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Old 08-16-2004, 12:21 AM   #1
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neck pain-slept wrong?

You all may have read my super long threads regarding my back, but I have a q about the neck. A month ago I woke up fine, went to work and had to leave three hours later d/t pain in my shoulder and neck. I haven't been back since. The physical therapist I work with said my first rib was elevated, and he "put it back", and said he heard a pop. Well, the shoulder doc said he had never heard of such a thing, and said it sounded like a load of C^%$. All the muscles in my neck sinched up really bad. I went to pt for it, and it is better. No one knows what happened. Pain would get worse when I drove. Now, it seems more neck and clavical related. What I want to know is, what kind of damage can you do to your neck while sleeping? How would I know if there could be a disc injury? Xrays were only taken of my shoulder, but the shoulder doc did me a huge favor by ordering an MRI for my low back but in addition, ordered one of my cervicle spine. Don't know what they showed. All I do know, is that pain is still there, some pain down that arm. Though it is not as bad. Tenderness in my neck by the spine, and gets stiff very very easily. I know I may not get any replies on this since it is so vague and a "who knows" topic, but I thought I would throw itout in case anyone had experienced anything similar.
Melissa

 
Old 08-16-2004, 02:23 PM   #2
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Re: neck pain-slept wrong?

My husband woke up with a crink in his neck. He went to the primary who said that it was a rib out. He was sent to PT. He went to see a Neurologist and had MRIs and X'Rays taken. He has been on Neurontin, Percodan, Percocet, Flexeril, Soma, Valium, none of which worked. The MRI showed two herniated discs in the neck. But, those are asymptomatic. He has a large bone spur that has grown due to repetitive motion and an old injury at work. Luckily, the old injury was well documented when something fell on his neck so OWCP is covering this.

The first Neuologist wanted to give him a shot but, like me, he refused them. He was sent to a Neurosurgeon. She told him that he needed to have two discs removed and a fusion. Well, needless to say, we disagreed on this as the problem was a bone spur. We know that bone spurs might come back, but fusion is forever.

So, we looked at a minor problem and were given worse case scenario for surgery. Whatever you do, shop around, get more than one or two or even three opinions.

How old are you? Do you have reasons for repetitive stress injury? Play sports?

You might just have tense muscles, or you might have herniated discs or a pinched nerve. The MRI should tell the story. Once you get a copy of the reading of the MRI, take it around to different doctors in different specialies such as orthopods, Neurologists, etc.

Maybe a good massage? Hot tub?

 
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Old 08-16-2004, 06:14 PM   #3
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Re: neck pain-slept wrong?

betty, check out my new post on my MRI results. I won't repeat them, but i do have stenosis in C5-6. I am a nursing assistant and was constantly bending over beds, and so on. I was a cheerleader for seven years and did a lot of lifting and other stuff. i am only 26. Stress injury would be due to my job, which I now know I will not be able to return to, no matter what we decide to do.
Thank you for replying. I have so much crap going on right now, I feel like my body is falling apart! And to top it all off, I have a cracked transmission GASKET !!!!! UGH!!!!!

 
Old 08-16-2004, 10:33 PM   #4
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Re: neck pain-slept wrong?

At least you can get a new car or fix the transmision. Sorry to hear about your back/neck and job.

I read your post and was thinking about your job. You do a lot of bed making? I was in a hotel one day and watched the maids to see how they do it. I mean, who ever takes the time to teach us how to make beds? There may be long family lines of people who don't know the correct way to make a bed.

The woman who made my bed got down on her knees to tuck in the corners. I snap my sheets, but she carefully started at the bottom and then unfolded them until she got to the top. It was like watching an artist.

I went in to make my bed to see if I had any suggestions for you. I am really bad at it. I lean over (not good) and then snap the sheets while bending over which puts weight at the fulcrum point. This is not good. I had thought that I had changed the way that I did everything after I hurt my back, but I guess not.

There should be tips somewhere for people to follow in life.

Beds are at an awkward heigth. We need them low enough to get out of, but high enough for comfort. Maybe the Asian and island people are onto something with the low furniture and the squatting position.

Lifting and the cheerleading is good, as long as you did/do it correctly.

Twenty six is really young to have back/neck problems. Did they say why you have stenosis?

You might want to think about going back to school and getting your degree to become a registered nurse or even a BA. I picture NA's as big people who can lift large amounts of weight. This is why a lot of men who have been in prison become NA's.

 
Old 08-16-2004, 11:31 PM   #5
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Re: neck pain-slept wrong?

