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Odd Symptoms?

Billski182BBillski182 Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi all. My Name is Bill, first post here. Please excuse the length.

I was diagnosed with C/S back in June. I had the typical pressure in the back of the head, neck pain, tightness, headaches and numbness on the back of my head. I went to a chiropractor for adjustments and after 4-5 visits I started getting some relief. After the 6-7 visit I started to get other symptoms.

It started with tingling in my toes and got worse from there. I get tingling and numbness from head to toe over every inch of my body. Head, face, hands, arms, legs, feet... you get the idea. It flares up from time to time, but never goes away. I been to the neuro more times than I can count. He's checked me over again and again and finds nothing. I spent a week at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and they found no problems either.

I've had literally 28 tubes of blood drawn as they checked for everything under the sun. All came back stone cold normal. I've had bone scans, EMG's and half a dozen other neuro tests that were all negative. I've had CT scans and MRI's on my head, neck and back. Head and back showed pretty much nothing. The one on my neck shows some pretty bad C/S in C3-C6 on both sides. I take Neurontin and Buspar, but that doesn't seem to help. I've told every doctor I've seen about this starting after my neck adjustments, but they don't see where that could be the cause. They also don't think the C/S is the cause of my symptoms either. I'm essentially alone with these symptoms now and have no guidance whatsoever as to how to handle this.

My question is, does anyone else deal with these symptoms? This has been non-stop for seven months and I'm about to go out of my mind if I don't figure this out and get some relief! Thanks in advance for any insight.


  • :H

    I assume that C/S stands for cervical stenosis. Am I correct?

    If the only things they have found after all your tests is bad cervical stenosis from C3 to C6, then I am surprised that they can't say if that is causing all your symptoms.

    I would suggest not going to your chiropractor again, at least until you find out exactly what is going on.

    I have tingling and occassional numbness along with sharp shooting pains that I get all over my body, but particularly in my hands, arms, feet and legs. Most doctors that I see believe that it is due to the cervical stenosis that I have, particularly at C3/4 and C4/5 where there is compression on my spinal cord. Because of this, a neurosurgeon has told me not to go to a chiropractor and I am not allowed to do any sports or anything that could cause a knock to my head or a pull on an arm.

    I know from experience how worrying it can be to have all sorts of strange symptoms and not have a definate diagnosis as to what is causing them.

    I hope you find out and will be able to get help soon. Don't give up!

    Meanwhile you will find lots of friendly people here who understand how hard it is living with chronic pain.

  • Hello Jellyhall and thanks for your reply.

    Guess I should have clarified C/S as cervical spondylosis. I also have mild to moderate foraminal stenosis in several areas. My MRI also shows where the spinal cord is in contact with C5-C6, but with no interruption of signal. I keep telling the doctors this MUST be it because everything else has been ruled out. They all tell me I'm wrong. I just want to know if I'm alone with these symptoms or are they fairly common.

    And believe me, I stopped going to the chiro as soon as the tingling started!
  • I had surgery at C5-C6 almost a year ago and will say that my foot numbness was most definitely from spinal cord injury. I also had a lot of strange sensations in the head, face, ringing in the ears, sharp pains in various parts of the body. That's not to say that yours is coming from your cervical spine. Have you had an MRI of your lumbar spine to rule out that area as the cause? I realized after my surgery that I also had mild herniations in the lumbar area and that sometimes gives me intermittent pain in my feet, pins and needles in my thigh, etc.

    I'm not a huge fan of chiropractors when you already have disc problems. I personally think they can cause more damage through manipulation. I was seeing one before the surgery and do believe that my symptoms worsened at a more rapid rate than before I started seeing one.

    I hope you find out what's causing all those sensations! If you are not getting an answer from any of these doctors, you should continue to see others until you do. Good luck!
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Hi Billski182,You are obviously having major problems and the MRI results say to me there must be something that can be done for you,I was told nothing can be done a few years back,I have now seen a different spinal surgeon and hey presto he diagnosed a problem at C5/6 much like you have and will be having decompression and fusion with the disc removed also there is something called osteophyte /bone spurs with degeneration.I can't understand why it was not diagnosed 1st time around as it was the same MRI scan they were viewing.My surgeon is very high up in the surgeon world so he knows his stuff.You can look them up on the internet.He has just done surgery on me at a different level L5/S1 and I am so pleased,I have been waiting far too long being told to go home and put up with it,and keep popping the pills.I feel I can get myself back together again at last.

    You need a second opinion.

    Good luck

  • Hi Lili,

    I almost forgot, yes, the ringing in my ears! Sometimes it's unbearable!

    I've MRI's on both my lumbar and thoracic. The lumbar showed some mild disc bulges and nothing more. My thoracic shows moderate kyphosis. Nothing else there.
  • Hello Des,

    I've been to an ortho and was less than impressed. From what I'm told he's supposed to be one of the best in the area. He spent maybe 5 mins with me and maybe 30 seconds looking at my MRI's. His exact words were, "I don't know what's going with you, but it's got nothing to do with your spine." Then he left the room.

    This is really wearing me out. I'm 47 y/o and I have never once in my life been to a doctor that has helped me. I have seen 13 different doctors since June and come away with nothing. This is absolutely maddening.
  • Have you had a sitting or standing MRI?

    I'm not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
  • Hello Mick,

    The MRI's were all done lying down. I didn't know there was such a thing as sitting or standing MRI's.

  • Have you seen a neurologist?
    Perhaps they would take longer to think about what may be causing your symptoms. They do sound neurological and someone needs to try to find out what is causing them.

  • I have seen the neurologist here many times and also three different neurologists at the Mayo Clinic. No luck.
  • It sounds like you are having symptoms related to nerve irritation, but is there a possibility that it's muscular? All of my symptoms from the neck up were due to muscle spasms not coming from the spine, but due to muscles compensating for muscular dysfunction in my scapula from the nerve root compression. Have you tried heat to see if it helps with your symptoms? Have you tried physical therapy or any other conservative treatments for pain? Don't give up on finding a doctor who can give you some answers!
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • No doubt that there's some kind of nerve irritation, but no one seems to know where it's coming from. I've had a muscle test done and it was perfectly normal. I've tried heat and cold with no real results. When I have a bad flare up it does help to just stand under a hot shower and that does seem to calm things back down to a tolerable level.

    I have not done PT because I can't seem to get an answer whether it will help or makes things worse. After the chiro I'm afraid to let anyone touch me.

    The thing is that I don't really have any pain. At its worst the pain is maybe a two or a three. It's just the numbness and tingling that is making me crazy. This all just showed up one day. I went from completely normal with no problems at all to miserable wreck literally overnight.
  • If a hot shower helps then you do benefit from heat. Now the question is where to place that heat! Have you tried placing heat on your entire trapezius muscle? This is just my opinion, but if you work with a "good" physical therapist you will not make things worse. It is really hard to find a "good" therapist, but tight muscles can also cause impingement on nerves and give you those symptoms. Again, this is just my opinion and you should always consult a doctor to see if you should try physical therapy.
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • I have placed heat on my back and neck and it doesn't really seem to do much. For whatever reason, the moist heat of the shower does help a bit. My guess is that it just helps me to calm down. I do get rather stressed when these events occur.

    My real question is, does anyone else go have these symptoms? Not dismissing anyone's help, but I want to know if I am even in the right place?
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