I am desperately trying to find out what is causing me constant neck pain following an RTA I was involved in 4 years ago.
I was front seat passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a the accident and at the time felt fine but about 6 hours later, I began feeling what I can only describe as a 6" metal bar, half in my neck and half into my back, just to the left of my spine. I went to hospital and was xrayed and fortunately nothing was broken. I was sent home and given pain killers to deal with it and after a few days it calmed down.
My problem is that ever since, I have been cricking my neck whilst doing the most inoccuous of things such as cleaning my teeth, getting in and out of cars etc and then have to suffer the best part of a weeks pain which is in exactly the same place as before.
I finally had enough of it last week and paid for an MRI scan. I was given a disc of the images but can't really make head or tail of it.
I have done some research on the net and it looks like there is perhaps a disc herneation where the spinal cord is being pressed into the vertebrae but I wondered if anyone else who knew what they were talking about could shed more light on the matter.
If it is possible to post pictures on here I will do so to help describe things better.
Hello - usually on the cd is the text report of the MRI report. You could call for a copy of the radiologist report from the place where you had the MRI. THere are a set of images in that mix that are kind of easy even for an untrained eye to read - but it is better to leave it to the experts on that part. If you get the report post it here and I will try to help you.
Thanks neck patient, I have spoken to my own Doctor and he said the report said there is some arthritis showing on the scan but the report didn't make any mention of the muscular make up. I can see on there that the muscles are massively imbalanced and even the silhouette shows the difference between each side of my neck. Given that it is muscular pains I am experiencing I am somewhat disappointed with the outcome to date. It looks like I may have to pay to see a specialist about this.
Do you know if it is possible to post the images here for you to see?
Sorry we cannot post images on this site. Although I am pretty experienced at it, I wouldn't be comfortable reading your MRI anyway - I am not a radiologist. I am not great at looking at the muscularity , I am better at reading on the disks, foramins, and nerves. Just for you to get a general view - there are some images in the T2 list that you could look at. From the side views, look at the ones that clearly show all your cervical vertebrae and the spinal canal. What you would want to see is a strong signal from the fluid that surrounds the cord - it will be bright on those series. The fluid will be the light part and the cord darker down the middle. Look at the levels and see if you notice any indentation into the spinal canal - look between the vertebrae do all the disks have good signal or are they very dark? Do they look symetrical in height? Any look like they are bulging out? On the individual slices of the vertebrae you can get a better view of the fluid around the disks - and also a more round center on those views is good - the more eliptical it is the more probable there is some flattening. If you have a bulge or hernation you would probably be able to see it on the film.
Really try to get the report - sometimes doctors will dismiss the report if it has mild findings - and people can still have serious pain depending on their anatomy.
You know a pinched nerve can cause muscular type spasm. I am curious could you describe your pain a little more. Does it ever shoot down your bicep or into your forearm? Or all concentrated in your neck and upper back?
If this pain is that bad, it is time for you to go back and press the doctor.
When I had the disc I did some research on the net and from what I could ascertain, there appears to be several disc herneations aswell as some serious muscle imbalance.
The pain I get whenever it goes is a sharp, stretch initially of the muscle which often happens when I drop my head down and forwards when getting into a car. A day or two later, it feels like there is a 6 inch steel bar that runs down from my neck in to my back, just to the left of my spine. I can't look up, down, left or right, I can't sleep properly, eat, cough etc etc. Basically for the next five or six days it is constant pain, agony at times that is relieved in some way by painkillers but never totally.
my neck seems to curve somewhat and my head constantly leans towards my right shoulder
Last edited by moderator2; 02-02-2010 at 05:51 PM.
Reason: please do not post pictures - as per the posting policy
Hello - sorry I wasn't ignoring you, I would out of town for a few days and computer time was pretty limited. I am glad you are seeing someone because I feel you might have a compression on nerve or spinal cord . There is a test called the Spurling's Manuever - it will show mechanical stress, such as excessive vertebral motion, may exacerbate symptoms; gentle neck hyperextension with the head tilted toward the affected side will narrow the size of the neuroforamin and may exacerbate symptoms. ipsilateral rotation of the neck will also increase radiculopathy; downward head compression increases the patient's radicular pain and paresthesias, especially if the neck is flexed to the side of involvment. The other test is called the L'Hermite's sign and it causes sharp/shooting pain when neck is flexed. So you need to be checked by the specialist to see if your symptoms, MRI and tests all match up!
Thanks for the reply, mI didn't think you were ignoringit, I know how busy peoples lives are nowadays, always so much to do and never enough time. Besides, I understand that the way I posted the pics initially wasn't exactly great so I understand reluctance to open up such links.
I will definitely take up your points with the specialist when I see him. Do you think this would be the cause of the sudden and terrible pain? Perhaps I do something to the nerve which manifests itself in this way.