I have been away from this board for a long time. I had a ACDF in 2001 C3-4 and C5-6. This failed and in 2005 they went in through the back of my neck and did it all again. Now I am fused C2-C6. My own bone both times. So plate in the front and 2 rods in the back. I have never been out of pain. Over the years I have tried almost every type of therapy available. For some unknown reason my pain went through the roof about 1 month ago. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I must be having a heart attack. The pain is in the middle of my upper back and down my right arm. After the doctor visit I started getting weakness and loss of motion in my right hand. The pain let up though. I still wake every night with this new pain. My doctor wants me to try dry needling. I have heard it does help some. I have had trigger point injections and massage with no luck. I also am trying to get scheduled for an MRI. Has any one here tried dry needling for the neck? I know everyone is different, every thing I have tried so far has not helped. Is it worth the effort?
I just read your post and can understand your pain and frustration.
Just briefly, I have been thru several cervical and lumbar surgeries. I have Harrington Rods from C3 to T4 I believe and also Harrington Rods from L2 down to the iliace crest.
I tried the Spinal cord stimulator but did not work for me.
I have so many issues on pain from weakness in the arms; to radiating pain to peripheral neuropathy in my legs are the main items.
I have been disabled for 10 year already.
In my neck there is something called Myelomalacia which is a softening of the spine due to a lack of blood supply to focal cord atrophy in the C4-7 levels. And the most recent MRI showed severe loss of disc height at C6-7 and bone spurs plus protrusions and bulges in the thoracic region.
My neuro is affraid to touch the neck surgically because of all that has already been done and I have other health risks. I am diabetic, living with one kidney and in kidney failure at the same time.
Seeing neuro guy in 2 weeks because of lates MRI findings.
But in the interim I did see a pain managment doctor. I am going the Intrathecal Pain Pump route. I had the trial done and now the permanent one being done on 1/11/13. The trial worked wonders.
BUT it can only be directed at one area of the spine for some reason. So the catheter was put in at T-10 to help the mid-back and lower back. As to the neck not sure what my options are at this point in time.
The medication that they will be using is Dilaudid (morphine) and Bipuvacaine which is an anesthesia/nerve blocck type of med. The good thing is that it goes directly to the spine but in very low dosages compared to the oral medications.
not sure if that is an option for your or not. Good luck
Wow Pebble beach, you really have a plate full of back problems. Mine is very small compared to what you are going through. I have tried several non narco drugs for nerve pain but they did not help the pain and caused too many unpleasant side effects. I do take a small amount of Vicodin and at times a stronger pain pill for those really bad days. I still work full time plus, usually 50 and up to 60 hours a week so I cannot have the dizzy side effects from anything stronger. Good luck with your neuro, I hope they can give you relief. I wish more research was being done for chronic back pain.
I have been on a number of medications over the years. Currently on hydrocodone 7.5 - 750 mg 4Xs a day and a muscle relaxand. Some days are better then others as to the pain level and whether the meds work or not.
I am limited on what I can take in meds because I was born with one kidney and in kidney disease with the 1 that I do have.
Sometimes if I take the full dose of meds it knocks me out. To the point I can't get enough sleep. I will sleep on and off for days on end. So I try to avoid taking the max that I can on the hydrocodone.
In the past Ive been on Fetanyl patchs Neurontin, Oxycodone Baclofen and tons that I can't even remember. Dont forget Ive had back issues for going on 25 years so Ive seen the round of meds from the lighter stuff to the heavier meds.
Hi WebDozer, Dry needling is a bit like acupuncture but most of the time the needles are inserted into trigger points. A small electric charge is applies and the muscle will go into spasm. This is supposed to retrain the muscle to stop acting bad and causing pain. Or something like that. I have heard it can be quite painful but helpful. I have not spoke to anyone who has had it done in their neck. I have had trigger point injections and trigger point massage and both have helped for a short time. With the holidays and vacations I have not received a referral for an MRI yet. I hope it will come through this week. At times the pain is so bad it hurts to take a breath or lift my arm so whichever referral comes in first is the one I will start with.