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  • cervical problems/anxiety link?

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    Old 06-05-2003, 07:50 PM   #1
    stolie
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    Post cervical problems/anxiety link?

    Just wondering if anyone else has developed anxiety problems along with their neck problems. When my neck first started showing severe symptoms 10 years ago, I had my first panic attack around the same time. To this day, whenever it acts up, my anxiety is through the roof. Sometimes I feel like I'm not getting enough blood flow to the head!

     
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    Old 06-05-2003, 11:06 PM   #2
    PsychLea
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    Anxiety and depression go hand in hand with chronic health problems. Like I tell my patients, "you can't cut your head off of your body, what affects your body also affects your mind."

    If you are prone to anxiety, the extra stress of health problems can really make it worse. Are you taking anything for your panic attacks?



    ------------------
    God bless,

    Lea

    C4-5 noncompressive disc displacement
    C5-6 compressive disc displacement
    C6-7 broad based disc protrusion encroaching on the anterioposterior aspect of the spinal canal.
    DDD
    ACDF C6-7 5/13/03 with titanium plate,4 screws, and no collar postop.
    __________________
    God bless,

    Lea

     
    Old 06-06-2003, 06:13 AM   #3
    Memer
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    Hi Stolie,

    I don't have panic attacks, but I do have a short fuse when I'm in a lot of pain. With very intense pain, I just clam up. I also fear future surgeries. I guess that comes with the territory.

    Walking is good for anxiety. It gets rid of all that nervous energy and calms you down. For postop, it helps with healing/fusion.

    The next time you get a panic attack, see if you can take a walk and let us know if it helps. I know, though, that time to go for a walk and anxiety don't usually happen at the same time.



    [This message has been edited by Memer (edited 08-05-2003).]

     
    Old 06-07-2003, 10:21 AM   #4
    stolie
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    Yes, Lea, I'm taking Celexa for anxiety. And Memer, the walking is helping, thanks! But I do notice still that times at which my neck is stiffest (I have degenerative changes at C5-6 and C6-7, though I'm told there's no need for surgery yet), my breathing patterns change and I start to get lightheaded. When I'm at work or out with friends and it starts to happen, it's the worst. I guess it's probably the pain and stiffness just aggravating what already is a predisposition to anxiety.

    Thanks for the feedback and advice!
    Dave

     
    Old 06-07-2003, 11:49 AM   #5
    janie francine
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    Hi Dave,
    My issues are also in the same area as yours. I, too, feel very light-headed and dizzy when my neck is acting up. If I turn my body too quickly I often have to catch my balance. Sometimes when I'm sitting I also have this vertigo-like feeling. I haven't noticed a breathing change, but am wondering if that can be attributed to the pain. I believe we breathe more shallowly (is that a word?) when we're in pain.

    Take care and keep us posted.
    Jeanine

     
    Old 06-07-2003, 04:17 PM   #6
    stolie
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    Hi Jeanine,
    I get that vertigo like feeling too sometimes when I turn my head. As for the breathing, I don't know if it's the pain or the muscle tightness (I have shoulder problems and upper-back problems as well that go hand in hand) or what, but yes, my breathing gets shallow when the pain is bad. When this all acts up, I just feel like retreating to bed.
    I was just curious if I was the only one who experienced the heightened anxiety hand-in-hand with the pain symptoms, and it definitely sounds like I'm not. Thanks again everyone.
    Dave

     
    Old 06-07-2003, 06:04 PM   #7
    Renee016
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    Stolie - I suffer from anxiety from time to time, although I've never been clinically diagnosed. And yes, when I'm feeling stressed, my pain is worse all around. In fact, I've noticed that whenever I get seriously upset with anyone, I get physically ill the next day.

    It's interesting that you mention shallow breathing because what I've found to help tremendously is deep breathing excercises. It relaxes the body, clears the mind and brings more oxygen to your tissues and organs. Recently I found a great breath excercise called the "Six Healing Sounds". It's based on Qi-Gong philosophy which states that different emotions get trapped in different parts of the body. Sadness in the lungs, anger in the liver, etc. On the out-breath you exhale these negative emotions and then breath in more positive ones, like courage, gentleness and joy.

    I've been doing this once or twice a week for about six months and it is starting to really make a difference. I can calm myself down more easily when I feel like I'm getting upset. Also, it's great to do before bed if you have trouble sleeping - you just drift off with a quiet mind.

    If you're interested there is a book that tells you how to do it. Just type "six healing sounds" into the search bar and you'll find it. It's by Mantak Chia.

