Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Why so Many with newly diagnosed Neck Problems??

MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:20 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have been in Healthcare for pushing 30 years .... never have I seen such a great influx of cervical related pathologies. Could it be that this invention called the computer is contributing to that occurance?? I sit behind these machines for 8+ hours a day now ... no wonder my neck is sore ....or maybe it has something to do with my 5 surgeries? What are your thoughts .... why so many c-spine arthropathies? Chime in. What was, is your cause, or MOI (method of injury)?



My avatar is worth a thousand words and
$500,000+ dollars of surgery.
Spine-health Moderator
Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!



  • Great topic, Metalneck! I spent many years running and working out, and the docs tell me that didn't cause my DDD/cervical mess/stenosis. I have always had poor posture, especially at the computer. I still have poor posture despite trying to correct it. I never had a traumatic accident or anything. I've had two docs tell me to blame my parents. One doc mentioned that stenosis has been around for years and years, but we never knew of it until the MRI began being used.

    Bubblegum--I just seemed to have woken up one day with my problems, too! Although I'm sure they have been coming on for 54 years.---Mazy :)
  • Not too sure about mine. Maybe over time the cervical discs got crushed or possibly, and the more I think about it I think it's the likliest of possibilities, that two years ago my son jumped from the couch onto my back, without my knowing he was going to do it. Within about an hour I had horrible, horrible cramping pain in my neck (it literally drove me to tears) that didn't go away for days. :(
  • Mine is directly attributable to over use of the PC.
    After 20 years or so of heavy office work -mainly figures-I then did about 23 years of increasingly heavy PC work. Finished up with RSI in right arm and shoulder, mainly from gripping the mouse; and a very sore neck from leaning towards the screen all day.
    I am a one finger per hand keyboard user, which also increased the strain.
    Some days i would get to work and would be unable to get out of the car. Took copious pain killers but not the right ones, I found out later.
    Towards the end I was useless after about 1-2 hours on the keyboard, and was so sore and tense overall that I could do productive work only about 2 days out of five. Luckily I was offered early retirement.
    Incidentally, just after I left they brought in a weekly massage offer for neck and shoulders.
    The keyboard and mouse are still my biggest cause of neck, shoulder and arm pain.
    But using the PC is so addictive and useful it is not feasible to stop completely.
    Can't do much else anyway.....
    When I was collecting my unemployment payments I would get chatting about what my problem was, and I made a point of asking the service people how they were coping with full-time PC work. Without fail, they all complained that it was causing them all sorts of pain problems. So I would say that unless you stop or modify it, you will end up like me, unable to work.They always approved my payments then.
  • It does seem that a lot of people are having cervical spine surgery.....as I was told mine was needed and when a surgeon throws out words like paralysed you don't ask a lot of questions. Mine was from an injury years ago that was never taken care of and over the 10 year span my cervical spine collapsed. My question would be how many people who turn the surgery down actually do become paralysed???? I have never read about anyone who has.....

  • that the computer doesn't help my problems now but I am not so sure that it is the cause ( I have only been using the computer for a few years ). Truth be told I am not sure what the cause is.....it could be one of several things or a combination. Growing up , I was the only girl in a huge group of guys and these fellas were my best friends however we would play football and even though I was the smallest out of the group that didn't save me from being full body tackled if I had the ball... :D Or it could be numerous dirt bike accidents or when a four wheeler flipped over and landed on top of me....or even years of headbanging at heavy metal concerts...like I said I am not even sure what the cause could be. I do know that I also have terrible posture at the computer and I can tell when I have spent too much time in front of it because I pay for it with pain but I too couldn't imagine not having it.....it does make life so much easier.... :)
  • I've been a computer addict sine around 1984 when I got my first computer. I'm sure posture had something to do with my cervical spine problems. The doctors tell me genetics play a big part as well.

    At any rate, its no fun having non-stop shoulder and arm pain. When they finally figure out what it is seems like it takes forever for them to really do what it takes to mostly solve the problem. LOL. Gosh, I've had MRI's/XRays of my arms, a year and a half of physical therapy, etc. etc..Now we might be getting close to something significant being done to fix it.

