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new here with neck pain and no answers

Carrie.0510CCarrie.0510 Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi, my name is Carrie and I am 26 years old. For over the last year I have been suffering from horrible neck pain/problems. I have been to my regular Dr. 2 times now and have been set-up with an appointment with a specialist. They have sent me to physical therapy (2 different times) and really didn't have any sucess, in fact, at times it seemed to make it worse. They have given me muscle relaxers and other pain medications which sometimes helps, but, the pain always comes back. They did send me for some tests(MRI) this past week, I will find out specific results when I go to my new Dr. I get horrible pain if I move a certain way or hold my head in the wrong position. I also get really bad headaches as well. All of these symptoms have gotten steadily worse over the last month or so. I have read through some of the other information at this site, but, it is a little confusing and overwhelming. I have missed a lot of work lately(almost out of sick leave) and do not want to lose my job. I just can't really work when the pain has been so bad. I am hoping that others who have similar problems could help or offer some suggestions, at least until this new Dr. can give me a diagnosis and treatment etc. Is there anything I can try for the pain now? Are there any questions I should ask my new Dr.? Anything I should be looking for or worried about? Sorry for the long message, I am just about at my wits end and am really looking for some help and answers. Thank you so much! Carrie


  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Welcome to spine health. I'm sorry you're in so much pain. Have you ever tried the thermacare heat wraps? Sometimes they give some relief. I hope your new doctor can give you some answers and solutions.
    Take care and good luck.

  • I have tried those and still do, it does seem to help a little. Heat helps as does ice some time, only if I am sitting perfectly still. Once I start moving around again, the pain starts right back up. Thank you for your response, I do hope I can get some answers and some relief soon! Thanks again, Carrie
  • i'm real sorry you have such pain where you do. i also have problems in the same spots. When really severe here are my suggestions

    1. When really bad: go slow and rest. lay on back with rolled up towel under neck. don't use your arms strenuously
    2. also when pain is really bad put ice on the skin in between your thumb and index finger. take deep breaths.
    3. put ice on temple and also the little bone that sticks out of your head behind ear. :)
    4. there is also a spot in the middle of your eyebrow that indents just a little into skull that helps when ice is held to it.
    5. lay off of sugar in your food :P
    if youre working and cant stay still try using a headband wrapped around your head to secure ice
    hope this helps until your diagnosis and let us pain people know how you make out
    wishing you some pain free moments
    best...pete :* :*
  • Those are really good suggestions, some of which I am kind of doing now. I am hoping that I get some answers/diagnosis this coming week. Thanks for your concern, take care, Carrie
  • I would apply for FLMA asap with your family doctor to save your job. Ask your doctor how many anti inflamatories you may take a day if you reduce the inflammation that will reduce the pain. If your neck muscles are weak after therapy it will be painful but its doing some good. It's like if you are inactive and ran a marathon you would be in pain the next day. I have been dealing with that by swimming and I am sore after wards. each day is suppose to get better and it will take over 12 weeks to heal my muscles from my laminectomy.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • Welcome, although I'm sorry about the circumstances.

    Neck pain is so varied that it is hard to tell what will work for any one person. The easiest thing to do is to try to stay away from pain triggers- using the computer too much, driving, strenuous activity with your arms, lifting heavy weight etc.. By this point you can tell what makes your pain worse and all you can do is avoid it.

    I hope that you get to see the specialist soon. Who did your PCP send you to? Please let us know what the diagnosis is when you get it and try not to worry- I know, easier said than done! Remember that we're here for you and if you need anything just ask.

  • Thanks for the comments and suggestions! My Dr. is sending me to a neurologist(I believe) and that appt. is on Monday afternoon. I did talk to my boss this weekend and they are ok with me missing work until I have a diagnosis and what the possible treatments might be.I am still having horrible neck pain, especially with any type of movement(the worst is turning side to side). I am really just trying to rest and not do anything to make it worse right. I am hoping I can get some answers and relief from this soon! Thanks for all of your respnses! Carrie
  • I was told doing nothing was not good. The muscles will get worse. can u swim? I have a pool and just walk around in it. I squat to get the water to my chin and move left to right and up and down. My pain is a zero in the water.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • I also agree that the last thing you want to do is not move, because your neck will get more stiffer and more painful. Do you have pain radiating down your shoulder to your arm? If so, it may be that a nerve is being pinched and that can be seen on the MRI. I hope it's not the case and that your symptoms resolve. Get well soon and take care :H
  • You must include in the equation muscle pain.
    Neck muscles are notorious for getting very sore and tight, leading to awful headaches as the muscles pull on the head.
    What do you do to irritate your neck?
    Desk job? Computer?
    Driving will aggravate it, too.
    Have a hot bath every night before bed.
    Take magnesium for muscle tightness.
    Ask your doctor to check your neck muscles.
    See a remedial masseuse. These are very careful and fix the problem muscles.
  • Peter I think was really touching on something there. I've had 2 surgeries ACDF C5/C6 and C6/C7 but in between I found the greatest relief in myofasical release therapy. It's a form of therapeutic massage and just worked wonders. I was suffering from one of the worst migraines that just would not go away. Afer a month of treatment the headache was gone and my shoulder muscles finally relaxed for the first time in ages. I know you you've had your appointment by now and probably have been given a plan but this is something to ask your doctor about. They often times don't even suggest it much less offer it. I got referred to another doctor at another hospital after my first surgery and that is where I finally found out about it. Let us know how you are.
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