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Old 03-10-2010, 03:50 AM   #1
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Red face neck pain

Hi , on a recent xray ,results came back saying degenerative changes at C5/6 and C6/7 ,i have no idea what this means, my doc just says it's wear and tear, this is giving me a lot of pain and also headaches,can anyone throw some light on this for me please thankyou,

Last edited by sparkle16; 03-10-2010 at 12:09 PM.

 
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:21 PM   #2
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Re: neck pain

Degenerative changes are usually things like the discs are drying/shrinking and arthritis (bone spur or ridge) formation. You can't really evaluate the discs, tissues and nerves with an xray - so mostly the doctor can see height changes, the bone spurs, things on the bone, or any alighment issues. If you have bad symptoms and pain - you sould push for an MRI.

Last edited by PNo; 03-14-2010 at 11:14 PM.

 
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:39 PM   #3
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Re: neck pain

I would agree if you are having pain associated with these changes then yes your doctor should investigate further with a CAT scan. This would show to what extent the problem is...I had some problems with my knee and hands with serious pain that normal over the counter things were not touching and i was tired of loosing sleep because of pain. x-rays were done but it doesn't show exactly what was causing so much pain. So I had an MRI which shows to what extent the degeneration was and it turns out to be moderate arthritic changes of spine, hands/wrists and knees with some tearing so I take pain meds for that. And it meant changing what i did for work. At least I know why so much pain and doctor can feel better about prescribing medications. X-rays are a good tool but it doesn't detect a lot of things and I would think your doctor owes it to you to be able to tell you more than just wear and tear...as it turned out mine had to do with what work I was doing so it gave me a chance/choice to change some things before it got worse. good luck.

 
Old 03-14-2010, 07:26 AM   #4
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Re: neck pain

i would push for the MRI just given what was already found upon plain x ray with what could be seen. a CT wont do as good of a job in really seeing down into all of the more possibly impacted areas of the nerve roots and the actual spinal cord as well as a MRI and WITH a good contrasting agent would. you just really need to fully see down to that cord level in order to actually begin to know what possible areas of real impingement from herniation depths(or the inside of a disc rupturing into the annular wall area too) and bone spurring and what occurs alot with DDD as stenosis which slowly closes off that foramen that the nerve roots run thru from out of the cord itself?

while the x ray has given you that rough idea of the more boney structures to a certain degree, that MRI will look much more in depth at the soft tissue structures that x ray and CT just cannot see much at all when within that spinal level compared to MRI. adding that contrasting agent too just will better highlight certain types of findings that in some cases, otherwise can be somewhat hidden upon any real scan done without it.

just what exact symptoms are you having beside the pain in your head? anything running down either arm or pain in hands(or to particular fingers), numbness or tingling or muscle weakness? knowing what your experiencing just kind of helps to better tell what could be affected up in that c spine area. 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.

 
Old 03-15-2010, 12:42 PM   #5
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Re: neck pain

hi Marcia. thankyou very much for your response, i have no numbness in hands and no tingling in fingers, just pains in the back of the neck and across the shoulders, i have just been seen by a physiotherapist she told me that the crunching sound i get in the neck besides the pain was bone on bone , she did a little work on my neck which made me dizzy(not sure why this was) and told me the muscles at the back of my neck were solid, as the little work she did was painful, i again failed to ask what this meant, i am a little worried about my return visit,now i know what to expect !

 
Old 03-21-2010, 10:36 AM   #6
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Re: neck pain

hey sparkle, honestly, if she actually stated you have 'bone on bone' and you can actually "hear' it too, you seriously DO need to have an MRI done to just get that more in depth look there? bone on bone is usually a possible completely worn out disc type situation, which means it has worn out or deteriorated so much that your vertebraes in that area are sitting ON each other(no cushion left from disc) and actually rubbing/grinding together now? this just really needs a much more in depth look. this should have shown up on plain x ray since what x rays see the best out of anything IS bone and the discs in between them? sorry it took me so long to get back down here to you. but i would get that much better looked at now. 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.

 
Old 03-28-2010, 12:52 PM   #7
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Re: neck pain

Hi Marcia , thanks so much for the advise, i will now push for a MRI , having a few problems a work as i have to stand all day and work on a bench which in my opinion is too low, this doesn't help with the problem, had a chat with the occupational heath nurse, who more or less said i have to '' PUT UP OR SHUT UP '' (waste of space !!) she also said that degenerative changes mean nothing more than you are getting older !! (I'm 52 ) i asked my manager if i could have a job sitting down as i know this helps, but he refused ! my next appointment with rheumatology is not until june , but i will ask if i can see her a little earlier. thanks again for your advise ,much appreciated.

 
Old 05-12-2010, 03:49 AM   #8
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Re: neck pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkle16 View Post
Hi , on a recent xray ,results came back saying degenerative changes at C5/6 and C6/7 ,i have no idea what this means, my doc just says it's wear and tear, this is giving me a lot of pain and also headaches,can anyone throw some light on this for me please thankyou,
Hello sprakle. Sory it took me so much time to answer you.

I would push for an MRI. MRI will show you if you have bulging or herniated disks. Have you done it yet?

My MRI showed 2 bulging disks. I have chronic neck pain, back of the neck pain plus headaches. Plus ear pain(TMJ). all caused of a whiplash/car accident.

The ONLY thing that takes the chronic neck pain is narcotic pain meds(oxycontin, percocet). I see you live in England. I'm not sure if your doctor is allowed over there to prescribe narcotic for neck pain/chronic pain. But anyway, narcotic pain meds are the only meds to take away this pain.

Please keep us posted.

Last edited by nochange; 05-12-2010 at 03:51 AM.

 
Old 05-12-2010, 02:07 PM   #9
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Re: neck pain

Hi, no not had a MRI yet, rheumatology have refered me to phsio and now having acupuncture , not sure how thats going to help , but lets see ! only had one session as yet , going back on friday for more, hope it helps.

 
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