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Unconvinced by diagnosis

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
First of all I would like to thank all of you who answered my previous messages. It’s nice to get some feedback to reassure you! We all need that!

I have finally had my MR can looked at and I have a herniated disk C4. The disk is bulging but appears not to be impinging on my spinal cord.


Injury mid October 08 lifting something out of car. Was given anti inflammatory drug Dicloflex 50mg.

Early November seemed to have recovered so returned to Badminton. Next day in great pain.

Went to doctor and was prescribed Tramadol on 24th November 08.

Pain decreased as time went on but got new symptoms.

Left index finger and top of hand went numb and has remained so.

Have pins an needles in legs and both arms occasionally.
Muscle spasms in neck.

Sometimes if feels my head is separated from my body.

Most recently having breathing issues and swallowing/gag reflexes.

Worst thing however is when I lay down and put pressure on the spot on the back of my neck. I get cramping all over my body. Sometimes I wake up and my right arm is completely numb. Today I woke up and I couldn’t move at all, I had to rock my head left and right to get moving.

I have been to A and E (ER) with breathing difficulties, could only breath when laying forward.

The doctor says MRI shows it is not impinging my spinal cord, he also says I have a smaller bulge in a higher cervical disk too and some general wear and tear. But I am really worried about this. He had no clear explanation for the pins and needles and numbness/ cramping/breathing issues when laying. I lay on my back, can’t lay on either side it feels as if i’m going to suffocate.

I have been referred to a spine specialist in January. But I think I need to see a neurologist. Anyone else have this experience?

Reflexes are good, no weakness in legs!

If it continues over the weekend I am going to get my MRI scans and see a private neurologist. I am wholly unconvinced to the doctors diagnosis.




  • Hello and sorry for your pain. It is wise to get a second opinion. It is possible another set of eyes may find something that the first one missed. A neurologist will be able to conduct nerve tests (EMG) which will hopefully pinpoint your problem.
    Good luck to you
  • ginm
    sorry to hear you are in pain, and that you are not getting clear answers to you questions from the doctor,,, I would deffinatley suggest getting a second opinion from anther doctor. I wonder if you are getting these sensations from a nerve being compressed, though it shows you do not have the spinal cord compressed, could be a nerve. I think, a spine specialist might have answers, and I had a surgeon even send me to a neurologist, so sounds like you are on the right track.
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  • So sorry this is happening to you! Hope you will get a competent second opinion. It not just the spinal cord that can cause pain, but the nerves coming out through our spine can also become compressed for various reason- bone spurs, herniated disk, ruptured disks and missaligned vertibrae. Each level of the spine has nerves that controls certain muscle groups, arms and hands, breathing, legs, bladder, etc. A competent neurologist/spine specialist will do a thorough evaluation of your symptoms and even more tests to see what's going on. I would only be satisfied when I see lots of tests have been done. My surgeon told me he is motivated by evidence from tests, not just by the descriptions of pain a person feels because they can be misleading and referered pain can make an inexperienced doctor think sometime else is wrong. It happened to me so I know he is right.

    I went with my gut feelings on my first cervical spine operation-the neuologist was convinced I had a pinched nerve in my brachial plexus and was working me in for an operation in that area since my pain was all in my shoulder and arm he said it couldn't be my neck but I said no, not until you look at my neck. Boy was he wrong! After he saw the CT meyleogram he sent me to a spine surgeon.

    So yes-go for the tests-go to a place that give lots of test-like the Mayo if you can afford to. Go to the best-it's your body and you have to be your own advocate. Good luck!
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