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Advice needed

lavenderthistlellavenderthistle Posts: 23
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I just posted in the new member forum. I have a history of neck injuries I ignored due to the idiocy of youth. I am trying to find a solution to my problem and I don't know what type of Dr. to see.

Here goes...
About 20 years ago a sofa was dropped on my head, I felt a horrible crunch, excruciating pain, nausea..I cussed then rejoined the party. The pain the next morning was horrible but I was around 22 and ignored it. A few years later I was in a T-bone car accident, I had a nasty headache, and back pain, it was determined oddly enough through x-ray that I had no whiplash. After this every 6 months one side of my neck will lock up, the pain is nauseating, my little finger and ring finger are usually numb or at least have diminished sensation.

Currently the right side of my neck has been "locked" for over a month...i have seen an urgent care Doctor, my regular GP, and my Chiropractor..I have been through 3 courses of muscle relaxers, 1 course of steroids, 2 courses of naprosyn (1500mg daily) and 1 of motrin (2400mg daily). Something should have loosened it by now right?

The chiropractor helps for about an hour, traction helps for about the same length of time...If I move my neck continually it isn't too bad, but If I try to do anything (typing) it starts to seize up again. I have tried all the stretches for scalenes and continue to do so...

So what type of Dr do I see? So far no one has even done an x-ray on this.



  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of great articles and videos on this site and the members of the forum are wonderful and supportive. I'm not glad you're having problems, but am glad you found us.

    It sounds like muscle spasms in your neck, but of course I don't know not being a doctor. If that's the case, I'm surprised that the muscle relaxants didn't help at all.

    Because you're having radiculopathy (symptoms in your hands/arms), I'd be careful with any chiropractic manipulation, especially since your problems are in the cervical area. I don't have anything against chiros, but it can be dangerous if you have something pressing on your spinal chord.

    The usual course of action is to start with your GP. After describing to him/nher everything you've described here (make a list if you have to), you should be prescribed an x-ray and/or MRI. Then your GP should suggest what's next, perhaps a referral to a spine specialist or spine surgeon. They can interpret your imaging and suggest a course of action, such as injections, PT, etc.

    So basically, I'm suggesting starting from square one with your GP and going from there, but be sure to mention all of your symptoms. I know that cervical problems can get worse over the years from previous accidents, as I was in a very bad car accident 30 years ago and my symptoms never showed up until 2008.

    Take care and please keep us updated.
  • I should have noted that in my original post.

    I have been to my GP twice and she has yet to order an x-ray or MRI. She just feels it and tells me it feels tight. She notes the range of motion, and tells me to move my neck...I do very often...I've shared this information as well. The first time she told me that she might order an x-ray if it didn't improve. It did not improve so I returned. She gave me motrin and flexeril then told me if it wasn't better she would prescribe physical therapy.

    I told her about the past injuries and the recurring pain and lack of motion, including the recent go-cart ramming.

    This is the new GP the last GP was worse.

    I guess what I need to figure out is how to get an x-ray or MRI done. My chiropractor never took any either.
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  • Welcome to Spine Health Lavender!!

    Does your insurance allow you without referral to go to a specialist? If it does, I would also suggest going to see a spine trained specialist - Neurologist or Orthopedist. I know with my spine issues, my GP pretty well lets me ask for what I want done (x-rays/MRI's etc.), and she knows that I want a new Neurologist - fresh set of eyes as my fusions are failing as is another level.

    With all the "incidents" you've described for your neck, it might be a good thing to do. Like Cathie said, traumatic incidents from years past can and do manifest much later in life. My *big* hit to my neck was crashing a helicopter over 25 years ago. Now all the levels marked as injured back then by a neurologist...are failing or giving me issues now. Please let us know how it goes, and again, Welcome aboard!!!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Yes my insurance does allow me to go without referral. I just had no idea whom to see. I will call my knee/ankle doctor to see who they recommend.

    A friend suggested her pain clinic, but pain clinic people told me years ago this was CTS..made me sit through an EMG then tried telling me it was tennis elbow??? What the heck? My Mom said Rheumatologist and her friend said Neurosurgeon. The nurse help line told me to go directly to the ER because of the numbness...then I started laughing and just hung up.
  • Interesting routes there! (G) Given the history you listed above, just my thoughts here... I would get with a Neurologist or Orthopedist that are spine specialists. Sure you could have Carpal Tunnel or Cubital Tunnel, but the trauma all seems to be on and around your neck.

    Since you don't require a referral, many insurance companies have a 24/7 nurse you can call. She is for medical questions sure, but she might also be able to look within the plan for doctors around your area you can go too. They also tend to know which doctors are good vs problems for their clients (us). Or you can go to their website, or if they mailed you a book of doctors in the plan, that might help as well. Please let us know how it goes, and too what they find out. :)

    Ps.. Remember you can also look up the doctors on the Internet to help sort them out!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • Hi again, Lavenderthistle. One suggestion might be to find a spine clinic or spine specialty center in your area and go there. The good thing about these is that they usually have PT, physios and surgeons all in one place and communicate with each other (at least they should).

    You can use the Find a Doctor search engine at the top of this SH site, or search on the internet.

    I think it's funny (not haha) that someone said you have tennis elbow. When I was having my cervical problems, one of the worst problems was left arm pain. Having been very ignorant at that time, new to all this, I looked up the symptoms I was having and they were identical to tennis elbow. Turns out, it was because of my cervical problems. The pain was gone immediately out of surgery. I'm not saying this is the case with you, but just sharing my experience.

    I agree that it's time to bypass the GP and find a good spine specialist, either independent or in a clinical setting.

    Take care and please keep us posted.
  • Hello Lavender and Welcome to Spine-Health!!!

    I am very sorry that you are having to go through all of this.....NO fun at all!!!

    You have gotten some wonderful advice so far...I dont really know what to add, other than I am really glad that you found this site....It has saved me on MANY occasions!!!

    Keep us updated and I will be praying for your well being!!!
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