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Old 03-21-2006, 07:56 AM   #1
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Unhappy Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

I just had an EMG test and they found pinched nerves in my neck on the left side. I also have pain in my arms and shoulders, not to mention horrible headaches. My life has come to a screeching halt and I'm getting depressed. Dr. said that the pinched nerves in my neck cannot be causing the arm pain. I beg to differ, but she won't let me see a neurosurgeon. I also just started having trouble with my jaw and have headaches from that also. Just what I needed. I have been in physical therapy for 5 months now and have seen a chiropracter for 1 month. Nothing helps and in fact my treatment has given me migranes. Dr. said there is nothing that can be done for the pinched nerves. I say, something is causing them, and it should be fixed. This is a work comp thing and I often wonder if that's why I'm not getting help. Any ideas on how I can stop these headaches. I use a lot of ice. The list of meds the dr. put me on: Vicodin, motrin, celebrex, percocet, ultram, flexeril, wellbutrin (which nearly killed me after an allergic reaction) I of course do not take all of these, I'm very careful. I seem to throw up if I take anything anyway. I really need help. What can be done for pinched nerves? I can't excersise anymore because I end of with a headache and now I'm gaining weight. Thank you anybody for any help or advice!!!

 
Old 03-21-2006, 12:32 PM   #2
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Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

Quote:
but she won't let me see a neurosurgeon.
Huh? How is the doctor stopping you from seeing another doctor?
Are you represented by an attorney for your WC claim & going to doctors he/she has recommended?

Check your local yellow pages for Headache Clinics. Neurologist that specializes in headaches/migraines usually work there.

Workers comp case you can go to any doctor you see fit. Your workers comp ins carrier will pay as long as the medical condition is directly relatated to the injury you received on the job. Otherwise, the doctor will need to bill your *health* carrier.
In some states, you will need to see "their own doctors" before your WC case goes to trial and/or before you are released to return to work. Your *private* doctors medical reports will also be taken under consideration.

 
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:48 PM   #3
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Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

Thanks for your reply! I do have an attorney and they want to give the DR a chance to send me to a neurosurgeon. I spoke with the lawer today, and she thinks after I explain everything to the pain doctor, that he will send me off. I suppose if the doctor was in my shoes with all this pain, she would have taken differant steps a long time ago. These headaches are taking their toll on me. I hate not being active and not knowing from day to day how I'm going to feel.

 
Old 03-21-2006, 06:55 PM   #4
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Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

I also forgot to mention that before I do anything, except the ER, has to be approved by work comp. This can take days because I now have to go thru my lawyer. The only reason I hired the lawyer is because the doctor released me to work one hour a day. The problem is I live 25 miles from my job. Didn't make any sense to me especially when driving aggrivates everything. I also ended up with three bulging discs in my lower back. As long as I don't walk too far I can manage the low back pain. Is there any help for nerve damage? How does she know the nerves are pinched? Any help would be great.

 
Old 03-21-2006, 07:02 PM   #5
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Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSteam
Thanks for your reply! I do have an attorney and they want to give the DR a chance to send me to a neurosurgeon. I spoke with the lawer today, and she thinks after I explain everything to the pain doctor, that he will send me off. I suppose if the doctor was in my shoes with all this pain, she would have taken differant steps a long time ago. These headaches are taking their toll on me. I hate not being active and not knowing from day to day how I'm going to feel.
Ok, I see the light now.

When you are represented by an attorney in WC claim, they (doctors & attorney) are trying to protect your interest (as well as theirs) to make sure that your complaints as well as your injuries are directly related to your injury on the job.

Therefore, you are caught between a rock & a hard place.

 
Old 03-24-2006, 06:37 AM   #6
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Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSteam
. . . Dr. said there is nothing that can be done for the pinched nerves.
That is total bull. There are many things that can help pinched nerves.

I was in a car wreck and suffered double whiplash. I deal with similar problems as you do.

I would think a muscle relaxer would help to reduce the tension in the muscles around the pinched nerves. If the Flexeril didnít help what about trying a different one? I take Zanaflex and it seems to work pretty well.
When the nerves are pinched it can cause pain anywhere from your arms to your head. When my headaches went untreated they would get bad enough they would turn into migraines. Once I got something for the headache pain my migraines almost went away.
Stress has to be reduced also. Just the situation you are dealing with has to be causing a lot of stress. If it is possible you might consider seeing a psychologist about ways to deal with the depression and stress. It really helped me to understand how much my mental state was putting pressure on my physical state. Just simple relaxation techniques are very helpful.
As far as exercise what about just walking. Some of the medicine you listed can cause weight gain also.
When I had physical therapy it made my headaches MUCH worse!! I guess it aggravated and inflamed the area which in return made me hurt so much more. I saw a Chiropractor twice and he did ONE adjustment. I was unable to move for days I was in so much pain.

