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  • Question about neck and upper back pain

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    Old 03-15-2006, 02:05 PM   #1
    dkl4330
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    Question about neck and upper back pain

    I have a problem with my C5 & C6 discs in my neck. I've had 2 MRI's, which show disc degeneration.

    But for the past year, I've had pain radiating down my neck to the trapezious and rhomboid muscles. I'm also experiencing tingling down my left arm and leg.

    The pain in my back muscles is pretty constant. I take pain medication, and have undergone physical therapy, but it really hasn't helped. I think part of my problem is that I sit at a computer all day, and it's catching up with me. I've been doing computer work for 15 years, and I'm 51 years old.

    Have any of you had neck pain which has caused other pain, especially in the areas I mentioned. Or could I have two separate things going on?

    Thanks, Donna

     
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    Old 03-15-2006, 07:28 PM   #2
    pooh26
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    Re: Question about neck and upper back pain

    My problem was not in the neck but it was my lower back. It was the L4-5 and L5-S1. I had been diagnosed with severe degenerative disc disease at the age of 23 from 15 yrs of competitive gymnastics. But I had the same pain you are describing. It would radiate down my legs and toes but the back pain was always there. The tingling was from the disc pressing on my nerve roots. On Jan. 18th I had a fusion done and I have not experienced the tingling anymore since the pressure from the disc was removed from the nerves. What you are likely having is the pressure on the nerves from the actual damaged disc. Hope this helped at all.

     
    Old 03-15-2006, 08:01 PM   #3
    BobM
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    Re: Question about neck and upper back pain

    Herniated or bulged Cervical discs can put pressure on nerve roots, or the spinal cord itsself, or both. It the spinal cord is compressed, it may (or not)cause symptoms further downstream (like the legs, etc). If the nerve roots are compressed, it depends on the level (which vertebra), and the side. (left or right) It can also be one side or both sides. Here's some info I dug up when I started having problems a couple of years ago:

    C4 - C5 (C5 nerve root) - weakness in the deltoid muscle in the upper arm. Does not usually cause numbness or tingling. Can cause shoulder pain.

    C5 - C6 (C6 nerve root) - weakness in the biceps and wrist extensor muscles. Numbness and tingling along with pain can radiate to the thumb side of the hand.

    C6 - C7 (C7 nerve root) - weakness in the triceps and the finger extensor muscles. Numbness and tingling along with pain can radiate down the triceps and into the middle finger.

    C7 - T1 (C8 nerve root) - Can cause weakness with handgrip. Numbness and tingling and pain can radiate down the arm to the little finger side of hand.

    I think C5/6, and C6/7, are perhaps the most common levels that people have problems, although you'll see posts here from people with problems at all levels. I've had problems at C4/5/6/7/8 and can confirm these symptoms can be real. I had both neck pain and pain at other locations, and went for years getting treatment for shoulder pain before my neck problem was diagnosed.

    Hope this is some of the info you are looking for -
    Bob

     
    Old 03-16-2006, 05:30 AM   #4
    wimpette
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    Re: Question about neck and upper back pain

    donna,
    sitting at a computer is both bad for your neck and lower back! the pain may or may not be related, the fact that you already have known neck problems means you probably also have some lower back issues.

    the key thing is to make sure you have a good chair and are seated at the best height not to cause neck strain. you need to get up frequently and walk around. i find that wearing a soft collar when i spend extended periods at the computer also helps, you might want to try it.

    good luck,
    w

     
    Old 03-16-2006, 07:29 AM   #5
    dennisgb
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    Re: Question about neck and upper back pain

    Donna,

    Your symptoms are pretty common. I had C5-6 and C6-7 fused (ACDF). Before my surgery the pain in both the front and the back of my shoulder and chest was terrible. I had muscle spasms all the time. Your body tries to "protect" the area where the pain starts from (neck), and eventually it radiates out to the surrounding muscles. You may get some relief by alternating hot and cold packs on the area. About 10-15 minutes each. Massage can help too. Once you get it under control (if you can), try to excercise more to keep it loose. Crunches, and arm strenghtening excercises help most. I can describe some of the excercises that will loosen those muscles if you are interested.

    Dennis

    Last edited by dennisgb; 03-16-2006 at 07:29 AM.

     
    Old 03-16-2006, 10:35 AM   #6
    Seahorse8
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    Re: Question about neck and upper back pain

    Hello Dennis,
    I read your post to Donna and I for one would be interested in knowing the exercises you are talking about to loosen the muscles, I have Robaxin that the neurosurgeon sent me home with but I don't know, now it doesn't seem like they are helping with the symptoms I'm still having.......thanks
    Lin

     
    Old 03-16-2006, 01:20 PM   #7
    dennisgb
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    Re: Question about neck and upper back pain

    Lin,

    You need to first be sure excercise is okay with your docs. If you are in recovery from surgery, you should follow your doctors directions, as you shouldn't do any excercise until they release you to do it. In Donna's case, see has not had surgery, and is just trying to deal with the pain at this point.

    Please advise as to your situation or start a new thread, and we can talk about it. I don't want you to do something that coould harm you.

    Dennis

     
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