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Old 01-30-2009, 07:42 AM   #1
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C6 compression & traction + major migraines

Greetings,
I'm at a loss, my husband is such a mess right now. Perhaps its nothing and needs time...I dunno.

He's been having numbness/tingling in his fingers/elbow for a while. He's had an xray and they found slight degeneration in C6 disc. He went to a therapist for the first time on Monday for traction and neck muscle strengthening procedures. Bone/back problems are in his family. And unfortunately, so are migraines. Right around the same time, (a bit prior) - he got a little sick and since then,its progressed even worse with sinus & ear infections, bad chest conjestion, nautious, etc. He's taking antibiotics.
He has cough medecine (to loosen phlem) but won't take it because it makes his head hurt.

Right now, the back of his neck is in such pain (soreness/stiffness) and hurts to the touch. He's got a really really bad migraine that's been constant for about 2 days now. He's been taking Pherenol but that only helps for about an hour. He's tried coldpaks, but that's stiffend things up more. He's tried warmth and that's only temporary relief. Trying ibuprofen, but I doubt that'll work if pherenol only helped for an hour. He has imitrex also and took that a couple days ago (but since stopped).

I'm about ready to call his therapist & doctor - he doesn't know what to each (feel nautious), his coughing (from his flu) causes even more throbbing in his head.

Please pardon, I'm his wife who just doesn't know what to do. He's in bad shape and we're both at a loss of what to do to relieve things.

Thanks!

Last edited by Janster; 01-30-2009 at 07:43 AM.

 
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:39 AM   #2
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Re: C6 compression & traction + major migraines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janster View Post
Greetings,
I'm at a loss, my husband is such a mess right now. Perhaps its nothing and needs time...I dunno.

He's been having numbness/tingling in his fingers/elbow for a while. He's had an xray and they found slight degeneration in C6 disc. He went to a therapist for the first time on Monday for traction and neck muscle strengthening procedures. Bone/back problems are in his family. And unfortunately, so are migraines. Right around the same time, (a bit prior) - he got a little sick and since then,its progressed even worse with sinus & ear infections, bad chest conjestion, nautious, etc. He's taking antibiotics.
He has cough medecine (to loosen phlem) but won't take it because it makes his head hurt.

Right now, the back of his neck is in such pain (soreness/stiffness) and hurts to the touch. He's got a really really bad migraine that's been constant for about 2 days now. He's been taking Pherenol but that only helps for about an hour. He's tried coldpaks, but that's stiffend things up more. He's tried warmth and that's only temporary relief. Trying ibuprofen, but I doubt that'll work if pherenol only helped for an hour. He has imitrex also and took that a couple days ago (but since stopped).

I'm about ready to call his therapist & doctor - he doesn't know what to each (feel nautious), his coughing (from his flu) causes even more throbbing in his head.

Please pardon, I'm his wife who just doesn't know what to do. He's in bad shape and we're both at a loss of what to do to relieve things.

Thanks!
Hi, I can only suggest taking at least 800mg of ibuprofen and make sure he eats or drinks milk before taking so he doesn't hurt his stomache. I get horrible headaches from bulging C-5, C-6 discs. I also get epidurals and in between the epidurals I get trigger point injections, and of course take the ibuprofen, I also take flexeril, a muscle relaxer. PT only made it worse, so I quit. Hope he gets some relief soon...

Sunny

 
Old 01-30-2009, 11:43 PM   #3
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Re: C6 compression & traction + major migraines

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Originally Posted by 1sunny1 View Post
Hi, I can only suggest taking at least 800mg of ibuprofen and make sure he eats or drinks milk before taking so he doesn't hurt his stomache. I get horrible headaches from bulging C-5, C-6 discs. I also get epidurals and in between the epidurals I get trigger point injections, and of course take the ibuprofen, I also take flexeril, a muscle relaxer. PT only made it worse, so I quit. Hope he gets some relief soon...

Sunny
Thanks Sunny!

I kept telling him to call the doctor but he wouldn't....so I did (left a message anyway). I went to work and the doctor called and talked to him. He prescribed him a muscle relaxer. I only talked to him (my husband) briefly last night from work, but he said the headache were gone (but he can feel it start to tighten up again). I'll see him in the morning.... let's hope the worst of it is behind us.

Thanks so much for replying. Sometimes it helps just hearing that you're not the only one.....

 
Old 01-31-2009, 09:03 AM   #4
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Re: C6 compression & traction + major migraines

Janster, glad to hear the headache went away. Muscle relaxers will help.
And you are right, it does help to know that you are not the only one suffering. Stay well...

Sunny

 
Old 01-31-2009, 01:16 PM   #5
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Re: C6 compression & traction + major migraines

He's still suffering from A LOT of neck pain - and I would assume its from the traction. It's sore to the touch and he can't move his head much without it hurting (so it appears). He's walking around slowly and babying his head movements. The headaches from yesterday are gone but he's still feeling lots of pressure, stiffness, pain. He'll take some meds, lay down on the couch, and sleep for a while. But as soon as he's awake, the pain is worse than when he fell alseep.

