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neck pain

heartstringzhheartstringz Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone,

I'm new here and have some questions. I will give you a run-down on my problem to start off with though.

I'm a 27 year old female & I have chronic neck pain (and headaches brought on by this) - I've had it for about the last ten years. I can't tell you for certain when it started, or why, cause I don't really know. I wonder if I've had it longer than ten years cause honestly I don't have a clue what it feels like to not have a painful neck.

If I'm guessing though, I think it may have originally been triggered by breast development - my mum for some reason didn't think there was any need for her teenage daughter with a large bust to be properly fitted. So I never had a bra fitting until a few years ago & I think this is what initially triggered the problem. It's just got worse and worse, even since being fitted it hasn't improved.

I haven't been able to get an exact diagnosis, which is one of my questions - how did you go about doing that? How did you get medical professionals to listen to you? Often they make me feel like I'm just being pathetic, or that I should just go home & take a paracetamol. Or they don't know and make up some stupid diagnosis like carpal tunnel.

I just want to know exactly what is wrong with me and have someone work with me to manage it. I feel like I've just been brushed off. I've had an xray & MRI that came back clear. Doctors have prescribed me anti-inflammatories (without even knowing what is really wrong with me) which I can't take as every single one I have tried caused me bowel problems.

I've tried chiro, osteo, remedial & sports massage, physio and seen a spinal surgeon. Nothing really helped, and the spinal surgeon didn't have a clue what was wrong with me but offered to do surgery anyway. Needless to say my response was 'do surgery where?' Given he didn't know what is wrong with me, how can he know where the surgery needs to be done? So that didn't happen, obviously.

I'm currently going to physio but it's not really helping & I'm about to max out my private health insurance and therefore won't be able to afford to go too many more times. I can't even do the exercises he wants me to do because they give me a headache/exacerbate the headache I already have. I spend my life dosed up on over-the-counter anti-inflammatories (which I can take without bowel problems as they are not as strong) but I don't like taking them all day every day.

It's partially postural & I am working on this, but my other question is around how do I do things that need to be done in life where I can't really 'sit perfectly' etc? Ie, ironing, vacuming, weeding the garden etc? I just had to give up on the garden for today because it gave me a splitting headache and my neck is so sore I can hardly move. But we just bought a house and we want the yard to look nice, so I don't want to just leave it.

I'm getting really depressed about this. I just don't know how to manage my pain. Hubby & I want to start a family soon but I can't even imagine how much pain I'm going to be in when I'm carrying a baby around, so that in itself is making me really scared of having kids. I tend to get so angry about my pain, I don't want to take it out on the kids.

Sorry about the epic post, I just don't really have anyone to talk to who actually understands.


  • I'm sorry you are in so much pain. I relate to that very well. I have a small baby and am just about to get married and I see you are talking about starting a family too.
    It is definitely more difficult to take care of your family in this kind of pain.

    What kind of Mri have you had? Head? Cervical? Lumbar? Thoracic? I am hoping they would have done all these but if not I would be asking for them.

    And I think its pretty odd that your surgeon offered to do surgery but doesn't know whats wrong. I'd be asking for a second opinion.

    Can you ask to see another neurosurgeon to try to get to the bottom of this?

    Missy, 1 level ACDF C6/C7 Monday July 16th 2012.

  • You are at a great site for ideas, suggestions and support. Sounds like you are not in US, what country are you in?

    Have you thought about seeing a pain management doc? They are not just for meds, but can help formulate a plan to treat your symptoms, it doesn't sound as if you have one person overseeing things. IMO, I would quit the PT and do the exercises at home that you can tolerate. Do you use ice or heat to help?

    I too loved to garden, but can't get down on my hands and knees anymore. So I have a low stool I take outside and sit in it and do my gardening in short bursts, so I don't do too much and then end up paying for it later. I have had to adapt to doing things alot differently than I did before I was hurt. I have had to come up with some weird ones, but for me they work. Can hubby take over vacumming?
    I sit and iron. I'm a quilter, so I iron alot.

    One of the things that really helped me(my posture sucked too) was taking a gentle yoga class. It is
    designed for people who are recovering from a health problem, or who have current issues. It has really helped with posture, a big focus in yoga. I can't do all the moves, and am careful of my neck and don't try ones that will stress the vertebrae there. I look straight instead of up or down, and don't twist my neck alot.

    I hope that you can get some relief and some real answers soon. Come back anytime to rant, we do understand.

  • Thanks! I'm in Australia by the way.

    So I had a bad night last night - got about four hours sleep due to pain, so I went to the doctor again today. Saw a different guy this time & he was pretty good.

    Got a referral for another MRI, then when I've had that he gave me a referral to a neurologist to help me manage my headaches. So that's something at least - still don't know what's wrong with me but at least it gives me something else to try.

    He also prescribed me a muscle-relaxant, so maybe that will help.
  • Wow you sound just like me! Except I am 19 and I have a small chest. My posture isn't too bad but it is a little worse than the average person's because of my scoliosis. But yeah I can't look down to do things either without getting in more pain. I tried doing yoga on my own with a DVD but it just made my pain worse. I'll look online and see if there are any yoga classes near my town that can help me.

    I'd like to know did your muscle relaxant help? I had one doctor that wanted to give me a muscle relaxant but I get really bad stomach pains from medicines so I tried a muscle relaxant cream. It relaxed my neck muscles but I still had the neck pain.

    This is my first time on this forum so it is interesting finding out I'm not the only person in the world with neck pain.
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