I donít have any suggestions for the work comp part. I have heard it is very difficult to get things done with them.

I wish you the best of luck in your situation. Just hang in there and keep looking for answers. It took me 3 years to get relief from my pain. I ended up going to a pain clinic when my neurologist ran out of ideas. If they wonít refer you to a neurosurgeon ask if you can go to a pain clinic.

A couple things I want to add . . . try to take note of what makes the pain better or worse. Carrying heavy bags or sitting in certain positions for long periods may increase the pain. Take a look at how you sleep and the pillow you use. I also use Lidoderm patches to numb the nerve pain. They seem to work well. Just a few added thoughts. Again good luck and let us know how you are doing.

 
Old 03-27-2006, 06:47 AM   #7
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Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

My DR, Chiropracter, and Physical therapist have all agreed from day one that this is job related. The problem is that my DR is not taking this seriously and in the meantime I'm suffering. I see my DR on April 5th and at that time I'm going to stick up for myself (which is rare) and tell her I want to see a differant DR. If it still doesn't happen I'm sure my lawyer will see that it does. My lawyer spoke with work comp and they are willing to do whatever it takes. They are following what the DR is recommending. I understand she was hoping that PT and meds would take care of my problem, but it's been long enough. It's bad enough that I have horrible pain in my neck and lower back--add a migrane to it and jeez!! Life is not so grand. I was really hoping that someone had some advice on my nerve problem in my neck and what I can do to help the pain. I started taking naproxen on my own and I can better control my headaches as long as I don't move much. If I get a headache,it lasts for days. Spring is here and I want to get moving and enjoy the weather. I am trying to get in to see a Dentist about my jaw pain also. That pain started when I was seeing my PT. He was holding my face and moving my head into some awkward positions (trying to manipulate my neck he said)some of which scared me to death. Thought he was breaking my neck! When I left that day and got into my truck, my jaw made a horrible cracking sound and I've had troubles ever since. Come to find out that a PT is not supposed to manipulate any thing. What next!

 
Old 03-27-2006, 07:21 AM   #8
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Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

Drewtn----thank you for your advice!! I will take my flexeril on a more regular basis and see what happens.
I hate the way my meds make me feel so I've been sticking to motrin and naproxen, and only take flexeril or any others when it's probably too late. What do you take for the headaches? My DR did suggest seeing a psychologist for my pain and I got very defensive. I thought she was telling me I was making it all up--so when I see her I will inquire about that. Work Comp has agreed to pay for it if I want to go. A couple times after PT or the Chiro I ended up with migraines that lasted days. I've only gone four days twice now since Oct. without a headache. Just like you, if I don't get it controlled right away--it leads to a migraine. On those couple of occasions when I felt good like that, without the headaches, I drove my family nuts! My work comp nurse told me to go ahead and start walking, so I took my daughters dog out for four short little walks one day and for five days after that I could hardly walk--due to the bulging discs in my lower back. My walks were very short because I was still short of breath from my allergic reaction to a med.. I might try it again because I was being pulled around by a 75lb, 7mo old Dobermin. Kind of funny when I look back. She had just bought the dog, and since I'm home all the time now, I've become the main "trainer", which at times has been funny and tearfull. I have to say, the dog has kept me great company and I've even had a few laughs. He has kept me from going insane at times. Good therapy. We live out of town and I'm alone all the time. My husband works a very demanding job and pretty much goes to bed when gets home. My 14 year old daughter just finished volleyball so I will see her a little more. She likes sitting with me and talking when she gets home. If only she would help out more, she's be a perfect kid! Now I'm rambling!! I look forward to hearing from you again!

 
Old 03-27-2006, 08:36 AM   #9
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Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

I would definitely suggest taking the Flexeril at least every day. Since it makes me tired I would just take it at night unless there is a time during the day you would like to sleep. The Naproxen will help with any swelling around the nerves too. The only thing you have to watch for is your stomach. I would definitely eat with it and not lay down for a little while after taking it so you can digest it. If it lies against your stomach wall it is more likely to cause ulcer type problems. Just FYI.
I can understand the reaction to being told about seeing a psychologist. The only reason I found out what they could do was when I finally went to a pain clinic. They had their own pain psychologist on staff to help with the mental aspect. Pain almost always brings some depression. It is really helpful to me to go to places like healthboards and talk with other people in the same boat or close. With constant pain you almost feel like you lose a part of your life. Anyway . . . the other parts of the psychology were things like biofeedback. Basically you hook up to a computer and it reads your external temperature and you try to control it with your mind. Basically learning how to focus and relax. It honestly made a difference for me. I never knew how much the mind was physically related to how I felt. They can also show you many other techniques you can use when in pain. If they will pay for it I would highly suggest you go! Just try to keep an open mind.
I am glad you have the dog to keep you company. Sounds like a lot of work but it is nice to have the company. There is probably a big difference between walking . . . and walking a dog! Especially the one you were walking!! Yikes!! LOL
If anything maybe just a short walk at a comfortable pace would be better. Also taking it slow and only doing it once for a day to see how you are the next day might help. It will also be nice to have your daughter home more often. I used to play volleyball too. That was my favorite sport.
I am personally on the Duragesic (Fentanyl) patch and take Dilaudid (hydromorphone) for breakthrough. I also take Maxalt Melts for my migraines which have greatly improved. I also use the Lidoderm patches on my neck and shoulders when I sit at the computer too long at work. I started getting daily headaches in November 1999. Like I said before it took MANY MANY trials of medicines, PT, injections to get where I am. They finally decided that I had Cervicogenic headaches from a car accident over 10 years ago.

