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Weird symptoms! Could this all be from my bad neck?

ouchoouch Posts: 107
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Whenever I tell my PCP about all of my symptoms he looks at me like I am out of my mind: tingling in the legs at various times in various places (no pain), weak right arm AND weak right leg (that began about the same time), vertigo, spasms in arms, legs, trapezius, lats, calves, butt, severe left shoulder and upper back pain, tingling in the back of the head, occasional urinary issues (sometimes urgency, sometimes difficulty getting all the urine out, sometimes leaking (GYN doc says everything is fine). One chiropractor and a neurosurgeon say a lot of this is due to lower back injury/issues, but my lower back doesn't hurt but once in a blue moon. An orthopedist and my PCP said it is all caused by my C-spine issues. MRIs show severe herniation at C4-5 and C6-7, bulges at C2, 3, 5, and ddd in cervical ddd in L-spine (one big bulge but no herniations). Does anyone else have these whacky symptoms? Are they all from cervical degeneration and herniations? What in the world is causing all of this? (MRI does show impingement on the spinal cord at C4-C5, but nothing major.)
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Comments

  • Hi and welcome!!

    Wow sorry your having so many issues. Personally I would investigate this more. Some of your symptoms sound like they could be other underlying conditions. I'm not a professional by no means So I do not want you to take this to heart or to scare you.
    The severe herniation could be causing your vertigo, tingling in your arm , spasms in your arms. But of course I cannot perdict that.
    With my cervical all I had was headaches and numbness/tingling in my left side.

    I would really ask to get more testing into other conditions.

    So I would push hard for further testing. If allowable with insurance/money issues.

    Hang in there!!!
  • Keep in mind however that anything we say here are opinions only and should not be taken as medical opinions/advice.

    I do agree with Terri in that this should be investigated further,and could be,COULD be underlying conditions.Having said that,I too have cervicle DDD and a LOT of pain in my left shoulder.It got really bad at the end of June/beg. of July and has since settled down somewhat.It can still cause me some aggrievation(sp),but nothing like it was July & August.

    If you have lower back problems as well that don't cause you as much pain as your cervicle~keep in mind,and this much I know to be true~just because you are not having the pain from your lower back problems does not mean that you will not have the other symptoms.Of course it doesn't mean that you will either.Does that make sense???

    Some people think that where the pain comes from is the BIG issue,or the MAIN issue,and though pain IS an issue,it is not the only problem.Some people that have cervicle DDD don't have any pain at all.

    I'm not very good tonight at trying to explain myself,and I saw you post in another thread and thought you explained things great~so I should probably not even post this... :))( ,but I'm a slow typer & I already typed it out so.Anyway,I'm DX'ed with cervicle DDD.I do have other issues,but not spine,so going w/that I have the shoulder pain,muscle spasms in my back and Lt arm,numbness in my Lt thumb and tingling in fingers,pain in bicep & tricep(LT),but that is almost gone now...ok not gone,just not as frequent.

    Once in a while when I stand up my legs feel weird...like I'm going to lose control,weak,but no pain..It's a very strange feeling and I haven't told my Dr about it yet.I think this is unrelated.

    I don't think that your PCP should be looking at you as if you are "out of your mind"~I believe he should be taking you seriously.You mentioned DDD in cervicle and lumbar?The L COULD be causing your other symptoms from what I have read from the articles here on the site.I don't have any T or L issues so know nothing from experience in that dept.,but you could follow the links and read some of the articles here.I would copy/paste a couple good ones I have read,but just earlier I tried doing that at the end of a post and lost everything I typed.I was so mad...lol

    Good Luck in your quest.
  • :) Yes, you have classic symptoms of cervical problems. I too have numbness, tingling and dizziness from my cervical problems which I am having surgery for in two weeks. Ask the PCP for a proper assessment with a neurologist or orthopedist. If he or she won't do it, have an MRI or further tests...and change PCP.
    Get a proper assessment, stay away from Chiropractors around the neck area they can cripple you, and start PT or have surgery depending what the doctors say.
    Good luck!
  • Thanks so much for your advice/support. You don't know what it means to me to have others out there sharing/experiencing so much stuff. Take care and thanks again.
  • I also have cervical DDD, along with issues in every other area of my spine. 9 disc problems at last MRI. None of them surgical candidates, but painful and annoying nonetheless.

