Lately I have been feeling really old and am only 48 years old.
About 3 months ago started having a near constant headache, stiff neck and right shoulder.
About 3 weeks ago started also having pain radiating all the way into my hand, or so it seemed, with weak grip at times.
Last week the neck and headache became so bad I had to leave work and have not been back since, my work involves mechanical fine motor skills and a high degree of safety.
So far, the neck MRI shows some minor issues at c2/c3, moderate issues at c3/c4 right foraminal, and overall signs of degeneration.
Spine surgeon examined me and the mri and the big issues in the neck cannot explain the right hand issues, I am right handed.
Nerve conduction and EMG later, I have moderate carpel tunnel in my right wrist.
OK, so the neck MRI explains the pain from the neck, headache, shoulder, and radiating into the upper arm, the nerve conduction and EMG explain why I sometimes have nerve pain from my elbow to my hand.
Next follow up is in a couple of weeks. In the meantime treatment consists of carisprodol, lyrica, and a wrist support, along with r&r.
To complicate matters, I have ulceritive colitis (UC) which puts oral nsaids completely off the table forever and likely rules out oral steroids for the time being. The only "link" between the ulceritive colitis and spine issues is the fact that during a UC flare up, I often have associated joint inflammation.
Other pertinent history includes moderate uncorrected pectus excavatum (PE) with a slight forward curvature of the upper thoracic spine. Recent surgery for acid refluc (nissen fundoplication) and to repair a hiatel hernia that likely was a side effect of the altered breathing from the PE.
Luckily for now surgery is probably not required (maybe as degeneration progresses, maybe never). But am just waiting to see where it stabilizes so the spine surgeon can recommend the next treatment plan (likely physical therapy and maybe occasional neck traction). Here I am waiting and hoping to be able to get back on my bicycle again soon. I have only made it out for 300 miles since mid June this year, last year I did over 700 miles in the Summer. Welcome to Spine-Health
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~ spine-health moderator, savage