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answers for intense cervical pain

edited 01/05/2015 - 9:09 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Thanks in advance for reading. I will try to be as specific as possible.

I am a 23 year old male. I do not smoke. I do not drink. I try to exercise, and eat well.

Two years ago I started to notice pain in my right upper neck after playing guitar. I was also practicing drumming a lot during this time. The pain mainly just felt like sore muscles, and I thought nothing of it. During the summer after first noticing the soreness, I started getting some middle back pain while bending over and standing up. Shortly after the back pain, I started poking around my neck that was still stiff and more sore than previously. I found a small hard lump, knot, ball, I don't know what to call it. The pain wasn't bad enough for me to warrant going to the doctor to get it all checked out. Well that was then, and now two years later, I am in very frustrating and persistent pain. I have had several brain and neck MRI's. Multiple brain MRI's show a spot that apparently isn't cancerous or MS. The neck MRI shows slight bulging disks that my neurologist doesn't think is causing the pain that I am having. My neurologist keeps trying to push meds on me that I am NOT happy about. I understand that these will treat the symptoms, but being so young, I am willing to fight to correct the root issue. I will train, stretch, do physical therapy, etc. I have tried injections, massages, and chiropractic already. I am currently using the posture pump for cervical traction. I haven't been using it long enough to comment on if it is helping or not. I have headaches almost everyday, tension in shoulders and neck (more on the right side than the left), the little ball still exists and electrical like pain and numbness seems to be centered around it. Sometimes if I pinch along the right side of skin next to my spine it hurts a lot more than if I pinch the right side. A lot of numbness as well. The numbness and electrical sensations come and go, and I can't figure out what triggers them. If I pinch between a certain disk, I also sometimes experience heightened pain. My posture is overall poor, and when I run my upper back hurts when I breathe. I've had blood work, ten different doctors look at me, and multiple breakdowns that have sometimes left me in tears.

Thanks again for reading, and sincerely appreciate each response.



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I am sorry you are in so much pain. I know how tough it is to get a doctor to take the issue seriously. It took my 2.5 yrs to get anyone to take me seriously. I finally got an MRI in July that showed some serious issues in my neck that could have been fixed before the pain became almost constant. My doctors were pushing the drugs also. I also had massages and chiropractic adjustments. They would help for a day or so if that sometimes and then I was in just as much pain as before. Has a neuro spine surgeon looked at the neck MRI pictures? Sometimes I think there are discs that shouldn't be the cause of the pain that are. Not only that- Who has you doing the posture pump and how long have you been using it? I have read that the posture pump can cause a herniated disc get worse. I don't know if it caused my issue but after using it one night, I couldn't move from the neck down for 15 minutes. It scared me and I didn't have a way to call for help besides yelling that wouldn't have been heard, Anyways, just be careful with that. Talk with the neuro surgeon about the use. I don't blame you for not wanting to be pushed into the meds. Surgery is only used as a last resort and it may or may not help you. I had surgery on my herniated disc 4 months ago. Because the nature of my problem and how long I had it, I am in as much pain as I was before the surgery. For a lot of people, it works but not for everyone. I am now on medication for the pain. You could say I am a slave to it but with out it, the pain is much worse. You could need meds either way.
    Im sure this wasn't an uplifting message of hope but I understand where you are coming from. I hope you can find a doctor that can help you. Be patient.
    Tracie C
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