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Sore, tender SCALENES.....13 years. HELP!! Please.

I've been suffering from sore & tender scalenes for 13-years causing very limited range of movement in my neck. I've exhausted every type of doc and treatment over the years. I'm really at a loss. I had a cervical fusion done in 2004 for my c-5 thru c-7 and neurosurgeon also removed 17 bone spurs. I was only 34 at the time for having such an "old neck". MRI shows severe facet atrophy and spinal stenosis, etc.

Just recently had a scalene block with cortisone. It gave me relief for about five days. Seeing doc today for follow up. I'm tempted to ask him to keep doing them. If I had relief but the pain returned that might be a good sign we're on the right track. Maybe an epidural is another good option. Thoughts?

I have not responded to a facet injection. The doc is trying out different injections to try to diagnose the problem. If the cortisone helped even for five days, that might mean there is a lot of muscular inflammation....right? It feels like muscle pain...Myofacial pain syndrome. Scary trigger point. But how the hell do you treat MPS??

I do not have TOS. Tests came back negative. It's not the facet joint. I don't respond to lidocaine injections, or Botox. I don't respond to accupressure, acupuncture, Rolfing, PT, yoga, massage, or meds. It's really a mystery. Any thoughts and feedback are appreciated.

I'd like to hear about any injections or surgery options that MIGHT help sore scalenes. Thanks.

Frustrated gal in Santa Monica


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Ron DiLauro

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • BordeauxBBordeaux Posts: 11
    edited 11/16/2013 - 3:04 PM
    I just had a TP injection and it relieved my scalene pain but only for 5 days. question: should i have doc continue them to try and get longer lasting relief or should we try epidural next?? Anyone out there with scalene trouble?
  • Anyone out there? Anyone??
  • If you can feel small hard knots in your scalene muscles, generally these layered muscles are tightly bond up , and tendons, nerves are compressed cutting off circulation and raising havoc creating other referred pain, numbness, tingling,etc. I have found after all modalities of treatment, the best relief is from deep tissue TP therapy. I've actually had trained massage therapist spend hours on my neck . Going in for two hour sessions 1 to 2 times a week . When the scalenes become so bad , the knots have to be releases. For me this is not a soft type massage. Once the muscles are soft and pliant , my neck generally becomes tolerable. I return for maintenance. I also self treat my Tp's. I suggest you get the book on trigger point therapy. It is very informative, and teaches about self help techniques. This is by no means a total fix, but can be very helpful to bring pain level down. Muscles also remember and often will go back into the spasm mode, especially if they have been in this cycle for many years. Of course, I use heat to warm up , and have to use meds when I get the deep muscle work done. You know your body best and have to learn what works best for you.
  • Raventrax,

    I appreciate your reply...thank you. I have Janet Travell's trigger point workbook. I've read her work for years. I do think there is much need with that method but boy does it hurt to do! And like you say there is so much muscle memory, the pain returns quickly. I also have the ThereCane. It's a tough endeavor. I just wish there was some sort of injection or procedure to remove inflamed tissue pain without having to undergo hours and hours of manual work only to feel more sore and tender.

    Thank you for your response. I really do appreciate it!

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