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End of the line?

MShepherd1985MMShepherd1985 Posts: 1
edited 03/16/2015 - 11:21 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Okay, this is going to be a fairly long post but bare with me! First of all, I'm new here and am amazed by all the posts and responses! What an excellent community, wish I'd found this earlier!

Here is what's going on. In December of 2012, I had a face first fall into my kitchen floor, breaking my jaw in four places. Two on the right, one on the left, and one on my chin. My face took the brunt of my fall (I was 6'1, 210 pounds at the time). My jaw was wired for about 10 weeks. During this ten weeks, I had a bad bite. My teeth never met properly. My oral surgeon claimed that this was the best that could be done, but I had (and still have) a severe open bite on the right side of my teeth. For about two years, I lived in pain from this off-bite. I saw dozens of oral surgeons, never getting any results. Finally, I found that using a football mouthpiece at night (that I boiled) seemed to work best. It semi-eliminated my pain.

Well, about one month ago I rain into a friend of mine that does chiropractic work. I still had a little lingering pain (headaches/occasional neck ache), but it didn't feel life threatening or anything. He told me to come in for a free consultation and he'd take a look. Well, he did an adjustment on me the first day and I actually seemed to feel better for about a week. After a bit of pressure, and telling me that things would fall back out of place, he convinced me to come back in for a second adjustment.

On the second adjustment, he put me on the table cold and didn't do any stretching or loosen any of the muscles like he did the first time. He popped my neck once to the right, once to the left, and for some reason tried again to the right. Well the second time to the right it didn't pop, and I felt a bit of a pain but figured it wasn't anything serious. That night I got into bed and noticed that my hands and feet were throbbing a little. I woke up the next day and asked him if this was normal, he said yes to come back in and he'd take care of it for me. I went back in and he used a tool this time opposed to a manipulation. I left and felt slightly better for the rest of the day, and maybe two more days, until I started hurting again. And the pain got significantly worse, along with a nerve pain that extends into my right leg (is or mimics sciatica - but I know it's a nerve pain because opiate-based painkillers don't relieve it). The worst night for the neck pain was after I'd played a part as an extra in a film in which I was laying on a board straining (I had an injured leg in the film). That night I ended up going to the emergency room. After an MRI, the results were:

CC: Patient complaining of neck and jaw pain x2 years.Bilateral arm pain after a chiropractor visit 2 weeks prior.
TECHNIQUE: Sagittal T1, T2, sagittal oblique T2 and axial T2 sequences of the cervical spine were obtained. There are no prior studies available for comparison.
FINDINGS: The vertebral bodies are of normal height and signal pattern. The alignment is anatomic. There is mild diffuse diminished signal from the intervertebral discs which are of normal height. The cerebellar tonsils are normally positioned within the posterior fossa. Cervical cord is of normal caliber and signal intensity.
C1-C2: Normal central canal.
C2-C3: Mild decreased signal intensity in the intervertebral disc. Normal central canal and neural foramina. Exiting nerve roots are visualized.
C3-C4: Normal central canal and neural foramina. Minimal hypertrophic spurring in the left facet joint. Intervertebral disc with slight diminished signal intensity. Exiting nerve roots are visualized.
C4-C5: There is a small circumferential bulging disc encroaching upon the anterior thecal sac. Normal central canal and neural foramina.
C5-C6: There is a small central disc spur complex containing a linear high signal fissure. Minimal encroachment upon the anterior thecal sac. Normal central canal and neural foramina.
C6-C7: Normal central canal and neural foramina. Mild decreased signal from the intervertebral disc which is of normal height.
C7-T1: Normal central canal and neural foramina.
CONCLUSION: Small circumferential bulging disc at C4-C5 and small central disc spur complex at C5-C6 with mild encroachment upon the anterior thecal sac. Normal central canal and neural foramina. Minimal hypertrophic spurring in the left facet joint of C3-C4.
After this, I felt a little relieved because I figured I could nurse bulging discs back to normal on my own. Well, that night I felt a throbbing pain in my neck and head that got worse and worse over the span of three days, as well as a pain that extends into my throat. I continually checked my blood pressure (always normal) , as well as my pulse. I also developed a bit of a respiratory infection (that hasn't gone away since). Then, about two nights after the the start of the respiratory infection, I had a dizzy spell. Combined with the fear of a stroke and reading too much on the net, I went back to the ER and requested that they do an angiogram of my head and spine to see if I had an artery dissected. After a two hour, $15,000 visit in the ER (I have no insurance), they found nothing and sent me home, assuming I was drug-seeking most likely (the part I play in this movie requires a long beard and long hair, and NO grooming).

