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Old 04-22-2011, 09:58 AM   #1
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Question Got C7 Nerve Compression?

Anyone suffering from C7 Nerve compression? Just trying to connect with people with this condition. I have been dealing with this for past 3 months. I just started Chiropractic Adjustments after 2 months of Physical Therapy that didn't help much. The neck pain has been dibilitating with episodes of arm/hand cramping, numbness and tingling in fingers. The neurologists couldn't find anything wrong with my neck. They did MRI that came out negative. They did EMG that found very mild C7 nerve compression. Being a programmer doesn't help sinc ethe problem is in my right hand and I have to use mouse 8 hours a day. So now I am seeking alternative treatment. Let's see if Chiropractic Adjustments is the answer to my problems.

 
Old 04-22-2011, 11:32 AM   #2
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Wink Re: Got C7 Nerve Compression?

Could you have Carpel Tunnel Syndrome? My husband had issues with his fingers, hands and wrists and the pain sometimes went up to his wrists. That may not explain the neck pain, but, may help with the arm hand issues.
I know that I tried many conservative treatments prior to surgery. I tried PT, chiropractic (just be careful, makes me nervous even though I have tried this route), acupuncture, epidural shots and selective nerve root blocks.
Good luck.
**************************************** ********** **
12/9/2010 ACDF C5-6 C6-7 with plate, screws,
BMP & bone fragment filled cages
2/14/2011 trying to go back to work as a teacher
2/17/2011 starting PT
wearing bone stimulator 4 hours a day
DDD, arthritis, herniated disks, pinched nerves
3 months saw a little bit of bone growth (YEAH)
4/15/2011 Home Tens Unit

 
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:30 PM   #3
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Re: Got C7 Nerve Compression?

The Nerve Conduction Study (EMG) ruled out Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Initially the neurologist suspected that I had CTS given the fact that I'm a programmer and it is fairly common in programmers. But alas they didn't find any problems in my wrist but the abnormality was in the C7 area. Frankly speaking, I have been very disappointed in modern medicine and hence I have turned to Chiropractic. I like my neurologist and I have utmost respect for him. But all he has done so far is look at my MRI and EMG results and tell me that there is nothing wrong with my neck. He tells me that may be it is not neural, may be it is in muscles and so I have continued doing PT to no avail. He even sent me over for deep tissue massage that gave me little relief! I also got a second opinion from his boss at the hospital and she has nothing more to offer either. They suggested Steroid Injection in my neck but do not recommend it strongly since I don't have any structural damage.

So I decided to give Chiropractic a shot after all a Chiropractor is more qualified than a Physical Therapist or a Massage Therapist because they are after all Doctors. I have nothing to lose. The pain is so bad. Plus I just to came know about somebody who has disc bulge in the neck and has benefitted from Chiropractic adjustments. I don't know if it is going to help me too, that only time will tell. I can only hope...

It's been quite a journey so far. I just underwent foot surgery a month ago and also have back issues. The root of all evil is my foot and that caused me to have bad posture & weird walking pattern and I ended up with so many problems. I used to exercise 3 times a week up until 6 months ago and now I have to work from home since I can't walk or sit comfortably anywhere.
Thanks for the reply frenchfri1003 and good luck with your husband. It always helps to hear from others in similar situations. Makes you feel less lonely.

 
Old 04-22-2011, 05:47 PM   #4
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Wink Re: Got C7 Nerve Compression?

Posture is very important when sitting at the computer. I know if I slouch I am in more pain. Sitting in the car can also be problematic. Try sitting up tall and if you look in the rear view mirror and notice a change - don't readjust the mirror sit yourself up tall. My only other suggestion is to bring a copy of MRI to the Chiropractor in case s/he sees something that they may feel is important when they adjust you.
I had 2 Selective Nerve Root Blocks and 2 Cervical Epidural Injections. Didn't do much. The Selective Nerve Root Block was also used as a diagnostic to confirm the problem area. Only a small amount of relief from them.
My husband's surgeries were a few years ago. His hands are much better.
Good luck

 
Old 04-28-2011, 07:04 AM   #5
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Re: Got C7 Nerve Compression?

Sounds like your in a frustrating situation & I can completely understand.
I wanted you to know it took approx. 2 years for my spinal injury to be considered worthy of any doctors attention. Although my symptoms were confusing the doctors & myself. Of course I did not know then what I know now.
Because my MRI findings were considered "mild" the doctors would dismiss it.
It got to the point it was considered to be all in my head. We are talking serious pain here, I could not move my arm & would vomit when the pain levels were up there. I went doctor to doctor because I knew as did my husband & anyone close to me that something was seriously wrong.

There was one doctor who knew & believed me that something was wrong & it frustrated him enough he would actually use profanity. I ended up with shoulder surgery as they thought it all stemmed from the shoulder & I was just displaying strange symptoms. I did have Bursitis, Tendonitis & Arthritis, but that did not solve my problems.