    Take care! You brought up an excellent topic!

    Ken GreyEagle
  • Have to say that I have wondered what caused my problems many times. I am a Master Plumber with 22 years of working. My NS sort of said think of it as carprial tunnel (sp) of the neck, but you can always think back and say, did that football injury in 9th grade do this? Perhaps all the 'other' things that one does over the years may be the cause. My OS thinks that I probably had stenosis and DDD without any symptoms, until I knocked myself out at work and that created a small series of events until I woke up with my left arm so numb I wanted it cut off..but now that things are 'fixed' it is time to start another adventure.
  • On top of my leg & back pain L4 L5 S1 I have been experencing pain in the right side of my neck & top of my shoulders for the last couple of weeks. I haven't done anything lately to aggrivate my neck. I thought maybe my worthless flat pillows, so I got a memory foam contourd pillow. We'll see if that helps. I do sit at the keyboard a couple of hours every day after I get home from driving truck for 8 yrs a day. My wife just says I'm falling apart at 56. :(
  • I wonder how many people with neck problems were headbangers in the 80's and 90's? Heavy metal was my favorite music during that period and my parents are CERTAIN that my love of that music contributed to my issues.

    Myself, I think it's genetics. Neck issues struck my grandmother when she was in her 70s. They struck my father in his 50s. Me, in my 30s. Seeing that each generation is struck 20 years sooner, I told my children that their teen years will be very uncomfortable! :P
  • Auto accident 3 years and 2-1/2 months ago. Herniated C4/C5, C5/C6 and L5/S1.

    5 months ago had Discectomy\Laminectomy on my L5/S1.

    Many injections and nerve ablations in my neck. Doc wants to do fusion surgery. I don't want to. I still have good range of motion just lots of pain.
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Breakdancing to the list ..... I never could get that spining on my head trick to work! .... maybe now that I'm bionic I should try again!

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • I think a lot of it has to do with awareness and education on the part of the medical community as well as the general population. I believe a lot of this has always been there, just not "recognized" so to speak.

    My issues started with headaches, which has been a common malady for people throughout the ages. Many suffered their entire lives with them and I wonder how many were related to c-spine issues.

    The root cause for me was a motorcycle accident compounded by being blown off the nose of an aircraft onto the concrete ramp below.

  • Also think about RSI in your wrist and shoulder from over use of keyboard and mouse. This will make those areas very sore very quickly, and they will only get better with rest. Might take a few months to show any real improvement. If you can, leave the PC alone for a few days and see what improves, then get back on and see what gets sore.
    Just when the computer starts to take an important and useful role in our daily lives, we get this!
  • Driving a truck for 8 hours a day, and possibly for many years, will likely have a very adverse effect on your body through vibration, poor seats, rigid posture, lack of muscle tone, poor diet (?) and so on. And to then spend another 2 hours or so again just sitting at a PC, and again using the same arm and shoulder muscles is bound to give you problems.
    When you say you haven't done anything to aggravate your neck, I would strongly suggest that you have-10 hours of it! Just holding the steering wheel can lead to RSI.
    Necks wear out and we have to modify our behaviour as we age. worn joints will cause nerve problems, and this can affect head, neck, arms, hands, back and shoulders, eyes too.
    Truck driving can be very hard on the body.
    The shoulder pain could be from nerve inflammation in the neck, a sore trapezius muscle, or RSI, for starters.
    Have you tried massage, or muscle relaxants?
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Thought I'd bump this back into play.

    Please add your reply and thoughts!

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • lets add in childbirth and children in general :) I have four and the dr thinks it is from always having one on my hip or carring twins in double carriers and/or the zillon pound strollers - now they are much lighter.