Should we be worried about complications from the traction?

I realize these types of things will come with some pain & discomfort, but this seems over-whelming and almost scary.

Or should he be using some sort of special pillow / head support to keep his neck alligned a certain way? I'm surprised the doctor didn't say much else about it...other than "no pain no gain" (he is taking flexeril and he's not sure it doing anything)

(sorry for the questions, I've been looking online and I haven't found anything about complications or immediate pain problems from the procedures. I know therapy is something that doesn't help everyone....I just don't want it to get worse).

Last edited by Janster; 01-31-2009 at 01:18 PM.

 
Old 02-01-2009, 05:34 AM   #6
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Re: C6 compression & traction + major migraines

Hello, I feel for you husband, right before surgery I had the most horrific headaches I honestly did not think I would make it. Along with the tingling & pain in the hands & so on... What I found strange is my surgeon did not think the discs were causing the headache, neither did my PM. So your post caught my attention. What my surgeon found was mess in the C5-6 & after told my husband it could have very well caused or contributed to them, the MRI did not show everything that was wrong in there.
These headaches hurt all the way down my neck & I did not want to move my head at all. The pain was so bad I would pace. It actually scared me. It was much like a migraine but worse. I am wondering if your husband is experiancing kind of the same. I know when the headaches hit they hit fast. I could feel it start & with in minutes it was full blown. That pain was off the pain chart & I honestly did not want to even talk of touch my head or face. I am scared now of ever having something like that again. Now I did have traces of on after surgery but not like it was thank god. I am almost 6wks post op.
Everytime I attempted therapy it made everything worse. The last PT said anytime therapy makes it worse of does not show improvement soon it should be stopped. Most doctors will try PT first.
Did your husband have just an X-ray? Did he have an MRI? He should with those symptoms. An xray can only show so much.
Its fine to have medication & to get relief but its just a bandaide for the problem. You were smart calling the doctor. If this continues any of it I would be pushing to find out if something else it going on in there & if he has not had an MRI I would be asking for one. Good luck & let us know how it goes. Sammy

 
Old 02-01-2009, 07:47 AM   #7
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Re: C6 compression & traction + major migraines

i was just going to mention he have what sammy brought up,an MRI(preferably with a contrasting agent). doing tracion on someone with only an x ray to show the outter spine really is kind of risky,since you just have no real clue as to what is actually causing the problems on the inside of that spinal column. an x ray just shows the hard structures and not the soft tissue structures,including down to the cord level. that area REALLY needs to be looked into with a deeper scan, like that MRI at this point. you just have no idea what is actually there til you get that looksee in there, trust me on that one.

just exactly what fingers are being involved at this point? you mentioned the numbness from the elbow down to the fingers. if there are very specific fingers involved here but not others,it is much easier to track the area of affectation up in the c spine area since every spinal nerve from c 5 down thru the c 8 nerve, correlate with certain innervation of fingers. the elbow is generally correlated to the ulnar nerve or around c 7-8 area,or even possibly something at the t 1 area too. not everyones anatomy is always dead on and directly the same as another persons anatomy,so there can be some variances of what is being affected in some people. are his last two or three fingers involved here or others?

alot of what will show depeds upon just exactly what is wrong u in that c spine area,and how it is affecting things up there. if there is ANY possible spinal cord compression going on,alot of really strange sensations and perceptions of things can occur. also,doing traction on someone with possible spinal cord affectation really should not be done unless an actual neurosurgeon clears it first. it is just that risky. i really would not let him have anymore traction treatments til you can get that better look in there with the MRI. you just really do need to know what the underlying involvement is up there before you start pulling on anyones spine. if there is heavy spurring going on in there,traction can sometimes pull things right into the cord itself or onto a previously non affected nerve too. there are just many different types of problems possible up there or anyplace within the spinal area that PT or anything that 'moves" vertebrae can make worse,not better. you jusy need to be safe here first and obtain that MRI. that would kind of dictate just what your next step should be. you just always need to play it safe when dealing with our spinal areas.

getting that MRI done then seeing just what is actually going on up there,well seeing an neurosugeon for a good eval and consult of the findings would be the best way to deal with this. at this point,you do not even know completely just what is actually all wrong or going on up there. THAT is what you need to find out now,vs later. just wondering if your hubby has ever tried a med called midrin? it aborts the headaches before they get a chance to get going. i have been onthis particuar migrane med since it hit the market back in like 1981? it was the very first migrane med that aborted headaches. as soon as i found out about it,i was on it in a heartbeat. it has never let me down even after being on it all these years now. just a suggestion.

but DO speak with his primary for a referral to have that contrasted MRI asap,you just really need to know what you are dealing with up there. i do wish you luck with this. please keep us posted,Marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
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