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Really Scared..Need Some Advice

VHDudeVVHDude Posts: 47
edited 05/17/2015 - 4:08 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hey everyone. About two months ago i suffered from a trap strain. I was getting tingling sensations in my arm as well. That went on for about a week. The tingling subsided but the pain was still present. I Went to the doctor and he told me to go see physical therapy. He told me i just strained my trap. Didn't do an MRI. A week later i saw a therapist and around the same time the tingling started. She was MAD that my doctor didn't order an MRI. After doing some exercises with her she said it seemed like I pinched a nerve in my cervical spine. About a week later i was getting bad paralysis in my right arm and weakness in my leg. I went to the ER. They did a CT scan thinking stroke. Nothing unusual showed up. They told me the weakness in my leg was probably anxiety. I went to my doctor two days later and he told me to keep doing therapy..you'll be fine. After a few more therapy sessions i was feeling great. Not 100%..but the tingling and neck pain subsided tremendously.

I returned to the gym to do light workouts. I really took it easy. After a couple of weeks I elevated the weight in the gym. Still feeling pretty good. Last week i started getting sensations in my right leg, my neck felt heavy, my neck range of motion was poor, I'm starting to stumble, I'm clumsey with my hands, I have dizziness, and I'm getting weakness in my right arm.

I followed up with my doctor..again..he did nothing. He told me to continue to do the exercises that I was taught by my physical therapist. I was upset because I knew something was wrong. I was scared. One night last week I woke up in the worst pain of my life. I had burning sensations in my right wrist and leg. I did some wrist exercises and the pain went away. The leg took a little longer than my wrist. I found that VERY strange. A few days ago the left said of mg neck started swelling. It starting to turn blue. I called my doctor and they told me to go to Urgent Care. The Urgent Care just did an Xray and found nothing. The swelling went down the next day. I visited an Orthopedic Doctor. He did an MRI on my neck. He said, "it sounds like you may have re- aggrivated the nerve or you herniated a disc." Some of my symptoms still had him a little baffled. I go to his office for the results on Monday. I'm really scared something bad is going on. Right now I don't have have any major pain. I never really did. What has me worried now Is my balance, slight vertigo, neck range of motion, and stumbling that just started occuring. The symptoms subside with heat and Epsom lotion. I'm really scared. Maybe I'm just freaking out. If anyone could provide any in site in what may be happening would greatly appreciated.


