Post Edited (Chartreux) : 1/31/2009 10:04:10 AM (GMT-7)
Thank you PAlady! You have some excellent advice. I don't think I am going to spend the money on it. I distinctly remember the first of several times on it in the office. I would be hurting the next day, and then on from that.
The decompression table a computer driven device DX9000?? It is not covered by insurance, so the tab ususally runs $5,000.00 for the entire treatment.
Thank you! Wishes for a pain free day. Sue
Hi, Sue! I just had to add my 2 cents, since I have dealt with neck problems and pain for over 40 yrs. The problem was originally caused by a whiplash injury and has progressively gotten worse. You name it, I've tried it: First, a soft cervical collar, which helped a little with support. Then a chiropractor or two (made it worse); osteopath with a stretching machine in his office and prescribed pain pills...both only helped a little; consult with a neurologist and Sarapin injections in my head and neck, down the occipital nerve on the rt. This had a wonderful result--no pain for 6 mos., then gradually came back. The second injections only lasted 3 months, and the 3rd didn't work at all. This was followed by 9 days in the hospital, being evaluated for surgery. They decided against it and sent me home with #100 Percodans and in a hard cervical collar. Hello! I became addicted for over a year, though they really weren't helping the pain after the first month or two. Cold-turkeyed off of those. Tried antidepressants as pain therapy. Helped, but I felt zoned out all the time. Had PT and got over-the-door traction for home. My insurance paid for it and I know it wasn't custom made. Felt good at the time, but 10 min. after I was out of it, the pain came back. I actually threw it out when I moved. I was told never to lift more than 10 lbs. and have abided by that to this day. I also found that repetitive motion, such as window washing or painting would leave me flat out in bed for a couple of days. Don't do those anymore. I had deep tissue massage, which hurt more than helped.
I also received a TENS unit and used it on my upper back...just below the neck and shoulder blades...at work, where my job as a medical transcriptionist required me to type all day. I used it until it broke and I no longer had insurance. Was put on various muscle relaxants, which didn't really help. One that at least let me sleep w/o a hangover the next day was Soma (w/o the codeine.) However, when I was dx'd with hep C in '93, I was taken off of it, as it is bad for the liver long-term. I had a consult with a top neurosurgeon, who didn't recommend surgery...couldn't guarantee that it would leave me pain free. From there, I was referred to Pain Clinic. Went there for over a year, getting trigger point injections in my upper back and neck. They just gave me terrible headaches. I did have the inter-facet injection (what I believe you meant by an epidural) and had NO pain for about 4 days. It was wonderful! However, they felt that wasn't a long enough period of time to warrant doing it again. They suggested a combination of Darvocet and ibuprofen 800 mg. They wrote a letter to my PMD suggesting this, so that took her off the hook as far as subscribing it on her own. She had always refused to prescribe pain meds long-term. In time, I had to switch to Lortab, while staying on the ibuprofen. That is what I take to this day. I also take Flexeryl, but usually not during the day because of the drowsiness. My pain is pretty well controlled now, but when I have a flare, I use moist heat on my neck and take to bed. Cold, especially damp cold (like it is today) is killer! I have learned not to do anything that will exacerbate neck pain and that includes being under stress. Of course, we all get stressed from time to time...pain itself can be stressful, which causes more pain, and it's a cycle that is hard to break. But I try to eliminate any stressors that I can.
Now this is the thing that is different about us: You are having pain and some numbness in your arm and hand. My C-spine inpingement, etc., is mainly in the C-5-6 area. It is probably C6-7 that is causing your arm pain. My b.f. had that and, after some PT that didn't work, he had surgery. He has never had pain or a problem since. His ROM is just slightly less than normal. Usually, when there is pain going down a limb, that's when surgery is indicated, and probably the only thing that will work for you long-term. That's the bad news. The good news is that C-spine surgeries have a much higher percentage of success in terms of eliminating pain than does lumbar surgery...which my b.f. also had. I will caution you, though, to seek out a good neurosurgeon if you ever decide on surgery.
I really empathize with you. There were times I just wanted to die, as I couldn't function at all from the never-ending pain. Fortunately, mine has settled down and is managed fairly well with pain meds, though I'm never completely out of pain. I believe part of the reason for this was going on disability (for other issues, though the neck problem was included) 3 yrs. ago. Not working has made a big difference.
I wish you luck in whatever you do. You might want to check into Sarapin injections. Sarapin is made from a plant and has a numbing effect. The stuff is expensive, but my insurance at the time covered it. It is best to have a neurologist give the injections. When my PMD did it (years later when I decided to try it again) I had no relief at all. Also, I don't think you should invest $500 in the neck traction, as I don't think you will find that it offers much relief, and certainly nothing long-term.
Post Edited (hep93) : 2/2/2009 1:31:35 PM (GMT-7)