My first post. I'm a 38 male from TX. Have two lovely boys, 6 and 2.
In 2006 I started golfing for the first time (right about when I turned 30). Since I'm good at other sports, I took to golf with a vengeance, and by 2008 was down to a 10 handicap (for those who know golf). I used to practice every day for 2 years in a row, play twice a week, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.
I later realized, that golf took a toll on my neck. Golf won't have the same effect on everyone of course, it is a function of my body type and how I swing - my action somehow causes a lot of stress on my neck.
I first experienced burning pain going down my left arm 3 years ago in 2010. It happened without any direct injury, at home. After which began the cycle of MRI, chiropractic, physical therapy. After about 6-8 months I became better. Everytime I would golf, the pain would come back, first in the neck and then a little down the left arm to the fingers.
Then stupidly, last year I played 4-5 rounds in continuation while on a trip to Mexico, and that did it. Whatever healing at happened previously, gave up, and the pain returned.
It has been 2 months, and I've been going to physical therapy twice a week, have seen an ortho surgeon, and a pain specialist. The MRI doesn't show anything drastic, which is a confusing. My pain specialist (also a friend) told me that he treats symptoms, not MRIs.
I had an open MRI done, although they use a 0.7 T magnet, I was told they have a good machine. I
Is it worthwhile to get a better MRI done? I'm a bit scared of those closed MRI machines.
Anyway, I thought I would also share some of the things that I've been doing which have helped:
1. Physical therapy, primarily YTA exercise with bands, followed by STEM - this has made my muscles around the shoulder much stronger and helped. My particular instructor is very good.
2. Treat Your Own Neck, this book has been with me since my first episode, and the neck exercises work like miracle.
3. Yoga, Pranayam - this is Yoga via breathing exercises, works wonders for spinal blood flow, I highly recommend it.
The biggest problem I face with my pain is not the pain itself. It is the anxiety of what is next, which doctor should I see, whose recommendation should I follow, what procedure should I choose?
My ortho surgeon who is Mayo clinic trained, scoffs at micro incision procedures. He is all about ACDF. I'm sure if I were to talk to a micro incision person - those folks who constantly advertize on TV and billboard all over the place, they would have a different story to tell.
Anyway, I'm sure this will be a journey, I'm happy that I have some fellow travelers to share with, get help, and help others.