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Can spondylosis and disc protusion C5/C6/C7 affect my voice??PLEASE HELP!

Hi everybody,

I'm a 28 year old girl. I would like to ask if spondylosis and disc protusion of the C5/C6/C7 segments can also give voice problems. I used to sing in a bad position with the head tilted back and now I can't sing or talk normally anymore as I feel a very big pain in my throat (same level as C5-C7). I also heard something popping while singing but I'm not sure if it can be linked to the disc protusion. It's already been 3 months now. I have been to 3 different ENT doctor and they all said that everything is ok with my vocal folds. MRT shows spondylosis and disc protusion so I'm trying to understand if this can cause the problem with my voice or if anybody has had what i have. Doctors can't help me, for some strange reason they don't seem to understand why i feel this pain when talking. I'm desperate as I don't know where to go anymore, my orthopedist was also confused and said I can try osteopathy. I have been to so many doctors I'm so frustrated now, so much money spent for nothing. I have also tried Speech therapy but the therapist didn't know how to help. The only time I feel a bit of relief is when eating something. I just want my normal voice back, without pain or feeling this constant lump in the throat. I also have pain in my neck and gets really stiff and it's painful when I touch it, in fact all my neck muscles hurt really badly. The fact that I can't talk or move properly anymore is really affecting my social life. I would like to know if anyone has ever experienced something like that and who should I refer to for a better diagnosis.
Thank you in advance for your precious help!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 07/15/2013 - 11:53 AM
    Welcome to Spine Health.

    I can't really help you much I'm afraid. I feel that if you have seen 3 different ENT doctors who can't find anything that is affecting your vocal cords it is hard to say what this could be caused by.

    Please remember that none of us here are medically trained doctors, and we can only share our experiences.

    I have spondylosis and had a 2 level ACDF to get the compression off my cord at C3/4 and C4/5.
    I am now having problems with my singing voice but that was caused during the surgery not by the spondylosis
    I have a Superior Laryngneal Nerve Paralysis and this is affecting my singing voice although my speaking voice is mostly fine. I am going to start voice therapy next week and meanwhile I have been told to do lots of singing but to stop when it start to hurt or feel like I am straining my voice. They say that we will be aiming to work the surrounding muscles to try to get them to compensate for the parylised vocal cord.

    I do hope that you will find someone who will be able to decide what is causing your voice problems and that they will be able to improve things for you.

    Have you had anyone look at your Thyroid?
  • JaduzJJaduz Posts: 2
    edited 07/15/2013 - 1:13 PM

    thanks for your support.. my general doctor checked my blood and Thyroid levels were fine there. I think my ENT doctor checked my thyroid with a special machine too. The symptoms I have are really weird because my neck muscles are always really stiff and so painful, but at the same time I feel like I have a lump in the throat and as soon as I speak it really hurts. I actually did feel something pop on my right side while singing (just before the pain started) , but then again the ENT doctors have not found anything apart from laryngitis. The orthopedic suggested the MRI and they found out about spondylosis and protusion, but I'm trying to understand where this strong "throat" pain comes from. I suppose it's not really the throat, but just behind the esophagus where the spine is, although it feels like the throat. I also don't have the common symptoms of spondylosis, like headache or problems in my arms or legs, everything happens in my neck/throat area. I'm really concerned as no one has still helped me or directed me to the right doctor to start a proper cure. I really hope someone can help me to find an answer to this never ending terrible pain!

  • I just wish I could be more helpful.

    Don't give up hope of finding out what is causing this and hopefully an idea of how to improve things for you.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,459
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Jaduz,

    I realize this post is over two years old, but your story and symptomatology is so similar to my own, that I just had to check back with you in November 2015. First of all, I hope you have found some answers to your frustrating health matters. As for myself, I also had the extreme globus or pressure sensation in throat. To me it was not just a "lump in throat" feeling, but severe pain. The tightening sensation, as if a rope fastened 'round my neck, was so bad I could not sleep at night. After a slew of tests, I did have an MRI of the neck and it showed some herniation of C-6 and C-7, with spondylosis. Though I do experience occasional occipital headache of the pressure-type, I'd always assumed that that was just part of the hemicrania continua (left sided migraine-like headache) I've had all my adult life. Now I wonder if it is something separate, related to the spondylosis, that is exacerbating the already present headache.

    It is very interesting that the C-6 and C-7 discs are directly parallel to the cricopharyngeus muscle in the laryngo-pharynx. I was also tentatively diagnosed by one ENT as having a "Cricopharyngeus spasm" possibly aggravated or cause by silent GERD. The cricopharyngeus muscle which is largely the UES (upper esophageal sphincter) is interestingly located right behind the larynx or vocal box. I read in one very impressive scientific study on globus pharyngeus, a poorly understood condition, that in a considerable number of these patients, spondylosis of the C-6 and C-7 discs was also present. Very interesting. Also, I often have trouble with my voice now, i.e. if I even have two cups of coffee in a day, I become somewhat hoarse. Due to the silent GERD resulting from stomach fluid coming up into the voice box during waking hours.

    The worst part of my set of symptoms was without question what I considered to be severe neck pain. Usually globus or "circopharyngeus spasm" is not described as severe pain. In my case it was, possibly because the throat or neck pain merged with daily headache pain, sending my overall pain level into unknown heights. After a 7 months nightmare beginning in late January 2014 (I can pin it to the exact day when the neck pain began, after arguably the most vigorous workout ever at PF. I wonder if something of a traumatic physical nature didn't happen to my cervical spine from heavy weight lifting at age 56.) --- I was finally put on pain management and now take a low dose of buprenorphine daily, in addition to 200 mg. of Lyrica daily. This regimen has kept my pain in check, though still not well enough to return to the workplace. Though like you, I do do some gigging, being a musician.

    Jaduz, I hope this gives you some strange comfort, at least in the fact of knowing that you are not alone, and my symptoms are so similar. And my experience similar in what I had to go through with medical doctors, including specialists who had very little understanding of what was going on with this neck pain. I trust you have had more definitive results and are doing well in late 2015. Keep on singing!

    ~Ian Francis
    Ian Francis
  • HualaniHualani Big Ilsland HawaiiPosts: 57
    I realize your post is 3 months plus ago so i dont know if you'll check back.
    Im researching since having voice symptoms, and most of the posts are post ACDF surg...although a few say
    they had symptoms before.Sure it makes sense after our voice boxes are clamped out of the way for a few hours..
    but it also makes sense looking at the anatomy and how ruptured disc bits and displaced anatomy could make a difference.
    Please let us know ow you are doing now?
    March 2016?
    Life is too short to be serious all the time.
    so if you cant laugh at yourself, contact me
    I'll laugh at you. B)
  • HualaniHualani Big Ilsland HawaiiPosts: 57
    btw Im headed for ACDF surg in 2 days for C7-T1 yet some of my most painful damage is coming from C4-5 and C5-6
    the big bulges so Im most concerned about the screws going in from the bracket and additional strain at those levels.
    My surgeon doesnt really answer to my satisfaction, he said only that with bulge areas if they get worse after surgery there's no way to say if the surgery made them worse or tey would have continued to worsen on thier own.OK....so can you make them better?  No answer....My voice went really out the window very suddenly a month back and I used to make a living wit it...I stil do, more indirectly
    please update us...

    Life is too short to be serious all the time.
    so if you cant laugh at yourself, contact me
    I'll laugh at you. B)
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