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Old 11-17-2008, 07:47 PM   #1
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star42 HB User
Unhappy Head/Neck/Shoulder/Back Pain. Please Help!

I recently was posting on the TMJ board but I've learned that is not part of the "big picture" according to my E.N.T. with regard to what I'm currently going through.

Sorry if this seems lengthy but I need some feedback. About 4 weeks ago, I was fine and in good health. I make it a point to visit my doctor regularly b/c I do suffer from OCD, anxiety, and I can be a bit of a hypochondriac.

My problems all started 3 weeks ago when I ate some spicy food. I had burning in my chest and throat. I was told it was probably acid reflux and was given Prilosec. All of the symptoms went away on day 2 of taking Prilosec and I was OK until day 4. By then, I had this tightness feeling around my neck and my jaw hurt. I went to an E.N.T. and he said I had a TMJ problem and prescribed 40mg of prednisone for 3 days.

Well, on day 2, the tightness went away, jaw pain went away but I started having serious pains from the back of my neck to my back where the spine is. I felt as if something was broken. On day 3, the pain was awful so I decided not to take the last of the prednisone.

Fast forward to a couple of days later and that problem went away BUT I started having a muffled feeling in my ear, neck spasms, pressure in the back of my head as if I had a band around it and a dull ache in my jaw. The spasms were painful so I went back to the E.N.T. and he told me to see an oral surgeon (I do clench and grind my teeth) and prescribed me Flexeril. I also saw my GP who thought the spasms were a side effect of the prednisone.

So, I had one day last week when I felt good... no spasms, little discomfort in the ear, and no head pressure. I went to the dentist for fillings the next day and my problems all came back right after. I saw an oral surgeon last week and he said I had very mild TMJ issues, that my jaw is aligned properly and that he thinks it's a muscular problem.

Well, I won't be able to see my GP until next Wednesday and I have scheduled an appt for a neurologist at the end of Dec. I am really anxious right now. I'm 30 yrs old and as I type this here are my problems:

1. discomfort behind my left ear to my neck. It's not painful but I feel as though the muscle there is tight. When I put my head up that feeling goes away. When I'm looking straight or down, I can feel it the tightness and I get that muffled feeling as though something is in the middle of my ear radiating down to the left side of my jaw.

2. I can turn my head from side to side without pain but I feel a bit of stiffness in the back of my neck.

3. Some discomfort on and off under my chin where the muscle is. The right side of my jaw feels a bit tender to the touch.

4. A slight popping/squeaky type of feeling in my right nostril when I drink something. My throat does NOT hurt when I swallow.

5. Some pressure in my eye that makes the lids feel a bit sleepy/heavy. My vision is not blurred but it kind of feels like I have to wipe my eye. Also, I did wake up today with some discharge in my eye and had a quick sharp pain in that eye once in the last 24 hrs but nothing since.

6. On and off vibrating feeling in my chest. It's a weird "motor" feeling in my chest which may be anxiety-related, don't know.

7. My shoulder blades ache and my upper back.

8. I keep getting an on and off dull ache in my chest on the left side and on/off sore feeling in throat that comes and goes and feels sensitive to air.

9. On and off dull pain in head near my temple. I don't have anymore spasms in my neck so the pressure/tension headache I was having has subsided.

10. Throughout the day, I feel the need to belch before I swallow.

11. Sometimes I feel like I'm straining when talking. It's like my chest gets tight and I feel my range is limited hence the need to "rest" my voice. I honestly don't know if this is part"in my head"

That's pretty much it. I do work on my computer and spend 8 hours or so sitting here. I have bad posture and have been under a lot of stress this past month and my anxiety has really increased ever since having these problems.

In the past 3 weeks I've had 2 EKG's that came back normal. I had a simple blood test done that came back normal. My thyroid test came back normal. All doctors said they didn't feel any swollen lymph nodes in my neck. The E.N.T. did not do a scope of my throat but he said he doesn't think there is anything major going on with me. My GP felt the same but it's been 3 weeks now and I'm still going through all of the above.

I'm scared that I may have Head & Neck cancer, esophageal cancer, throat cancer, MS, or rheumatoid arthritis. When I asked the E.N.T and GP about this they both shrugged it off and told me "no" you do not have any of that but they haven't really done any x-rays or tests to rule them out.