    My doc has stated that the numbness and pin-prickly feelings I have in my extremities, is due to all of these discs. And he said he wouldn't be surprised if the year of strenuous PT that my origional PM doc "forced" me into, didn't do further harm, rather than good.

    I haven't been to a chiro, but have a friend who was made so much worse by doing just that. Personally, I wouldn't even go near one. But there are people who swear by chiros.

    Please don't let this current doc or docs bully you into just suffering through this. If there are any good pain management docs in your area or even if you have to travel a bit, it can be so worth it. My PM doc is 50 miles away, and I would go farther if I had to. He has changed my life for the better. There really are good docs out there.

    Good luck and I hope you can find someone competent and compassionate to help you with your problems. Mitzi
  • Mitzi, if that doesn't make you a surgical candidate, what does? Goodness sake. Thank you for the advice. Yep, I am one of those who swear by GOOD chiropractors. After my car accident a year ago, a chiropractor really helped me to get back to work. Not all are as good/gentle/careful as him though. Supposedly, chiros can manipulate you and help with the pins and needles stuff sometimes. But the danger is there, of course, of making things worse if you don't find a good one. 2 docs want to do surgery on me thus far, but can't decide what to do. So, i am going in for a yet 3rd appointment/opinion with an OS. Matelasse, I am so thankful to hear someone else gets dizziness and or vertigo. I don't feel so much like an alien! I can't go see a chiro...my doc won't authorize it. grrrrrrrrrrr. I am a WC case, so they also won't authorize a neurologist. But I am blessed because they are sending me to NS and OS and authorized a third opinion. Whew.....
    Thank you all so much for your support
  • But, for me to agree to any surgery at this point, it would have to be unbearable. I've had 3 friends/family members who've had "the gamut". (Including indoscopic discectomy, which is much less invasive, as well as full traditional laminectomies and fusions) In all three cases, each person ended up worse off than before surgery, or only had a short period of relief before requiring another surgery.

    The NS that I mentioned would have had me on the OR table within 2 weeks and he was talking a 3 level fusion and laminectomy/discectomy, and frankly, I got a bit freaked. I went for a second and third opinion, and the other 2 NS's disagreed with surgery at that point. So for now, I've chosen route #2, which is to utilize my (excellent) PM doc and maintain a full regimine of modalities to help manage the pain. I've been very lucky in that I qualified for SSDI, and wasn't in a position to have to go back to work. I suppose if I didn't have such a great PM program or had to work or still had young children at home, I might have to consider a surgical route. But for now, I get by with a pretty decent quality of life without it.

    For me, the possibility that I could end up in worse pain than I have now, is just too risky. So far, there's not enough of a guarantee for marked improvement. Maybe I'm waiting for that new space aged miracle procedure that gives a 100% guarantee (LOL)! Wouldn't that be amazing?? I guess what I'm saying, in a long winded, round-about way, is that I am not ready to commit to going under the knife with my current chances.

    I applaud you for pursuing further opinions. I know that surgery has been a real Godsend for many people. But, it is a major decision and not one to be made lightly. With the medical advances we have in this day and age, and the high level of expertise out there, many people have had success, but in my humble opinion, it still bears doing the research and the soul searching, before having a major surgery of any kind. I truly wish you the best in your quest. I don't envy you the choices you have ahead of you. But it certainly sounds like whatever you decide, it will be an informed decision, and therefore the right one for you.

