Cervical Facet Joint Syndrome or bulging disc?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 196
   Posted 8/17/2007 6:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Has anyone had either of the above?
For those who don't know my background, I was in a MVA in December and developed whiplash.
Here I go self diagnosing myself again.Talking with a friend who had a bulging disc, our symptoms are similar, only my migraines are constant and pain medication gives me no relief whatsoever.
She just met someone who was diagnosed with the facet joint syndrome and once again our symptoms sound identical.
I have been to doctor after doctor and no one knows. I have done chiropractic treatments, physical therapy, I have done massage therapy, traction, neck strengthening techniques, muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, cortisone shots, facet joint block (some relief) and they even burned my nerve endings. I still hurt, bad, if not worse than before.
I notice the pain is increased based on the movement of my head. It hurts to look down for a period of time. It is not so much an instant OMG pain. It is usually a few hours later where my headache is worse, or even the next day. I noticed it in the way I sleep so I ordered a neck brace from Walgreens and it comes today. I hope that helps.
I work in front of a computer, so once my neck gets that strained feel, that too makes my headaches worse.
I have a feeling my neck is not my only problem either. I also have occipital nerve pain along with horrible tension headaches. I have a hunch I also have occipital neuralgia. I get that feeling sometimes as if someone has bashed my head in with a baseball bat.
I am just wondering if anyone has had similar symptoms and if they have a diagnosis and treatment that worked. I ended up firing my Pain doctor because he just wanted to keep giving me useless drugs and keep stringing me along. I am going to see a neuro surgeon who specializes in the spine. My appointment is next Thursday.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 8/17/2007 10:48 AM (GMT -6)   
i have bulging discs in my lower back, i went through a lot in the beginning because of my age. (i am only 30 now) i was told a lot of different things until i went to a pain management dr. they ran several tests to confirm what was going on. have you had an mri or emg? those are pretty important, though they may not pick it up. you may have to have more than one mri (which was the case for me) do you have any numbness or tingling in your arm or leg? it was to the point where i wouldn't sleep at night my pain was so bad. i would cry myself to sleep. hot baths and ice packs helped me. but, you need a proper diagnosis so you can learn how to treat it. i strongly suggest a pain management dr- and look around before you just go to one. they are all different. maybe check with the BBB. or, ask around. i went through the chirocpracters (which i think made it worse), acupuncture, everything over the counter, herbal remedies, i still stick with massage therapy. it feels well because since my lower back has all the pain- i use all of my upper body to do things, which made me so tense. but, my pain actually began with headaches about 8 years ago. i only had them for about a year- but i can't advise you enough to see a specialist. good luck with your appt, and let me know how it goes. hopes this helps you some!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 196
   Posted 8/17/2007 1:26 PM (GMT -6)   

My MRI was normal for my head and cervical spine. That was back in April and since then I have been getting worse. I guess i will see what this neuro surgeon says.

I have tried many of the things you have mentioned to no avail. I finally broke down and went to the ER. There is only so much they can do there too. It they don't know what is wrong, how can they fix it?

Thanks for your help. I guess I have to wait a few more days to see what this new doc says. He may want me to see a Pain doc at the same time, then I will go to a different one. I was jsut not happy with the other one I was seeing. He was not listening to me it seemed.

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