Has anyone experienced these symptoms or have any feedback you can offer?

PS. I did have a chest x-ray one year ago and all was normal along with a heart x-ray that came back normal. I had problems with my eyes "burning/stinging" a month ago but my eye doctor said my eyes were just dry and vision fine. Also, I don't drink or smoke.

 
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:24 AM   #2
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Re: Head/Neck/Shoulder/Back Pain. Please Help!

Hi. Most of what you posted has been a concern for me. A stiff neck with pain that seems to come from the muscles. Headaches ocurr from just turning my neck at times. I too had chest xrays, EKG, been to a ENT, and blood work. The ENT doc did a CT of my sinuses and told me I had chronic sinus infection and prescribed me three meds. But the neck pain is a different story often with tightness down into the shoulders. Maybe someone will see our posts and give us a word of advice.

Hope you get better.

 
Old 11-18-2008, 10:41 AM   #3
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Re: Head/Neck/Shoulder/Back Pain. Please Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 33george View Post
Hi. Most of what you posted has been a concern for me. A stiff neck with pain that seems to come from the muscles. Headaches ocurr from just turning my neck at times. I too had chest xrays, EKG, been to a ENT, and blood work. The ENT doc did a CT of my sinuses and told me I had chronic sinus infection and prescribed me three meds. But the neck pain is a different story often with tightness down into the shoulders. Maybe someone will see our posts and give us a word of advice.

Hope you get better.
George, thanks so much for the reply. I hope we do get more feedback. I woke up today with more tightness on the left side of my neck going up to my ear. Going to try and make another appt with my E.N.T.

 
Old 11-19-2008, 03:25 PM   #4
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Re: Head/Neck/Shoulder/Back Pain. Please Help!

Well, I went to see a different GP today who did a thorough physical today that took almost 2 hours. I won't be able to see the neurologist until Dec 30th. GP concluded that all is "normal" despite my pain. No swollen lymph nodes or anything. Blood work is normal. He thinks it's all anxiety related (no surprise there) and he even had a second doctor check me out to confirm.

He prescribed Zoloft and has me starting with a slow dose and gradually building up. I was crying the whole time during the appt. I kept thinking "they think I'm a head case" and even though they told me I don't have signs of MS, head & neck cancer, etc, I'm still not convinced. I guess I won't be until I have x-rays, MRI, ct scan showing that I'm fine. I'm also not crazy about starting on an anti-depressant medication but at this point I'm driving myself crazy with worry.

Also, an online diagnostic test suggested I may have Fibromyalgia. When the nurse asked me what's wrong today and I told her, she said it sounds like Fibromyalgia to her too. The GP said "it could be" but didn't seem too convinced that it is. He said "if it is Fibromyalgia, this would be the same path we would take anyway" with regard to starting on the Zoloft.

When I was diagnosed with OCD and depression 10+ years ago, I took Paxil for one week and couldn't stand the way it made me feel. I decided I wouldn't take another anti-depressant again and got through the years without it. It was tough but I got over the depression and obsessive thoughts. I'm not sure though if I'm able to do the same this time around without the meds.

 
Old 11-20-2008, 08:53 AM   #5
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Re: Head/Neck/Shoulder/Back Pain. Please Help!

I take zoloft. Seems the doctor told me it was due to anixety that I was having. Made my moods better, but still have pain in my neck. This morning while out in the car, I sudddenly felt a warm sensation that went over my body. Felt like a hot flash. It went away about as suddenly as it came over me. Felt really wierd. Every day there seems to be a different place that needs attention.

 
Old 11-20-2008, 07:05 PM   #6
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Re: Head/Neck/Shoulder/Back Pain. Please Help!

Hi George,
I'm scared of taking something that may make me go through serious withdrawal in the future. I don't drink or smoke. I've had family members go through VERY hard times as a result of drugs and alcohol addiction so I'm very 'funny' when it comes to having to take any kind of medication.

I took the zoloft for the first time this evening and I'm very wary about it. My doc has me starting with one pill @ 25mg per day for 5 days... then 2 pills for 5 days (if I feel OK) then 3 pills.

