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litlfrogllitlfrog Posts: 2
edited 08/18/2015 - 12:43 PM in New Member Introductions
Hi, my name's Joe. After a quick look through the forums I can only feel grateful that I don't have to struggle with the degree of pain and difficulty that all too many of you face daily. Having said that, I get frustrated by some chronic health problems that seem to never get better.

I've dealt with migraines for 20+ years, but with some peculiar symptoms. Sometimes they barely hurt at all, but I ALWAYS have vertigo during an episode. (Like, I'll be sitting in a chair and it feels like I'm on a rollercoaster.) Often I'll have trouble concentrating, speaking clearly or typing, or doing fine motor manipulation. After a couple of bouts of severe arm/neck pain (this started a couple years ago) a neurologist discovered c5 c6 stenosis compressing my spinal cord. I've done a fair amount of physical therapy and stretching, and last year I got an x-ray guided cortisone shot around the area. That's lessened the frequency of the really bad episodes where all I can do is rock in pain and hold my useless arm. Still it's frustrating that I can't rely on my body; we've never found any consistent triggers so it just HAPPENS, whether at work, home, asleep, even driving. The only treatment is surgery that likely wouldn't help forever and it's kind of a frightening prospect. I'm still on the meds a neurologist prescribed me for migraines: amlodipine along with high doses of magnesium, vitamin B2, and fish oil.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has had these episodes of vertigo and neurological trouble associated with migraine or with spinal stenosis.

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
    - Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
    - Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc
    - General pieces of valuable information

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 08/18/15 18:43est



  • Hmm, I thought my answers made sense but I don't mind repeating them in a different form. :)

    - When did this first start?

    The arm pain started about two years ago; I'm 46. The migraines started more like 12 years ago.

    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    No, doesn't seem like there was any particular cause. It just started one day.
    - Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
    No, as far as I know no one in the family has ever had these kind of nerve issues.
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    In addition to my primary care doctor I've seen a neurologist. I also had one appointment with a spinal surgeon to get a cortisone injection.

    . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    This started with my PCP. Even though my insurance has never given me any trouble about seeing specialists without a referral I prefer to get one anyway.
    . Who are you currently seeing?
    No one, really. I have regular checkups with my primary care doctor but the only options on the table right now are 1) do another cortisone injection and hope it helps more and 2) spinal surgery.
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    Physical therapy to flex and strengthen the shoulders around the pinched nerves and a single x-ray guided cortisone injection.

    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    I had a single brain MRI some 9 years ago, perfectly normal. I then had a neck MRI a couple of years ago that yielded a diagnosis of c5-c6 stenosis.

    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    Amlodipine 5 mg 1/day
    several over the counter supplements on the neurologist's orders: Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) 2/day, Fish oil 3/day, and slow-release magnesium 2/day

    There's been a brief discussion of spinal surgery, but I honestly don't remember the specifics. The neurologist said that my current frequency and amplitude of pain didn't warrant the risks of surgery.

    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    I have no reason to think there's permanent nerve damage. Most of the time there's no pain at all, but when the episodes do occur, when that nerve gets impinged or squeezed (I don't know if there's a specific technical term I should use) the pain is BAD--I can't do anything except moan.

    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?
    Hmm, I'm afraid there isn't one right now. They don't know why the stenosis occurred or have any further means of treating it other than trying another cortisone injection or going in for surgery.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,878
    edited 08/19/2015 - 8:03 AM
    connection between Stenosis with Vertigo and Migraines,
    But, I do know that there are connections between vertigo and migraines. Both my daughter and wife have experienced this over the years My wife has a 100% healthy back, my daughter has a number of annular tears plus a good amount of osteoarthritis.
    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
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