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FarmgrrlFFarmgrrl Posts: 146
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone,

I am just reaching out for a little support and input of your experiences with cervical spine issues. I have a previous history of 2 lumbar discectomies (the last 2 years ago) and have been living a pretty happy life with very manageable pain. Because I still have leg pain and cramping issues, I still take a tramadol every night and a Zanaflex to make sure I sleep well. Also, in this time frame I've been working on weight reduction and have lost ~60 pounds.

About 6 months ago I noticed that my neck was starting to get a bit sore and I blamed it on my preference for sleeping on my left side due to my back. As the months have gone by the pain never went away but I just chalked it up to muscle fatigue. About a month ago I noticed worsening pain that goes across my left shoulder and into my upper arm as well as pain between my shoulder blades. I then started looking into breast reduction surgery as my breasts are large and did not decrease in size with my weight loss. Last week I decided to treat myself to a 15 min chair massage at work for my birthday. That night I was extremely uncomfortable and took a Percocet because I could not get to sleep due to the pain. While I was laying in bed, I noticed that the sensation in part of my left forearm was "altered" (for lack of a better term-- not quite numb but decrease sensation) and extended from my elbow to the top of my hand. The next day I decided to make an appointment with my old pain doc but found she left the practice. I was set up for an appointment with the doc that did an SI joint injection on me about a year and a half ago. I went to see him on Tuesday afternoon and he decided to order an MRI to rule out herniation vs. C6 radiculopathy.

The MRI is scheduled for this Friday, of course pending authorization from my insurance company. I'm preparing myself for the worst but I'm hoping for the best since I *think* my symptoms are pretty mild (I know they can be much worse after going through the experience with my lumbar spine). Any thoughts or ideas are welcomed :)



  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Sounds like you are doing the right thing at the right time.

    Good thing it wasn't a 30 minute massage?? (bad attempt at humor)

    Keep us posted on how things go??


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  • Keep in mind they are bound to find some issues on the MRI's just given age and normal wear and tear. With that said hopefully if there is anything that shows up larger it can be treated successful with conservative type treatments. It sounds by you description that things aren't to bad, so hopefully the symptoms you do have can be reversed with the conservative treatment. One thing if you haven't looked into it, is having your desk setup the best ergonomically. But as you know things with spines can sometimes change rather quickly so good that you are getting the MRI done. Your doctor may also want a EMG if you are loosing sensation to get a true clinical diagnoses. More important for cervical issues is that EMG's can rule out a injury to the brachial plexus which can mimic a disc issue in the cervical spine. good luck on the MRI and let us know how it turns out.
  • Thank you for your responses! (I too am thankful it wasn't a 30 minute massage LOL)

    My employer actually has a designated person that does ergonomic assessments by request! I initially had my desk set up evaluated when I first returned to work after the back surgery saga 2 years ago and then again about 2 months ago because I was having some nasty back pain (imagine that!). We discovered my chair needed a little adjustment due to the weight loss and she also raised my monitor a little bit.

    The MRI was cancelled yesterday as it was still pended for medical director review 3 hours before my appointment. :( I'm not surprised because of the strict criteria you have to meet to get an MRI these days (I work for a health insurance company now so I know the "dance"). I'm planning on calling my doc Monday to get some x-rays ordered before my follow-up with him on April 6 to look for spurs and to satisfy one of the criteria for the MRI. So, I guess I'll wait and just keep up with taking meds and trying to stretch a little bit. :|
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