  • I am having arm and leg weakness, burning, tingling too! I can sympathize. Currently I am getting a couple of epidural injections. Keep doing what you are doing. Listen to your body. Get a second opinion or third. Certainly be wary of working out and take it easy until your body returns more to a normal place. Follow your docs advice. And try not to stress about it. Keep us all posted. Kathy
  • ivymiivym Posts: 278
    edited 05/17/2015 - 11:13 AM
    I have neck problems too. From what I have learned ( for me anyway) is thatI can work out but not lift weights. Please keep us posted. We are all in your corner 100 %.
  • Thanks for the kind words everyone. The MRI came back normal. I was astounded. I couldn't even move my neck last night. I had headaches..horrible vertigo. Applying ice wnd heat to my neck constantly took away my symptoms. Today feels great. My legs are weak, my balance is poor, vertigo..I'm hoping my leg weakness is just anxiety. I work out everyday..but since the vertigo started last week I stopped. I'm hoping my legs are cramping just because I haven't been active at all. I'm praying it's not MS. I do occasionally feel a slight tingle or click in my lower back. I have an appointment with a neurologist next week. If anyone could provide some detail as to what might be going on i'd appreciate it.
  • Another update..I took a B complex supplement along with potassium and some bananas and my vertigo has subsided a little..but I still get dizzy from time to time..I'm gaining better feeling in my arms..and my leg cramping has subsided a little. I hope this is just a simple b12 or potassium deficiency.
  • The best scan for a pinched nerve is an MRI which shows both bone and soft tissues. This just happened to me since I have moderate narrowing of the small holes in 2 vertebrae where nerves pass; the narrowing is caused by an osteophyte complex (bony growths from the disc as well as from overgrowth of one of the joint in the vertebrae, the uncovertebral joint. I know how scared U R cause Im scared too. I would insist on an MRI as this is the best way to diagnose your problem. Conservative treatment is usually recommended; U can apply ice or heat, whatever works best, for 20 mins at a time to the painful part of your neck. You can also support it w a soft neck collar found at most pharmacies, Make sure to sleep on a cervical pillow available at Back stores.
  • VHDudeVVHDude Posts: 47
    edited 05/20/2015 - 4:26 PM
    Today i was feeling great. Went to the gym and did some cardio on the tread. Vertigo came back..neck locked up..right arm tingling..lower back tingling..i pushed down toon the tread mill pop my back..it went all the way up my back..i started feeling better..came to to my car sat down..symptoms started up again. My back muscles twitched as well. From what I've been told..my sciatic nerve is compressed possibly. Does that sound feasible?
  • Neck problems can easily, and often do, worsen with time. The worst exercise one can do to harm ourself is weight lifting.
    Jogging, and any other exercise that jolts the neck is also bad and will eventually put your neck problem in a very serious state.
    Even yoga…..there are many positions in yoga that can be extremely harmful for your neck and back…despite what those who love yoga say.
    I speak of all of the above from experience. I exercised and did all of the above, even after having a neck injury that I thought had gone away…it eventually re surfaced and by the time I had an MRI, I was in critical condition and had to have surgery.
    The surgery was "unfortunate and unusual", as the pain worsened, and it took me 10 years to find out hat the root of the nerve had been clamped too high during surgery, crushing the root of the nerve that had been operated on. There is nothing that can be done for this ind of damage.
    I am 60 now, and was athletic my entire life. If yo have a neck problem, please exercise with a person to person trainer.
    When I was 42, I did not know how bad tis was going to get. Lifting weights brought it to it's worst.
    Damaged nerves do not like motion, nor do they respond well to tight muscles surrounding them. They like NO MOTION, and HEAT.
    Thats it.
  • I would stop lifting weights for about 6 months and see if the numbness and pain goes away.
    I am glad that you got an MRI of your neck. Did you get the contrast and non-contrast MRI?
    Get a copy of the radiology report and read it yourself.
    You can find out what the medical terms by using Google.

    I had a severe cervical (neck) spine injury as verified by an MRI.
    At the same time, the neurologist had to conduct a series of tests to rule out Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
    No one wants to have a cervical spine surgery (very risky) and risk mobility only to find out after the surgery that you had MS all along. If the culprit was MS, I would have continued to decline, despite having had the cervical spine surgery.

    If it was a "mechanical" problem rather than MS, my consistent gradual mobility decline could have been permanent.
    The spine in the neck area controls the whole body. Ignoring my symptoms could have eventually rendered me a quadriplegic.

    I hope that is not the case for you. If you keep having weird and painful symptoms, make sure to consult your neurologist right away.

    Good Luck.
  • I did such a good job lifting weights that I was able to go from 225 to 315 in overheads and along the way take a disc bulge in the neck at C5/C6 to a full herniation requiring an ACDF. Not to leave the shoulder out of the fun the small labrum injury turned into an "off the bone" SLAP tear and a clavicle recision....but I did have an anatomical injury. In your case the MRI came back normal so you can probably keep lifting.

    By the way what did the MRI say exactly? Best of luck.


