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Neck Pain: Not sure what is wrong

chibipinkbunnycchibipinkbunny Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
So maybe someone can help me with this. I'm looking for answers right now. I'm actually fairly young, 25 years old and thin so doctors tend not to believe that I could have anything wrong. Regardless, I have an extensive family history of degenerative disc disease in my family. My mother has had several back and neck surgeries. *sigh* She always had neck problems growing up and by the time she was 45 she had to get the disk removed or she would become paralyzed. I always hoped I wouldn't have to go down that road, but it looks like I might be following in her footsteps.

For the past six-seven weeks I've been having horrible neck pain. I could point to the location where it is, but it's a bit below where my shoulders hit my neck. Don't know what number that is. Anyway, I've tried everything for the pain. Right now I'm on max dose tylenol and naproxen. I just had hip surgery (I know, lucky me) a while ago so I also take about two Vicodin for my hip pain. It does a little to relieve the pain, but it's still pretty bad. I ice it, and take really hot baths, but the pain relief is very short lived. As soon as the ice or heat is gone the pain is back in full force. It causes very bad tension headaches that start in the base of the skull. Once I have one of those, nothing seems to get rid of it. I've started having some shoulder pain in my right shoulder, but that is very sporadic. I just bought a neck brace, one of those soft foam support ones, and I'm not sure if it's helping. My doctor wants me to try acupuncture, and I'm willing to go because I just want this pain to end. I'm a full time pharmacy student on rotations and I'm even considering dropping out of school. Working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week is just hard when I'm feeling so poor. Oh, another symptom that I have, which is odd, is a sore throat. Like it hurts when I swallow. I'm almost certain this is related to the neck pain.

Anyway, I saw a doctor about this and he thinks that it's not cervical disc degeneration and that it should go away. Well, every morning I keep on hoping for a miracle, but the pain is still there. It seems to be getting worse lately, which is maybe why I've become so desperate. Does anyone have any advice? I'm just at a loss of what to do. My doctor told me to try a few visits of the acupuncture and see if that helps. If not, we'll try something else he said. I don't know, does this kind of pain kind of go away? It was just sudden and unexplained. No injury to cause it or anything. My mom said that she would have long periods of neck pain that would just go away on its own, so perhaps this too will just disappear? Thanks!




  • Hi Jessica, Can you get a referal to an orthopedist or neurologist? Sounds like at the least you should have an xray or a CT.

    My orthopedist always says ice only in the first two days or if there is new swelling. After that only heat. You should talk to your doctor about this as well as the head aches and using a brace. Sounds like you are fumbling around in the dark looking for relief. Remember if you are not happy with one doctor you should look for another. Not to shop for the diagnosis that you want but to find a doctor who wants to help you.

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,362
    Welcome to spine-health. There are some great articles and videos here that are very informative and helpful.
    I'm a long time neck pain sufferer and I feel your pain. I'm older than you but have had this pain for many years. I know that doctors usually try conservative treatments for a couple of months before doing any further tests so maybe if the accupuncture doesn't help he'll order xrays, ct, or mri. I noticed you said you just had hip surgery. How long ago was the surgery? Do you think your neck pain could be a result of positioning during surgery? Or from your posture while recovering? I hope that you will soon feel better and aren't heading down the same road as your Mom. It's no fun I know and must be very discouraging for you to consider quitting school. I hope it doesn't go that far and that you can get better or at least get relief soon. Sorry I really don't have any answers but only wanted to welcome you and wish you luck.
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  • You need to rule out infection first. A CBC should pick it up. Does your primary have a tympanometer to check both your ears quickly for infection? Please don't let an orthopedist pass you off to physical therapy or accupuncture without finding the cause of your neck pain. Ortho's are famous for this when a diagnosis doesn't pop right out for them. It's up to YOU to stand up for YOU, as no one else will do it for you! If you say you already tried physical therapy, they will drop the subject quickly. It is also too expensive for the limited results or lack of them, as was my case. Keep us updated, remember that when one of us finally gets the proper diagnosis that all of us benefit. Good luck!
  • Have you had any x-rays yet? How does your structure look?

    What you describe sounds a lot like the muscle spasms area that so many of the neckies get.

    I know it is hard to believe that muscle spasms could cause that kind of pain but they really can. The acupuncture might help. It is worth a try. I love acupuncture - even better if your insurance pays :) you also might find some theraputic massage. It could help. I would probably go back to the PCP and ask for a referral for MT and a script for a muscle relaxer see if that doesn't help.


  • Neck pain is perhaps one of the most common troubles we make out in the office. I cant tell you for myself I use to have horrible neck pain felt like a penknife in the bottom of my neck on the side. Prolotherapy is a Non-Surgical treatment which helps People Suffering From Knee, Back And Shoulder Pain, Arthritis, Joint etc.. Grab more information about Prolotherapy & go for it. All the best.
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