Well, I used to be strong, and actually still am. As a NA I learned the correct way to transfer a person. I didn't work in a traditional hospital. It is a physical medicine and rehabiliations hospital. I work closely with Drs and Physical therapists, and we take classes on how to move people from beds to chairs and so on. I injured my back initially transfering a parapleagic. He and I had transfered numerous times and it was relatively easy. But, on that day, he had a new electric chair with non-removeable footrests. In addition to being a new para, he had a clamshell brace and one arm in an external fixator that kept his fingers straight and seperated by wires. So, no "legs" and one good arm. when we went to transfer, we slipped and missed the chair (he was wearing umbro like shorts, very slick). His feet went under the bed and I was facing the bed (he was facing me, "hugging"). I couldn't lay him on the floor b/c of our positioning as I would normally have done. I had to lean back and rest him on my torso and walk him to the bed and lay him down across it. Immediately something was wrong. I did see one of our drs for workers comp, and he said it was just soft tissue damage that would heal, or muscle pull. I ended up working for two more years with heavy lifting before the pain was getting really bad. Often I would have upper back and neck pain-but the low back was much worse. I just took muscle relaxers after work to ease the upper stuff. I finally talked him into an MRI and that was when we saw the bulge at L5-S1. I had sx and was doing great, that was in 2002. I went off the floor and worked as a unit secretary. then, I moved to CA and couldn't get a job there as a NA w/o being certified. So, I worked in a nursing home, I know, bad bad move. This was the worst place I have EVER worked at in my life. The beds had to be raised and lowered manually with cranks, the patients had horrible chairs(couldn't remove armrests, some were geri-chairs and you cannot just transfer right with that). I worked with minimal staff and had to get up to 13 patients cleaned, dressed, and up in their chairs by myself in thirty mins. That routine was done three to four times during my eight hour shift. Pain started pretty quickly, I bent over a bed one day and felt some serious pain where my sx was. I started to see a chiro, and it was great at first-but, whatever she put back, would go out the next time I worked. It got to the point I could barely stand up straight when I got home from work. I graduated from my CNA class as valedictorian, and one of the testers told me that I did the best testing out of anyone she had seen in many many years. I was stoked. But, it did not matter. I knew I could not stay there. One night I went to see the chiro and left bawling (and she didn't use normal techniques, she used an object to gently put the vertebrea back, very in-evasive). My mil called her and told her I would not be returning and three days later I quit the nursing home job.
BREATH
I took a job as a secretary and that was better, but still had a lot of pain. Sitting was just as bad as standing for eight hours and lifting patients. I then moved to Nevada and the pain lessened greatly. My CNA transfered and this past December I started as a CNA in the same hospital org that I worked for previously for five years in Missouri. it was fine really, I didn't do much lifting, but I was still running for eight hours, and the stress alone sucked. I transfered to another facility closer to home, and worked three twelve hour shifts. W-TH-F. This job had even less lifting. But, I learned, you don't have to lift and stuff to reaggrivate a hurt back. Just helping someone get out of bed five times in four hours was bad enough. making the beds, well, I have always been guilty of not doing that right. Usually, I would raise the bed to waist height, but then I stopped making them fully, and just pulled the sheets and blankets back and that required very little bending. There are so many factors to think about. Being on my feet literally for probably nine hours, bending over to get charts out of the bottom drawer in each room, bending over to put TED hose on, shoes on, socks on, wheel chair footrests on and so much more. Then there is bending to wipe a bottom and gosh, where does it end??? I just woke up with the neck problem, we thought it was my shoulder, guess not. I have suspected for the last year that I had reinjured my back, and now I am right, and it is more extensive than just a L5-S1 bulge.
As for cheerleading, I was damn good. We were a very athletic squad and very strong. I never had a serious injury doing that. Though, I hyper-extended both knees one year doing three toe-touches in a row, and with this back crap, my left knee is bad. It feels like it is weak and will give out on me. My heels hurt too, usually they only hurt when I have worked. But I haven't worked in a month.
I am planning on going to LPN school fall 2005. Then, work towards my RN. I really can't wait. I finally realized I cannot do this kind of work as a CNA anylonger, and have finally accepted that. I will try to do something else, well, not try, I WILL do something else. As an RN, or even LPN, I don't have to lift,and I can take many more rest periods.
I have not seen the doc yet regarding my MRI. I didn't want to wait two more weeks to get to my results, so I went to the radiologist center and picked them up myself. I see him for the first time Aug 25.
I have to apologize. this is really really long. I think people are avoiding my threads b/c I tend to "talk" too much and ask a lot of questions. But, I get lonely and don't have any one near me who really understands. I appreciate you taking the time to read my stuff and to the others who have as well. When night approaches and I can't sleep, I feel better to get on here and talk with everyone. thank you-

 
Old 08-17-2004, 12:52 AM   #6
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Re: neck pain-slept wrong?