    I really thought I had MS, but the only thing that really stands out in my case is just being a mom to 4. Crazy, but i love my children and my neck clearly has paid the price for their little lives :) It is all worth it though, you may have to remind me after my surgery though.........LOL
  • Hi. I ask myself often "how did I get into all this spine mess?!" Then I think back over my 53 years and think: 1) My Mom used to yell at me all the time for carrying way too much up the stairs at the same time. 2) Same Mom used to make me, along with one of my brothers shovel tons of snow out of the driveway, mow the lawn, rake leaves. Dad had a bad back and couldn't 3) My first two children are close in age (now they are 28 and 29). It seems when I would take them out without my husband, I would have a baby either in a front pack or back pack. 4) Still, I lift things that are way to heavy. I always do things that I shouldn't instead of waiting for help.I need to brake that habbit! 5) Yes, I do sit at this computer wayyyyyy too long every day!

    I think all of this has ruined my body from top to bottom. 4 surgeries on spine and three on shoulder, with cervical fusion about to happen on July 22. I do have DDD but was told most my age have signs of it but not everyone has pain from it. So basically I think I only have myself to blame for the condition I am in. I used to play a lot of volley ball, too taking many dives to the hard gym floor! I don't regret living my life as I did, other than maybe the carrying babies on my back. The carriage would have been fine for them!! Oh well, at this point I can just hope that the cervical surgery helps. Got the SCS a few months ago. After I heal I will go back to babysitting my 1 yr. old grandaughter, but this time will use the carriage!

    I wish you all a pain free wonderful day!


  • You may be onto something here. I have 5, 4 very close in age including twins, and it seems they were always either crawling all over me or I was carrying one or two at a time. (on the hips, shoulders, back, front, one in each arm, whatever it took to get htem where we were going)

    In reality though, my neck issues are from a fall. Just thought it interesting that swim mom and myself both have twins. Car seat carriers have DEFINITELY gotten lighter and much smaller since the days I was carrying one around in each hand! I built up some really good muscles during that period of my life. It looks much easier nowadays.


    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Geneetics and lifestyle. Raising hay and cattle, bucking and stacking hay, being dragged around corrals by calves we were halter-breaking. Getting bucked off my horse several times. But the final icing on the cake was carrying a large behind-the-sofa- table up 14 steps into my new Condo when I moved to town. Oh, and lets not forget the 6,000+ miles a month I drive on my job.

    If we could only go back and do it over :))( I'll bet we would do things a lot differently.

    Take care all
  • Sitting in front of the computer, spending hours in forums like these..and yea head banging.. ok enough from my side..

    i also get moderate neck pains and stiffness, its nothing serious, just temporary. mostly when after driving a lot, or because of my work that demands me to stick in front of a PC for 10 hrs.. and even because of my huge pillow. anyways, just want to share a blog i found on neck pain. my mom particularly,
    learned a couple of physiotherapy exercises / massage techniques from this blog and it helps relieve stiffness to a great extent.

    love, frida

    Standards agreement and posting rules
    Please note that Spine-Health reserves the right to edit any messages posted or submitted or e-mailed to the Company and use them for content on the website or in other company materials. No e-mail solicitation or advertising of other companies, products, services, or web sites is permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.

    Edited by moderator paulgla

  • my surgeon told me i was born with a small spinal canal,i've had leg pain and neck stiffness for years.I remember being a very early teenager waking up not being able to move my head it was so stiff,having my mother massage my neck just so i could turn it.I also had horrible leg pain so badly that i couldn't sleep at night.My doctor always thought something was wrong with my knees ,even sent me to an ortho to figure it out.He said that my quads were so weak that my knee caps were falling over the bone in the front on my legs.sent me to therapy all the while its not making sense to me cause i played soccer and was a very active teenager that my muscles would weaken.not til years later did i find out about the herniations and stenosis once i had the surgery the leg pain went away. all those years of suffering and no one thought to look at my spine.
  • When I was 10 I was playing in a 3 story barn on my families farm and I fell through a rotten part of the floor and went down and landed on the back of my head neck. Had a severe concussion and spent 2 days in the hospital. When i was 13 I got a new teen speed bicycle for my birthday, I hit the front brakes learning how to ride it and i flew up in the air and landed on my back. At 16 I was horseback riding and the horse flipped me and again landed on my back. My surgeon says childhood injuries catch up with you later in life. He is right!
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • 17 years in the army has done me in... walking way too many miles carrying way too much kit... being pushed off repel and jump towers (I finally got over my severe fear of heights eventually :| ) working long hours in front of a typewriter and computer (guess I didn't listen well when my intructors used to yell at me for poor posture during typing tests #o ) "sucking it up and carrying on" and not letting injuries heal properly, jumping off armoured vehicles, tanks or the back of trucks instead of climbing off properly, bad knees, sleeping on the ground (or worse, army cots :))( ) for weeks and months on end...
    Other than that, 2 car accidents within a year when I was 18, and just my general clumsy self and tendency of falling down L)
    So I guess, my own stupidity, a little bit of work related reasons (which some can be chalked up to my own stupidity as well) and maybe a little bit of genetics are to blame!!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    We spend so much time here talking about, and learning about the effects on everyone ... Its really interesting to hear so much about the causes.

