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What's going on with me? - Long Story

patrick212ppatrick212 Posts: 36
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Chronic Pain
No one can seem to tell me whats going on with me. So I will lay out my symptoms and what I’ve tried and see if anyone can relate. I don’t feel my pain is typical and not one specialist has been able to get a bearing on it. Most say it’s the disc or its not the disc, but that’s it. What else can I try? What does this sound like?

Symptoms started with a stiff neck on 03/05/09
I immediately went a chiropractor, and within 2 weeks of manipulation and massage the stiff neck went away and I was left with the symptoms I have today.
(I really have the feeling that a bad chiropractor made this worse, and it probably would have went away in a week or two as just a stiff neck).

Symptoms / Pain:
1. Constant upper back pain 8 out of 10 days (T3ish – T5ish) feels extremely sore, like I just got done doing the most intense workout. Its usually worse in the morning.
2. Constant neck pain 2 out of 10 days (basically when I don’t feel the upper back pain). The neck pain is more of a nag then a pain and its across the back of the neck. Just a deep annoying nagging feeling.


MRI 1:
1. mild C5/C6 disc herniation causing mild spinal stenosis with NO narrowing of the neural foraminal.

MRI 2:
1. mild C5/C6 disc herniation causing mild spinal stenosis with NO narrowing of the neural foraminal.
2. minimal C4/C5 disc herniation mildly compressing the thecal sac
3. minimal C6/C6 disc herniation.

1. Bilateral C5/C6 radiculopathy

Discography C3-C7:
1. C4/C5 very reactive to pain - Cracked disc
2. C5/C6 reactive to pain - Grade 4 + complete disc herniation
3. C6/C7 Nonreactive to pain - Bulging disc, normal disc

1. Chiropractic manipulation, massage, and acupuncture – tried pretty constant for 3 months
i. 1 out of 10 manipulations would help
ii. 1 out of 10 acupuncture sessions would help

2. 2 bouts of physical therapy
- First time – 6 weeks of cervical retractions
No benefit
- Second time – 6 weeks of upper back & shoulder strength
Little to no benefit

3. Cervical Epidural
- Result:
No benefit

4. Cervical bilateral facet injection
- Result:
No benefit

5. Cervical nucleoplasty (needle inserted in disc using radio waves to reduce disc herniation)
i. C4/C5 disc herniation gone
ii. C5/C6 disc hernation still present
iii. No benefit

6. Lexapro ( incase anxiety played a role) – 8 weeks
i. No benefit
ii. I weened off

7. Naproxen & Mobic – 6 weeks (at separate times)
- No benefit


  • Since the disc test produced symptoms you know the discs are a source of pain.
    Have you seen either a neuro or ortho surgeon who specializes on the spine?

  • Since the disc test produced symptoms you know the discs are a source of pain.
    Have you seen either a neuro or ortho surgeon who specializes on the spine?

  • what is causing your pain but I am sure that you are going through what most of us have gone through.

    It really is a process in order to get a diagnosis. Sometimes a lengthy and frustrating process in order to get any relief at all.

    I am wondering if anyone has taken a look at your lumbar region?

    I had pain in the cervical and lumbar region in the beginning. Just like you I was foolish and went to a chro. When I finally (2 years after onset) found the doc that was able to help me he addressed my lumbar issues first. When I asked about my cervical issues he said let's address the lumbar first because sometimes when we get one area straightened out the other takes care of itself.

    He was correct. I still have cervical issues but after taking care of some of my lumbar issues the cervical pain is barely noticeable.

    I have no idea if this is the same for you but sounds like it may be worth checking out.

    Good luck to you and please keep us posted.
  • Thanks everyone

    JJ Grey,

    who were you working with on your lumbar area? What kind of doc? What treatment did you have done?

    I know there may be some issues in my lumbar because of posture and because I was overweight in my teens, but no-to-minimal pain there so I never had anyone take a good look at it.

    Thanks again,

  • doc is the one that was finally able to help me. See below my signature for treatments that I have received.
  • Thanks JJ, i'll talk with my PM about it at my follow-up
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