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Started in neck, now in hands and feet??

Hi everyone,

This site has been very comforting for me as of late but I've decided to reach out with my story. I'm a healthy (I think!) 31 year old female who is going on 6 months of constant and spreading pain. 

It began this spring when I was working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week on a laptop (hunched over like a Neanderthal, I now recognize). Also began going to the gym lifting my little heart out and wincing at the pain at the back of my head each time I tried to look in the mirror a tree my dumbell posture. (Dumb, alright). I began noticing a tingling nerve sensation at the back of my neck about the size of a quarter while I was on my laptop. Then tingling down my arm. I would shake it out and move on. Came and went only as I worked on my laptop. 3 months later I was working less but the pain was constant and moved to my left hand as well. 

Between July and now (December) the pain has spread to my wrists, shoulders, lower back, and feet. My feet are numb and tingly all the time. My neck cracks when it never used to and driving gives me such great electric shocks down my neck, shoulders and even into my toes that I avoid it as much as possible. Walking and baths seem to be best. (And wine). I have gone to physio, chiro, osteo, massage, acupuncture. No help. I have had an MRI of head and neck - all clear. I have had an insane amount of bloodwork. I am desperate. I hate Lyrica.

Chiro thinks possible spinal cord compression. Doctor thinks I'm crazy but also wants to keep ruling out MS but I know this all started with my Neanderthal laptop posture and 3-month gym habit. I have an EMG the end of February with a Neurologist which is great but I can't wait till then for what may be more question marks. Or a four month wait for a full spine MRI (Canada is great but there's a long wait). This is hurting my work, my relationship, my life overall, in so many ways. I know many of you have experienced similar frustrations and have done your research. Any suggestions or words of support would be so greatly appreciated! 

Sincerely,
Kelly (in New Brunswick) 
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Comments

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    hello kbaker!
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello....
    I personally would want more information on source of pain before I continued with chiropractic care.
    They definitely have their place, but when working with unknown, I wouldn't want manipulations.

    There are other tests that doctors can do besides the MRI....which is very important, but may not show all.
    My primary tried working with my pain two years before referring me to pain management.
    Best thing for me!

    He did variety of tests, that I wasn't even aware of at that time.
    Everyine is different, but EMG was very informative to me and my doctor.
    On site here, you will read of different pain levels during EMG testing.
    For myself, it was uneventful.

    Also, PM doctor understood my pain and worked with me to get the edge off of it.
    Re your doctor thinks your crazy, sadly many of us have heard that.
    You may be interested in reading discussion...It's All in Your Head.
    I just continued to repeat my symptoms and if any meds tor treatment effective or not...until someone helped me.
    Im very grateful for my PM doctor!


    My previous doctor also wanted to rule out MS...which was ruled out.
    I think ruling out issues is as important as trying to find cause of pain.

    Similiarly, when my doctor ordered epidurals, which I'm in no way saying that you need!...but for me, even when some of them not effective, they were still useful for doctor as with fluoroscope, Doctor was able to view particular area up close and personal.

    Did your doctor give you any limitations, or restrictions, to see if pain lessens? Just curious.

    You may be interested in reading...Chronic Pain Step by Step....can find by search, upper right on page.
    Trying to discover source of pain and to find treatment can be a little trial and try again.


    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • sherrygirlssherrygirl ontario canadaPosts: 163
    Hello
    I experience about same thing it started 2 years ago as a bad headache an neck tension and it got bad end up in ER and they ran ct scan an bunch test an couldn't find anything. I went off to physiotherapy and things calm down to one or 2 day flare up an Advil help. This pass spring it got really bad and it stay for months final got xray an it show degenerative disc disease with biltral neural forminal stenosis and then had MRI in Nov and more came out. I had the same type job as you. I live in ontario I understand canada wait. And the rules as surgery as last resort. I still do physiotherapy daily and my pain levels are quite down and I am off the job of having my head forward posture of looking at papers to input for the computer. My doctor in the new year wants to try me on a low dosage of Gabapentin. Hope you get answers from the specialists. 
  • Thanks so much for your comments. I am wary of the chiro but also so drawn to him as he seems to be the only one who is close to diagnosing this! He said it truly sounds like spinal cord compression. Alas. Hopefully the EMG will show something - he seemed to think it wouldn't, as I'm having pain and nerve sensation in so many places. 

    It definitely started in my neck but now it seems like it begins lower, so I'm wondering if I should have an MRI of the lower part of my spine. I had X-rays yesterday so hopefully my doctor will have some sort of clue. But they were also only of my neck... I guess the problem could be anywhere on the spine? The lower back pain got way worse as my feet got way worse. Tingling underneath my arch all the time! And twitchy foot muscles. But no actual weakness. I truly find it hard to believe this all could have started from hunched over computer use and weight lifting!! But it would certainly be better than MS. What tests other than an MRI did you have? I had an MRI of head and neck three years ago for an unrelated symptom and that was also clear.

    My doctor gave me Lyrica and basically said to wait for the EMG with the neurologist. Because there was nothing in the head/neck MRI he seems to think there is nothing wrong. So 9 more weeks of hellish waiting I guess. Unless the X-ray showed something. He does seem to think I'm just stressed or anxious but this is the only thing making me stressed! It keeps getting worse and worse. I am afraid of where it will be in 9 weeks :( It went from 75% better in November to the absolute worse it's ever been. After a long bus ride (8 hrs) to my friend's and a couple of nights on an uncomfy couch the pain came back in my wrists and ankles with a vengeance and developed into all this. Right now it's actually the foot tingling that is most upsetting.

    Anyhoo, thanks! I'll definitely check out the rest of the site :)

    kelly  
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