Hello, I decided after a few years of noticable tingeling in my left shoulder to get an MRI.
I never even associated the upper back and elbow pain as any indication of a spine problem. I associate it with aging, arthritis, tendonitis. I did however suspect the persistant tingeling with a potential neck problem.
When I talked with the spine specialist. He showed me my MRI With some stenosis at C5-6 and C6-7 the disc space is vertually gone and there are bone spure. Cervical degenerative disc disease is the dx.
Because I am not in severe pain and am managed conservatively- mostly rest heat and ibuprophen. He told me to come back when I can't stand it any more. He said the pain will most likely bring me back in. How bad did your pain get before seeking help. He also said that it would feel like someone stuck me in the back with a screw driver and is twisting it. Now I am more focused on the deep aches and pains that I have.
It is kinda scarey that he informed me -- in any motor vehicle accident is would be more likely to sustain a neurological deficit.
He warned me of neurological symptoms to look for, like a decline in handwriting or loss of balance and having difficulty buttoning shirts.
Any way, I get that there is no time table on worsening of the condition, Maybe years, months or days.
He also discussed some injections that may relieve the pain. He did not offer any kind of muscle relaxant or pain pills.
I would be interested in how your neck problems present and what things you do to alleviate pain.