Went to a new pain dr today and he gave me a physical exam, feeling the deep muscles in the neck. He was very thorough, and this is the first time that any such examination has been done.
His opinion was that the x-rays didn't indicate anything really bad for the nerves, and that my very tight and sore muscles were probably more likely to be the cause of my neck and shoulder pains.
I tend to agree with him as I've always had a problem with muscle tension, particularly from stress. The computer is my biggest muscle pain contributor.
He explained with a muscle chart which of mine were tight. It matched my symptoms exactly.
Physios would send me away saying that I was too tense to work on!
So he has suggested a Clinical Exercise Physiology Program, which once learnt can be continued at home as a regular exercise regimen.
He was not keen to maintain the steroid injections, feeling that it is not a good long term plan, though he didn't elaborate.
He said that he would recommend a rhizotomy (nerve burning) instead, as it lasts much longer, if the nerves are in fact a problem.
So for others with neck and shoulder pain, I'd suggest that you also have yourself checked out for severe muscle tension. Hopefully easier to treat and not so much medication.