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Golf and neck pain, 3 yrs now, getting worse c5/c6, what type of MRI?

Hello Everyone

My first post. I'm a 38 male from TX. Have two lovely boys, 6 and 2.

In 2006 I started golfing for the first time (right about when I turned 30). Since I'm good at other sports, I took to golf with a vengeance, and by 2008 was down to a 10 handicap (for those who know golf). I used to practice every day for 2 years in a row, play twice a week, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

I later realized, that golf took a toll on my neck. Golf won't have the same effect on everyone of course, it is a function of my body type and how I swing - my action somehow causes a lot of stress on my neck.

I first experienced burning pain going down my left arm 3 years ago in 2010. It happened without any direct injury, at home. After which began the cycle of MRI, chiropractic, physical therapy. After about 6-8 months I became better. Everytime I would golf, the pain would come back, first in the neck and then a little down the left arm to the fingers.

Then stupidly, last year I played 4-5 rounds in continuation while on a trip to Mexico, and that did it. Whatever healing at happened previously, gave up, and the pain returned.

It has been 2 months, and I've been going to physical therapy twice a week, have seen an ortho surgeon, and a pain specialist. The MRI doesn't show anything drastic, which is a confusing. My pain specialist (also a friend) told me that he treats symptoms, not MRIs.

I had an open MRI done, although they use a 0.7 T magnet, I was told they have a good machine. I

Is it worthwhile to get a better MRI done? I'm a bit scared of those closed MRI machines.

Anyway, I thought I would also share some of the things that I've been doing which have helped:

1. Physical therapy, primarily YTA exercise with bands, followed by STEM - this has made my muscles around the shoulder much stronger and helped. My particular instructor is very good.

2. Treat Your Own Neck, this book has been with me since my first episode, and the neck exercises work like miracle.

3. Yoga, Pranayam - this is Yoga via breathing exercises, works wonders for spinal blood flow, I highly recommend it.

The biggest problem I face with my pain is not the pain itself. It is the anxiety of what is next, which doctor should I see, whose recommendation should I follow, what procedure should I choose?

My ortho surgeon who is Mayo clinic trained, scoffs at micro incision procedures. He is all about ACDF. I'm sure if I were to talk to a micro incision person - those folks who constantly advertize on TV and billboard all over the place, they would have a different story to tell.

Anyway, I'm sure this will be a journey, I'm happy that I have some fellow travelers to share with, get help, and help others.




  • LizLiz Posts: 9,726
    i am sure that you will find your time on spine-health very rewarding. this site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    here are just some of the highlights:

    - detailed medical libraries of articles and videos that address almost every spinal conditions and treatment

    - the wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.

    - under the resource tab, there is a section doctor advice health center which can be invaluable.

    - as a bonus, spine-health provides these patient forums. here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. you will soon become part of the spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. you are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 international members and growing daily.

    - it is very important to understand the forum rules to make sure all of your posts do not violate any of the rules.

    - as a new member, it is helpful to understand the 'makeup' of these forums, how to make posts, tips on adding images and much more. you should read forum faq

    if you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the private message facility to contact any one of the moderators on my team:
    dilauro , tamtam or liz


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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