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    Old 07-10-2008, 03:01 PM   #1
    TracyAlexa
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    c5-6 physical pain...

    Hello everyone. I am a 36 yr old mom of a 3 yr old. I started having pain around the time I was 4 months pregnant. I have had pain so bad in my chest that I've gone to the ER 3 different times. Always been told the same thing, nothing is wrong. The pain is in my chest, left arm, left leg and neck. Now and then it's back of my head, those pains are pretty sharp. Lately, the left side of my face has been a bit numb. <br>

    Back in Dec / Jan 2008 I went to a neurologist and finally had an MRI done. It reads: Not going to type the stuff out that has no evidence (c2 - c-4). c5-6 says - there is a central and left paracentral disc protrusion present. No mass effect is noted against the cervical cord but there is effacement against the anterior aspect of the thecal sac. (what is that by the way??) The right foramen is widely patent (again on the what is that?). There is a narrowing of the left neural foramen. <br>
    Needless to say, I am not quite sure of what all that means but I was told that surgery should be seriously considered. I am going in for a 2nd opinion on the 17th. In the meanwhile, the pain is just horrible. I sometimes think it must be something else because it's crazy. Has anyone else had c5-6 issues and felt all this pain? Did surgery (or anything else) help?

    Thanks so much!

     
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    Old 07-11-2008, 08:19 AM   #2
    allicat2000
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    Re: c5-6 physical pain...

    I had fusion C5-7 back in Feb 2006 and I would do it all over again. When I woke up in recovery that awful arm pain was gone!! I did not sleep thru the night for about a year prior to that.So yes the surgery is worh it. I went to a neuro surgeon by the way. I personally do not want an ortho Dr working that close to the spinal cord.

    Recently I had to go in and have a posterior surgery to relieve pinched nerves and it is very painful so please opt for anterior if you do have surgery. Good luck and keep me posted.

    Allison

     
    Old 07-11-2008, 10:28 PM   #3
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    Re: c5-6 physical pain...

    I had a C5-C7 fusion which relieved a great deal of my pain. I've recently had some more pain issues, but don't let that discourage you - I tend to be an orthopedic nightmare.

    Even now, with some issues, I am still glad I had the initial surgery. At that time my pain was a 10 out of 10 and now it gets to a max of 6 out of 10.
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    Old 07-13-2008, 04:54 PM   #4
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    Re: c5-6 physical pain...

    tracy, yes, yes, yes. I have horriable chest pain, just like I would assume a heartattack would feel, & all left side like you, arm shoulder & so on, now its just recently gone into the right shoulder & arm. Had a couple doctors think I was having a heart attack to, so many cardiac tests it was unreal. This has been going on for 3/12 yrs. Oddly I know I hurt myself & since I have always had a physical job just thought it would go away, the pain got better for abit but the chest issues magnified, terrable pain going into shoulder & arm I would feel so swollen I felt like I could not get air in, then of course I did not realize at the time I was in terrable muscle spasm, right in the left chest. It did spread into the rib area. Of course the pain all came back with a vengence. Had so many wrong diagnosis that I have muscle damage & am in chronic pain so just started with a Pain management doctor. Had my first set of epicural injections wed.
    Thus far he is treating C6 through T1, I have wondered about C5.
    So at least you know you are not alone. For the longest time I thought I was loosing my mind with all the strange symptoms, not enough showed on my MRI to account for all this. I have since learned doctors put to much faith in all these tests & we suffer for it. If you see this could you please describe your symptoms for me, escpecially the chest area. My fingers have just started to act up & I to the the low back & leg on the left side but have not brought it up to my doctor yet, to afraid of doctors & although I really like my new PM I thought I would get a better feel for him first. Hope to hear from you, Sammy

     
    Old 07-13-2008, 06:53 PM   #5
    TracyAlexa
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    Re: c5-6 physical pain...

    Sammy & everyone else who answered - thanks.

    My symptoms....well...here we go. lol

    Chest pain, it goes from just under my arm pit (about 4 inches down) like the side of my breast but closer to the back. That pain is there all the time. 24/7. Its like a vice is on my rib cage.

    I also get a feeling in my lower left back...kidney area? Anyway, it's terrible. Its like a stabbing pain. That one is less frequent but maybe once a week?

    Middle of the chest...like something is stuck in there. Dead in the middle and its a tight feeling. I burp and try to drink water. Take a million tums but nothing helps until it just goes away.

    Left arm pain, usually its right up near my shoulder, but often it is also in the forearm. This is pretty painful. It's more sharp than dull.

    Wrist and hand, they just HURT pretty much all the time. Left index finger too.

    Head pain..sometimes it hurts to even touch my hair. Today and last night have been awful. I am pretty sure I have TMJ. I was fitted for a mouth guard about 4 yrs ago - my dog ate it - true story and it's very expensive so I purchased one of the Dr's mouth guards the other day. I am going to try it because today I woke up and the headache from last night is STILL here. It's almost 9pm. I've taken 4 extra stre. tylenol and just took a flexerall (sp?).

    Today my face is numb from the eye (left) down to my lip. Not completely numb, but enough that its noticable. And I just had to do a search because you really feel like your insane. I keep thinking, it's an brain disease or something when I know it's the c5-6 or the TMJ. But the mind is a dangerous place. lol

    Left leg hurts almost all the time as well. It is mainly the lower portion but it goes back and forth. Sometimes it's my hip area, most of the time lower.

    Left side of neck, its just sore.

    I am tired all the time because I don't sleep right. Any suggestions on positions or pillows?? I told my mom today, I would give ANYTHING for one day without pain. It's absolutely horrible. The pain itself is manageable BUT having it for YEARS? I am going crazy.

