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Old 07-24-2009, 06:33 PM   #1
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Headache with Left arm, back and Neck pain

I have many problems in my cervical spine including buldging discs, degenretive disc diesease, reversal of lordus and compression on thecal sac. I have not been able to go to my regular doctor in a year. I have been to the Er last month and was told I have neuropathy. Do you think this headache, arm pain, shoulder pain, upper back pain and neck pain means something has gotten worse. The tylenol will not even take away the headache. Have you ever gotten these symptoms from your cervical spine? Thanks

 
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:46 AM   #2
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Re: Headache with Left arm, back and Neck pain

Hi,

I also get neck pain (which has been worsening over time now) along with muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders, sometimes even in my hands; I also get a lot of headaches which seems to stem from my neck. My neck will be hurting, then I get pain that goes up the back of my head, then spreads around to each side like right above my ear area, then spreads into the area behind my eyes. I have found that when I take steroids, I no longer get those headaches at all..so I think it is related to whatever is wrong in my neck. I also get random (what I now think are) nerve pains in my fingers, along with tingling and/or numbness depending on the positioning of my neck. I cannot have my neck to straight and not back at all, or both of my arms go completely numb. I get pain and I think some shooting nerve pains when I sneeze, cough, or laugh..and at times I've gotten terrible electric shocks down the back of my neck if I moved my neck too suddenly. I also get some other weird symptoms with my arms, but I don't want to write another book here, LOL. I have not had my cervical spine checked out at all, that is no x-rays or MRI's, only my Rheumatologist has heard some of these symptoms and diagnosed me with cervical spondylosis. I have a gut feeling that your headaches just might be related to your neck problems, especially if tylenol is not helping at all. You probably have a lot of inflammation in your cervical spine, which might be contributing to the headaches...at least that is what I think is going on with me. So the ER told you that you have neuropathy...but did they investigate and/or tell you what it's caused by? Neuropathy can be caused by many different conditions besides cervical spine problems...

 
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:44 PM   #3
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Re: Headache with Left arm, back and Neck pain

The ER pretty much did all the tests to rule out other causes. So they said it was most likely coming from my cervical spine problems. I really dont know how bad my neck maybe at this point its been a few years since I had my last mri and it was bad then. My arm is hurting again today as well as my neck but the headache finally left me, for now anyways.

 
Old 07-25-2009, 06:33 PM   #4
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Re: Headache with Left arm, back and Neck pain

Okay, well at least they told you the cause...however, do you have medical insurance at all to be able to see a specialist for your issues? I do know how that is...I have not gotten medical care due to not being able to afford it many times either because I had no insurance or I had very basic insurance that didn't cover any tests or imaging, etc. If you do have insurance, I would suggest that you maybe start with your GP and/or see a spine specialist or maybe a Rheumatologist.

 
Old 07-25-2009, 08:02 PM   #5
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Re: Headache with Left arm, back and Neck pain

Right now I dont have health insurance so I just have to wait. I will go to the specialist as soon as I can. Last time I went to a neuro surgeon and they said I could get the steriod shots in the neck or have surgery. I choose to take pain medications instead and hoped it would get better. No luck with that now its worse then ever. Cant wait to get insurance again.

 
Old 07-26-2009, 09:14 AM   #6
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Re: Headache with Left arm, back and Neck pain

Even with steroid shots, they may (or may not) help a lot but most likely your pain will be back when the steroids wear off. I know for myself, at least with ESI's into my lower spine, they last about 2-3 weeks. I've not had any injections into my neck area yet, except that my Rheum has injected lidocaine into my shoulder muscles....which did absolutely nothing. It's really awful that we have to wait to see doctors or get some sort of possible treatment because we either don't have insurance or it doesn't cover something. But then again, for myself, even when I did have great insurance, I sure waited a while before I finally had surgery. I even went for a period without taking any meds b/c nothing was working anyway, except for steroids....but I was only allowed to take a Medrol dose pack here and there. I was not able to stay on daily steroids. Steroids are a miracle drug for me, however, I also know they can cause all sorts of problems if taken long term. I know it does not help your pain, but do know that I and many others on here truly sympathize with you and know exactly what you're going through having to deal with all that pain.

I know this might not help much, but have you ever tried those stick-on heat patches at all? The only thing is, they don't seem to stick on the neck area very well because every time you move, that whole area of skin seems to move a little, then the patch starts coming off. But it might be worth a try, anyway...several dollars for a few from the drug store. Maybe it might give you some slight relief, anyway.

 
Old 07-26-2009, 10:42 AM   #7
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Re: Headache with Left arm, back and Neck pain

Maybe I will try those patches. The heating pad sometimes brings some relief as well as an ice pack but its not lasting at all. I take hot epsom salt bathes as well and they helps for a short period of time. Tylenol is useless, Aleve and motrin I cant really take hurts my stomach. Predisone does help but you cant take that all the time, Well I hope we all start feeling better soon.