In the end the doctors gave me a different diagnosis & sent me off to pain management. It was this doctor who said the spine has to be involved here. So he ordered another MRI & sent me off to a Ortho spine surgeon hoping if the MRI did miss anything this surgeon would order more testing on the spine.

Well to all our surprise there was that so called "minor'' problem that had become much bigger. To top it all off during surgery the surgeon came across more damage & problems. Now keep in mind these things did not appear on any test, including the MRI.
The reason I'm telling you all of this is so you know to follow your instincts.
I could not believe all the pain & suffering I went through. There it was all a long & because it seemed so minor on film no one considered it could be causing all my problems. That was the C5-6 then & I do believe I have pain coming from the C7 area now.
I have much the same as you.
I can't say this is your problem but if it progresses & nothing improves that pain then keep looking for a doctor willing to explore that "minor" finding. I'm wondering if there is anything else that can cause these symptoms?

As far as the Chiro. I can understand why your seeking treatment but be careful. I tried that route also. They were amazing in pin pointing my problematic areas. They basically told me where my problems were before any test did. If you can let us know what they have to say.

Ive had injections or ESI with nerve blocks for years. Some success but nothing major. In March I went in for one & this time my PM decided to inject both sides, bi-lateral & I was shocked at the relief. I felt almost normal. At times its just hitting the problem area. I'm not promoting ESI's or nerve blocks but I have heard it from others also. It can take some time for the doctor to find that one area that is causing the pain & problems

Let us now how it goes & if you can keep a diary or journal as if this progresses & does not improve that may help you & the doctor more then you know.
Good luck & hang in there. Sammy

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Old 04-28-2011, 10:14 AM   #6
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Re: Got C7 Nerve Compression?

I would also like to offer a couple of thoughts.....

Did anyone do flexion/extension X-rays of your neck? An MRI is usually done with you laying down in one position. F/E x-rays might show that you have slippage of the vertebrae that in certain positions may impinge your nerves. Same with EMG--really good tests actually move your arm/neck into different positions to see if it replicates the pain/numbness, etc.

I have C7 problems also and was taught exercises by a great PT to keep the spaces open. They are simple and worked after just a few weeks. Posture plays a significant role! It took computer workers and a significant rise in CTS for ergonomics in the workplace to be developed.

Another thought is some kind of brachial nerve entrapment but the EMG should have shown that.......maybe. Also, thoracic outlet syndrome might be a consideration.

I hear your frustration! I saw a number of docs till the PT person identified the issue.

Sometimes you just have to listen to your body and search for someone else to give you a thorough examination........a sports orthopedic specialist, an orthopedic spine specialist for other examples.

I'm not a big advocate of neck injections or chiro treatment until a definite diagnosis is given. And yes, I have seen a number of times that at the time of surgery, the doc finds much more damage that validates the patients pain/numbness, the bone spurs are much bigger than showed on MRI (like mine), a small piece of tissue is lodged against the nerve, etc.

Let us know how you do!

 
Old 04-28-2011, 12:09 PM   #7
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Re: Got C7 Nerve Compression?

I agree, each test plays a part in helping to make a diagnosis. IMO doctors rely way too much on MRIs.


As far as injections go I was told in the beginning of my pain management that these are & can be used as diagnostic tools. The spine is so complicated. After many years of injections I firmly believe they can help to find the problem area. I have these done when I have reached my tolerance. At one point I had given up on the ESIs & blocks & out of desperation gave it another shot. I am so thankful I did as not only did we finally have success but I'm hoping it will assist my doctor in narrowing the area down that is causing the majority of my problems. Its not for everyone but for some these are a huge help for the patient & the doctor.

I have not had any real luck with the EMGs alone but now that I'm having success with the injections I'm curious to see what the next EMG will reveal, if anything. The last one indicated Carpal Tunnel, which I do not believe is the cause of my problems & the one before was much like yours, mild problems with the C7 area & I believe the T1.

I had 2 MRIs a little over a year a part on my lumbar, not counting the ones done before that period. The cervical had not been done in years. The findings on the 2 MRIs could not have been more different. I learned why my PM prefers one facility over others as I went to a different facility to have the second one done recommended by my PCP.

With any tingling, numbness, burning sensation I highly recommend pushing for what ever testing you can get done. If these symptoms do not improve the doctors should continue looking for the cause. After speaking with people over the years the one thing you have to do is give these doctors a nudge.

My shoulder surgeon had a good point, he stated if PT does not help with in a certain time frame, can't remember the exact time frame he mentioned. It was a matter of weeks if I recall correctly. He said you should feel some improvement & if not then its time to move on. It should not take months to feel improvement. His words were " There is no sense in beating the same dead horse over & over".
It will either work or it won't. In the mean time your not finding the cause.