  • VHDudeVVHDude Posts: 47
    edited 05/27/2015 - 1:37 PM
    Hey everyone. I went to the neurologist yesterday. He read the MRI and said everything looked normal. He did his normal exam and said everything checked out fine. He ordered an MRI for my brain to check for any early happenings of MS. I went to the gym last night and did some resistance training with cables. My leg felt weak and I was very dizzy. My neck felt a little stiff as well. This morning i woke up and it felt like someone was pushing down on my shoulders. I felt fatigued as well. I'm starting to take an iron supplement in hopes the stiffness will go away. The neurologist didn't seem concerned at all. Could a possible herniated disc in my lower back cause problems in my neck and leg?
  • hope4betterhhope4better Posts: 36
    edited 05/27/2015 - 1:50 PM
    hey buddy, do not give up hope that they will find out whats goin on w ith you. you are not going crazy. let us know how you are doing- Kathy
  • Hey everyone. I went to the Neurologist. He had a copy of my MRI report and said everything looks normal. Did his general exam and said I was ok. He didn't notice any major problems. He said I probably just have nerve irritation. He ordered an MRI of the brain to see if this is possibly MS related. I'm getting some muscles spasms all over..but most of it is in my right leg..which hurts. My neck burns and range of motion is poor intermittently. Is it possible for a nerve inpingement in the lower back to cause symptoms in the neck?
  • SukhreSSukhre San Diego, CAPosts: 181
    If your C-spine MRI came back well and neuro is doing your brain MRI, then you are going to clear off everything I guess. Your symptoms does not seem like MS(I could be wrong). Its more like anxiety or Spinal. (But your C-spine MRI is fine). If they have clear MRI for brain you will have some peace of mind and hope you do well.
    MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.
  • hi therecan problems in the back cause problems in the neck! I am here a s a witness. but it is always reversible, pain in neck can cause prob in the back. just a lil history, I hurt my back at work in 03, surgery in 06. having things somewhat resolved, I saw an orthopedic specialist for my ever present headaches.(perhaps fractured skull daring someone to do a flip on one of those old cement clothes hanger)??? after an mri in 2010 it w as told to m e that my neck w as a mess and that someday I would have to have surgery! ehh not so quick to rush into all that. fast forward t o now. pain in legs unimanagable, barely walk, sit sleep, stand. another mri of lumbar exposed impingement, severe stenosis, close to caudal equine. the surgeon says I need yet another lumbar surgery, but before they do that, they have to operate on my neck. wow I say, cant you do this at the sametime? no way, too much, just too much. so surgery on the18th of june. and a few weeks after that, the back. I totally empathize with your struggle. its nice to bounce things off people that "get" me. keep my posted- thanks kathy
  • Hey folks. MRI of brain was fine. I'm going back to the Ortho on Wednesday. I'm hoping it's a herniation in my lumbar area that's wreacking havoc on my body. I'm so ready to get back into the gym. Would it hurt to lift light weights?
  • Treadmill only. I would say ask your NS for sure but I have seen lots of folks here say they are here because of weights.
  • Hey folks. Well..I saw the ortho. He had me lay down on the table and lifted my legs up. Hey could only reach a 50-60 degreeish angle. They should be 90. He said...wow..bet that's part of your problem. Your lower body is probably so tight your upper body is being strained. So..he ordered physical therapy. I asked him in an MRI on the lower spine would be necessary. He said..no..I really din't think it's a disc issue. I think your muscles are just really tight. I thought..ok then. I went to the same therapist that I saw a couple of months ago. She said that I was very tight in my lower back and legs. My balance had improved a little since she taught me stretches. She was still unsure if muscle tightness was the true issue. She also had me see a spine PT in her office and they are working together. The spine therapist does believe I have nerve irritation somewhere in my cervical spine. Today I feel vefy fatigued, have brain fog, headahces, and balance is poor. I'm drinking plenty of fluids and took a a b12. I'm still not COMPLETELY convinced that muscle tightness is the real issue.
  • I saw the therapist today. Had me do forward and backward bending neck exercises. The pain isn't there...really never has been..but I feel so dizzy..leg is aching...and my coordination is horrible. Feels like I'm walking on the moon almost. Is this typical while beginning to do these exercises?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    we need to do, we may have some temporary feelings of light headiness, dizzy, out of balance, etc.

    Those times will shorten as you go deeper into your exercise program and start to regain some strength.

