When will this pain ever stop

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mary8
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/9/2009 3:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
You may remember me from a previous post, I am a 52 year old female who has been suffering from a trapped nerve which causes pain to run from my neck, shoulder blade, under arm, all the way down my arm and even sometimes my chest and rib cage.
I have had an MRI scan which showed no significant neural compression although there are Spondylotic changes throughout the cervical spine and Osteophytes.
I had been visiting a Chiropractor which didn't help so I am now seeing an Oesteopath. I have so far had 4 sessions with him and although the pain had been getting slightly better it was still constantly there. Over the past couple of days it has got quite painful again and this is getting me really down.
I also suffer terribly from Health Anxiety so am finding all this really difficult to cope with.
What I can't seem to understand is that if the MRI shows no significant neural compression why I still have so much pain. I get a prickly sensation in my neck and shoulder blade plus pain which as I said before travels all the way down my arm (no numbness or tingling in my hand or fingers).
I have had this now for 3 months and just cannot seem to see any light at the end of the tunnel.  cry  I would be so grateful for some feedback and if anyone else has suffered something similar.
Thank you all for taking the time to read my post.

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/9/2009 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Mary,
I'm having a really, really bad day myself today, but I will try to respond to you a bit. All Ii can say is I've had problems with my neck for 20 years now and have had to manage it with lots of good PT (I still use the exercises my PT gave me back in the 90's), a good cervical pillow (a recent problem which I think I've rectified), good posture, good ergonomics (e.g. with computer, when watching tv) and a bunch of similar things. I have lots of pain in my shoulder and arms. Have had carpel tunnel surgery (years ago and successful, thank goodness) in both hands, but the pain in and around my upper body persists and has actually worsened recently. My surgery last year was a double lumbar fusion and I think that's affected my neck, but that's not your issue.

I'd suggest consulting a good physical therapist - someone who specializes in working with necks and upper back - to see how much of the nerve compression might be in the muscles. And I've learned to never let a chiro adjust my neck, because there's so many nerves there damage can be more easily done than to the lower back.

You might try getting some good massages if you can afford it (I wish I could) in your upper back and see if it helps.

PaLady

jenpen400
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 117
   Posted 1/9/2009 11:30 AM (GMT -7)   
A few years ago I started having similar symptons and it just never went away. It took nearly a year to find a Dr and get some control over the pain. I was so depressed and stressed I contemplated killing myself. There is help you will find it and we will be here for you on your journey. Just because one Dr. didn't help you can't give up. There is something wrong it is effecting your life you deserve to be treated.
Best wishes

jennifer

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 1/9/2009 4:31 PM (GMT -7)   
If the Doctor is relying solely on this mri then that's not good, MRI's don't always show everything, ask about getting
a contrast ct scan, but done at a place that uses a large magnet in their machine, some places only use a 1/2 magnet
so that's why it doesn't pick up as good a image as those with a full large magnet...
my mri only shows mild compression, but the contrast ct showed moderate spinal stenosis with disc buldge...
Good Luck to you
Soft Hugz...
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* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, Enlarged Pituitary Gland
******** "We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world" from Helen Keller *********

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mary8
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/10/2009 2:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you PAlady, jenpen and Chartreux for your kind messages, your comments have really comforted me and I do appreciate them.
I think I will definitely try and find a good PT too help me. What I forgot to mention is that about 2 months before this all started I took up tennis, playing for about an hour once a week. I have always suffered from neck shoulder problems on and off in the past, although nothing anything like what I am suffering at the moment. I don't recall anything happening whilst playing tennis that would have triggered this but do wonder if it has something to do with it as it is all in my right side and I am right handed. I haven't played since I started getting the pain, however, I did play a couple of times when my neck was pretty stiff (hurt to put my chin on my chest), but it didn't hurt whilst I was playing. Any thoughts anyone?

jenpen400
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 117
   Posted 1/10/2009 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
One thing to consider is that on a standard mri you are lying down. This may cause the discs to decompress. A friend of mine had to have the test done sitting up to show the problems in her lower back. Also my problems were visable on a simple x-ray which was done standing it turned out to be degenerative disc disease. I suffered on and off for 20 years but the pain would always go away. Eventually three disks in my neck turned up to be herniated with stenosis and there is impingment on the nerve that caused the constant pain, pins and needles in the arms twitching and problems with motor control of my hands/arms.

Good Luck

jennifer

LdyJane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 1/10/2009 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry that you're having such a rough go of it; pain is such a relentless shadow. I'm in the hands of a really good chiropractor and a pain mgt. Dr. The injections help me a lot; epidural steroid injs, facet blocks and rfp's have helped me live a more normal life.

Jennifer, I hadn't thought of that before; I didn't know they could do an MRI sitting up! Learn something new everyday!

drjimmy
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 1/10/2009 11:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Mary. i'm no expert, but your symptoms sound real familiar to what I went through several years ago. I was diagnosed with T.O.S. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome or Brachial Plexus Neuropathy. It affects the nerves as they travel from the neck/collarbone area under the armpit and down the arms and hands. It includes, but isn't limited to very bad pain from the neck to the fingers, numbness, tingling, weaknesscold sensations in the arm, hand and fingers, etc. I had a car accident in October 1992 and for over a year and a half, I had no symptoms in my neck, arms, or upper extremity nerves. Then it started and it got worse and worse, until I had to see a doctor in Philadelphia. I saw Dr. James Hunter, at The Hunter Hand Center out of Thomas Jefferson Hospital. After EMGs and MRIs and other diagnostic tests, he determined I had Thoracic Outlet Syndrome T.O.S. He tried physical therapy and other conservative treatments, but eventually he had to operate. Ultimately I came through everything ok. I highly recomend you mention this to your doctor and ask about having an EMG of your neck & arms. If you have any questions or comments, you can post them here, or you can email me at lover65935@aol.com Good luck and please let me know if you find anything out. Thanks.

Eric

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/10/2009 11:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Mary,
Eris has got a good idea re: having your doc check out T.O.S. That's one of the things back in the 90's my PT wondered if i had because I had many of the symptoms. I do think your tennis playing certainly could aggravate it, especially if your neck was already stiff. I'd definitley get checked out before you start doing activities like tennis, and once you have the problem corretly identified and treated, then you can ask about playing tennis, etc. I'm sure at the minimum you're going to have to learn how to listen to your body, and warm up properly, and if you're stiff, probably not play that day.

PaLady

Sue2z
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 368
   Posted 1/11/2009 12:28 AM (GMT -7)   
I took a blow to the head but nothing showed up on the tests and I was in agony, showing signs of nerve pain. It took a long time and two docs and two specialists but now im on strong pain releif from pain managment and lyrica and valium fromthe doc and I am the best I can be , I just wish something would show so I wouldnt feel like im going crazy  sue2z mad mad
Fibromyalgia, ulcerative colonitus, arthritus, bi-polar
norspan patch, valium, prothiedon, lyrica

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