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At my wit's end

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I'd like some feedback on treatment for chronic deep neck pain. I've had an epidural which worked great for my muscle pain but it's worn off now. Then I had two nerve blocks-the first one worked perfect. The second one left pain in a specific spot which seemed to correlate with the injection site, plus I got a big muscle knot. We decided to go ahead with the permanent block. I got a huge bruise and of course that really hurt. But that pain never went away and then I got neuropathic pain. I'm on MS Contin 30mg X 3/day plus percocet for break-through pain. Recently I was started on Lyrica with mixed results. I have degenerative discs, bone spur and stenosis. My ortho mentioned a type of Cat scan test with dye-maybe a myelogram? This all suddenly started last February and I've been on narcotic pain meds since March. I'm tired of the pain, how I'm so restricted in activity and being on meds. Is there any fairly "typical" next step? I've read that fusion isn't appropriate for DDD. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,349

    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

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    Please feel free to contact me at rdilauro@gmail.com or send me a message
    From reading your post, it sounds like you have not had a MRI, but only a CTscan. What has the formal diagnosis been.
    Is there some cervical discs that are damaged? Since you have already had an Epidural and are using pain medications and nerve medication (Lyrica) have you been on any other treatments ? Physical or Aqua Therapy, Traction, Ultrasound, etc? When you mentioned a test with Dye, which to me brings up to tests: 1) Myelogram and 2) MRI with Contrast (but that is normally done when you have had prior surgery).

    Most DDD cases do NOT require surgery. DDD is probably the most common yet most mis-understood spinal problem. The word disease makes it sound worse than it can be. Degnerative Disc Disease is the natural aging of our spines.
    Its like our hair graying, it will happen to almost everyone, some earlier, some later, some more , some less.
    DDD can be treated with exercise and over the counter medications like NSAIDs. Only the rare and severe causes of DDD is surgery required.

    But always keep in mind, what part of my welcome message stated. We do not give formal medical advise, we are providing information based on our on experiences. Always
    discuss problems or conditions that you are sure about with your doctor
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Ron,

    I had an MRI w/o contrast in March. The summary showed disc desiccation combined w/shortening of the pedicule resulting in spinal stenosis at C3-C6. I also have a spur (which indicates arthritis?). I'm a youthful, small frame, somewhat thin 49 yo. I started physical therapy in April and it made my pain worse. I tried massage and even that made it worse. The doc said I was just too inflammed. Also, the epidural did work, but just on muscle spasms and it wore off about 6 weeks ago. I had tremendous response to Prednisone, especially with muscle pain, but it was just a week course.

    So, what I'm asking is, at this point, what other treatments are there beside surgery?
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  • Pred is an amazing drug...unfortunstely there are lots of adverse side effects of long term use.

  • I know having chronic pain is a very hard thing to live with. But you do have a good Dr. if he wants a CT myelogram done rather than an EMG. the myelogram is the best test to see nerve problems they are very good with showing the source of pain. you just have to take it day by day untill you find the source of pain.
  • I have some similiar symptoms. My issues go back to a head on collision when I broke a vertebrae. I've done the epidural shots but not sure if its the best solution. What sort of dr's are you seeing? Who is making the decisions? I too am petite and that seems to be a negative when it comes to spines from what I hear- just hearsay. Has anyone talked to you about fibro? Just an idea because again some things sound similiar. My pain fluctuates from down right annoying to debilitating. I just made an appt with a semi retired neurosurgeon to get him to look at my mri's together. I am a mom of a 7 year old, work full time and I need to know and understand more about the pain.
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  • You asked about fibromyalgia. While I don't have it, I have had an odd thing affecting my nerves. I got foot drop which they never quite figured out why though the neuro things was likely herpes simplex I. Then I got trigeminal neuralgia and finally, a bad tremor affecting my whole body. I actually went to Mayo about it only to find out I also developed tacycardia which I now have to take drugs for. Then the neck started. In between the last two, my neck issues started. After my permanent block, of which I got bad neuralgia, I asked the ortho if my nerve thing could be related in any way. He said while it may make my nerves more sensitive, it's not causing it. He then explained that's pretty much what fibroneuralgia is. Very heightened nerve sensitivity of the muscles. Is that how it was explained to you?

    The main doctor I see is pain medicine but see the ortho periodically.
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