I wish you the best of luck and let us know how you are doing!
Drew

 
Old 03-28-2006, 07:14 AM   #10
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Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

I went on ahead and took a flexeril last night when I went to bed. Before I was only taking a half of one once in a while, so I took a whole one. Had a hard time getting out of bed this am. I will take being tired over a headache anyday. I am allready getting a headache this morning, but maybe it's from being so tired. Going to take a half of one now and see what happens. I noticed my right arm starting to hurt and it's going to sleep also. Have had that problem with my left arm since the beginning. I drop a lot of things. I honestly think that the chiro has hurt me further. There has been pain in my neck and shoulders I didn't have before. I took a lot of naproxin a few years ago when I had a wisdom tooth bothering me and it did start hurting my stomach. So far I haven't had any stomach pain with it, but I will be carefull. Dr. did say they will want to test my liver every five years. Think I got the hint about right then about getting any better. Dr. did mention steriod injections in my lower back, neck, and jaw when I spoke to her last week. I had a really bad experience when I was 17 with one they did in my lower back for some herniated discs. They said my legs would be numb for 3-4 hours and it was 4 days. I was terrified!! The injection was also very painful. I am terrified of needles. Sometimes I think she is wanting to hurt me more .

 
Old 04-06-2006, 08:12 AM   #11
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Unhappy Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

I saw my regular dr yesterday and I was not brave like I said I would be. I told her that the flexeril was leaving me very confused and tired, and she said to keep taking it anyway. She said it was a side affect I would have to live with, just like with the wellbutrin that made me shake, she said keep taking it, and I had a severe reaction. She also gave me more pills-- go figure! Now I've got relpax, maxalt, and elavil, but I'm seriously confused about when to take the elavil, so I'm not going to do anything until I see the pain dr tomarrow. It is my first appt with him, so I am making a list of my meds, questions I have, and symtoms. Why did she give me the elavil to begin with? Has anyone ever tried it? Good news tho! I have went four days without a headache!!! I've been taking the flexeril in am and pm and vitamin B, and naproxin. I still don't do anything physical tho. I should aslo mention that this was the first time I've seen my dr since I had the emg and she did not even bring it up The test clearly showed nerve damage. I hope she has forwarded all my records to the pain dr. Thanks for listening--I'll let you know what the new doc says.

 
Old 04-06-2006, 05:23 PM   #12
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Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSteam
It is my first appt with him, so I am making a list of my meds, questions I have, and symtoms.
EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!

 
Old 04-09-2006, 02:07 PM   #13
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Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

Is the flexeril working? It won't really help for nerve damage but it will for relaxing your muscles. My hubby had an upper back injury a couple years back and his neuro had told him to take vitamin e. It helps with nerve damage and prevents more damage. Parkinsons runs in his family.

 
Old 04-11-2006, 07:33 AM   #14
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Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

I think the flexeril is helping, I managed to go five days without a headache. That is something that I haven't done since before oct. I started waking up confused and feeling very tired tho. I also started taking vitamin B, and I think I might have some more energy. I've been on elavil for three days and just started the topomax last night, so I am holding back on the flexeril for a few days to see how I react to the new stuff. Once I am used to the new pills, the dr is putting me on a differant brand of muscle relaxer because of my side effects. I finally see some light at the end of the tunnel!! I should have fought for a new dr a long time ago.

 
Old 04-11-2006, 07:41 AM   #15
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Re: Pinched nerves in neck with headaches

I forgot to mention the my appt with the pain dr went very well!! He listened to me and put me on the rights meds. He asked all the right questions and I didn't have to bring up one thing!! I will be taking topomax, elavil, flexeril, and motrin now. I will have maxalt to take when I need. The dr is going to try to find out what is damaging the nerves--unlike my other dr who chose to give me meds to cover it up. I am still not too sure about the elavil and why I really need it-I am going to call him today to see if I can get off of it, it's making me too sleepy. I feel so relieved that I am finally being listened too, I think that alone, makes me physically feel better.

 
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