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Chronic Neck Pain for 2 Years- Young, Wondering What Next Steps

aaaa8287aaaaa8287 Posts: 1
edited 04/15/2015 - 7:14 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am a 27 year old female who is healthy other than chronic neck pain that has been going on for the last 2 years. The pain became very bad a few months after an auto accident. I have seen multiple physical therapists, chiropractors, orthopedists, two surgeons (one recommended disc fusion, the other said he did not think I should have surgery quite yet), and am now seeing a pain management specialist. Nothing seems to provide lasting relief. I have three bulging discs (C-4, 5, and 6) and my neck has mild kyphosis. I experience muscle spasms that cause more intense pain but most days I have a low to moderate level of pain in my neck and upper back that is really difficult to deal with. Sitting makes the pain much, much worse so I have adjusted my life style significantly to avoid sitting. I use a standing desk, stand at work meetings, stand while eating, rarely drive, etc. Low impact exercises and massage help but only for an hour or so before the pain comes back.

I guess I just don't know what step to take next. I had radiofrequency neurolysis performed recently and am waiting to see if it will help. It's been about a month since the procedure and it seems to have just increased my pain. I take muscle relaxers frequently on an as needed basis. It just seems as though my MRI results and mild kyphosis should not be causing such persistent pain. Doctors at first assured me physical therapy would fix the problem but after months and months with different physical therapists, I saw no results and the doctors have completely switched what they are recommending. Now they seem to be heading towards possible surgery and/or continuing to receive facet injections, radiofrequency neurolysis, etc to just treat the pain (but will not fix the underlying problem).

Has anyone else experienced similar symptoms and diagnoses and found a treatment that seems to really work for them? Or had fusion surgery for bulging discs? I am starting to lose hope after two years of this persistent pain.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 04/15/2015 - 7:14 AM
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  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    I would consider asking your doctor if you can get a new mri? Things can change a lot in 2 years. If you are still having all the same issues, even after all the conservative treatments you have tried, maybe it's time to talk to the doctor about surgery?
  • I suffered a neck injury after being rear ended very hard. I have 2 herniated discs at C4/5 and C5/6. I've been in pain for 18 months. I tried every non invasive thing to treat this. Acupuncture, physical therapy for over a year (2-3x week), traction, facet injections. Nothing gave me more than two days relief. After a grueling 18 months of chronic pain, my neurosurgeon finally decided surgery was the next step. Nothing more to do since nothing has worked. So I am having my severely herniated disc at C4/5 removed and having that vertabrae fused in 2 weeks. Doctor expects me to have 90% pain relief after I recover from surgery. I live with a constant level 5-6 pain. On bad days I have an 8-9 pain level so I am actually excited to have surgery and the possibility of 90% pain relief.
    If I were you, after 2 years I would do my research and seriously consider surgery. As I have discovered, this condition and pain only gets worse with time. Not better. And you get bad flare ups after illnesses that cause sneezing, coughing, etc. Hope this helps.
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