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23 and my neck problems

ShamoSShamo Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi I'm here in search of advice and help. My condition is strange because it doesn't seem serious compared to other people's problems on here but I'm still experiencing ongoing pain. It started just over a year ago when I woke up with a headache at the back of my head. To this day I still have the same headache but it has lessoned a lot. X rays show I have lost the curve in my cervical spin have. I constantly have a sore neck which sux because I do so much sport and love it. I've had pysio like massage, dry needling, accupuncture on and off for a year and have been taking anti inflamitries on and off for a year also. It all helps in the short term but a couple of days later, sure enough, the pain is back. Has anyone experienced anything similar to this? It really gets to me and sends me into depression sometimes. I will be a teacher in 6 months. I'm only 23 this shouldn't be happening! BTW I have't had a car accident or anything horrific happen to my neck before.


  • Looks like you have been trying treatments at random without having a diagnosis in the first place.
    Neck problems are very common, particularly with the electronic devices that we make a part of our lives.
    Soft tissue and nerve problems won't show up on an X-ray.
    X-rays themselves can be difficult to interpret.
    Id suggest you have the cervical spine carefully examined by a physiotherapist to ascertain if any joint is out of alignment or lacking movement.
    If so, gentle coaxing should fix it at the same session.
    If there is nothing wrong there, it may be muscular or soft tissue damage, putting a lot of tension on your neck/ head area.
    Have a remedial massage to check that all the upper back and neck muscles etc are not knotted, and are able to do their jobs properly.
    Don't leave it long.
  • First off, Welcome to Spine Health!! Sorry to hear that you had to join here at such a young age! Many times a curve can be removed (loss of lordosis) due to muscle spasm. I crashed a helicopter a month before my 23rd birthday, and I was deemed with sprains and strains throughout my spine. 8 months of therapy later, I was "good to go"....little did I know!

    My pain was kept under control until 7 years ago. Have they had you get an MRI yet? If they offer one, see if you can find an MRI that offers "positional" (or stand up) - you're really sitting for the MRI. This way your doctor (hopefully a spine specialist) sees your spine "under load." I bring this up Shamo because with me, and NO curve in my neck, a recumbent MRI shows almost nothing, but when I am under load, the hernia's showed up bigger than stink!

    Hopefully (since you didn't describe any issues beyond the neck), they will find that there are many conservative methods to help with your pain. Please let us know how it goes! *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks for replying guys. I havent been doing things at random its been a process. The first thing I did was get an mri scan and xrays with the only abnormaility being the straight cervical spine and a bend in my lumbar spine. I then went through months of physio with short term help but nothing long term. Then I tried a variety of meds such as amitryptiline, lyrica etc without much help. I am now about to start chrio but I'm wondering if it's going to be a waste of money. Is there even any proof that shows the improvement in spinal position after chiro? When i stand in front of a mirror I am way out of position. One hips higher than the other, so is one shoulder etc. Could this be causing a stress on the neck leading to the pain? Chiro's say yes, but other doctors I have seen have said they have seen people with worse spines than mine who arent experiencing any pain. It's really frustrating.
  • Howdy Shamo,

    Where I posted "my pain was controlled until 7 years ago", it was controlled primarily thanks to Chiropractic care. I am all for chiropractors *if* you have no disk injuries or issues involving nerves. My chiropractor is the one that realized that there was more going on in my neck than an x-ray could show as my treatments that normally had me good to go weren't working all of a sudden. Also too, I was starting to have much more pain in my neck, and now it was going down my shoulder/arm and index finger. He ordered the MRI, and the hernia was right there!

