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Debilitating Neck Pain

leesoheelleesohee Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello all. I'm Lauren. I've been dealing with neck pain for almost 2 years this coming October. It's gotten so bad that I am on FMLA and can't sit in one position for more than a few hours if I push myself.
I needed to come online and find a place for some reassurance and help since all the places haven't been helping much. I'm at my wits end and I need permanent results now.
It started back in Fall 2009; thought I had mono and got some bloodwork done revealing that I had previously had Epstein-Barr Virus. I started experiencing numbness, tingling, loss of feeling in my fingers, wrists, hard time gripping things, etc. In Spring 2010, another said I was experiencing migraines and/or tension headaches and gave me a prescription for Nortriptyline. It worked b/c it put me to sleep, but besides that it didn't help at all. I continued experiencing the numbness, tingling, etc up through mid-June, then it went away through July, and came back again in August. I went to a hand doctor in Fall 2010 who referred me to have an EMG/NCS done to check for Carpel Tunnel. The results came back negative and I was confused.
In January 2011, our driveway was very slippery and icy from a recent storm, and I had fallen really hard on my rear end and lower back. Following that I started experiencing numbness and tingling in my left shoulder, elbows, legs, and sharp, stabbing lower back pain. I never went to a doctor to have that checked out b/c after about 3 weeks or so the pain died down and eventually went away. But at the end of March, the neck pain become so extremely excruciating and debilitating, that I couldn't sit at work anymore (I work at a call center typing at a computer 8 hrs/day). That's when I started on the FMLA. I've been working with my PCP who's referred me to multiple specialists -- neurology, neurosurgeon, chiropractor, and rheumotology. The had some bloodwork done for ANA/Rhematoid Factor and that was normal, as well as Vitamin D levels. My Vitamin D level is low (12) and apparently normal is 30-100. The rheumotologist said that I had all the trigger points for fibromyalgia, but that she didn't want to diagnose that until I had gotten my Vitamin D under control, and see if that wasn't the problem. Apparently Vitamin D levels and fibromyalgia symptoms are very similar.
I've been to the ER twice -- had MRI, C-spine X-ray, bone scan. MRI was normal. X-ray was done earlier and said I had curvature and narrowing of C7 and T1 disk space. I will get results of bone scan on July 6. I've been on so many medications -- Vicodin, Tramadol, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Gabapentin, Metaxalone, Ergocalciferol, Omeprazole, Prednisone, and Diclofenac. Currently I"m taking 2 Gabapentin per day, 1 Cymbalta per day, 1 Ergocalciferol per week, 1 Omeprazole per day, and 2 Diclofenac per day. The Gabapentin and Cymbalta seem to be helping with my fibromyalgia symptoms, but my neck pain is still excruciating.
I started going to the chiropractor a little less than two weeks ago. It seems to help immediately, but then neck pain comes back still excruciating and debilitating.
I have 3 weeks of FMLA left and nothing is helping. I don't know what I'm going to do if that runs out and I have to go back to work. I need permanent pain relief now. Please help!!!


  • I am sorry you are suffering. Are you taking any pain meds or muscle relaxers now? Some times it takes a few days for them to start working. I take both several times daily. As for the nerve meds they can take much longer to build up in your system and often times need to dose adjusted.

    MRI's and plain X-rays don't always tell the full story/ get copies of your reports and films or CD's. I suggest a specialist like a Ortho Surgeon/ Neuro Surgeon, Neurologist to help figure out your issues. Sometimes the first one isn't the right one, but if your pain doesn't go away you need to keep investigating by way of seeing a specialist. A pain manager is another place to go to help you manage.

    I don't know how many times I have had MRI's & X-rays and the reports failed to mention the issues that were clearly visible. If your specialist isn't looking at your films and brushing you off move on. My NS told me they look at this stuff for a few seconds. We as patients have to point stuff out sometimes and really advocate for our selves.

    I had a bad accident with a chiropracter. I am not big on them. Please be careful.

    Can you fall back on Home Owners insurance?

    Good luck,

  • I'm sorry for your pain and predicament. Please make sure you ask your doctor or your pharmacist about your drug array, and what side affects may be, especially in conjunction with each other. Many can possibly trigger depression and fatigue, and if you're in a fibro flare it definitely affects mood, pain levels and fatigue. (I have fibro and various forms of arthritis as well as spine issues).

    I suggest seeing someone in pain management, at least to possibly get some temporary relief while everything else is getting checked out with neurologist, orthopedic surgeon and/or neurologist.

    Take care,

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
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