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Neck pain, back pain and what to do?

Discussion in 'Pain and Inflammation' started by Misfit Toy, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    7 years ago I was in a car accident where I was hit at a light. I suffered whiplash and have 4 bulging discs and one herniated in my cervical spine. The neck. I was told that one day I might have to have surgery. In the past year I have had pain in my thoracic spine and finally caved in and went to my orthopedic doc. I was going to chiropractors, acupuncturists and having massage with no reprieve. My sleep is gone, I am barely living and I am waiting for an MRI result and tomorrow having an EMG. My orthopedic doc takes forever to see. He is always booked. I have to wait another week to see him and I am supposed to go on vacation, which I planned before this occured and now I may not go. I haven't been anywhere on vacation in years. I haven't been able to.

    I am losing it waiting to know what is up and they won't go over anything on the phone with me. Opiates make me itch like crazy. I have read this is a symptom but benadryl does not work for this and neither does zyrtec.

    I am sad that yet another thing is going wrong. This year has been awful and there are times when I wish I would just die. This is not a life. I had a sinus infection for 2 months this year where I had to have them drained, a fibroid was diagnosed after massive amounts of bleeding for weeks, I was told I may have breast cancer after a mammogram and now this. I seriously cant' take it.

    I know surgery is a slippery slope but it's what I want. I have done physical therapy, and all of the stuff you do. I have not done shots in my neck. But, I have no life or energy or sleep. I am not going to say, it can't get worse, cause I know it can.

    I don't know what I am looking for in writing this. Anything or nothing, just to vent to folks who understand, I guess.
  2. liquid sky

    liquid sky Senior Member

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    Is there a reason you have not tried shots in the neck? One might allow you to go on vacation while you are waiting for surgery. Getting away even for a few days may help you put it all in perspective.

    I've been thru 3 cancer scares in my life and so far none have panned out. Hopefully, yours will not either. Epidurals can really help, if even for a short while. You sound like you need a reprieve.
  3. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Have you looked into facet joint arthritis which can be treated with facet joint injections of local anaesthetic and cortisone. This can help for a short time or several months but if it helps then its possible an ablation of the nerve to these facet joints can give you long term pain relief as in 2 years or more.

    I have had ongoing lumbar back pain and have had 2 ablations done about 2 years apart and before both of these i was at the stage of stranges aches and pains all over my body which i realise after being treated was all coming from my lower back as it put my whole body out of whack and all my back muscles in a constant state of muscle tension.

    If your sure it all started from your neck then try to get a ct scan of your neck again to see if there are arthritic changes, which it sounds like you have, then get the facet joint injections, you may find it also takes the strain off the muscles causing you thoracic back pain.

    These procedures are very different to surgery and its done in about an hour or less, then u walk out, no recovery period etc. Straight after the procedure u have no pain at all as u have a local in, its then you realise that you were in alot more pain then u thought, which u sound bad enough already. Its worth looking into and google facet joint arthritis, facet joint injections and facet joint ablations.

    good luck,
    cheers!!!
  4. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    I will look into this Heapsreal, but I have pinched nerves from herniated discs. I just had 2 MRI's to see where I am at regarding the herniated disc; if it's worse. I do have degenerative arthritis but not sure where that is it. The problem is; I have no answers because the doctor is backed up. There are times when I have to wait weeks to get in to see him. I am trying to interview another doctor. Next week I am going for local anesthetic put into trigger points. Not sure how that will work.

    My body is hurting all over. My leg, my mid back, my arm is hurting and at times numb.

    It's a nightmare. Pain sucks.

    Oh, and I never tried shots in the neck because I only recently had this kind of pain and the doctor needs to go over with me what they found. Tomorrow I have an EMG. The shots will maybe be next, but long term will it work? It's affecting my entire spine and back, even into the leg. It's messed up...everything is.
  5. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    With back stuff its really hard to tell what structures are causing the pain, facet joints are one of the most common causes of back/neck pain. Almost everyone with facet joint arthritis has compressed/herniated discs(which can also cause pain). Facet joint stuff is one of those things that one needs to try to see if its the cause of the pain, if it doesnt work then the pain is probably from the disc, but also treating the facet joint might be able to turn down the pain some for you.