    Our stories are so very unique. (and in many cases -pert near tragic).

    My prayers are with us all,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • My neck,and spine problems came to a climax when I was working on a bright sunny october morning.I was tarping a transport trailer when the tarp became stuck,and I had to climb up on top to fix it.I fell backwards off the top of the trailer 13ft. to the pavement onto the back of my head .I broke my neck at C6.From there it seems to be one thing after the other.Chronic pain
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    3 auto accidents and a motorcycle dump within a 20 year span of time. I walked away from them all with barely a scratch but my neck is suffering "late effects".

    The first time I saw an ortho .... he said I had the neck of an 80 year old ... he then recanted and said he knows 80 year olds that have better necks. I was 42 at the time 4+ years and 5 sugeries ago.

    BUT I have no doubt that computers (also since 1984) have played a significant role in my pathologies. I don't beleive in a genetic link .... no one in my family (including grand parents) have had DJD. (Degenerative Joint Disease)

    Prayers for you all,


    My avatar doesn't even come close to telling my bizzare story.
    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • I think some of it may have to do with poor diet and the general nutritional value of much of the food today.
  • I'm sure my back problems were directly effected by the hard, heavy work I have done for almost 30 years. I think my herniation @ C6C7 was probably there for a while, maybe even years. My actual injury was caused by working at a strange angle for a few hours. Something "hung up" in my neck, it was hard to swallow (lump in my throat feeling) and it hasn't been the same since. I suppose that herniation moved.
  • I have a congenital fusion at the C6-C7 making the rest of my neck work twice as hard. I am sure 30 years of working in the computer industry hasn't helped. Sitting at a keyboard, lifting computers, bending, crawling under desks, etc. Even way back when before PC's I had to lift huge platters that were used for backups or change reel to reel tapes where I would have to keep my arms up over my head and look up for long periods of time. Also, a lot of time fishing - bending over taking ALL those fish off the line!!
  • Has anyone considered that access to doctors and tests has contributed to the increase in spine problems being treated? Twenty years ago you had a family doctor who had to send you to a hospital for an x-ray(which never happened). If you complained to mom(wife) that something hurt they told you to take an aspirin and shut up. My mom is 78 and refuses to take anything the docs want to give her. They can't believe when she goes to a doc and she says she doesnt take ANY meds for anything.

    I think we do much more today, which technology contributes alot to. How many people had motor bikes 50 years ago? How many did track and field or gymnastics to the extreme we do now? Also most people didn't sit at a desk doing anything 50 years ago.

    Another thing to remember is that 50 years ago the average person didn't survive neck/back injuries. The quietly died at home after a runaway wagon accident at 30. And the average life expentancy was much less so they didn't live long enough to have their spine naturally degenerate.

    As we expect to live longer we need to think very carefully about the things we can control that affect our bodies. Insist on a workstation that is ergonomically safe (OSHA law requires it!!). Doesnt have to be expensive. Make sure your monitor is at eye level. I have books under mine to bring it to a good height. A good chair (adjustable) is $100. And take breaks to walk around. Do some stretching in the washroom or lunch room. It doesn't take much to feel better for the rest of your life. And do the same at home!!

    I'd love to see some articles on things to do to keep your spine healthy.
Sign In or Register to comment.