 
Old 07-29-2009, 07:37 AM   #8
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Re: Headache with Left arm, back and Neck pain

Hey there, I responded to your thread but for some reason it must not have got through. Feelbad (marcia) ask me to take a look at your thread, she said it sounds very much like my situation & she's right.

I had everything you are experiancing along with left sides chest & rib pain.
Sounds very much like cervical problems. I'm no doctor of course but your symptoms mimic alot of my own.

I have problems with C4-7 & had fusion back in dec on C5&6 & DDD of the cervical. I started getting horrible headaches before surgery. I would get them but not as severe as they were those last few weeks before surgery. My doctors said at that level there should not been headaches like mine but when the surgeon did the surgery my vertabrae was collasped into my spinal cord & he said that was probably the cause & the cause for the severity of my pain & problems. I am wondering if you have some cord involvment here.

The headaches were the worst pain I could ever imagine & had me in ER & the doctors a few times before surgery, next was the shoulder & arm pain. The pain started to effect the right side right before surgery. I pretty much ended up in bed right before surgery. I did not help matters by attempting to work & trying to paint my house & so on before surgery, but did not realize it was so bad. The MRI did not show everything that was wrong in there.

Can you post what your last MRI report said, what level were your problems at?
Ice was & is one of the only things that gave me relief but cant walk around all day with ice strapped on. Also a good muscle relaxer. The doctor explained how the muscles are effected when the nerves are involved. One aggravates the other.
I used every topical cream under the sun along with the thermacare patches.
I also used oils such as peppermint, winter green & so on... The oils along with moist heat could help at times. I used the good oils & they can be hard to find.

I really think it may be your cervical. If you dont mind some advice, limit any activities that require lifting or keeping you neck in a bent postion for any length of time. My surgeon had me wear a collar before surgery to try to stabalize my neck. you can pick up a soft collar at CVS or a medical supply & give that a try if you get desperate.
Also make sure your on a good calcium.

I still have problems but not as bad as before the fusion, the headaches were gone & some of the other pain. I had problems with my breathing on inhalation also. I still require pain management but am thankful that those headaches are no longer a problem. Every now & then I feel like I'm on the verge of one. There's another person on the boards to with alot of symptoms you & I have, she also had the headaches & her problems were at the same level as mine.
I hope you get insurance soon, as I know its a worry. If you can please describe what kind of headaches your experiancing. My arm & shoulder pain felt like someone was twisting my arm behind back, really painful.
Good luck & try to take it easy till you can get that cervical looked at. Sammy

 
Old 07-30-2009, 05:43 PM   #9
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Re: Headache with Left arm, back and Neck pain

Hi all....another with cervical spondylosis...or at least I did. My symptoms were very different as I was an advanced case. I didn't have much pain at all. My first major symptom was stiff thighs that got stiffer as the day went on until I was walking baby steps. Then I kept dropping things and had trouble writing, like my hands just didn't want to work. On uneven ground I walked like a drunk. Had to keep my feet far apart and still staggered. And then I started to freeze in position...like I'd drive home from work and couldn't straighten up or move my feet or arms for several minutes.

When I finally had my MRI after shoveling snow and going numb from the neck down, it showed lots of arthritis, dessicated disks, 3 herniated disks, 2 vertebrae had slipped slightly forward and 3 backwards. But the big problem was that I had multiple areas of cord compression, the worst compressing the cord to 1/2 thickness(6mm). I had stopped hurting because I was slowly becoming paralyzed and the nerves were dying.

I had a new surgery done that reshapes the spinal canal without fusion(laminoplasty) from C3 to C7. It was great. Woke up with all the feeling back. Unfortunately, something caused my neck to slip further. The vertebrae that were slightly out of alignment subluxated(dislocated)further and I broke 3 of the 4 bone grafts that had been put in during the laminoplasty, one of them impaling my cord. Ended up having to be fused from C3 to T1 3 months later and was paralyzed on the left side by the bone fracture that impaled the cord. However, with work, I've recovered 95% of the movement I lost.

So I've had a very different experience. But what I've learned is this.... Pain means a nerve is alive and kicking. Numbness or lack of feeling or function means a nerve is injured and possibly dying. Paralysis is a dead nerve but that doesn't mean that function can't be recovered. Nerve fibers can heal to some extent and there is some "plasticity" in the spinal cord as well that can re-route nerves(works better in the brain). So, as tough as this sounds, be glad you have pain...means everything is alive and screaming. But beware of numbness and losing function. The nerves and cord can last just so long.

good luck and gentle hugs.................Jenny

 
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