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  • Neck Pain - X ray results, Do I need a MRI?

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    Old 05-29-2015, 06:56 AM   #1
    neckpain2
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    Neck Pain - X ray results, Do I need a MRI?

    I've suffered with neck pain for about 2 year now. Doctor sent me for x-ray. below are the results
    AP, lateral and open-mouth odontoid views of the cervical spine were
    done. The prevertebral soft tissue, bony architecture, mineralization, alignment, vertebral body heights and intervertebral disc space heights demonstrate marked narrowing with endplate scleroses and spur formation at C4-5 to a lesser degree C5-6. There are a few spondylolisthesis the 3 on C4 of 2.6 MM. Facet sclerosis and hypertrophy C4-5 through C6-7.. No fracture, dislocation, lytic or blastic changes are evident.
    .

    Doc we can wait it out or proceed with getting a MRI. But it's my understanding there really is no fix for DDD, so I should exercise more and live with the pain? Is this true?
    Thanks for any replies.

     
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    Old 05-29-2015, 04:36 PM   #2
    ChuckStr
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    Re: Neck Pain - X ray results, Do I need a MRI?

    Welcome to the board!

    I would probably proceed with the MRI no matter what. It will let you know the extent of the degenerative changes and give an indication if there is any compression on the central cord or nerve roots causing your pain. Isolated neck pain is often seen in early stages of spinal cord compression and you'd probably want to rule that out at least.

    Do you have symptoms of radiculopathy along with your neck pain? That is, radiating pain/numbness/tingling down into your shoulders, arms, or hands, and/or potentially through your shoulder blades/mid-upper back. This would be an indication that you had compression on one or more of the nerves in the cervical spine.

    DDD can not really be fixed per-se. The effects of it can often be "fixed" however. Special exercises, postural control etc. can slow or stop the degeneration by helping with stability. Traction can often open up space for nerve roots or the cord. The natural history of nerve compression often includes inflammation which can be treated with steroids or NSAIDs. If all else fails, surgery can remove compressing disc or bone spur material. Acute pain and other sensory symptoms can often be eliminated or reduced with medications for nerve pain such as anti-spasmodics (Lyrica, Neurontin etc), anti-depressants (Cymbalta etc) or a combination.

    I assume that your current treating physician is a GP and it is fine to go for an MRI under his/her care. Be aware though that the experts in treating spinal issues are spine specialist neuro or ortho surgeons with specialized training in spinal conditions that limit their practices to only spinal conditions. They are the experts in the diagnosis, surgical and non-surgical treatment of spine conditions.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on...

     
    Old 06-01-2015, 07:44 AM   #3
    neckpain2
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    Unhappy Re: Neck Pain - X ray results, Do I need a MRI?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChuckStr View Post
    Welcome to the board!

    I would probably proceed with the MRI no matter what. It will let you know the extent of the degenerative changes and give an indication if there is any compression on the central cord or nerve roots causing your pain. Isolated neck pain is often seen in early stages of spinal cord compression and you'd probably want to rule that out at least.

    Do you have symptoms of radiculopathy along with your neck pain? That is, radiating pain/numbness/tingling down into your shoulders, arms, or hands, and/or potentially through your shoulder blades/mid-upper back. This would be an indication that you had compression on one or more of the nerves in the cervical spine.

    DDD can not really be fixed per-se. The effects of it can often be "fixed" however. Special exercises, postural control etc. can slow or stop the degeneration by helping with stability. Traction can often open up space for nerve roots or the cord. The natural history of nerve compression often includes inflammation which can be treated with steroids or NSAIDs. If all else fails, surgery can remove compressing disc or bone spur material. Acute pain and other sensory symptoms can often be eliminated or reduced with medications for nerve pain such as anti-spasmodics (Lyrica, Neurontin etc), anti-depressants (Cymbalta etc) or a combination.

    I assume that your current treating physician is a GP and it is fine to go for an MRI under his/her care. Be aware though that the experts in treating spinal issues are spine specialist neuro or ortho surgeons with specialized training in spinal conditions that limit their practices to only spinal conditions. They are the experts in the diagnosis, surgical and non-surgical treatment of spine conditions.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on...
    Thanks for your reply. Yes this is under my GP, and she has given me Naproxen and Flexeril. Now the Flexeril is giving me headaches so I don't think I am going to be able to continue on that. I thought I would stop for a few days and see. She wants me to take the Flexeril 3 times a day, but I can't do that because of the sleepiness it causes. She wanted to do the 'wait and see if the pain gets worse' approach. The shoulder muscles are sore an sometimes I get sore around my collar bone. I don't have numbness going down my arms, but I do sometimes get a tingling across my shoulders. I am still doing the physical therapy exercises at home with the bands, but it doesn't seem to be helping any more. I am concerned about all the Tylenol and Advil I take daily just to get some of the pain to stop.
    Again, thanks for the response. I'm not sure if I will wait to get an MRI when the pain gets worse, or if I will do it now. I keep thinking it will get better and I can bet it, but I'm starting to think it won't

     
    Old 06-01-2015, 07:46 AM   #4
    neckpain2
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    Re: Neck Pain - X ray results, Do I need a MRI?

    One more question (or food for thought). Should I seek a specialist before the MRI, if I decided to do that sooner rather than later? What is the best resource for finding a good neck specialist?

     
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