    Hope you feel better.
    Renee

    ------------------
    1982 Fusion surgery for scoliosis with stainless steel Harrington Rod (T5 - L3) using pelvic bone for grafting
    1999 Neck problems began
    2001 Cervical Kyphosis
    2002 Diagnosed with Epstein-Barr (level was 7+) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    2003 3 Herniated Cervical Discs - C4 thru C7. One disc (C5-6) pressing on the spinal cord (no nerve root compression) causing leg weakness, tingling, burning and numbness - diagnosed with myelopathy and ACDF recommended.
    2/24/03 One-Level Anterior Cervical Discectomy with donor bone and titanium plate (C5-6)
    __________________
    1982 Fusion surgery for scoliosis with stainless steel Harrington Rod (T5 - L3) using pelvic bone for grafting
    1999 Neck problems began
    2001 Cervical Kyphosis
    2002 Diagnosed with Epstein-Barr (level was 7+) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    2003 3 Herniated Cervical Discs - C4 thru C7. One disc (C5-6) pressing on the spinal cord (no nerve root compression) causing leg weakness, tingling, burning and numbness - diagnosed with myelopathy and ACDF recommended.
    2/24/03 One-Level Anterior Cervical Discectomy with donor bone and titanium plate (C5-6)
    Post 2/03 - Symptoms returned and worsening. Weakness in my legs is like walking against a 50 mph wind - pain in lower back and all the way down my right leg to the ankle - vertigo, muscle spasms in trunk and legs
    7/03 EEG, BAERS and MRI of brain all normal
    7/03 MRI of lumbar spine showed mild herniated disc (L4/5) with moderate to severe DDD and edema in the endplates. HOLDING OUT FOR ARTIFICIAL DISC REPLACEMENT!

     
    Old 06-11-2003, 03:49 PM   #8
    calico angel
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    I had my first panic attack on a plane the same week I was rearended, causing the herniated discs. The panic attack was a few days before the accident(on my birthday!). I had DDD already and have had symptoms for 20 years.
    I had the panic attacks for maybe two to three years after and was on meds for it, but I don't think they really helped. I think I just worked through it myself, no therapy, and I'm actually wanting to fly again! It got so bad I would have them any time I was driving or whatever. No warning.
    Good luck and I wish you the best.
    Kelley

    ------------------
    Kelley
    Symptoms dating back to 1986?
    Rear-ended 1999
    Disc herniations C5-6 & C6-7
    DDD diagnosed 2002
    Surgery scheduled for 6-25-03
    __________________
    Kelley
    Symptoms dating back to 1986?
    Rear-ended 1999
    Disc herniations C5-6 & C6-7
    DDD diagnosed 2002
    Surgery scheduled for 6-25-03

     
    Old 06-16-2003, 06:17 AM   #9
    I'd rather be Running
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    Talking

    Sorry for the late response, but I have been out. I did a lot of research regarding panic attacks and even consulted with an endocrinologist. I learned that research has found that people who are predisposed to panic attacks will have a panic attack when sodium lactate is administered. A person without this predisposition will not have this reaction.

    You body produces lactate when you have strenuous exercise. Hyperventilation has also been shown to cause panic attacks. Chronic stress and pain increases the release of norepinephrine which results in anxiety and panic attacks. I have had this panic response after strenuous running races, asthma attacks, a really bad neck spasm and when I am seriously sick. I must be one of those with the genetic disposition towards these attacks, since I pass the lactate and hyperventilation response test.

    Severe neck pain can cause you to hyperventilate and also would increase norepinephrine, so it would be related to panic attacks. Medication or controlled breathing can get you through the attack. I also learned this self-talk tool. Keep telling yourself (while you are slowing down your breathing) that "I am my safe place". It sounds silly but it does seem to work. When you feel panicy, there seems to be no safe place.

    I hope that some of this helped, since panic is a terrible feeling.
    Holly


    You can do a search on panic attacks and sodium lactate to find some of these studies and articles.

    ------------------
    C3-4 through C6-7 disc herniations, three with cord contact.
    C2-C7 Severe right facet degneration with significant forminal stenosis.
    C5-6 & C6-7 Severe spondylosis
    __________________
    C3-4 through C6-7 disc herniations, three with cord contact.
    C2-C7 Severe right facet degneration with significant forminal stenosis.
    C5-6 & C6-7 Severe spondylosis
    7/29/03 Foraminotomy with cord decompression C5/6,C6/7

     
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