View Full Version : Hi, I'm new here. Severe pain, can't sleep

10-02-2009, 09:11 PM
I am 42 and have terrible pain in my neck, right upper back, right shoulder, and entire right arm with numbness in my thumb. I have been to a neurologist, he's been treating me for migraines for years and he did nothing. I have been in PM for several months now, and at my last visit the PM doc said he thinks I have a C6 nerve impingement. I wish that someone would diagnose me! I have been seeing a rheumatologist because the neuro sent me to her, he gave up and said I must have fibromyalgia. Long story short, she (rheum doc) immediately did a bunch of tests and blood work and said no fibromyalgia, possibly rheumatoid arthritis. That was months ago and now she is ruling out the RA because she discovered a severe vitamin D deficiency. I now take 50,000IU every week for the next three months. I don't notice a difference. The PM doc has me on opana ER 20 mg every 12 hrs. and percocet 10 every 4-6 hours for breakthrough pain. I have requested a new MRI and the neuro said the last one was clear, and that was over a year ago. My PM doc has scheduled me for an EMG test, he said he believes from the symptoms and his exam that it's C6 nerve, and said he will wait to see the results of the EMG and then if needed order a cervical MRI. I just had lumbar x-rays that showed L5 L6 degeneration with scoliosis, so I had to have an MRI for the lumbar last week, have no results yet. The arm pain is just awful, it wakes me up every night. I fall asleep from the meds, and then the rest of the night I am up trying to find a comfortable position. Any advice would be appreciated so much, I think I need a new neuro....:eek:

10-11-2009, 08:19 AM
I am 42 and have terrible pain in my neck, right upper back, right shoulder, and entire right arm with numbness in my thumb. The arm pain is just awful, it wakes me up every night. I fall asleep from the meds, and then the rest of the night I am up trying to find a comfortable position. Any advice would be appreciated so much, I think I need a new neuro....:eek:

dear alicia. I would look for a new neurologist. you have nothing to lose you know. I also have the same problem. trying to find a comfortable position to sleep. I'm starting to JEALOUS of people who can sleep full 8-9 hours you know?. 4 years ago I was able to do so but now not. The accident/whiplash put an end to my resting sleep. horrible. I don't know what to say but that I really feel for you and I understand. I hardly sleep also. Without my pain meds I can't rest my neck on the pillow at any position and won't be able to sleep AT ALL. can you believe it?. It hurts in any position I lay my neck. cannot even rest. horrible. so I hope you can find a new neurologist who will probably need to give you sleeping pills. let me know what's going on. thanks and I hope you get better somehow.

P.S but from what you say it's the arm pain which wakes you up. I've heard about somebody who had arm pain who couldn't sleep also. at least you can sleep some(I just try to comfort you). go to your doctor and ask for sleeping pills so you can sleep more.

10-11-2009, 09:32 PM
Instead of a neurologist you need to get a consultation with a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic spine surgeon. Only one of those type of doctors can address the possibility of this being related to cervical spine problems. And don't worry - just because they are surgeons doesn't meant that's the only treatment they can provide. And I'd think you need a new MRI and one for lumbar and cervical regions.

I have had all of my spinal care done by an Orthopedic Spinal Surgeon. Since I've had spinal problems for over 20 years and have moved a few times I am on my 3rd OSS but have been very happy. I did see a neurosurgeon a few years ago and he was quite good but someone recommended my current OSS and he's been great with both my back and neck issues.

10-12-2009, 07:22 PM
Another Nutmegger! Hi.

Follow through with the EMG and then see if the pain doc wants an MRI. If the last one was clear, then something must have happened to cause him to think something else is wrong. Forget the neurologist and stick with the pain doc. Your neuro needs to go back to school.

Your symptoms are very suggestive of a C6 problem but other things can cause similar symptoms...that's where the EMG will help. There's cervical outlet syndrome that compresses nerves and even a bad case of carpal tunnel can cause these symptoms. There are all sorts of weird things that can cause your symptoms.

What is it with neurologists in Connecticut? I had one who on seeing me for the 2nd time said...oh, it's YOU. He was a stroke specialist.....I've had 5 strokes(all small)....do I need to have a big one to hold his interest? I wanted to see him to prevent the "big one". Going elsewhere. Idiot.

Hang in there and get the tests and see what happens. We've all been there with the pain, lack of sleep and transforming into a [email protected]#$% due to pain. My husband called my surgery a personality transplant.

Once you find out what is wrong, and if you need some names in CT or the ajoining states, let me know. There's a person who posts here who has some inside info on CT neurosurgeons and I have names in Massachusetts and NYC.

We're here for you.

gentle hugs..................Jenny(northwest CT)

10-13-2009, 10:14 AM
Hi, sorry to here you are having all these problems, I am reading because I am struggling with pain from cervical and lumbar spinal stenosis, so far have been blessed with the ability to handle the pain with just motrin, but it is getting worse, anyway i have a bad pain in my left side near my waist, is tolerable and mostly unoticeable while i am standing or sitting but when i am lying down, it is very bad especially if i try to turn over or change positions. I have had cervical and lumbar mris but my doc thinks the pain in my side might be thorasic so he is trying to get a thorasic and lumbar mri approved thru my ins. but they keep denying it. now the ins. is saying i should have an emg to rule out radiculopathy. It is so hard to lay down that i am not looking forward to the emg at all.

anyway, the reason i am writing is because i noticed in your post that you mentioned that you have been diagnosed with very low vit. d level, i too just had my vit d level checked and it is somewhat low, it was 20, so they want me to take 1600iu per day, how does the low vit. d level relate to your back problems, if you dont mind answering, i know your having your own set of miseries. thanks and have a blessed day, Connie

10-13-2009, 03:08 PM
Low vitamin D is implicated in osteoporosis and osteoporosis is a leading cause of spine problems in women. My rheumatologist also gives me 50,000 units of Vit D for 12 weeks before giving me an osteoporosis drug(I take the once a year IV drug, Reclast). They work much better with the right levels of D in your system already as well as calcium. But you can take all the calcium you want and it won't help if the D levels are down. You need the 2 together. So I doubt that the vit D has a direct effect on the spine but it had the effect of contributing to further weakening of the bones.

It's like saying....we can't fix what is already broken but we can try to prevent more of it.

So you find out what is wrong with your spine and deal with it and in the meantime, work at making the rest of your spine healthier.

Oh, and since it's being talked about, as you age, your body can't convert Vit. D as well as when you were young. I was reading on another board that at age 70, you convert only 25% the amount of Vit.D that you did at age 20. It's just age related.

So we all should be getting bone density checks and taking calcium and Vit. D to get our bones healthy. If you already have osteoporosis or osteopenia(loss of all minerals not just calcium), take the necessary drugs to reverse it. Your body will thank you.


10-13-2009, 04:41 PM
Jenny - quick question on something somewhat related. I'm looking to get testing done on my levels of nutrient levels in my body (vitamin D, minerals, etc.. ) to find out if I'm low. What type of doctor do you go to for this? A general practioner or a specialty doctor? I'm in my early 40's and really looking more for preventative for all over health reasons (and of course my spine). Thanks - Robin