I wanted to second what SK8 mentioned. I had a PT who said in her opinion there is no way any test can show exactly what is going on when your lying completely still on one position. It sure makes sense if you think about it. That may be why it takes so long to diagnosis some people. What one test misses another may reveal. No test can be 100% correct at all times.
Sammy

 
Old 04-29-2011, 11:37 AM   #8
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Re: Got C7 Nerve Compression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhopali View Post
The Nerve Conduction Study (EMG) ruled out Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Initially the neurologist suspected that I had CTS given the fact that I'm a programmer and it is fairly common in programmers. But alas they didn't find any problems in my wrist but the abnormality was in the C7 area. Frankly speaking, I have been very disappointed in modern medicine and hence I have turned to Chiropractic. I like my neurologist and I have utmost respect for him. But all he has done so far is look at my MRI and EMG results and tell me that there is nothing wrong with my neck. He tells me that may be it is not neural, may be it is in muscles and so I have continued doing PT to no avail. He even sent me over for deep tissue massage that gave me little relief! I also got a second opinion from his boss at the hospital and she has nothing more to offer either. They suggested Steroid Injection in my neck but do not recommend it strongly since I don't have any structural damage.

So I decided to give Chiropractic a shot after all a Chiropractor is more qualified than a Physical Therapist or a Massage Therapist because they are after all Doctors. I have nothing to lose. The pain is so bad. Plus I just to came know about somebody who has disc bulge in the neck and has benefitted from Chiropractic adjustments. I don't know if it is going to help me too, that only time will tell. I can only hope...

It's been quite a journey so far. I just underwent foot surgery a month ago and also have back issues. The root of all evil is my foot and that caused me to have bad posture & weird walking pattern and I ended up with so many problems. I used to exercise 3 times a week up until 6 months ago and now I have to work from home since I can't walk or sit comfortably anywhere.
Thanks for the reply frenchfri1003 and good luck with your husband. It always helps to hear from others in similar situations. Makes you feel less lonely.
So you seem you have a C7 root or so they say. If this is true you should have a weak triceps and weak forearm flexors although on rare occassions weak forearm extensors. To test your triceps put your albows by your side and forearms at 90 degrees, that is parallel to the ground, make a fist and have someone stop you from pushing your fist to the ground. Compare sides. The affected side should be weakerThe triceps is the muscle at the back of the upper arm. In C7 roots it will be weak but the reflex remains. Do you have tingling in some fingers. Relief is often gotten from placing the hand on top of the head which takes tension off the nerve.
"Chiropractors after all are doctors" may be but not physicians. They give out a doctorate from a school but not a university. There are many PTs with a true university doctorates now and all new grads will have a doctorate soon. The bad news is that many of these conditions are very distressing and painful for ages, but the good news is that they cause you no harm and eventually settle no matter what you do.
James

 
Old 05-06-2011, 08:56 PM   #9
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Re: Got C7 Nerve Compression?

hey.. im a multiple injury dude and i post mailnly in rsd. but i too have many back issues and even so leg issues wich make the back worse.. all my discs are herniated in the neck and i found this out when i saw a spine specialist..also multiple herniations in lumbar region. worse is L4-L5 with annular tear and herniation.. but back to c7
that is my biggest issue and it is obviouse on mri,s but what i was told when i got specialist to the spine is there is almost always more damage than what you can see
and emgs arent alwas accurate i had 3 done in 2 months frst and last showed nerve impingment for nerves on the c7 region and scnd showed none.. curiouse huh..i too have loss of use in the arm and i also have CTS in both arms..but c7 affects on me the middle finger to pinky numbness , tingling and loss of strength..also it causes pain in rotater cuff area strght down my shoulder blade. its ruff .and ive lived with this for years using PT only..i wont do the surgery because my brother had it done and well he is no better for it. i keep up my PT at home and traction as well, last MRI shows that it is slowly healing..and as my other problems have taken front seat and im using a cain now (nxt step walker) the pain does return and is causing the problems agn..i would ask for emg agn ..i know they hurt I hatem.. but they might get different results as it depends on how your nerve is effected that day,

 
Old 05-12-2011, 12:58 PM   #10
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Post Re: Got C7 Nerve Compression?

I'm undergoing Chiropractic Adjustments and so far they have been able to give me some relief but I also had to cut back on work this week to see real relief. I need rest and break from everything to get better, at least that much is clear. I also have mild L5-S1 Disc bulge in my Lower Back and that has been very aggravated lately, causing pain down my leg and foot. I had foot burning due to the Disc Bulge but never pain. So that's new. I also had a foot surgery done couple of months and so I have surgical discomfort from that. In nutshell, it is a vicious circle of pain that I am in.

I am also undergoing extensive tests bcoz my doctors think there is something wrong with me at systemic level becasue I am too young to be having nerve inflammation that don't seem to heal. I had one blood test turn up psoitive for ANA (a marker ofr auto-immune diseases). But it's really low for me to have Lupus or anything like that and so they are digging deeper. Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping nothing else will turn up positive. Getting second opinion from another neurologist as well.

Thanks everyone for showing support. I am so depressed/anxious that I can't sleep at night. But I have to keep faith and hope that this will eventually settle down on its own.

Hugs everyone.

 
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