use a forward looking camera with the display mounted on the front fender.
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