Mel, you have your reports, what exactly do they say?

I really feel empathy for you that you are going through this. Pain can wear a person to the bone. Whenever I think of pain, I picture the movie, The Grapes of Wrath and what they had to get through to get on with life. It is so depressing.

I always admire someone who works with people, especially in a health situation. People say that teachers are not paid enough. I agree with them, but I also add in nurses. Not so much doctors, but the rest of the health profession.

It sounds like it could be any number of things that caused these problems with your back and neck.

Just sitting there typing can do it. It is so frustrating. No one tells you when you are young that you need to really watch every move. I watch kids riding skate boards off of the rails at the school by my house and they fall and then get back up again and go on. I also watch kids at the store bringing in carts and dragging them around like there is no tomorrow. I have actually stopped a few of them and showed them how to push, not pull, on those long lines of carts. I also explain to them that there is not enough money in the world to make up for a hurt back and that they need to go on in school and learn to be something where they enjoy their work, they are active, and can do it at their own pace.

Realizing that you need to return to college and move up in your profession is really a smart move on your part. You sound like an intelligent woman. That is too bad that your job took its toll on your body.

You sound like you like to work with people. The world needs more people like you. Unfortunately we also need more technology to use with people who are disabled. With the baby boomers hitting the age that they are, needing more care, I think that we are going to see more advancements in the care and the level of care. I think that we are going to see more efficient ways of moving people who can't move themselves. I know that it takes away from the human contact, but I don't think that we were meant to lift people that are bigger than we are.

It may sound harsh, but I come from Native American stock.When the elders got too much for the tribe, the elders stayed behind.

You need to get in for tests. It may be something minor or something major. Tests are there to help you put your mind at ease. Worring about health is really bad for your health.


You must type really fast!

 
Old 08-17-2004, 01:26 AM   #7
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Re: neck pain-slept wrong?

I cheat too, I have a lap top, so I can type in comfort
My MRI said I have:
cervical spine
C5-6 focal posterior protrusion identified resulting in a moderate central canal stenosis, and loss of normal lordosis.

Lumbar spine
L4-5 Minimal diffuse disc bulge with significant central canal and neural foraminal stenosis
L5-S1 diffuse disc bulge as well as a posterior annualr tear without significant central canal or neural foraminal stenosis.
A previous lumbar spine xray also showed degenerative changes at both sites, with a posterior bone spur at L5-S1.

The scary thing is all this happened at the same time. It is almost blessed that it did, but it came on fast. First the knee pain, then moderate back pain, then the neck thing, followed immediately by more severe back pain.

I am sick though, I feel so crappy. My doc changed me from vicodin to percocet. The vicodin wasn't helping. I was up all night til five am a few weeks ago. I took a vicodin 500mg, two hours later a Bextra 10mg, then two hours later a vicodin 650mg. It was horrible. Now, I get sick. I have thrown up twice in the last hour. AND I EAT with all my meds! I want to try so bad to see the doc before next week, something has to be done. People lecture me about me wanting sx, but I am a believer in my body and I know I would heal well. I just can't go on dealing with pain if I know sx may fix it. I know there will still be some pain, I can handle some pain. But not what I am dealing with now. I never threw up on pain meds, and I am a survivor of FIVE surgeries!!(appendectomy 1998, tonislectomy 1997, broken leg w/sx 1999, eye surgery 2001, back sx 2002). I am constipated, nauseated, in pain not only my back, but my neck, knees, leg (L), and feet. I hate to sound whiney, but darn it! I am on Zoloft b/c I am such a worry wart too. I am glad I am seeing my PCP tomorrow, maybe she and I can figure out what to do between now and next wed. I am going to call my back drs office a request that if there is a cancellation, I be re-scheduled. Sorry for all this. It really helps to have someone to talk to though. Thank you so much

 
Old 08-17-2004, 09:09 AM   #8
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Re: neck pain-slept wrong?

Mel,
I can tell you first hand that you will still be lifting, bending and twisting a great deal. Maybe you know of other facilities where nurses have it easier. I worked as a nurse and this is how I injured my back initially and how I have now reinjured it. I am uncertain as to whether I will be able to continue in this career also. After I had my fusion in 2001, I did return to the same work, until I fell in Jan 2004 assisting a patient back to bed and cracked my fusion, which I now have to have totally redone. So I did manage 3 years more and I am hoping to be able to do the same. But this will be my 3rd back surgery and it terrifies me to even think about continuing in this field that I love.

