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neck spasms headache mri

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Old 07-12-2013, 09:24 PM   #1
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redjb7 HB User
neck spasms headache mri

If it is possible I would like some suggestions on what direction to go. I have started having neck spasms and then headaches the last three months. In September I had a carotid endarterectomy, which left me with a somewhat painful small keloid on the side of my neck. This has just exacerbated my neck problems now. Can't seem to get total relief. I had been on this board in 2009 with some similar neck spasms and headache and had info on my mri which was somewhat explained to me.Eventually my problem in 2009 abated. Now it is back. My first symtoms were at the end of the last year, when I had constant dizziness. The oto- neurologist said it was a neck weakness and sent me to therapy. That seemed to have worked and for a time I was ok. Then I had some very stressful situations at the end of March, and also started to do a bunch of work cleaning boxes out of the garage. Gradually my neck has become worse, and the headaches followed. I have a recent MRI - they did it twice in the last six months. My neuro has shown me where it is narrowed - I was having some occasional bad ear pain also. He sent me to a TMJ clinic and told me to go to a chiro and have the activator method done on my spine (did it for a week and it didn't seem to do much). He did not push pills on me, but did give me some pain meds if I had pain and some valium to take on a rare occassion. Another neuro I had gone to previously gave me muscle relaxants, which I did not respond well to. He also gave me some neuroton, which I also did not like. I do not respond well to medication.
The tmj doc is making me upper and lower mouth pieces, and I have done some pt work with varying degrees of success - mostly only short term. The tmj doc wanted to do some trigger point injections, but I did not see the point when they only last a week.
I would like to figure out how to get some relief from this. It gets worse usually as the day wears on and I am usually ok without taking much pain meds, just living through it. My friend has had spinal injections and swears by them, but I am afraid of that and I think my oto-neuro would rather I go back to the pt who helped me in the first place with the dizziness. I would like to understand a little more about what is going on with my neck if someone could help me. I would also like to get an idea about the drugs. I have a shelf with so many drugs docs have given me, but am worried about taking any of them because of side effects.

The worst one appears to be this:
c5-6 Ths disk space is moderately to severly narrowed. Moderate posterior annular bulge with associated diskogenic osseous ridging is identified which completely effaces the anterior subarachnoid space and yields mild ventral cord deformity and mild spinal stenosis (9.3 mm AP spinal canal dimension). The facet joints are mildly degenerative and hypertrophic. In addition there is minimal right and mild left uncovertebral osteophystosis yielding mild left neural foraminal stenosis. The right neural foramen remains patent.

Here is what the radiologist wrote in his impression
c5-6 mild spinal stenosis and mild ventral cord deformity related t a posterior annular bulge and associated spondylosis.
Mild c6-7 and mild to moderate c7-y1 posterior annular bulges without yield of cord deformity or spinal stenosis.
Mild right c3-4 and mild left c5-6 neural foraminal stenosis.
Multilevel cervical degenerative disk disease, fact joint arthrosis and unconvertebral osteophytosis as detailed above
Loss of the normal cervical lordosis

Any info would be appreciated!!

Last edited by redjb7; 07-12-2013 at 09:31 PM.

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Old 07-13-2013, 05:47 AM   #2
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Re: neck spasms headache mri

I very much doubt - at least, based on your MRI - that anyone would propose surgery. Not yet, anyway. However, that bulging disk has pushed all the way back to your cord, and even slightly deformed the cord. So you're getting to be borderline, and may well need surgery one day.

I don't see a connection between the MRI and your symptoms but, of course, I'm just an amateur...

Old 07-17-2013, 10:11 PM   #3
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redjb7 HB User
Re: neck spasms headache mri

Thanks for the info Webdozer.

Old 08-18-2013, 09:03 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Rabbit01 HB User
Re: neck spasms headache mri

I had neck problems, ear, jaw pain and headakes for the last five years.

The Doctor said it was old age, gave me some exercises and offered a course of physio wich I declined.

I further investigated TMJ and tried a splint, looked at things like forward head posture, trigimenual neuralgia etc.

I recently discovered about the Occipital nerve that exits from both C2 and C3.

My cervical spine was starting to itch, as was the crepitus in the neck.

I went back to the Doctor, and was a lot more pushy, I said I thought I had a trapped nerve, and they offered an MRI.

Sure enough, there were multiple points of foraminal stenosis (C3-C7), bulging disks and a slipped disk.

Problems higher up c2-C4 tend to cause headakes.

Also during this 5 year period I had a frozen shoulder for 2 years and I think that was related - The doctor failed to connect the dots.

I am awaiting an appointment with a spinal specialist.

I hate taking pills, but I have tried Amitrypline and they help with reducing some of the symptoms.

Depending on whick cervical disks are involved, the problems can be different as they interact with different nerves.

The Occipital nerve was my 'ahha' moment as many different problems have similar symptoms.

Good luck with it.

Understanding the cause of the problem is a large part of the battle.

Last edited by Administrator; 08-18-2013 at 09:06 AM.

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redjb7 (08-29-2013)
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