    Many times after Physical Therapy, my therapists will tell me to wait about 60 seconds before I even try to stand up and another 60 seconds before I start to walk. All very normal

    But still, I am cautious... If you are not comfortable with those feelings, just talk it over with your therapist
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,802
    edited 06/17/2015 - 4:51 PM
    First lifting weights does not always cause more issues in fact many have improved because of lifting weights and strengthening body. But if you try to continue to max out and don't adjust workout routine that's the recipe for failure . For thoracix hernition my PT was weights but under supervision and gradual increase.
    Second I wish people would get away from MRI clean equals no issue in spine. I' alone had annular tear that caused an extreme amount of pain and a spinal cord injury that did not show up in MRI. Again I tell this story , my dr has patients paralyzed and if u strictly went of MRI you would say they should have no issue in spine , but they are in wheelchair. I understand an MRI benefits but also its limitations. Hopefully it is just muscular and PT can fix but trust your body and what you feel.
    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.
  • Thanks for the input everyone. I'm frightened something bad is happening. Tonight my right eye feels like it's trying to shut..i have headache..my arms feel heavy..I'm nausiated. I really hope my orthopedic doctor is right. The therapist today told me it seemed mechanical. A combo of weight lifting and sitting at a desk all day I guess. The neck stiffness still doesn't explain the leg problems. I just don't know...
  • Hey folks. I saw my massage therapist tonight. He looked at my legs. He did some work and kept saying.."good god." He said everything from neck to legs was tight. He knew my back was pretty tight and needed work..but he was shocked by my legs. He said, "I really think your issue is your muscle. Either you need to really stretch more along with massage/physical therapy..or you have a deficiency." He's very knowledgeable with the muscoluskelatol system. I asked him if it could be dystonia. He told me,"Probably not..i doubt it. I have patients with dystonia that have severe pain..you don't." He told me the tightness in my legs along with the tight neck will cause my symptoms. He had a client complaining of neck pain. After therapy of chest, back, neck without luck, he turned to hed legs. He found a scar in her foot. It was full of scar tissue..knotted..ect. He released it and her neck pain was gone. Crazy right?? I am following up next week. My problem is mainly stiffness..very mild pain..headaches..balance..and for the past few days..i've been feeling a little..bloated..heartburn. Now that has me thinking..B12 deficiency. I eat healthy..but I always seemed to be senstive to gluten. I have an appointment with the PT tomorrow. If anyone has any advice please let me know.
  • JazzBoxDocJJazzBoxDoc Posts: 1
    edited 07/18/2015 - 9:23 AM
    Do you exercise regularly? What about taking a very long break from it if you do? And perhaps trying swimming? Seems a dramatic lifestyle switch might allow your muscles to relax and may help some of your pain. 4 spine surgeries here, and they were not successful. Daily Chronic pain, limitations etc...and I've found major lifestyle adjustments to have helped the pain somewhat over the last few years. I imagine its not what anyone wants to hear, as neither did I, but figured I'd suggest it. I also find swimming to be a wonderful option, especially if it does not cause pain. Maybe worth a try. Best of luck and hang in there.