My advice to you would be, do your research ahead of time. Talk to as many RN's and LPN's as you can before jumping into this. Check out the different facilities available in your area and see if there is a job out there that you may be able to handle. A doctor's office may be an option, but I live in a small town and those jobs are taken and not being given up very easily. The nurses that have these jobs don't want to leave.

Anyway, sorry to go on soooo long. Hope you find what you are looking for. Best of luck to you.

Last edited by Administrator; 08-24-2004 at 03:49 PM.

 
Old 08-17-2004, 11:32 AM   #9
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Re: neck pain-slept wrong?

I live in vegas and might move to denver after a few years. where i work the work is very light for the nurses. They only pass meds and do dressing changes. The cna's do all the work otherwise. I work with many nurses there who have sustained injuries or have chronic problems, and they have told me that they work there b/c the work is so light. They are able to sit as they need to, and only have six to eight patients. We are a physical rehab hospital though, so the patients have to do as much as they can on their own. The therapists and cnas do all the transfereing, and if a RN/LPN does answer a light and needs assistance, there is always someone availbale to either help or do the transfer. But, you are right, it all depends on where you live and what kind of work is available to you. I would like to get into labor and delivery or peds. Worse case scenario stay an LPN and work for a MD. We shall see though, I don't take the entrance exam until October, and the next LPN classes don't begin until Next fall. So, I will have quite a bit of time to see how things pan out. MY mom in an RN as well as my MIL. My mil suffers from Fibro and works for the state of california, no patient care, while my mom is a ccrn for the same company I work for in Missouri. She has been doing that for 25 years. She wouldn't have to do any patient care if she didn't want to, since she is a primary RN, but she chooses to do direct care. Most of the RNs rely wholly on the nurse assistants to do a bulk of the patient care. I do thank you, luckily I have access to many licensed nurses, and can ask all the questions I need to.

 
Old 08-17-2004, 03:46 PM   #10
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Re: neck pain-slept wrong?

Mel,
I am glad you have those opportunities. They sound wonderful. I must say I am completely jealous. My last job, or I guess I should say present job, since I am still employed there as of right now anyway, was in labor & delivery. I love that job. It is the mostfulfilling job I have ever had. But at the same time it is very demanding. A lot of women really lose it while in labor, which is very understandable (I remember it well). Just trying to hold back their legs during delivery is very stressful on your back (sorry to be so graphic).

Maybe I need to make a move or maybe after this surgery the hospital I work for can find me something a little less stressful on my body. I have even worked in a nursey before and that can be hard on your back. The cribs are very low and require a lot of bending to take vitals, do baths, etc. But that was probably the least stressful on my back.

As I said before I am now so jealous of the nurses you know, but at the same time I am glad it is something you may be able to do. If it's truely what you want, then go for it. You sound as if you can do whatever you put your mind to. And as I am sure you know, that is something you definitely need in nursing.

Again best of luck to you in whatever you choose.

 
Old 08-17-2004, 11:29 PM   #11
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Re: neck pain-slept wrong?

Mel, You need to have your doctor change your medication. They can also give you something to stop the nausea. The medication doesn't do any good if you throw it up. The up side is that you will never want to be an addict

I always wondered why people end up in the jobs that they do and then I came to realize they had to make life choices when life threw them a curve ball.

We have registered nurses where we live who pretty much do the paperwork, stand beside the doctors and the CNAs do the heavy work. RN's are in such demand that they are importing them from other countries with large incentive packages. They get to bring their entire families with them when they come to the US. You should be able to write your own ticket once you get a degree.

The stenosis doesn't look good. I am not sure if that goes away on its own.

Working in a doctor's office just might be the ticket for you. I know that those positions are hard to find these days, but you have to think about your body.

 
Old 08-18-2004, 10:22 AM   #12
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Re: neck pain-slept wrong?

thanks everyone. I am lucky that I don't have to give up on my dream of nursing. But, that doesn't mean I won't be able to do what I want to do in it either.I would love to stay in rehab or become specialized in brain injury nursing, or ICU(would LOVE ICU, I need that patient contact) but have realized those types would require too much of me. Right now I am just going to focus on getting in and through school and take it from there. My MD changed me to Lortab-so far my tummy is feeling better. Slept yesterday for 18 hours. Felt that crappy. But, we shall see!

 
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