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Old 09-16-2006, 07:55 AM   #1
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Cervical nerve damage and diaphram relation?

I am really confused about what the diaphram and the cervical spine have in relation to eachother. I have been asked a couple of times by doctors about my diaphram. I guess I couldn't answer them as I have no idea what it would feel like if my diaphram was damaged. So what does it feel like? How do you know if your diaphram is involved?

I feel like I am in a musty old warehouse and breathing in the dirt and dust. I also feel a wierd feeling from the esphagus (sp) area. Almost like a slight swelling and a dirty feeling. Could that be the diaphram? Also like I have some indigestion feelings and burp more then I would usually.

Thanks

Last edited by Backinthesaddle; 09-16-2006 at 07:56 AM.

 
Old 09-17-2006, 04:31 AM   #2
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Re: Cervical nerve damage and diaphram relation?

ok here goes it. have no answers BUT this is what i am experiencing. injured neck "3 bulged disks, severe stenosis, early signs of myelopathy, and a huge bone spur. since then i have had trouble swallowing saliva. my throat feels numb.after watching a movie the other day i felt like my whole torso was being crushed between my neck and back, lots of rib pain, shortness of breathe. arms and hands have been effected. from what i understand the cervical spine can cause all sorts of problems if left untreated. i'm still trying to find a dr. to answer my questions. 2 have mentioned surgery and then walked away.

 
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Old 09-17-2006, 08:10 AM   #3
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Re: Cervical nerve damage and diaphram relation?

Thanks ICC for responding. I would definately recommend surgery if you have spinal cord compression. It is a scary thing but the danger of not having your spinal cord is worse. Surely there is a NS or Orthopedic spinal specialist in your area.

My ribs do ache and I never thought of it being cervical related. I do not have shortness of breath just the side achiness when I am hurting.

K

 
Old 09-17-2006, 08:15 AM   #4
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Re: Cervical nerve damage and diaphram relation?

thanks backinthesaddle--- i am seeign my PCP on tuesday for referrels to a neuro and ortho to get the ball rolling. it has been 5 mos since the injury with no help. just getting worse. i couldn't imagine why my ribs hurt so bad but i do believe it's coming from my spine.

 
Old 09-18-2006, 04:35 PM   #5
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Re: Cervical nerve damage and diaphram relation?

I believe that C-4 supplies the nerve to the diaphragm and that is why the docs will ask. If there is damage there, they will probably want to differentiate between any type of breathing problems (asthma, etc) that you may have versus actual diaphragm nerve damage.

I sometimes have diaphragm spasms when I am nervous or anxious. I have hard core herniations and stenosis at C 3/4. But my docs just watch. They don't think it is nerve damage.

I don't know what the symptoms are for nerve damage to the diaphragm. But that is why they would watch for it. I think serious diaphragm damage would be more likely in a bad accident with a severed spinal cord, etc. (I.e, think Christopher Reeves, ventilators, etc.) That is when the nerve or cord is severed and cannot be fixed.

Our bodies are pretty tough/hardy and will try to find a way to adjust to symptoms, abnormalities... Don't make yourself nervous/anxious so that phantom symptoms start popping up (this happens to me all the time)... but do watch for breathing, diaphragm spasms, trunk pain, etc... document it.. could be nerve pain, could be heart burn, gas, asthma, COPD, etc.

Good luck and hope this helps. cheryl

 
Old 09-18-2006, 06:34 PM   #6
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Re: Cervical nerve damage and diaphram relation?

Hi...the phrenic nerve is the nerve that controls the diaphragm, and it arises from the C3-5 area. The diaphragm, of course, is the muscle that runs under the lungs which controls inspiration and expiration. When I had a brachial plexus block it affected the left phrenic nerve, and for a couple of days it was really hard to feel like I was getting enough air, as the left lung wasn't expanding and contracting very efficiently. I don't know about that "dirty air" feeling, though...but I believe the phrenic nerve does affect other areas of your chest as well, and could be responsible for some of the rib pain. Just a guess!

Have you had the throat swelling sensation ever since your surgery? I am only six weeks post op but still having that issue, and also the burping occasionally. I don't know if air is getting trapped somewhere, or what...it's an odd sensation, and still makes it hard for me to swallow without a choking feeling. I just wondered if it may be left over from your surgery, especially if you had hardware.

I hope you can find some answers!

Donna

 
Old 09-19-2006, 04:32 PM   #7
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Re: Cervical nerve damage and diaphram relation?

donna--- i have that throat swelling feeling and haven't had surgery. in the process of trying to figure out if it's this huge bone spur in my neck. ENT has outruled everything in his area and so has gastro. see the spine specialist tomorrow to see what he thinks. if i can't swallow now what will i do if i need surgery? i hear it's really bad for awhile after surgery/? OH my.

 
Old 09-19-2006, 05:22 PM   #8
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Re: Cervical nerve damage and diaphram relation?

ICC...if your throat problem is being caused by bone spurs, it should be much better after surgery. There are many, many people who have little or no throat problems. When I went in for my first post-op appointment, I met a lady in my doctor's office who said she ate French toast and bacon the morning after her surgery! This was one of the issues I was most concerned about, and to be honest, while it hasn't been comfortable, it also hasn't been as bad as I feared. I had a couple of days with pain, but mostly it's just been the lump in the throat feeling. It seems better today, and I was able to eat a soft dinner.

Anyway, don't worry ahead of time about it...if you are having spinal cord compression, there are a lot more important things to consider! Is it possible your swallowing problems could be related to the nerve compression? Again, if so, surgery would probably make it better! I hope things go well with your spine doc tomorrow.

Take care,
Donna

 
Old 09-19-2006, 06:43 PM   #9
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Re: Cervical nerve damage and diaphram relation?

Thanks so much for you all responding. I was MIA a bit. I do learn so much from everyone who has been down simular but different roads.

I had a lot of swelling in my throat and told I would because I was petite and had a thin throat. I never had problems swallowing just always felt a lump in that area. I didn't have a sore throat either but I was so lucky that my doctor was in and out in 30 minutes so I didn't have that tube for long.

I guess whatever is going on isn't diaphram related. I was just asked several times but always said no because I have no idea what I would expect. I know I do not have breathing issues as I have been out walking and a tad of jogging without issue. I just have that darn dirty must feeling always and my esphogus always feels like air is going down a dirty tunnel. I also do get sore ab areas like I worked my side abs to much.

I had a awesome massage today and darn the luck if it only feels good until it is over. NOT fair I tell ya just not fair. I really would love one everyday.

ICC how did the doctor appt go?

 
Old 09-20-2006, 05:58 AM   #10
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Re: Cervical nerve damage and diaphram relation?

BITS-

I would suggest that they look at your diaphram with a floroscope. (sp?) I learned a few years ago that I have a partially paralyzed right diaphram. I never knew I could relate it to my neck. Thanks for that piece of info.

wb

 
Old 09-20-2006, 07:02 AM   #11
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Re: Cervical nerve damage and diaphram relation?

backinthesaddle-----i saw PCP yesterday and he is sending me to one of the best spine specialists and ortho's in the area. luckily they had a cancelation and i see him at 11:15 this morning. also i will see my podiatrist of 20 years for the ankle and foot arthritis and tendonitis. i see him right after the ortho today. somedays the sun does shine. will let you know what they both say when i get home. thanks for caring.

 
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