    For what its worth, i found the slow release tramadol one of the best medications for my back and lyrica helped as well especially for the nerve type pain.

    I hope it eases up for you.

    cheers!!!
  6. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    I wish my ablations would have lasted 2 years, but I could only manage to get about a year out of the pulse type ablation. I only got 6 months when they used a constant type ablation machine. They even made a mistake one time as I was suppose to have 4 levels on the left done one week and after 2 weeks they were suppose to do 4 levels on the right side, but they messed up and did the left side again and I asked them before the procedure why they were doing the left twice and they said they wasn't doing the left twice. I kept my mouth shut till it was over with and before I left I strongly requested that they review my notes to see what side they did 2 weeks ago and what side they did that day. They said they didn't see me 2 weeks ago. I told them they most certainly did, but it was at the other location that they did it the first time. They asked if I had any problem going to that office and i said no.

    So, 2 weeks later they did the 4 levels on the right side. It still did not last over a year. My brother knows one of the nurses over there real well and she told him that they were real nervous for awhile about possible complications, but i didn't have any and it definitely didn't make it last any longer.

    But I do have a really bad neck situation so I wasn't surprised. My facet joint on the left side at C7 is almost gone. They have worn down to the point that my neck is forming Luschka joints which from what I understand id when a lot of disc height is lost the two adjacent vertabre start to touch and form a new joint.

    If you have to have surgery and they can perform it with an anterior approach instead of a posterial approach you stand a chance of having less complications and a much quicker recovery since they will not be cutting through the thick muscles at the back of the neck. I believe they are getting close (or may already have) approved using two adjacent artificial disc. My neurosurgeon says that if used for the approved conditions they are having great succes with them and recovery is almost 100% where as fusions and grafts usually still leave you taking opiates for the rest of your life.

    Good Luck!!
  7. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    hi August,
    i got 12 months out of my first ablation and battled on the next 12 months with tramadol. When the doc redid my ablation he said that they were going to do it another way so it will last longer, i hope so. When i had the test injection the week before, the other doc said that normally the first ablation helps pain and then the joint is worn away with normal activity and a further ablation isnt needed, maybe this is the case with averages, not this puppy.

    cheers!!
  8. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    I am new to this. I have no idea what an ablation is. I can tell you this, that I am scared to death as I Iive alone and I think to myself, if I have to have surgery, will I be ok alone? I have no family and I am not part of a church. I don't want to be either. I need help. I am sitting or trying to lie in bed and I am crying. I am an anxious wreck. My left arm is numb and hurting. I don't even know if I am a candidate for surgery yet. I had back surgery in 1995. I have had several surgeries. I know what it entails. I had endo surgery 7 times, but this is much different.

    I hate what CFS has done to me. I have no husband or no one to help me because I have been too sick to date or really maintain a relationship. I am sad, depressed and angry as holy hell. I can't sleep at night, only during the day anymore. WTF?
  9. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    An ablation is when they burn the nerve to the facet joint, this nerve is away from the main spinal nerves, so it would take an earthquake for the doc doing the procedure to damage the main spinal nerves. Its not really an operation but a procedure done with needles and lots of local anaesthetic, so no pain besides the initial local injections. SOme very minor tingling nerve pain several hours after the procedure and alot less then one would feel prior to procedure. Best bet would be to talk to a doc who specializes in this. I have found online forums talking about this procedure seem to be mostly negative ie that is it doesnt work but i think only the people who have neg results are the ones who post on this. Recovery time is almost nothing, being able to function almost straight afterwards, the only thing u cant do is drive for 24hrs.

    A facet joint injection is very different, basically injecting cortisone and local anaesthetic into the facet joint which helps supress inflammation in the joint, this can last several months and some people get these 2-3 times a year and i think are a lot less expensive then ablations and its probably a good place to start before looking into an ablation. If u get some relief from these injection lasting hours to days or longer, you could be a good candidate for an ablation.'