    He then refused to manipulate my neck - though continued TENS and gentle massage. He referred me at that point to Neurology and it went from there. A couple of months after I crashed, I could barely move! By example, the pain was searing if I tried to reach the knobs on the radio in my car! A Neurologist who was also trained in Chiropractor examined me and found I had "double scoliosis." He made NO promises, but 8 months later, pain well under control, and my spine was once again straight, and curved the way it was suppose to be! :)

    A large number of areas in my spine now have disks affecting nerves, the days of me and chiropractic manipulation are at an end. The 2 chiropractors I used over 18 years post crash, I give 10 stars! No regrets at all. I'm sure others may chime in on their experiences. Many on here are anti-chiro, but I am too now again *IF* there are disk issues and nerve issues going on, otherwise I am all for what chiropractor can offer. Hope that helps. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Brenda it's good to hear from someone who can guarentee that chrio fixed their spine. Thankyou. It's just hard because I went to a sports doctor who has been really good to me over the years and he said that because he couldnt see anything wrong on the xrays (besides the straight spine which he believes is a common issue and is not a big contributor to pain), he believes that my constant obsession and worry about my issue is leading to the muscle tension that is causing me pain. He thinks I should try psychology and try and mentally move on and accept that there may not be a medical solution to my problem. And by doing that I will relax and eventually my muscle tension will subside. Along with massage and such. I don't know whether to go down that path yet...I don't think I can accept that yet...
  • Howdy Shamo,

    From all the research I've been able to do (and I am 48+ btw), the crash basically predisposed many areas of my spine to weaken and now as I am seeing herniate. My chiropractic treatment for me allowed me to continue in my career. 30 years as an active helicopter and jet pilot - we are VERY restricted on what medications we can take and fly! Without chiro, I would have lost my career years ago. For 2 months shy of 20 years, I was also a law enforcement officer. So active and aggressive careers all rolled into one. I had to retire 2 years before my initial plan, but I planned for it, so it is working out well.

    So, for me, it did help a lot. Stress and worry can cause spasms Shamo. Many feel that a loss of Lordosis is due to stress which translate into spasms and the neck straightens. A good chiropractor using massage, heat, TENS and manipulation can knock some of that out. If that happens, then you tend to feel better, and the stress starts to drop, and as such, hopefully (it worked that way for me okay?) he/she can get you adjusted and close to pain free. Please let us know how it works out for ya. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi Brenda. Thanks again. You certainly have lived an exciting carreer. I'm from Australia and have a great opportunity to play Aussie Rules Football at a very high standard. Just below the National Comp. I played this year using pain killers which is not ideal as you can understand. What is TENS? Did you get traction? I've seen a lot of discussion about traction being used to help loss of lordosis.
  • Shamo,

    TENS = Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Basically it is a (most times) portable you can wear on your belt. You have wires and the electrodes that you place per the nerve issue. Your PT or doctor will know what settings you need. It is to stimulate the nerves (not the muscles - muscle reaction = too high on the settings) and help re-educate them if the damage isn't permanent.

    EMS is for muscle stimulation. If you had wasting (loss of muscle), this unit tends to help if the nerve "information" isn't destroyed, and help you recover your muscles.

    Traction. I know for me, with the way my disks were herniated (to include now), that was a bad idea for me. If your disks are just bulging a little bit or maybe a small hernia, they use this to see if they can get the pressure off, and allow the disk to heal/dry up and shrink back in. It was never advised for me to do - could have caused more damage.

    Thanks. No regrets on my sports or career. If I had it to do all over, would I have changed it? I guess the short answer is no. (G) I loved what I did, and am now adjusting still to my "new normal." hehee.. Yeah, be careful with pain meds and contact sports! Something can get hurt, and you might not know for hours! *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hello Shamo and Welcome to SH!! This is a wonderful and caring site, as you can already see...LOL:)!!

    I am very sorry that you are starting down this path of pain at a young age.....it is no fun, I got hit by a car when I was 9 and that started it all for me:(.

    Please keep on pushing for your health!! You are your only advocate to get yourself to a point that you can live with!!

