Hi - I'm a newbie here, but not to cervical problems. I'm 55 and have suffered from neck problems as long as I can recall. I was in a bad car wreck as a child and took the brunt of the impact with my face against a metal railing on the back of a front seat (cars have come a long way)! I'm not sure if this caused or contributed to my problems. I worked for 25 years in an office, first with typewriter, then computers way before the term office ergonomics was a part of every day language. I've done chriopractics, massage, common analgesics and the typical rest, heat, ice, physical therapy, orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, etc. I've been diagnosed with: lupus, fibromyalgia, degnerative disc disease, cervical stenosis, multiple herniations and bulges, bone spurs, lateral cervical dystonia and probably others I'm too tired to think of. You all know the story, I'm sure. Ten years ago, I had a cervical fusion of C5-6. Things were ok for a year or so, then the pain gradually came back and has been a down hill slide. I've also done all the things eastern medicine has to offer (and still do - they keep my mind a little more balanced and able to cope). Physically, massage helps the most, combined with medication and TENs, but will insurance cover massage - no. They happily paid the $20,000 surgery though. Go figure. That was ten years ago. Since then, it's been a roller coaster of this doctor saying it's this, that one saying it's that. Fortunately, I have a good PC who prescribes pain medicine but frankly, I'd like a better solution if possible. My latest MRI shows central and forminal stenosis in all my cervical discs plus a ridiculous amount of bone spurs all over. Frankly, to me, it feels like it would feel good to take a knitting needle and stab in through my shoulder, under my scapula and just pull out until whatever is pinching it pops. The shoulder surgeon says there may be bone spurs, but since my pain in relieved by raising my arm, he thinks it's my neck. Well, I'm not 45 anymore and I'm not as brave as I was - I no longer have kids at home to keep up with and work is something I could no longer do as of two years ago. I don't know if I want another anterior disk fusion - or two or three. I have so little movement now, but the pain is constant. It's bearable with the meds I take, but I'm sick of running my life around a schedule of when I will have pills and will there be enough to last my trip here or there. And I'm tired of everyone who finds the meds I'm on looking at me like I'm a drug seeking junkie and I'm too tired to explain the major difference between physical dependence and drug seeking behavior. I just want a life. Have any of you had a pain pump for this? What kind of medications do they use in them - steroids, numbing agents, narcotics? Combinations? Any success with any of they types of injections and can you please explain the different types of them? Along with the degenerative disc disease and stenosis, I have radiculopothy in one arm, shoulder, affecting my little and ring fingers, scapular pain, rib pain that I can't even stand massage on. I'm scheduled to see a new pain management doctor and am looking for whatever suggestions anyone has please. Injections? Pain pumps? Arthoscopic surgery? I don't mean to be so darn wordy or pitiful sounding, I'm just tired and frustrated and really appreciate your help.
Bless you all - I know you have problems too,