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Cervical Disc Pain - What does it mean?


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Old 09-06-2006, 07:28 AM   #1
BrittleBones
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Cervical Disc Pain - What does it mean?

Hi folks - I'm used to dealing with lots of back and hip pain. My back pain has always been from about T6 thru L4/5. Just recently (past 4 weeks or so) I've been experiencing a whole new pain syndrome that involves my neck. I have what I'll call "major discomfort" in the cervical region to the point that I find it very difficult to hold my head up straight. It feels as if my muscles are very weak and not strong enough to hold my head up for more than 5 minutes at a time by the end of the day. Also, I have tight muscles in the back and sides of my neck at the base of my skull. I've had a few headaches, but nothing like a migraine or a very bad bout like others have. It does seem like I can increase the pain by touching or pushing on the vertabrae on my cervical spine. Could this be the beginning of compression fractures like the ones I've had throughout the rest of my spine? What do these symptoms sound like to you guys and what would my next step be? Thanks for any advice - KathyMac

 
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Old 09-06-2006, 09:03 PM   #2
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Re: Cervical Disc Pain - What does it mean?

Kathy:

I guess in theory it could be a similar situation. I had a L4-S1 fusion in 1993 and had a C5-C7 ACDF in May of this year. I'm only 40 but the doctor said that he has seen many people who have multiple spinal problems at different levels - and that span a period of time (like the 13 year difference in my surgery dates). An x-ray would be the first step to see if there's any need for further testing (i.e. MRI).

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Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

 
Old 09-07-2006, 05:54 AM   #3
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Re: Cervical Disc Pain - What does it mean?

Hi Kathy,while you could very well have some sort of an issue going on in the c spine area,right now,from what you have described(by the way,this is a major major reoccuring issue for me as well)this definitely sounds like some real good inflammation of those muscles going on.the key is finding the cause.one thing i have had done like five times now is the trigger point injections?these really work well most times to actually dissapate at least some of the tightness and relax all of those really wadded up muscles back there.my PM does this for me.he just injects mostly at the base of my skull then works his way down thru the neck and under the shoulder blade.i always get a good wad of muscle globbed up under that shoulder blade.these really DO help alot for me.i have some big issues going on within my c spine so this just keeps going away and coming back all the time.

i do think maybe getting an MRI would be a good idea tho just to see whats up in there.tho the inflammation could be stemming from the other back issues you have going on,i would be willing to bet that you do have some sort of 'problem" somewhere within the c spine,most likely lower if this includes the shoulder blade as well.my c spine,like everything else in my body these days is slowly deteriorating.i do have DDD pretty heavy in the upper spine.but if you need good pain relief,quite honestly the TP injections(out of everything else i have tried for these)really did do the best job.i wish ya luck Kathy,keep me posted on what you find out,K?marcia
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Old 09-07-2006, 08:09 AM   #4
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Re: Cervical Disc Pain - What does it mean?

Thanks Karin and Marcia for your thoughts! It does feel like partially muscle pain, that's for sure. I'm going to be seeing my pain management doc in a week, so I'll bring it up with him. With most of the rest of my spine already fused, I'm getting nervous wondering if I've developed some new compression fractures in my c-spine. Osteoporosis has just devestated my spine! When it comes to the trigger point injections....I'm not really sure if I've ever had one. Would it be like something I had 2 months ago when my surgeon injected my back/shoulder blade with a steroid/numbing medication cocktail to treat the bursitus that I was suffering from? The problem for me is that I have to be very, very cautious about any injections with the steroids. A few years back I developed symptoms of Cushings Disease (I think that's the right name for it) after only 3 steroid-type injections in a 9 month period of time. So the docs really try to stay away from those in my treatment. Anyway, I want to get it checked out now because my history shows that if I ignore this sort of pain it usually ends up getting worse and the treatment becomes much more difficult than if I had addressed it when it first developed. Thanks again and I'll wait to hear from either one of you, or others, about the trigger point injection definition. All the best - KathyMac

Last edited by BrittleBones; 09-07-2006 at 08:10 AM.

 
Old 09-07-2006, 03:36 PM   #5
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Re: Cervical Disc Pain - What does it mean?

hi all
Kathmac the pain you are describing sounds alot like my pain,i have many hern dick in my c-spine,ddd,bone spurs, and a spinal compression on my actual spinal cord not the nerve due to major spinal stenosis. However,like others have said it just could be a pulled muscle,i would get it check out ,good luck kelsey

 
Old 09-08-2006, 08:04 AM   #6
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Re: Cervical Disc Pain - What does it mean?

what you described "could" have been some sort of TP injection since it was actually done in the shoulder blade itself.the thing is,with the TPs i am pretty sure that what is injected on me is just a sloution consisting mostly of maricaine?it is just a numbing agent only,not any sort of actual steriod.there is also something else in this solution to help relax the muscle but i do not believe it is any sort of a steriod.just ask you PM about this,he would definitely know if he is the one who is doing the other injections you have had.they can actually inject just about anything into your body these days.kinda scarey thought.but i would look into this for your muscle pain,like i mentioned before,these really DO help with all of my "wads".

your doc would be able to tell you what the muscle involvement is just by palpating the muscles in your upper back.he looks for the wads of tissue and muscle.these ARE the actual trigger points.when he presses down on them,believe me,you will know it.these are what are 'triggering' the other muscle crap.good luck kathy and let us know how things go,K?marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 09-08-2006, 12:42 PM   #7
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Re: Cervical Disc Pain - What does it mean?

Thanks Marcia and Kelsey and everyone else who responded. I'm going to get this checked out next week and will post the results. KathyMac

 
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