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Neck Pain & Headaches

edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had my colarbone broken 15 years ago and after a screw was inserted, 2 weeks after surgery I started getting pain on the crown of my head. This was from a bicycle fall where a hospital failed to see I had a hairline fracture in my right colarbone. Since then I returned to the doctors complaining of pain in my right colarbone and doctor suggested taking the screw out after 9 years of being in there. It took them about 2 or 2 1/2 hours to do that and then I started noticing that the sleeve of my coat was short on one side. I then realized my right arm was longer than my left arm. I returned to the same doctor and he said that I needed my ligaments tightened. I went to get another surgery done to tighten my ligaments which he said may or may not work. I could swear my neck headaches got better after the surgery. Only I started to get chronic headaches again and not only that, the area where I broke it caved-in after they took the screw out and I keep trying to raise my shoulder all the time. Where my shoulder is caved-in, I get nerve pinching at the site. When I get throbbing in my spine, it goes down my right arm too. I also have a hernia in C3 which a ortho doctor said is impinging on my spinal cord and I have bone spurs too. I have a degeneration at C7. I have arm weakness, and nerve pain down both arms, shoulder pain, tightness in my neck going under my scalp into my brain. After 2 hours of waking up my headaches return...and they are constant. I've been living like this for 14 years and I've been going to neurosurgeon and they say my problem is not bad. I get so bad with the throbbing in my spine and right arm that I feel like I'm not going to make it to see tomorrow.

I just got new MRI of Brain, caratoids in neck and Brain, neck MRI and lumbar. Next I'm going to see a neurologist for emg studies and eeg...I think. These are painful and have had them before but I don't want to go for neck surgery and the doctor only takes care of 1/2 the problem. I think I really should have another MRI done of my right shoulder because my clavicle is caving in and my back bone (the wing) is protruding and I get pain in my back. I'm a total mess! I was thinking of going to those hospitals in Manhatten that take care of cases where all doctors have denied them of help! I can't live with this pain and agony anymore!

Anyone have any other ideas?


  • So sorry for all you have gone through. All of us here have a similar plight - fighting and controlling the monster P-A-I-N ~X( . I would definitely seek another opinion or as many as it takes until you find a doc who will TRULY LISTEN TO YOU and not "read a page from his textbook" (no offense intended docs :) ). I have been waging war on my chronic cervical pain going on 6 years now. I have learned that it is okay to disagree with your doctor and express your opinions. After all ... it's your body!!!

    Before I relocated in 2009, I was very blessed to have a PCP and Neurosurgeon that truly DID listen to me, the patient. We were a team. I hated to move and lose them both, but things change. I'm okay with the pain mgmt doc I am seeing now, but just not the same.

    The first step in controlling the monster is having a good relationship with your health care provider/s. Hang in there and stay strong. We are here as your friends and fellow pain-mates to listen and support you. Please don't give up. Keep us posted.


    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    ..pain. It is a new situation that you explain as I have not heard of any of that happening befor.

    I can imagine it to be unsettling to say the least.
    If you have opportunity to see other doctors.. that sounds like win/win to me.

    The testing would probably need to be done as you said...but each doc can see or read the same test differently. A new set of eyes doesn't sound bad to me. My pain doc..also a neurologist..saw things none of the other docs ever saw.

    EMG test was most telling test for me. Initially my pain was so all consuming, I had difficulty even describing it. Doc read EMG as he went along... oh, didn't know that was issue...and we need to deal with this other..etc..

    I was just relieved he saw something and came up with plan for some relief.

    And I hope very same to you as you try to discover how to remedy your very painful situation.
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • I would go for other opinions where you feel like you need to go if the Drs are not helping your shoulder but hopefully the Neurologist may help in that area if you let them know or get another opinion from another Orthosurgeon. I know they;re using Botox now for headaches so not sure if that would be an option for you to discuss with your Pain Management Dr.

    Keep looking for a Dr. to help. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • New MRI's of Neck showed the same info as 2007 ...nothing changed so that is good. But my symptoms got worse. Throbbing down your right arm and up your spine to your head is not good for your brain at all.

