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sacko14 02-25-2010 09:26 AM

First post - neck problems
Here's the deal:
-I'm currently 28. About 6ft, 175. Used to play a lot of sports, over the past few years, haven't done much.
-First hurt my neck bench pressing when i was 19, 11 years ago. Never got it checked out. When I hurt it, there was a pop in my neck and pain traveled down my spine and setlled mid-back, just left of center. I reinjured this same injury about 50 times (no exaggeration) over the course of 10 years - or as I called it, "tweaked".
-Last spring, I got it checked out, did a rehab, got my spine in line, degeneration in my neck and a disc, mid-back, that had a couple spurs sticking out. Nothing major.
-Now - just herniated a couple spots in my neck. C5-C6, C6-C7. I tried working out using resistance bands doing exercises a couple weeks ago and then couldn't raise my head for about 24 hours and was in pain, going into my right should and across my shoulder blade and collarbone.

My questions are:
-Does anybody have any exercise suggestions? Yoga? Resistance bands? Pilates?
-What do you recommend for treatment for the herniations?
-Any other suggestions from veterans so I can avoid future problems?

Thanks to all responses! I appreciate it.


SpineAZ 02-25-2010 07:48 PM

Re: First post - neck problems
Hello and Welcome to the boards.

First, you may have a little more luck if you duplicate your post on the Spinal Cord Disorders board. For some reason that's where most of the cervical spine discussions are held. This board tends to concentrate on the lumbar spine (lower back).

The first thing I'd do is get a an MRI and referral to an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon and/or Neurosurgeon. Now that doesn't mean surgery is the only option, or may not even be an option for you, but an OSS or NS can do a full review of your MRI and x-ray findings, physical exam, etc and evaluate what you have going on and what the possible treatments are. Personally I've had more comfort with an OSS. I always feel they are a bit more functionally oriented.

I woke up in 2005 one morning and out of no where had tremendous pain down my left arm. I hadn't had any recent accident, was relatively active but only did light work outs due to a history of back problems and knee problems (I have a condition where my ligaments are lax so all joints, including spine, tend to move around too much and cause problems). My guess now is a bad fall I had in the 90's where I landed hard on my left elbow probably caused some trauma (I do remember severe neck pain for a week or two with that but it then went away and never came back until years later).

My primary care physician gave me a prescription for 100 percocet and sent me on my way. I managed to keep working (desk job) but even months later my boss, who didn't believe it taking time off, said I probably should have been off for a few weeks as between the pain and the medications I wasn't "all there". I didn't know what to do, even with my back history, as I could not see how arm pain could be related to the spine in more than just a pinched nerve type of way. In reality it can (look up a spine dermatome chart and you'll see). 2 months later my husband was being evaluated by an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) doc for a tonsillectomy due to chronically inflamed tonsils (at the age of 43). We were sitting in the pre-op discussion with the ENT and the way I was holding my arm and rubbing it the ENT asked me "are you okay?" and I described my pain. He told me the thought I may have a ruptured cervical disc and did a quick exam. He tole me I needed a new PCP immediately, referred me, new PCP saw me and did an MRI and sent me right to a Neurosurgeon who did a full eval. NS ended up referring me to a Pain Management doctor. I was able to do some Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI) to the affected nerve/disc area which helped tremendously. The ESI got to the source of the nerve impingement and relieved impingement. I did these every 6 months for 2 years and then they stopped working so I had a cervical fusion. I woke up from that with immediate pain relief. Saddest thing is that my original PCP didn't catch it my hubby's ENT did.

So a full review by an OSS or NS will at least give you a picture of what is going on in your spine and perhaps a referral to physical therapy. I did 26 PT sessions this year. Some helped my neck and some prepped me for my recent back surgery.

Also, just so you know, with the neck surgery (if you ever get to the point where that's one of your options) I had little if any loss in range of motion. And it was a relatively easy surgery as it was done through the front of the neck (Anterior Discectomy and Fusion) so they don't go through muscles. I'd say that it was much easier than my ACL repair in my knee by far! And easier than my recent back surgery.

I know that surgery is not your goal, but keep in mind you want to have a healthy spine for life. I've decided to do whatever needed so that when I'm 93 I can play shuffleboard with the 80 year olds and feel good!

Doll Baby 04-29-2010 02:31 AM

Re: First post - neck problems
stretching neck can cause more problems you have inflamation and that needs to settle down you are stretching and pulling i went to physical therapy when my symptoms started and they were yanking me all different ways made it worse gentle stretching is good heat then ice antiinflamatories if no relief pain management stop harsh exercising.

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