So here I am, about three weeks after the chiropractor visit, in the worst shape of my life. I'd do ANYTHING to go back to just having the jaw pain from before, but it's much worse than that now. Aspirin seems to alleviate the pain and reduce the throbbing. Is it possible that this throbbing is a result of my bulging discs/pressure in my spine? I've also ALWAYS got muscular tension in my shoulders.

Also, I notice that when I lay down on a flat surface and put pressure on top of the back of my head, my neck will pop slightly. The right side of my jaw pops as well. I think my posture plays a big part into my problems, but I'm not sure. The chiropractor wants me to come back in for free treatments, but there's no way I'm going back there. He's suggested that I see a 'specialist' friend of his, but I'm too dubious to see anyone he suggests. Also, I live in Mississippi and the healthcare here is horrible. I can't even afford the "affordable healthcare act" because it is over $300 a month and I have not been able to work since the injury.

Does anyone have ANY suggestions? I would just about do anything and go anywhere at this point, I just don't know what to do or what my problem is. This pain (especially the throbbing in my head) is real; I'm not susceptible to placebo pains. It seems to be gradually increasing. I can also obtain/post the results of the bone x-ray of my spine and the CT Angiogram I had.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated. Thanks so much.



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 03/16/2015 - 11:22 AM
    Welcome to Spine-Health

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    If there are any questions, you can always post them here, send Liz or myself a private message or contact Ron rdilauro@veritashealth.com

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • CrystallkchkCCrystallkchk Posts: 5
    edited 03/16/2015 - 12:39 PM
    First, look into the Medicaid program in your state and apply. Secondly, check with your local hospital/clinic about any assistance programs they may have. If I were you, I would make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon and have him or her explain the MRI results to you. Do NOT go back to the chiropractor until you have consulted a medical doctor (preferably a surgeon). MOST IMPORTANTLY, DONT GIVE UP. It took me 12 years to find out I had herniated discs in my cervical spine that were causing my pain and agony. Hope this helps. Good luck.
    ACDF C6/C7 - 8/2010
    ACDF C5/C6 - 5/2012
    ACDF Revision C5/C6 - 8/2013
    Posterior revision w instrumentation C5/C6 - 6/2014
    Epidural steroid injections (cervical spine) 11/2014 - 12/2014
    Cervical nerve block 3/2015
  • Get some insurance, because you are about to enter a loooong adventure. I have been seeking help for 18 months. Find a specialist either an Orthopiedic doc or neurologist that can help you, and if they don't want to help and just send you on your way go see another one, til you find one willing to help and take you seriously. Most of us on this forum have been dealing with trying to get an accurate diagnosis and the proper help we need, for years. So it is best if you do have decent health insurance.
    And stay away from anyone manipulating your neck. I have two herniated discs in my neck that I believe to this day, had I not seen a chiropractor for treatment, they may have healed on their own. I believe the aggressive manipulation made the herniations worse, not better.
    You need to be your best advocate. So stay stubborn and keep looking for answers. Hopefully not in the ER tho, that adds up $$$$. And request copies of any scans you've already ad done. That will save you money when seeing different doctors. They won't have to rerun tests you've already had. Good luck to you, and hope you feel better soon.

    P.S, as you start to read many posts, you will find thee are many people who did have pinched nerves causing their pain but MRI and EMG studies didn't find it. That is why you have to be stubborn and advocate for yourself.
  • I got adjustments bi weekly for months when I was pregnant. The PT seems to believe the chiropractor is the culprit for my disc problem (C6-C7 level).
    I agree with others. Get some insurance and don't let anyone work on your neck until then.
    ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
    ...and it was the best decision of my life :-)
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