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Feeling Lost with My Neck Pain

About 1 time each year for the past 3 years I have experienced radiopathy symptoms in my left side/shoulder, tricep,pectoral, sternum, with pain levels at a 9/10. The first time it happened I went to the ER wondering if I was having a heart attack. It comes on pretty quickly then the symptoms are gone within 3 days. 

The most recent of these attacks was Dec of 2017. So I got myself to my PP to see if we could figure out what was going on. I brought up that I wake up frequently in the night with my arms asleep, even though I was laying flat on my back. He did an exam, couldn't find any deficits, couldn't induce additional pain, and ordered an xray panel that came back negative. 

Since that attack the pain has never truly gone away. It's now remained as a dull ache from the base of my neck, sometimes in one or both triceps, and up until about a month ago, numbness in my arms while awake. Now I am just back to chronic pain. The pain isn't intense. I'd describe it as how your muscles feel the day after a good workout, so like a 2-3/10. However it's constant. At some point during the day it shows up and that's my day from there on out. 

So here I am several months in of daily pain and discomfort. I'm in my 40s and the mental toll this is taking on me is getting bad. There are times I just break down crying wanting a break from the discomfort. I have yet to have an MRI, but am attending PT 2-3x a week for the past several weeks. 

Observations I have made about myself. 

1. Driving in the car I feel pretty damn good. The aches go away and maybe at worst I'm just left with stiffness.

2. When I am on my feet for long periods of time I feel pretty good also. 

3. With the pain I constantly feel tense, like I can't relax that area of my body (neck, shoulder blade region). 

4. I ice daily, sometimes multiple times. 

5. I have a cervical traction collar that inflates that I use most days for about 20 min.

6. Prior to PT I had about a dozen sessions of chiropractic.

7. I just ordered a standing desk option for myself at work.

I feel like I am trying absolutely everything. I want to know that there is an end to this. That I am going to be fine. That I am not going to be like this the rest of my life. I'm worried sick about it and it's starting to affect my state of mind at work and my output, because all I can think about is the pain it would seem. I'm guessing and my doctors/PTs are guessing a C7/T1 impingement, and possible another one higher. Is there an end in sight? How long does it take for these things to heal? I struggle to work out not because moving hurts more, because it doesn't. It's just the mental state of it all. 



  • BuddyL, To begin with, you’ve come to the right site! #1 Stay away from Chiropractors, especially when your neck is involved. Looks like you’ve tried everything you can so maybe ask your MD would order a mylogram, MRI,and a nerve conduction test. These will be beneficial in isolating which nerve and disk are involved. And after that, you and the MD can discuss the proper treatment steps needed. Good luck and keep us posted...David


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,366

    hello buddyl33
    welcome to spine-health

    i agree with david, stay away from a chiropractor. and it does seem like you have tried everything. but now you are worrying about it so it's time to get the diagnostic testing done and find out for sure what is going on. your pain needs to be managed so you can get back to yourself.

    please click on the welcome link below and tutorial to get you started on the forum.
    welcome to spine health

    take care and please keep us posted on what you decide to do.
    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
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  • Hell Buddy, 

    I am in more or less the same situation, so i ll share my own experience with it.

    First of all, if some activity causes stiffness in your muscles, you should NEver ever do those .It is the way your body is telling you that you are doing something wrong and  you should stop further injury. I don't think driving is a good idea for you . Driving puts huge strain on the neck , but after all listen to your body.

    Second, you should do something about the pain, easier said than done, I cant do anymore desk job, but i am not in much pain. Weird.! I'd recommend some form of pain control, but dont forget that pain is there for a reason to warn you against hurting yourself more..

    In the end , your body has a massive capacity to heal itself and you are only forty..just listen to it. I hope this works because everyone is different when it comes to those injuries. I am afraid to try Chiropractic therapy, coz PT really left me much worse..especially the exercises. Drink lots of water, try to get some sleep, take it easy.. it will get better hopef

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