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JulieAJJulieA Posts: 1,381
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am getting frusterated. I have been through 2 weeks of PT- 6 more to go (as required by my insurance). I do like my PT but I am confused, sore and frusterated.

On our first session she said if she did not see improvement in 3-5 sessions she woudl send me back to my NS. Each session has been different. She keeps trying to find something that works for me. She is now working on my lumbar area and believes that my weakness in my lower half is causing my neck pain...... I said I think the herniated discs and movement in my neck is causing my neck pain! The funny thing is- that prior to PT I rarely had neck pain but constantly had the arm stuff going on. Now my days are full of neck pain.

She wants me to concentrate on keeping my neck up right and shoulders dropped but this is my problem. It hurts like heck and I start getting shooting pain into my neck and arms.

I feel like I am hurting more each time I see her than before I started. I have been in a solid flare for the last 2 weeks. She say's it is because my muscles are waking up.

I have allso been using my electromagnetic therapy machine. But I have noticed that after I remove it, I am feeling like it is still pulsating down my arms? Maybe I am doing it wrong?


  • Hang in there Julie. Somrtimes it takes alot of jumping thru hoops to get the help we need It sounds like your NS will eventaully schedule your procedure. In the mean time it might help to keep a pain journal.Keep us informed and don't get too discouraged."):)Steve
  • Hi Julie

    I had the same frustration with PT. It was never the same which I can't understand. Seemed like they had you do whatever machine was free and the hands on was directed by who was free and how much time they had -- oh and if lunch had just been delivered - lol.

    In my last round of PT I would feel the pulsing after being disconnected. I don't know if it because of the equipment or if it is a progression in my condition.

    Hang in there.
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  • I have the worst headache since yesterday when I got up. I managed to medicate myself enough yesterday to function a little but today it may be worse. I slept with an ice pack on the back of my head and moved it to the front & sides periodically through out the night.

    I am using it now as well.

    I am considering driving my self to the ER. I am waiting for a call from my NS office to see what they say.

    Any ideas to help me? I have taken a norco and 2 extra strength tylenol (limit for the day).

  • did you get a hold of the doctor's office....sometimes it is best to let them know that you plan to go to the ER - this way all reports can be directly forwarded to your doctor.

    I for myself, felt better going to the ER with my doctor's permission and felt validated to the staff at the ER - this way i didn't worry that they thought i was a drug seeker. They still may have, but i felt more confident being able to say, that my doctor knew i was there and to forward any and all reports on to him (i took his business card to help execute this process)

    patti - let us know what is up
  • Does your head hurt worse when you raise it? Is it more tolerable when you lay flat? Are you sensitive to lights and sounds? Do you feel dazed and just plain horrible? If so, it sure sounds like a spinal headache (trust me-I'm a veteran of 3).

    Call your doctor and get a ride or call an ambulance to get to the ER. Do not drive yourself. Spinal headaches are dangerous as well as very painful. Get well soon and please let us know how you are. Take care
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  • I finally got ahold of my NS nurse. He is off till next Tuesday. She advised me to try Exedrin Migraine (and I did). I took it on an empty stomach and I think it lifted it about 30 % then an hour later I took 2 norco and finally about 3 pm I felt human again.

    The nurse suggested I go to the ER if I can't get it under control (but I am down to a manageable level for now). She asked me to have the PT fax my records to her on Monday. I am back on the surgery books for January 7th.

    She is going to speak my NS on Tuesday and see if there is anything else they can do to move it up.

    Mey- the pain is in the base of my head and goes up and into my eyes. It pulsated when I walked & stood up, & my eyes were having a hard time focusing. I used ice packs and the bed buddy, extra strenght tylenol, aspirin, excedrin migraine and norco (not all at once). I still feel like I have been ran over my truck.
  • Julie,

    I'm pretty sure I have a dural tear as well, and I've got your headache in case you want it back for any reason. As I wrote in my "Introduction" post, I have what are called “chronic daily headaches” and have had a headache every day of my life since I was in the seventh grade, going on forty years now. I have multiple kinds of headaches, including common tension headaches and sinus headaches, but also cervicogenic headaches, migraines, clusters, chronic muscle contraction headaches….

    Every kind of specialist has said he had the answer; it’s my hormones, it’s my vision, it’s my teeth, it’s stress…. So I wore braces as an adult, got glasses, had a hysterectomy and went on Elavil. I gained more than a hundred pounds from the Elavil and nearly did permanent cardiac damage. I’ve had Botox in my head, my face and my neck. I’ve had the nerves burned on the facet joints of my cervical vertebrae. I’ve had physical therapy. I take daily doses of Flexoril, Naproxen, Clonapen, Darvocet, Mirapex…

    Three years ago during an MRI searching for causes for my headaches, my neurologist discovered three ruptured discs in my neck pressing on my spinal cord. I had surgery (a three-level disc fusion) and was out on LOA for three months. The surgery, while serving to hold my head on, made the headaches worse. I cannot look up above my own eye level and my left right radius is less than a hundred sixty degrees.

    Last year's MRI revealed two more cervical discs "ruptured"; today's looks as though one of those, or the screw under it, or the osteophyte next to it, has torn the dura at C4-C5. I don't have the radiology report, but I do have the pictures and I CAN see the obvious problems. I was off today for the MRI (have to have a general) but I actually have to work for the next four days, unless the neuro calls and says get on my back until I can get into surgery.

    Which brings me to the point. If you have a spinal headache, lie down. Cerebral hypotension results in insufficient CSF to cushion your brain on the bottom of your skull, thus causing the headache. A prone position has two effects. Gravity will not affect your brain sitting on the floor of your skull, and the lack of it will also diminish the leaking.

    It's interesting to me that you assume this headache is cervical in nature (because you're having neck trouble) and I assumed it was just my daily headache in combination with some of the others because "I" have chronic daily headaches, but I think we have the same headache. I'm convinced I'm leaking CSF because I can see the break in the dura with a protrusion in it; I could lie down til the end of the next millenium and the tear would not heal. Are your films suggestive of a similar situation?

  • Thanks Titan,

    I am sorry to hear about yoru situation. I don't think anyone should have to suffer like this.

    Laying down hurts the back of my head as does standing up & keeping my head straight and chin down.

    I used a lot of medication yesterday and was as compfortable as I could get. I slept well but awoke with a headache (like level 4 on the pain scale). Much better than the level 10 I was having.

    I will keep medicated and keep using ice and heat. I purchased a bed buddy yesterday (heat in the microwave). I can wrap it around my head and clip it with a hair clip.

    Today I have a couple of errands to run and then I will be home resting. Easy day.
  • Sorry you don't feel better. I can't help but think if the back of your head hurts when you lie down on your back that you are correct in assuming cerebral hypotension caused by a dural tear. I've been wondering all day if I'm causing more damage by going to work and not staying prone all day. I'm also concerned because I think my tear is actually a puncture from a protruded disc or a screw from the previous fusion that I'm risking a transection with every step. So be careful, and keep us updated!

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