    Take care and be well. Mitzi



  • I have some of the same symptoms and my doctor that got fired for not doing paperwork right said it has nothing to do with the neck. And I am like you my back only hurts once in a blue moon or if I am doing the dishwasher for a long period of time. I mean, I have some of the same symptoms. My body does fall asleep quicker when I am sitting up is another symptom I am notcing. I am starting to think it is related to the cervical area becasue that's all of the place I have the DDD and buldging disc in. I haven't received any evaluations by orthos or neuros because no one will accept me becuase of my age. I am too young to have this stuff is what most of them say and it's all in my head. Ugh, they need to ask my band nurse about my spells they are bad on friday nights because I have to hold up a flute for so long.
  • Oh dear, I really hate it when doctors put us in categories and then make assumptions based on what you should or shouldn't be feeling. I was in the spine health chat room the other night and there was a 19 and a 17 and a 22 year old in there who had very serious spinal problems. Among those were ddd, bulges, pain, etc. I see that you have not been seen by a specialist such as a orthopedic surgeon, neurologist, or a neurosurgeon. How severe are your symptoms? What are you feeling? How long have you been having these symptoms? Sorry they aren't listening to you. Let me know what's going on.
  • I understand your "weird" symptoms. I haven't had a lot of back pain, except for a vague pain between my shoulder blades. My worst problems are vertigo, numbness in my tongue and lips, "shocking" sensations in my head and eyes when I move a certain way, and HEADACHES. I just found out that these problems are "probably" stemming from a herniated cervical disc. (I had an MRI last week which showed a herniated c5/c6 disc). Both of my parents have DDD so I probably do too, I just haven't gotten that far in my diagnosis. So far, I'm still waiting for my first appointment with a Neurosurgeon. Please keep us updated on what you find out and know that you aren't alone. I'm curious because we seem to be in the same symptom boat.... :<
  • Hello everyone and thank you for your posts. My OS showed in detail how large my disc herniation is (it is about 1/2 the size of my spinal cord!). It is pressing hard against the spinal cord--so hard in fact that that back of the spinal cord is actually pressing against the bone and there is very little space back there. So, he is pretty certain that all or most of my symptoms are from some myelopathy at the C4-5 level from spinal cord compression. So, off to surgery I go. I don't know when yet, but it won't be too long. Looks like I will be doing an artificial disc after all.
  • Hi everybody! :H

    I'm new here... 45 yrs. old and falling to pieces :(

    I was in a MVA accident a year and a half ago, and I am still in major pain. I have three herniations. Cervical,Thoracic, and Lumbar. Like most of you, I have been through, PT, shots,meds,chiro, lemme see did I forget anything? The lower herniations have subsided a bit but the neck will not let up.

    I've had every test imaginable. Finally three weeks ago, a Cervical Discogram in 4 places. Now that,was horrendous.
    Turns out 2 discs are bad, C3/4 and C5/6. I have a choice the Ortho. Surgeon said,

    1. Do nothing... (Yeah Ok)
    2. ADR... Which he kind of passed over quickly. (How come?)
    3. Fusion at 1 or 2 places... but that may put too much pressure on the surrounding discs...So he said I could do the worse one, and then do the other later if it bothered me... But who would want to endure that procedure again?

    So here is the question... What would you guys do?
    also, what kind of recoup. period am I looking at? I have to get back on track asap. Which would be the more likely to enable me to do so?

    I'm kinda stubborn, so I'll make sure I do what I have to.

    Oh by the way... I have to make my mind up in 2 weeks. I don't want to prolong this it's making me nervous. Any advice would be greatly be appreciated.

    Thank you!

  • I have heard both very good things and very bad about ADR. I have heard the same about fusions! It is a very, very hard decision. IF the ADR goes well, I have heard that the recovery time is far shorter than fusion. But, of course, that is IF the ADR goes well and you are one of those people who flourish with it. I would ask your doc why he/she believes you are not a candidate for artificial disc replacement. Is it because they have not experience with them? If so, it is becoming more popular, so I would recommend getting another opinion (I recommend more than one surgical opinion anyway.) Why do you have to make up your mind in 2 weeks? What is the rush? In general, surgery is nothing you want to rush in to. LIke I said, many say YES for ADR and many say dread even doing it in the first place (or regret any kind of surgery). It is such a difficult decision isn't it??? I am having a heck of a time trying to decide what to do. In the meantime, my right leg and arm are getting weaker and I cramping so hard on my right forearm I think I could play tennis on it! Let me know what you decide to do. The best of luck to you all!
    Laura
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