    The procedure sounds alot scarier then what it really is, honestly. just reducing your pain could help your cfs symptoms too.

    cheers!!!
  10. Gavman

    Gavman Senior Member

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    Did you find any relief short term from any therapy? It must suck being in so much pain.
    I generally work with people in pain and i can help get the body into better alignment. There are supplements you could try looking into to rebuild/repair cartilage/muscles that might help.

    The usual supps to help rebuild are glucosamine/condroiton/msm and upping your good fatty acid intake (vitamin e, fish oils). I like evening primrose for this.

    Probably tried magnesium? Potassium is also useful. Manganese is potentially useful too. I havent specifically found relief in these but i know others who have.

    Butttt.. i'd look into collagen powder (hyralaunic acid is supposed to be useful too) - i found my tight hamstrings and tight upper body were helped quite alot with this. And it might sound left field but there are therapies that involve paying attention to the pain, expressing it and letting it go, usually called breathwork or something similar. With such a massive trauma, the body may not have had enough time to process all that pain.

    Just some thoughts, hope you figure out the best place to head, Spitfire.
  11. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Gavman you have any opinions of (CMO) Cetyl Myristoleate, i remember reading about it a few years ago when it was raved about as being a cure for arthritis, i dont think it made those lofty heights but i wonder if its better then glucosamine or good in combo with it. Prices and availability are alot better now too. Im still interested in going down this line and maybe fix some of the arthritic joint stuff going on in my lower back before my ablation/nerves grow back in 2 years hopefully.

    cheers!!!
  12. Gavman

    Gavman Senior Member

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    I haven't heard of it. Iherb have some reviews on it.
    There are numerous causes of pain and while ive studied lots of different styles/thoughts; it can stem from so many places. The governing body meridian can affect pain threshold(base of neck), low brain chemicals, low fuel for the muscles, broken down cartilage, low fluid intake, low fluid in the body, emotional expression locked into the body, low blood volume, low kidney function, muscle tension.
    I take the holistic approach with trial and error and work towards getting all these things met.

    Surprisingly i get great results with Louise Hayes affirmations turned into questions. Neck problems are self expression, so i ask people whether they feel comfortable expressing themselves and what they can do to help that.

    For lower back pain, the problem is regularly (not always) tight hamstrings, if you work on stretching your hamstrings and potentially hip flexors and your stretches dont improve then i'd definately look at supplementing.
  13. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    My issues are from arthritic facet joints, from this i can get referred pain into hips, glutes etc etc. Now that i have this pains sorted for atleast 2 years im now working on general flexibility and strenght work, my main supps im using for this is 1500mg glucasamine sulphate twice a day, its only been a few weeks but it has helped that grating feeling in the neck, i just hope it goes to the facet joints.

    cheers!!!
  14. hurtingallthetimet

    hurtingallthetimet Senior Member

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    hello spitfire hope you are felling much better...i have alot of back problems have had what they called small surgerys put under and injections done, have a tens unit, have done alot alot of physical therapy for several reasons..

    nothing really helps, i still have alot of pain but i have kids and have to do things and push myself, and they want to do a major surgery which i cant afford and im really too afraid to have..the crashes are so bad after anything...its hard when you hurt really bad and dont know what to do..

    i hope that you get some great advice, i just wanted you to know your not alone...surgerys are scary and expensive...some work wonders for people and others it doesnt seem to help alot...i lay down most of time, heating pad, rubs, patches, pain medications and back brace help some, hot bath someteims helps..

    one of my kdis wanted to walk last night near neighourhood and feed ducks at a pond near by soi took my pain medicatoins and put on back brace and the back brace helped some also...just little ideas to bring some releif

    take care have a great weekend
  15. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    Well, I had the EMG which came back normal. And, I also found out the MRI report and I can't honestly believe what it says. Here goes:

    "Mild chronic discogenic disease, consisting of signal loss and disc space narrowing. A minor posterior disc osteophyte complex produces a slight indentation on the ventral surface of the dural sac. No cord compression. Patent foramina."

