Well since this is a subject that I am quite familiar with, I just had my last PT session this past monday, receiving cervical traction and exercises, to try and eliminate upper neck and lower head pain. I was suppose to have 12 sessions and my therapist stopped at 5 and said no more! he was not helping me, but just making things worse, increasing my pain and irritating my gag reflex and causing me a host of different problems.Now it is up to the Doctor to deside what is nexted for my neck! I have had C5 thru C7 fused, and C3/4 is bad, but I also have arthritis, bones spurs and stenosis, really bad through my cervical area. Frances I can empathize with you with the limit motion and causing pain. When I have lots of pain, or stiffness or that gag reflex of mine starts going crazy I wear my soft cervical collar and it helps allot! The last two weeks or so I have been sleeping in with it on, since I can not lay flat and sleep in a fowlers position, I find the cervical collar helps keep my head up and in a position that does not iritate my neck I use one of those "C" shape neck pillows but not on my neck, I use it with the open end down toward my neck and my head nestled in the center of the "C" so the pillow is supporting my head from the top and the sides, so with my head cradled in the neck pillow and with my soft cervical collar on, and in a sitting up (fowlers position) and with a full face Mask and hose attached to my VPAP machine and a bright orange hoody on, I imagine that I look like some kind of alien sleep in my bed. Anyway I cannot use that neck pillow as designed for the neck, I can not stand anything pressing on the back of my neck ( or the back of my neck pressing against any thing,) as that neck pillow does, it give me severe upper neck and head pain and triggers my gag reflex!( and that is really bad news!) I guess, You just have to do what ever you have to do to get comfort and relief, and find out what works and what doesn't! Frances just keep searching and trying and hopefully you to will find things that will work for you! I know it is difficult! for me it has been, and continues to be an on going search and experiment, if I can go two or 3 hours in a row, without out waking up in pain, and having to try some other position, or take a pain pill for break through, then I consider it a pretty successfull night! As most nights it is an on going struggle and I am woken up every hour or two, by pain. Any more it is a toss up between my neck and head and my lower back and hip and leg.
I do have a question for you Frances, do you know exactly what is wrong with your neck? Herniated Disks? Bone spurs? What were they doing to you in Physical Therapy? What about surgery? you mentioned having shooting pain down into your arms, my fusions did away with my arm pain. I do hope that you can find relief, because I do know what you are going through! I think I can really empathize with you on this one! It is no way to live ones life, but what else can we do, but muddle our way through it all, and hope for better days!
I do wish you well!
Post Edited (White Beard) : 7/2/2010 2:47:26 PM (GMT-6)