As for hot flashes, I get those too. It's the weirdest thing because I'm only 30 yrs old but for me it seems like what women go through in menopause. Sometimes I get really hot and start feeling like my skin is crawling. It lasts anywhere from seconds to a minute or so. I know that has to be related to anxiety. I can be standing or sitting somewhere and this "hot flash" just comes over me.

Last edited by star42; 11-20-2008 at 07:06 PM.

 
Old 11-21-2008, 06:16 AM   #7
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Re: Head/Neck/Shoulder/Back Pain. Please Help!

Yes, I know that feeling. My head seems to be hurting more today for some reason. I know there is a cold front coming in down this way. Sometimes that will trigger pressure. Hang in there, a solution has to be found at some time. I take about 100 mg. of zoloft per day. Has not affected me in any negative way that I can tell. As to any addiction, really do not think that will be a problem.

Last edited by 33george; 11-21-2008 at 06:17 AM.

 
Old 11-21-2008, 08:59 AM   #8
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Re: Head/Neck/Shoulder/Back Pain. Please Help!

I don't know if it was the zoloft o just a coincidence but I had a monster headache last night and my teeth were hurting on the side where I got my fillings over a week ago . I took two Tylenol Extra strength, went to bed and I thought of you (George) b/c I got this really warm sensation down the left side of my face. I started freaking out a bit but the sensation went away moments later. The headache went away too.

By the way, the discomfort in my neck subsided a lot yesterday (before taken the Zoloft) and it felt so good not to have that "tight/stiff feeling" in my muscles but I noticed the tightness was back when I woke up this morning. I did catch myself clenching my jaw several times throughout the night so I'm starting to wonder if that has anything to do with it. I won't get my custom nightguard until next month.

 
Old 12-01-2008, 12:02 PM   #9
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33george HB User
Re: Head/Neck/Shoulder/Back Pain. Please Help!

Glad to hear you are doing better. We all are just hanging in here together.

 
Old 12-21-2008, 05:46 PM   #10
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TeriK HB User
Re: Head/Neck/Shoulder/Back Pain. Please Help!

I have the same symptoms you have been discussing and have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I have had all the MRI's, the cat scans, and the heart tests to rule out other problems. Fibromyalgia is no fun. Take care, Teri

 
Old 01-18-2009, 09:13 PM   #11
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Re: Head/Neck/Shoulder/Back Pain. Please Help!

hi I am new to this board but have alot of the same symptoms alot of you have. I have read numorous things to try and figure this out ...my doc tells me fibromyalgia to but from what Ive read fibromyalgia maay be caused by harmonal inbalance ...I believe it is stress related and harmones and being stressed out causes youto really subconciously tense your muscles up...I was thinking yoga /chiropractor some type of vitamin therapy maybe. Hopefully it helps.

 
Old 10-07-2009, 08:03 PM   #12
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Re: Head/Neck/Shoulder/Back Pain. Please Help!

Have you ever had an MRI of your cervical spine (neck)? I have suffered for years and tried several medications and been mis-diagnosed several times. I tried anti-anxiety medications that only left me with side effects, weight gain, and withdrawal to deal with and no improvement of my symptoms. I finally had an MRI of my neck done and found out I have multiple herniations and bone spur complexes with spinal cord compression. Some of my symptoms include a muffled sound in my ear at times, sometimes tinnitus, occasional shooting chest pain, constant pressure in my head, and often throbbing headaches as well, a vibrating sensation in my head, jaw popping and cracking, discomfort behind my right ear to neck with soreness upon pressure, neck and upper back spasms and burning, discomfort swallowing sometimes, symptoms worsen the more I move my head, even when I talk, I sometimes feel a "warm" sensation on the right side of my head, chronically tired, worsened headaches/symptoms with rainy weather, my eyes sometimes feel strange (hard to explain), etc... I finally saw a neurologist earlier this year who didn't blow me off. He felt that the pressure in my head is the result of the cerebrospinal fluid being blocked from flowing properly around my spinal cord and brain. Also, impingement upon the nerves in the neck area can cause cervicogenic headaches and many other symptoms involving the head, neck, and even the chest. There are so many referred nerve patterns that it makes sense. I hope you have gotten your problems resolved by now; but if not, I hope this helps! I am currently appealing my insurance company because the best course of treatment is for me to have artificial disc replacement surgery.

 
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