Neck problem. My story. Any words of wisdom, suggestions?
I know the no one can give me the magic answer, but if you have any words of wisdom, suggestions, comments or things I should first think about please let me know.
Me . . . Age:39, Activities: (used to be): lift weights 3-4 x week and play hockey
My story . . . Problem first started mid June 04. Weightlifting doing a lat pull down and felt a tweak in my right upper trap area. Felt like a muscle pull, I’ve felt this before. Treated with ice/heat and continued to work out. On and off mild pain, but never really went away. After 3 weeks I started to feel an achy feeling down my arm. Knew that wasn’t a good sign so I went to see a doc. Because I presented as a muscle pull he sent me to PT (2 years ago I separated my right AC joint and broke my collar bone so the doc that it might be related???). Ache began to get worse. Went to see an orthopedic doc. He took an x-ray of the neck and diagnosed degenerative disc at c6-c7. Pain in neck began to increase as well. He gave me a Medrol pack and more PT. Neither really seemed to make it better or get worse. Three weeks later was working out and while doing a triceps extension movement (arms in front, holding onto bar and extending downwards) I felt a MAJOR tweak in my neck (08/23/04). From that point it was much worse and I had to stop ALL activity. I had all the following symptoms: stiffness, moderate to VERY intense pain in the neck, trap, shoulder blade and achy/ tingling down back of triceps, forearm and hand. Had an MRI 08/26/04 with results as follows:
• Reversal of normal cervical lordosis which at least in part may be on the basis of paravertebral muscle spasm.
• Degenerative disc disease with 1 mm disk bulge c5/c6.
• Degenerative disc disease c6/c7 with 2mm dorsal spondylotic ridge/disc bulge and an approximate 5 to 6 mm right paracentral disk protrusion/extrusion with compression of the right c7 nerve root sleeve.
C5-c6: The disk is mildly decreased in height. There is a 1mm disc bulge. The c45/c6 nerve root canals are symmetrical an widely patent and there is symmetrical “filling” of the c6 root sleeves on the MR mylogram
C6/c7: There is mild disc space narrowing. There is mild ventral spondylosis. There is a 2 mm dorsal spondylotic ridge/disc bulge. There is an approximate 5 to 6 mm right paracentral disk protrusion/extrusion with compression of the right c7 nerve root sleeve on the MR myelographic examination.
Received 3 epidural injections in September. The pain has really gone down (Unless I sneeze or cough, which sends a major jolt down my arm!), but still some pain and have almost constant tingling down the arm. The surgeon I am seeing is very good and I know a few people he has performed ACDF on with good results. He recommended only the fusion procedure for my condition.
I want to get back to my activities. The loss of strength in my right arm is really scaring me. It is really affecting me mentally as well. I sure I feel no different than a lot of people and I tell my self I need to be strong. I wake up sometimes and I don’t even want to get out of bed. I just want this to go away. I feel a lot of anxiety and sometimes I just want to cry. I don’t see how more time will help. I want to get back to being active.
If anyone has any words of wisdom or suggestions, comments or thing I should first think about please let me know.
Re: Neck problem. My story. Any words of wisdom, suggestions?
let me give you my history:
Two years ago I had a micro at L5-S1 (for a bulge) and at the time found out I had DDD at L4-5. I am a nursing asst and lift a lot. This June things got bad again in my back. I went to PT for a month with no relief. Then, in July I went to work with mild irritation in my left shoulder. It progresses so bad in two hours I had to go home and Ihaven't been back to work since. I had an Xray which for the most part was normal, then I had an MRI and it showed:
Small bulge at C5-6
Small bulge L4-5
Small bulge L5-S1
Annular tear L5-S1
the pain in my back doesn't relate to your story, but this does:
The pain in my neck goes from my jaw to my left fingers. I have pain in all related muscles including the scapular and clavical areas. My dr sent me to a neurologist for an EMG and it showed I had a pinched nerve. I also have spondy in my neck and loss of normal lordosis (the curve). All of these problems come (or seem to )from my bulge. NOW, I was under a lot of stress (getting ready to take a nursing test) and the week I found out I passed, the pain in my neck lessened. I do still have pain, but the back pain is much worse. I carry my stress in my neck and shoulders. My dr said I could possibly have surgery either a micro or fusion of the neck, but he doubted that it would help my pain. I did have two injections and traction for my neck and back. The inj didn't help my back, but even though it has been a month, may have helped my neck. It is unknown at this point. I have decided I may have surgery on my low back, but will put off surgery on my neck until I try another route. I am going to try Neurontin for my pinched nerve, arthritis meds for the spondy and muscle relaxers for the neck muscular pains.
I hope this has helped a little: Try an EMG and nerve cond test. And decide from there what you think you should do.