    Brenda is one of the most wonderful...compasionate and loving people that I have ever met...well internet met..LOL. She is VERY knowledgable!! Luv ya Brenda!! ♥:)
  • PollyR said:
    Brenda is one of the most wonderful...compasionate and loving people that I have ever met...well internet met..LOL. She is VERY knowledgable!! Luv ya Brenda!! ♥:)

    Aawww stop, you're making me blush! (G) I do appreciate the wonderful words. You're pretty compassionate and loving yourself woman!! Knowledgeable, Lol! No thanks to my crappy spine! (G) What a way to learn this stuff huh Polly! *HUGZ* What's that, "Live it to learn it?" Argh! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Cheers guys really appreciate the support. The hardest part about this is that no one can give me an answer. Well, everyone seems to think they know but nothing helps long term. It's so hard getting up every day in pain and trying to stay positive. If nothing works then eventually I'm going to have to go down painkiller road. Does anyone know if there are pain killers that are safe to take long term? Panadol doesnt help me but anti inflamatries and ibifuren take the pain pretty well. Codeine takes every ounce of pain away so I'm assuming that stronger pain killers like opiods would aswell. It's just that at age 23, what are the effects going to have on my body by the time I'm 35?
  • Shamo, I get the same pain in the back of the head at the base of the skull. I've had 15 years worth of monthly Chiro adjustments for the lumbar and neck and the neck pain still came back.
    I still have this problem and I use Tiger Balm to relieve the pain, Ibuprofen works also but I'm against using it because I feel that it is unsafe to use.

    Tiger Balm and painkillers are only Band-Aids for the problem. In my case my,neck ligaments are damaged and I will be getting Prolotherapy injections next year to strengthen them with the intention of ending the problem once and for all.
    I'm getting Prolotherapy injections in my lumbar now and I expect it to have the same great results on my neck as I'm getting with my lumbar.

    Good luck
  • Ozone that's good news. I am envious that you've found the source of your problem. I went to the sports doctor the other day who is really experienced and asked about injections. I asked if I could get cortizone or something like that to really help with the inflamation and relax the muscles. I'm not completely sure if that's the problem but when I take anti inflamatries it really helps the pain. He said he wasn't willing to give me a jab as there is nothing that has showed up on the mri's or xrays besides the straightened cervical spine which he believes isn't the cause of the pain. I forgot to mention that I have a pressure feeling in my head. Like when I hold my breath and push, i can feel a very uncomfortable pressure inside my head. I'm really hoping that the position of my spine is causing all of this and that when I fix that, my pain will subside.

    Thanks again so much for the insight.
  • Shamo, My back muscles used to spasm alot and the reason was that my ligaments were weak and that caused strain on my muscles which made them spasm. This is a common problem and overlooked by the usual lamestream (mainstream) doctor. I've been to more than my share of these Doctors, PT's and Chiros and not one of them talked to me about ligament problems. It wasn't until I read what doctors who use Prolo to treat chronic joint pain had to say about ligament damage that I learned the truth.
    You can learn more about this by searching youtube using "Prolotherapy Lecture".

  • Did you get this kind of therapy? Did it help your situation ozone?
  • Yes I've been getting Prolotherapy injections in my lumbar for my lower back and leg pain and it has helped a lot. I will be having having Prolo done to my neck next year.
  • I had a look at that link you sent me Ozone. I also had a look at some vision of prolo being done on the neck. It looks bloody painfull!! The bloke was just stabbing a long needle in and out of different areas on the woman's neck very quickly and she was bleeding all over the place. Is that about right?

  • Most Docs numb up the area first but it's not as painful as it looks, no where near as painful as a shot in the gums at the dentist.
    I personally didn't care how painful it was I just wanted my 3 years of back and leg to be gone.
  • And that's a fair call mate. Does anyone else get really frustrated when they hear other people complaining about petty things? If I hear anyone complaining about a headache I feel like knocking them out. I'd like to see some other people go through what we do just for a week. I'm currently getting chiro ozone and if I dont make any progress I'm going to try the prolo. I rang a doctor today and asked about prices. Private health covers some so my first visit will cost $100 out of my pocket and only $40 for further sessions if I need. Not too pricey. It's looking like January will be te go because I better give chiro a decent go.
  • Don't overlook the fantastic benefits available from remedial massage. This is exactly the sort of thing they are trained to treat.
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