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click link for helpful information!
    - The most difficult thing about chronic pain for me is finding a stable and sustainable routine in the midst of the chaotic undulations. I have yet to succeed.
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,802
    That would be great if muscular because you can control that and treat it. Massage therapists often can find things with hands before drs have diagnosed with testing . good luck and I suggest forming a list of questions for next dr visit and PT
    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.
  • Hey folks. Had another physical therapy session. She showed me more back stretches and had me do more neck exercises. The pain and tingling in my legs are almost gone. My coordination is getting better. Still have some neck stiffness and range of motion issues along with headaches in the back of my head. I really hope it's muscular, too..except neuro muscular. My massage therapist said my legs were incredibly tight..lower back muscles seemed weak..and my upper back was really tight. I can't even hold my leg straight up..that's how tight it is. So I seem to be progressing slowly. The PT wants me to return to the gym. Light weight on machines. I did some weight lifing at the PT center and did well. We'll see what happens.
  • VHDudeVVHDude Posts: 47
    edited 07/22/2015 - 9:57 PM
    Hey folks. I finished therapy a few weeks ago. It helped a little with my balance snd range of motion in my neck. Don't get headaches often. I was still getting "charlie horses" in my legs. I went to see another neuroologist. He didn't find anything major during his exam. He ordered an MRI of my lower spine which was normal. He looked at the MRI of my cervical spine and said it looked normal. Although, the past week or two my charlie horses/tightness seems to have almost diminished. I still feel unbalanced and dizzy. Occasionally ill get a slight burning sensation in my neck. Recently I started getting the arm weakness intermittently. I got tired of waiting around on doctors not giving me any sort of dianoses the past 4 months (just guesses) so I called a very well known chiropractor/wellness doctor here in town. I went in for my first appointment yesterday. They took xrays or my lower spine and neck. I didn't meet with the chiro.. just his nurse. She said it all sounds neck related and they could help. She said it could be an issue with one of my top verts. I go back on Monday so they can tell me my results. People keep telling me..no don't see a chiro..but if two neuros and an orthopedic doctor told me it looks normal..nothing major should be wrong. It's just difficult living life like this. My therapy exercises help temporarily. I'm not in any pain in my neck...just occassional cramping in my legs that seems to have diminished. Just feel very unbalanced, dizzy/lightheaded, and my neck is stiff on occasion,(theapy helped with stiffness) Did I make a good choice seeing the Chiropractor?

    Nobody on the forum is medically qualified or permitted to give advice any responses will be based on members personal experiences only
  • WolfpackSVBWWolfpackSVB Posts: 216
    edited 07/18/2015 - 7:37 AM
    What were the findings of the cervical MRI?
  • VHDudeVVHDude Posts: 47
    edited 07/22/2015 - 9:55 PM
    They just said it was normal. I had my MRI done when my symptoms were at their worst, too. I would add a picture of my xray done on my cervical spine but It won't allow me to. I had a chiropractor adjust me once in my neck (he was my primary) and it worked for a few days. I went back to him when I was experiencing the leg pain and he told me it sounded like I had a disk herniation...but the MRI of my lower back was normal with neurologist I saw recently. I didn't have too much confidence in him as he told me, "Your neck won't cause dizziness." I stopped going to the chiropractor after I had an MS scare thinking I was damaging my nerves even further. The nurse at the new chiropractor's office said they have many people with similar symptoms and they are able to help them after a few visits. My physical therapist concluded that this was all posture related. I just kinda' laughed because I have AWESOME posture. She said the combo of siting at a desk all day and lifting weights took a toll on my neck and I would have to deal with this for the rest of my life. I was frustrated with her answer because everyone at work gives me a hard time because posture is so good at my desk. I'm 27 and I know people that have horrible posture much older than me that don't have neck problems. The only thing is my shoulders are a little rounded and I have more front body mass than back. People always used to ask me, "Are you in pain or something? just because my posture was so good while everyone else seems to slouch. So I get a little frustrated when people say.. "You probably have a posture problem." If anyone has any further advice feel free to offer please. If anyone is an expert or doctor that would like to say the xray please let me know.

    Nobody on the forum is medically qualified or permitted to give advice any responses will be based on members personal experiences only

  • There should have been findings on the MRI, the radiologist would have written a few sentences, those are the words in looking for, what he or she wrote.
  • VHDudeVVHDude Posts: 47
    edited 07/22/2015 - 9:53 PM
    Hey folks. Well I went back to the chiro Monday and they told me EVERYTHING. Whew...I'm relieved. My atlas is mis aligned..i have arthritis at c7 and my nerves aren't firing in my t spine because it's trying to compensate for my neck. They also noticed I have a degenerative disk at L5. After two adjustments I'm feeling better..although today I'm feeling off balance. Is it safe to lift weights while my atlas is bring realigned?

    Nobody on the forum is medically qualified or permitted to give advice on what is safe for you to do
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