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Hello all! This is my first post here, and will be lengthy, but any feedback is appreciated. I am a healthy 34 year old male. I have had chronic neck pain for the past 20 years. I started going to a chiropractor 20 years ago for neck pain. It never really helped, so I quit going. Over the last 20 years, I have done physical therapy, been on numerous pain pills, went to different chiropractors, tried at home therapy...you name it, I've tried it. The pain pills were the only thing that helped, but every time I would just develop a dependency and go through horrible withdrawals when I stopped taking them. The most recent episode of this was 5 years ago. I swore I was done going to the doctor and figured I would just live with the pain. Over the last couple of years, the pain has moved into my shoulder as well. All 20 years, the pain has ONLY been on the right side of my neck, and my right shoulder. Lately, it has been a strong burning pain at the bottom of my neck (right side) and a burning into my right shoulder. I will feel ok when I wake up in the morning, but as soon as I start raising my right arm to brush my teeth, wash/fix my hair, that is when it starts hurting. Some days it's just annoying, and some days it is almost unbearable. Nothing makes it stop hurting until I lay down to go to sleep. I started seeing a new doctor a few weeks ago, and she ordered an MRI. The MRI results are as follows;
Multilevel disc height loss in cervical and throracic spine
Multi level disc desiccation
Multi level facet arthropathy in C2-C7
Mild D.D.D in C2-C7
Mild left foraminal stenosis in C6-C7
She then referred me to a neurosurgeon, who I saw yesterday.
The neurosurgeon told me that he thought everything in my MRI looked good, and that he didn't see anything that would be causing the symptoms I have. He did tell me that my cervical spine was perfectly straight, instead of curved, but that shouldn't be causing my pain. He told me that if I went and talked to someone else, who recommended surgery, to RUN out of their office, because there was nothing surgical to be done. When he showed me the MRI, everything he said that they look for, based on the way he described it to me, looked good. He didn't mention all of the things that the person who originally read the MRI noted. He told me that he believed I basically had 'chronic whiplash'. He asked about accidents or injuries. Once I got to thinking about it, I WAS involved in an auto accident, the same year the pain started. I was only 14 years old, and didn't have any injuries, that I knew of, at the time of the accident. But it was the same year that I first started experiencing the neck pain. He has referred me to see a pain specialist to talk about Botox injections. He said that some people seem to have good luck with them. He told me that he thinks this is a muscular pain that I'm experiencing. As I'm typing this, my neck is really starting to burn. If I stretch or rub it, it might feel better for the few seconds I'm doing it, but as soon as I stop, it goes right back to burning. Does this sound like muscle spasms? I remember a couple times, years ago, when I went to the chiropractor, my neck was so stiff that he couldn't even do any adjustments. He had me go into another office and get some sort of injections, maybe steroids of some sort, to get my neck loosened up enough to adjust me. This pain is right on that bone that kind of sticks out on the bottom of your neck, and goes on top of my shoulder and down under my shoulder blade. I'm just curious if anyone has had any of these same symptoms or diagnosis, and if anyone ever found relief. Thanks for reading!