    So, in otherwords, the bulging discs and herniation from the MRI I had 6 years ago went away? I am so confused. I can't see the doctor until Thurs. and I tried to get into a doc in Philly who is one of the best and he will not see me. He will not deal with Fibromyalgia patients. I am so confused.

    This also doesn't explain why I have pain along my ribs on the sides of my body. That woke me up today and no one can explain what it is. It is awful. I feel stiff and have to role out of bed.

    I have tight hamstrings. I have been told that. I know that I have that. I have a friend that swears by glutomate or glutamine which isn't that bad for CFS folks. She says that it helps her pain.

    I am so grateful for all of your responses and suggestions. I would never know this unless I came here. If anyone can help me with the bold part of what I wrote, what the means, I would appreciate it.
  16. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    narrowing of the disc can be the after affects of a bulging disc. also not all back pain is due to disc(facet joints are very common cause of pain), the osteophyte could also be causing you pain??
    I know with me that i had pain all over and the rib pain like my ribs are clenching down on each other, after the facet joint treatments, these pains went away. I think many muscles etc get involved as the initiating cause can put your body out of Alignment and causing muscles in very different spots to be under tension all the time and this also causes pain. Alot of the time, whats causing the pain isnt seen in a mri or ct scan, a trial of specific treatments are done as a way of weeding out whats causing you these issues.

    good luck,
    cheers!!!
  17. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    Thanks, heapsreal. Hoping I can find the ablation or facet doctor who does shots.
  18. xrayspex

    xrayspex Senior Member

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    u.s.a.
    hey spitfire I have heard glutamine good for CFS and the gut
    what about glutamate? I get confused what sort of glut is related to monsodium glutamate and excitocity
  19. Googsta

    Googsta Doing Well

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    I have found this site extremely informative, they have short videos too including procedures that have already been mentioned above.
    Also note they have a pain forum.

    Here are some helpful links on this site:
    Degenrative Disc Disease http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/what-degenerative-disc-disease

    Disc osteophyte complex http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/cervical-osteophytes-bone-spurs-neck
    (The dural sac surrounds the spinal cord, nerve roots, and cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that the nerve roots are bathed in). From what I understand this is caused by existing problems with the tendons & muscles, perhaps from your whiplash.

    Herniated/Bulging/Prolapsed Disc http://www.spine-health.com/conditi...s-a-herniated-disc-pinched-nerve-bulging-disc

    Patent Foramina just means that the openings (or holes) in the spine are open & not obstructed, which would otherwise cause problems for the nerves that pass through.
    You may also want to do a search for signal loss.

    Where was the scan done i.e cervical spine, lumbar?

    I have a little laymans knowledge here as my husband has Spina Bifida & has had several surgeries, so I'll try to explain.
    You appear to have issues with your discs which would explain alot of your pain, particularly for someone with our illness as it affects the soft tissues quite alot.
    One option is an Osteopath. Perhaps talk to your Ortho about other options to manage the pain other than meds.
    Vitamin B is helping my husband with his nerve pain, if you can handle that of course.
    IMO Chiropractors are terrible, I'm sure others would disagree but that is my experience & opinion.

    SOME Prolapsed Discs (herniated/bulging) can heal by themselves.

    Usually this is accomplished with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs & LOTS of rest.
    This allows the disc to shrink back to it's original size & position so it is no longer compressing nerves etc. There can still be ongoing problems & flare-ups however.

    Surgery is necessary in some cases of severe bulging, but seriously, even for the healthiest it should be the last resort. For instance & depending on the area of the spine you were experiencing bowel and/or bladder incontinence, impotence, difficulty swallowing etc.
    We personally prefer Neurosurgeons over Ortho's, this is the speciality & they do amazing work (and don't they know it :rolleyes:).

    I forgot to add a :hug:
  20. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    my suggestion would be to go and see an ortho physio (eg one which specialises in the bones). I went to many different physios for my issues (none of them very helpful) until I went to one which was very helpful to me.. it turned out she had different training to the rest as her speciality was orthopedic stuff.

    If it wasnt for her I wouldnt be walking today due to pain. Im now even pain free due to her.

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