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Chronic Neck Pain- MRI comes back normal

gracienalaggracienala Posts: 1
edited 02/03/2016 - 9:24 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
About 4 years ago I had a cheerleading accident. I was mid-backflip and my foot slipped off the mat, and I landed on my back, on top of my head. Hard to picture, yes. My forehead had a bruise on it.. My head bent all the way back when I landed. Now, I have chronic pain. The pain is daily. Whether it is severe or moderate- it fluctuates. When the accident happened I went to the chiropractor who just took an x ray and then got a little device and popped it on my neck. I'm not sure what it did, I thought the problem was fixed. I'm also not completely sure if the pain ever really went away because I've been used to it being here for so long, but it's never been this bad. About three months ago it flared and I had multiple X-rays, the doctor said I have no curve to my neck and that c-3 is misaligned. He also said something about the x-ray being blurry due to all the muscle spasms. He put me on steroids and anti-inflammatories. It didn't help, so he ordered an MRI. I did the MRI about a month ago and it came back completely normal (I did the MRI laying down) so I just said screw it. I'm in horrible pain yet nothing seems out of the ordinary? Here I am in excruciating pain and nothing can be done to help me. I read a forum that someone had an MRI (laying down) that came back normal and had another MRI standing up that came back with 4 bulging disks. Can anyone relate to me? Anyone know what might be wrong?

There are no medical professionals on the forum side of this site. Therefore everything you read is based on the personal experiences and/or research done by the individual member. Comments should never be taken as pure medical facts. You need to discuss this with your doctor. They are the only ones that can provide you with detailed information about you, the patient.

Liz, Spine-health Moderator


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    Many people believe that a stand up MRI is going to show more than the conventional MRI.  I do have to say in some cases that might be true.  But overall, the degree of clarity and details, the standard MRI (laying down) is much higher than the Stand up type.  So, for many situations, the stand up MRIs are going to miss or cloud up what the conventional MRI units would do.

    Many times the diagnostic tests will come back normal, no problem found!  Yet, at the same time the patient is in pain.
    Thats when the doctor needs to become more of a detective.  Trying to figure out your situation, putting all the pieces together.   With your type of situation, it could be a very aggressive muscle or nerve problem.  Those things are not going to show up on MRIs, but should be identified  with clinical examinations.

    To me, I would question the doctor as to what they believe the diagnosis to be.  Is it muscular?  is it a pinched nerve?
    Could it be a disc problem?..  And if they do not know the answers, then my next question to them would be, Ok, then what tests do we need to take to isolate this  further

    Let the doctor figure out what tests and diagnostic tools they need, all you want is a clear definition of what your problemis and what are the actions to correct it.
    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
  • I second Ron's opinion about your doctor needing to be more of a detective in your case! 
    I recently went in for a lumbar fusion surgery,  and was only supposed to have one level done (L4-5).  After the surgeon got started,  he found two broken bones in my L5-S1 that NEVER showed upon xrays OR MRIs!  He had to fuse that level,  too.   
    I went through years of torment,  and was told it was all in my head all the way to being labeled as having "drug-seeking" behaviors because I simply wanted to be out of pain at least enough to work! 
    Don't give up,  and if you feel like you are being underserved by your doctor,  pain management group...heck,  ANYONE who is responsible for helping you to work this problem through to the BEST possible outcome,  then it might be time to find medical professionals who WILL get to the bottom of this for you. 
    Good luck,  hon...hang in there!
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • hi, when you said you landed on your back and head, that made me think you may have had what I had from whiplash. Your atlas C1 bone may be misaligned. if it is it can cause such pain and forever if not fixed. have a search for the info on the atlas realignment yourself to see and be convinced as my words are not enough. I had pain in neck and head for a year and was so low I couldn't do anything. now I'm free of this 12 days after treatment and getting better all over. you can be born with it out of alignment or an accident can nock it out of its right place. chiros don't normally touch this bone as many specialist are not trained in the treatment which I mite add is non avasive and pain free and just like a massage. so please have a look for an atlas profilax trained treater in your country and I wish you all the best don't stop fighting xx
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