neck full of arthritis now and terrible headaches - feel like giving up

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 233
   Posted 5/8/2012 4:57 AM (GMT -7)   
got the results from my neck xrays yesterday and now my neck is full of arthritis.  Scheduled for an MRI Thursday and don't know if I'll be able to stand that as I am very claustrophobic.  No doubt in my mind that the swelling is pressing on a nerve or something as the headaches are just blinding.   can't move my neck to either side or down w/o horrible pain.   The rheumy told me to stay on the once a week humira (this will be the 6th week and I don't think it's helping).  Told me to take 20 mg of pred for 2 days, 10 mg for 2 days and then today take 5mg and stay on 5.  The days I was on the 20 mg my hands and feet lost all the swelling and pain and I got relief from the neck and  head pain for a good part of the day but then the head and neck pain came back full strength around supper time and all through the night.  No instructions as to how to make the pain or swelling better so I've just been trying things like using heat on my neck, seems to soothe for awhile, taking tylenol to help with the headaches and trying to function when the headache lets up for a short period.  This morning my hands are starting again and pain in my left shoulder.
Anyone with arthritis in their neck that can give me some ideas or share your experience.
So VERY weary!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 5/8/2012 9:15 PM (GMT -7)   
BIG HUGS Alicat, maybe you could talk to your rheumy about going on a course of medrol, like 3 grams of it to really knock the swelling down. They usually infuse that amount a gram at a time but it sure sounds as if you need it.
Just keep ringing your specialist and explain the pain you're in, hopefully they'll find an answer fo you.
Best wishes, golitho

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 5/8/2012 9:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Alicat,

I have had run ins w/neck arthritis. I iced my neck and it helped the swelling go down. I had horrible headaches, too. since I have been taking my RA meds, my neck is better. I also used to get steroid shots in my backside. Those helped a lot!

Fibromyalgia, Seronegative RA, Asthma, High BP, DDD, Bulging Discs in Cervical & Lumbar Spine, GERD, Prediabetic
Prednisone, Lexapro, Cardizem, Lisinopril, Advair, Lipitor, Vit D, Joint Supplements, Soma, Tramadol, Fish Oil Supplements
I take one day at a time, and try to save my energy for the joy in life.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 233
   Posted 5/9/2012 6:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Vannie
I just cancelled my MRI as I just don't think I can do it right now - too stressed out about it.   Will talk to both my rheumy and primary doctors as to the risks of having another CT so soon after the chest CT I had in November (they were concerned about the radiation).   In the mean time taking 5 mg pred. daily, Humira once weekly, Advil liqui-gels every 4-6 hrs if needed for the headaches.   During the day the pain is manageable enough so I can function on a low level but I wake up after about 4 hours of sleep at night with horrendous pain in head and neck.
I've been taking a xanax before bed but think I will ask if I can have valium as I think it works quicker and longer on me than xanax (which tends to give me a  headache also).   Warm compresses soothe the neck for awhile.   May try the ice tonight when I wake up.  Hoping  the arthritis will move to a less painful area soon.  too much to hope for it to just go away.   thanks for sharing with me - hope you have a good and pain free day!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1331
   Posted 5/9/2012 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Sorry to hear you are having such horrible headaches from your arthritis. If you are claustrophobic when it comes to MRI's and CT's, ask for a script of Atavan or another relaxer to help take the edge off. Many are hestitant when it comes to these types of procedures. I hope you feel better soon.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 5/9/2012 6:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm a bit claustrophobic with the MRI machine. They have to use the large bore for me because of my girth (fat!).
I find if I don't look at the opening going in the room and keep my eyes closed during it it's not too bad. I have to go to my happy place during it because my back throbs laying flat.
Oh, don't forget the earplugs!
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