    I have C3 disk that ortho says is medium to severe and pressing on my spinal cord....but neuro says I have nerve damage in C7 nerve root from C7 disk in neck.

    Have to undergo more testing!

    Just had MRI of my right shoulder...don't know what that will reveil. As I had the MRI afterwards my pinky went numb and my 4th finger and middle. My backbone in my back is protruding and I have to adjust my back about 5 times to try to get it as flat as I can to get comfortable to sleep.

    Getting pain in right colarbone and pain in C7 disk in neck.

    I get pain in the back of my arm too under arm pit as well.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Seems like good news...bad..or not so good news.

    YOu are no worse according to xrays, but you feel worse. I have had my body play that game with me also and it's not fun.

    All your upper extremetie pain probably effects every part of your activities of daily livings. It sounds exhausting.

    Hope no matter what MRI of shoulder reveals...maybe doc can try an epidural for some relief of pain?? if you have had success in past with that???
    or some kind of pain control.??

    Best of luck being sent to you and hoping your doc gets a good idea for taking care of your pain.

    Thanks for letting us know how things are going and I am hoping to hear about relief from docs treatment. I'm optimistic :)
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • edited 12/09/2012 - 9:41 PM
    I went to a pain management doctor and he gave me an epidural injection in my neck and it helped me for 5 1/2 months then the headaches returned. He gave me another shot and it did not work at all. He gave me another injection 1 month after the other one (which I thought was too soon) and so, I was in tears talking to my regular physician saying that I don't feel well like I'm not going to survive to see tomorrow and he said that it takes 7 to 10 days for the medication to wear-off. Sure enough, the 10th day came and my body started to feel better and settle down. I am afraid to go back to a pain mgmt doctor for fear it would happen again. I have pernicious anemia and need B12 shots for the rest of my life so now I have anemia and I have noticed that my body is not accepting me to take certain medications. I was on LevoFloxacin and Amoxicillan/Clanulaic Acid, 600 mg, 1 times a day and each day I took it, my muscles got weaker and weaker to the point I felt I couldn't even walk and I couldn't balance myself, I felt like I was not going to survive...I took 4 pills and told my husband if I continue the medication I was surely going to die so I had to stop it. I was told besides pernicious Anemia I have another autoimmune disease lurking in my body but some tests were done on certain things and nothing came out positive.
    I went to see a doctor in NYC and orthopeadist who charged me $300.00 for consultation and saw me 2 minutes and said I have alot going on in the shoulder and sent me to his friend who was a rehab specialist and doc told me he knew about bones and muscles and stuff. I went to see the rehab doc he recommended and two women came into the room to see me, one of which was an intern and the other I'm not sure but it seemed like she was showing her how to test my reflexes in my hand. They leave the room and now the doctor comes in telling me that they discussed the best treatment for me and suggested I go see a headache specialist and be placed on meds. I told him meds are not an option as my stomach is having a hard time digesting and I have gotten pancreatitus on medications. He told me that was the only option that I had and said he was sorry! I told him that was unacceptable and told him that I knew it was a waste of time coming in to see him. (I was annoyed at the fact that my insurance company was paying for my visit to see this doctor and he had the nerve to have an intern come in and check me and he didn't even check me and he discussed my medical recommendations without me being in the room. How rude was that!)
  • I had my surgery almost 2 years ago. Most of my issues are gone, but I too have headaches all day when I am up and not laying down. The doctors tested me for everything: EMG, MRIs of entire spine and all I have is minor issues in 2 levels (1 cervical and 1 lumbar). They all said that nothing is pressing on the nerves or spinal cord. My headache is coming from muscle spasms of my left spine muscle. When I stretch, I can feel it releasing, but it will tighten up again.

    What has helped me is regular exercise, stretching and having a positive attitude. I am not on any medication and my stomach can't handle most meds anyways. The NYC doctors are not necessarily better. My surgeon released me from his care when I was fused and shock my hand and wished me luck. PM me if you want to chat. I understand your frustration, because I have the constant headaches and have been through all the specialists with no answers.
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
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