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Neck & back pain...need advice

Hi I'm new & thought someone could help me make sense of what exactly is going on. I'm a nail tech & have been for 20 yrs. it puts a lot of strain on my neck & shoulders. I suffered with severe pain for years because I figured a doctor wouldn't do anything for me except order tests I cannot afford...no insurance! I went to a chiropractor & had X-rays done & it showed that my neck was tilted forward instead of having the normal curve, also in the middle part of my back I have a curve to the left & my vertebrae are turned to the right. My neck & back hurt constantly & can only get relief when laying down. I have also noticed a pinching feeling when I tilt my head back & raise my arms (example...hanging up clothes in closet) My family doctor looked at X-rays & said I had some arthritis in my neck & prescribed Vicodin & robaxin which does help but I still hurt it just makes it bearable....I have also noticed that while asleep I will wake up and my arms & hands are numb. I am worried will I have to take medicine for the rest of my life for this? I've tried massage & chiropracters but it doesn't seem to help much ....any thoughts or advice is appreciated...thanks :)


  • JoydancerJJoydancer Posts: 463
    edited 08/20/2012 - 7:26 PM
    The things you shared about your symptoms and your x-ray, sure falls right into DDD degeneration disc disease category (arthritic disease degeneration), but it would be a good idea to have scans done, i.e. mri, ct, especially with your curvature of your c-spine and the symptoms of numbness.

    Most of my history has been cervical spine issues and scoliosis from a birth deformity, which gave me a curvature of my upper three vertebrae, malformed and discs fused abnormally causing my spine to curve to the left. It created much degeneration below that level and when I was experiencing constant numbness in hands, ct scan uncovered the problem, it was bone spurs (abnormal bone that grows because of degeneration and pressing on nerve roots and spinal cord). It was necessary to do an ACDF anterior (front) cervical discectomy removing spurs and then fusing with bone implant for stabilization.

    You mentioned you do not have insurance. Have you gotten any medical health care recently other than chiropractor? It would be a very good idea to see an orthopedic physician and then get scans done of your spine. Either an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon are highly specialized with conditions of DDD and curvature (scoliosis) conditions and can make recommendation for your spine.

    Also, numbness in hands/arms can be from other conditions other than DDD or co-exist with DDD, carpal tunnel syndrome (hands), thoracic outlet syndrome (brachial plexus nerve branch front of neck area), there are also junctions with nerves from junctions beyond your neck branching to your your hands (clavicle, shoulder, elbow junctions) where compression can occur. There are EMG's NCS's nerve/muscle diagnostic tests and other tests from your symptoms that can be done. With your curvature in your neck it would be a very good idea to start with radiology scans with an orthopedic doctor.

    Wish you well in getting further diagnosis and hope you can get scans accomplished, so you know what is going on and causing the radiculopathy (numbness) in your hands.
  • No I haven't had any other tests done other than the X-rays but I feel like I probably do need to check into this further & find out more information....I'm only 37 and I have a small child & a job so laying around in pain isn't an option & taking pain meds scares me...I don't want to become dependent on that but at this point I can't hardly take the constant neck pain...it literally hurts just to hold my head up some days....thank you for responding to my post! We live near Galveston Tx so if worse comes to worse I guess I could go there for tests. They have a hospital that helps people in my position.
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