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How can a spine cause so much pain :(

As I wait to undergo a ACDF on my C5/6-C6/7 I just worry that they will find something else when they open me up. It is so hard for me to wrap around my head that my neck can be causing me so much pain. I sometimes feel like my body is decaying from the inside out. I am 28 years old and feel like I am 90. I worry that I will never feel good again. I was 26 years old when this all started and newly married. I never imagined my life would take such a crazy turn. How can a 26 year old have DDD to the point that the disc no longer exists? Why would they only do MRI'S on my neck instead of my whole spine to see if anywhere else is damaged? I asked that question and the answer was " we will deal with that if it comes up" they also tole me the chances of having another spine surgery in the next 5 years is 40%.

Does anyone else have full body pain from the cervical spine?

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond



  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,819
    Yes . Damage to the cervical spine can cause things far reaching that even some trained docotrs do not know about. Especially if you had cord contact. My cervical injury caused 100 times the pain my thoracic injury did even though the thoracic disc was on the spinal cord and a much more severe injury. It's the nerves that exist in your cervical area that if damaged can have dire effects . There is quite a bit of medical info on it online , medically reviewed info. Damage to any of the sympathetic nerve bundles in that area is a bad deal. Read my story of how I ended up where I am with a neurological disorder , it's all from a cervical injury with cord impact
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    I wanted to wish you the very best with your upcoming surgery!

    I don't know if anyone can fully understand all the spinal pain...how tests show effected area and pain seems to show up in unrelated areas? And everyone is so very individual and different pains......other parts of body compensating for injured part and becoming weary or painful itself?
    I do not understand it.

    Initially, I tried to understand all that was happening to me. But when I realized the docs were having ...not the easiest time figuring everything out, I gave it less concern.
    That's not to say I do not take part in my care, listening to doctors and trying best to understand.

    But most of my energy .... I need for pain control and basic activities of daily living and coping. I am grateful to have doctors I have faith in to guide me through it all.

    It sounds like you feel free to ask your doctor questions...for understanding and reassurance.
    It's good to go into surgery with calm, positive attitude and hopeful for the future.

    That's another thing I don't understand....how attitude effects our health. But I know it does..from my experience and the experiences that others have shared with me.

    As others , who are more in the know than I, share with you....I hope you will be reassured and content and able to have worries put aside prior to surgery.
    You want to be at your best emotional and mental states as you go into surgery.....with hope for your future!

    I'm very hopeful for you also, :) and would be very interested to hear how you're progressing...with and after surgery.
    Very best of luck to you!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hi! It's hard to understand how much pain this is causing, and trust me... I feel your pain! I'm sorry you are going through this. I too have pain all over, some of it is caused by my other conditions. I have an autoimmune disease that acts like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Scleroderma, polymyositis... it's called mixed connective tissue disease. I have been concerned that it has affected my healing after my surgery, but the pain I'm in is so much more than anything the disease has ever caused me. I have woken up from pain so bad that I had to crawl to the bathroom... luckily this type of pain subsided about 6 years ago. That was all over body pain. Now, I wake up feeling better, and as the day goes on, my pain gets worse. Then at night, it gets so severe, and the dread sets in. I feel like my life is ruined at 40. I also worry that I will never feel good again. And I feel like this pain is killing me. I just turned 40, and my body feels like it is completely shutting down. Decaying from the inside, as you say. I did look young, but I see a lot of aging happening due to this injury in my neck. I can't stop thinking that my surgery did absolutely nothing. I had a different type of surgery than you are having though. Mine was a minimally invasive laser discectomy without fusion. I would like to tell you to be optimistic, as you are so young, and the less you stress the better. But I understand how you feel and your fright, as well as your confusion about why this has happened. I can't help but wonder if something else is going on entirely with me, something that hasn't been diagnosed. I had some arthritis in my neck, but nothing that sounded severe enough to cause pain like this. Take care, and good luck to you!
  • Hi, I just joined. I had a 5 level (C3-C7) posterior cervical decompression and fusion surgery 3-3-15. Dr. released me to go back to work, but he put me on a lot of restrictions. I stock overnight at a superstore. I am still having a lot of pain and muscle spasms in my upper back and shoulders. Also Dr. still wants me to wear brace. Has anyone went back to work with restrictions?
  • Hang in there, it will get better. I was 32 years old when I had C 5-7 fusion. My pain before the surgery was so bad I need morphine to relax. I had to have my cloths cut off me because it was to painful. After the surgery I woke up and felt better than I had in years. Recovery was long, about 1 year till I felt 100% but I went on to living mostly pain free for about 12 years.
    Now I am looking at another cervical surgery. I wish I would have changed my life style after my 1st surgery and I do believe I could have gone even longer without having problems again.

    Yes there is a good chance you will need additional surgery down the line. The better you take care of yourself the better chance you will go many years before you need to even think about it. I truly believe the surgery 15 years ago saved my life.
    and I am confident you will feel much better after surgery. I know and understand your fear. Keep positive and don't push recovery to fast. Good luck and keep me posted.
  • Hi Rachel,
    I'm 25 and for the past year I've been dealing with neck and back pain so I completely understand you. I never imagined having this quality of life being in constant pain at this age. I'm 10 weeks post ACD op with complications. (headaches and migraine) and I hope everyday will be better. Not only I struggle with neck pain, stiffness and discomfort, I also have L5-SI spondylolisthesis and most likely will need another fusion down the line as my spine is not Had it not been for my complications, I'd have had both fusions done a month ago. Right now I'm putting all my energy into recovery and managing my pain and it's not always easy, but I'm looking forward to getting my life back in order. Best of luck to you and be patient, recovery takes time.

  • Aaron

    I am not used to this Forum yet where is your story about how you got where you are that you mention in this post? I want to read up on autoimmune disease.

    I got the results of my blood test and it shows a ANA Ab Quant 177 normal is <100AU/ML I have been reading and it sort of heads in the direction of autoimmune disease. My doctor said it was nothing just trying to figure some things out so I wanted to read your story cause I know you  of have autoimmune disease and I had no clue there were so many of them.

    Sorry to bug you Sherri

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