I am a newbie with hopes that I can get some advice here from others who have been in my shoes...
Here's my story and questions:
I have had terrible headaches for 7 years now (Called "Migraines" by doctors who didn't want to further investigate when my brain showed to be flawless). Two years ago I was taken to ER with the worst pain I have ever experienced-I woke up from sleep in middle of the night and couldn't move my head a single millimeter in any direction. ER told me it was muscle spasms, likely stress because my sister was having surgery for a brain tumor, and to take pain meds, muscle relaxers, etc until it loosened up.
Long story shorter...the pain isn't always to point of locking up my neck, but I am in pain every single day. My neck, especially at the base of my skull on both sides, is worse than my headache usually. The tightness varies, but I never have full neck motion. Sometimes, it causes my lower jaw to shake uncontrollaby from the intensity of the pain. My quality of life is gone-I am worried if I can continue to work like this. (I am an ultrasound tech.)
MRI was finally ordered last week and here's what it found:
My neck has lost the normal lordosis (natural curve) and is actualy kyphotic (has begun to curve the wrong direction). I have a mild disc bulge, facet osteoarthritis, mild degenerative disc disease, and there is intrusion of the spinal canal, but no cord compression....extremely close in one or two spots, but not touching the cord yet. I have severe (and almost constant) muscle spasms, I am told are probably related to the facet arthritis, that are likely contributing to the deformity of the c-spine.
I am awaiting an appointment with a neurosurgeon at our local spine center. Does this sound like something that should be surgically corrected??? I am only 37 years old and I couldn't imagine covering up the pain for the rest of my life or getting RFA's every 6 months-1 year. I don't just want pain management, I want a solution. Any advice is GREATLY appreciated!