    I developed anxiety over all of this and was put on meds but I am pretty stubborn and only take them in emergencies when it's just too much. Haven't touched one in about 7 mths. It's getting back to that point though. I need to know that this WILL stop one day....

    Last edited by TracyAlexa; 07-13-2008 at 06:56 PM.

     
    Old 07-17-2008, 11:49 PM   #6
    mim
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    Re: c5-6 physical pain...

    Hopefully you have now had your second opinion and I am willing to bet they suggested surgery. I had C5-6 fusion late Sept of '07 and while I am still growing bone and adjusting to other health issues that complicate my pain the surgery was a huge relief. I have regained much of the loss of strength in my right arm, my leg and hip pain are no longer mainly nerve pain but arthritis (hey it all stinks one way or the other), and I finally can rest and have dropped 5 medications from the list I was having to take just to function from the pain of the disc basically choking my spinal cord which is what some of your MRI sounds like. I had the frontal surgery and recovered unbelievably quicker than I did with lumbar surgery. Mainly because there are no muscles cut, just moved out of the way. The scar was really cool for the first 6 weeks and elicited many ooohs and wow that looks gross, but other than that I am healing well. I can only tell you that it helped a lot for me, but you ultimately have to make that decision. Best of luck to you!
    Mim Gregg

     
    Old 07-18-2008, 06:30 AM   #7
    TracyAlexa
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    Re: c5-6 physical pain...

    Healing well? Its 9 or 10 months later! How long does the healing process take?

    I did go to see a neurologist but am going to see a neurosurgeon on the 24th at 3pm. I am guessing surgery as well.

    The pain is still as horrible as it's ever been. Let me ask this, those of you with the issues, does stress make it hurt worse?

     
    Old 07-18-2008, 08:17 AM   #8
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    Re: c5-6 physical pain...

    Oh, absolutely. Stress creates a tension that only fuels the pain in your body. My neurosurgeon said it can take a year and a half with bone graft and hardware to fully feel well. Everyone heals at different rates. I am dealing with spinal arthritis among other things so I am pleased at my personal progress in healing. I hope you can get some relief soon!
    Hang in there,
    Mim Gregg

    Last edited by mim; 07-18-2008 at 08:24 AM.

     
    Old 07-18-2008, 10:10 AM   #9
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    Re: c5-6 physical pain...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TracyAlexa View Post
    I have had pain so bad in my chest that I've gone to the ER 3 different times.
    Although I wouldn't call it "common", there have been several posting on this board about chest pain sending someone to the ER. I did it once myself. I know it hurts and it's scary. That pain originates from the thoracic (chest) spine, which can get wacky when your cervical (neck) spine is having issues. Try sitting up really straight with your shoulders back and down and your chin loosely tucked in. Better yet, try to recline or lay down somewhere with your shoulders and neck supported.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TracyAlexa View Post
    Now and then it's back of my head, those pains are pretty sharp.
    When your neck hurts you unconsciously hold your head, neck and shoulders in a funny position. The muscles tighten up and inflame and the pain can spread up into your head (or into your chest). When you're having that kind of pain, look in the mirror and check your posture. Chances are your shoulders are hunched up and maybe your head is held a little to one side or the other. Try to force yourself to relax those muscles.

    Here's a little bit I found - you can do an online search for neck muscles, neck pain, etc.

    The Scalene muscles which located in front, side and back of the neck have a powerful impact on neck structure and function. They can straighten the normal neck curvature, or even reverse it. The anterior and lateral scalene could compress nerves, and will produce pain and radiation (tingling sensation and numbness) to the neck, shoulder, arm down to the fingers.

    The Upper Trapezius and Levator Scapulae muscles connect the cervical vertebrae to the shoulder blades (scapulae) and upper thoracic spine. While in a spasm they will produce pain to the back of the neck, to the shoulder and headaches.

    The S.C.M. (Sternocleidomastoid) muscle is connected from the clavicle (collar bone) to the side of the neck under the ear. When in spasm, it produce headaches stiff neck, and pain to the jaws, and side of the neck.

    Until you get things sorted out with a neurologist, try to arrange for physical therapy and/or massage. The PT can help you learn some safe neck and shoulder stretches and the massage would maybe help work out some of your stiffness. Or you can look for stretches online, but be careful and do everything gently, don't overstretch or you'll just hurt yourself more.

    Hope that, one way or the other, you are able to find some relief. Chronic pain can be very stressful!

     
    Old 07-18-2008, 02:53 PM   #10
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    Re: c5-6 physical pain...

    Tracy, you have alot of the same symptoms I have, in fact I really feel for you. I dont have it going into the head area, thank god. Just get the worst headaches if anyone messes with my neck. All the rest, chest, rib, even going into the hip area, shoulder, into the arm, & down.
    I will get the worst stabbing pain smack in the center of the chest. I can feel swelling or heaviness in the left chest area, that will set off some breathing issues for me at time then can come the anxiety if if gets to bad.
    It has progressed into the entire left rib cage, & that can hurt.
    The epidurals gave me some relief but through overdoing it at work I can feel it getting out of control, had a pain leve of at least an 81/2 this morning, I could have just cried. No movement in my left arm until later in the morning. I hate that feeling of being so inflammed.
    It sure sounds like you have some nerve issues, I am not that knowlegable about all of this yet, but I wonder if there are any types of injections (diagnostic) to see if thats the case. Something like I went through. I know it does not work for everyone but I know of couple people who had relief & there were more able to pinpoint more of the problemed areas. Such as what areas were causing what pain.
    I do feel for you, today was awful & I stayed on ice for the most part. PLease let us know what is said at your appointment. I hope you can find some relief. Sammy

     
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