One thing you must remember that the nerve dermotones often overlap, and they are not necessarily precise. Since the the nerves meet and form nerve bundle plex's the impingement of one nerve root can often affect the others that is why the pain might not exactly co-inside with where the damage is really located. I know when I had my first Diskectomy and fusion at C-6/7 my pain was like when you hit your crazy bone really hard in your elbow! You know how that goes down into your hand and makes you hand burn and hurt really bad? Well I had that in both my forearms and hands! and it was 24/7!!! I just could not stand that pain, and I also had trouble swallowing. I was in the military at that time stationed up in Alaska near Fairbanks. I spent close to two or three months like that before they finally found out what was wrong with me, and then they had to take me to a civilian hospital in Anchorage and I had to have emergency surgery! My one PCP was a Osteopath and he manipulated my back and neck while this was going on, he had me laying flat on my back on a table, and then he took my head in his hands and quickly jerked or twisted to one side! When he did this it felt like a bolt of lighting had went through my body! I honestly heard like thunder and my whole body lifted off the table, it was like a was like a gigantic shock that went from my head to my feet, it hurt so bad. Anyway the doctor actually jumped back, and then he said he would never do that to me again. I guess I really scared him! Anyway it wasn't till 3 or 4 weeks after that, that I finally had a mylogram done done at the Air Force base in Anchorage that they finally found what the problem was, I had a massive herniated disk at C-6/7 that was actually broken up and I had free floating fragments of the disk floating around in my spinal canal! The surgeon said that he did not know why I wasn't a quadriplegic the damage was so bad! Anyway since that time I will not let anyone manipulate my spine! In 2009 I again started having similar pain in primarily my left arm and hand, I went to my pain doctor who sent me for test MRI, and EMG studies, and he did Epidural injections, and also made me an appointment with the surgeon. Well my neourologist did not see any reason for me to see a surgeon nor have the epidural injections and he told me that nothing could be done. I got in a big arguement with him, and I told him I thought he was blowing me off. Well he called my pain doctor, and of course my pain doctor did not agree with him at all! he also gave me the epidurals, and it gave me about 4 weeks worth of relief, but that was all. I seen the surgeon, and he took on look at the MRI and he said he could help me. That I needed to have a diskectomy and fusion at C-5/6. I had the surgery and as soon as I woke up in my room at the hospital, the pain in my left arm and hand was gone! The surgery worked! And here my neurologist said surgery would not help me! Not everyone gets the results I did, my first ACDF in 1985 left me with permanent paralysis of my right vocal cords. I found that out with my second surgery in 2009!
You are right mentalcompass the cervical area can affect allot of different things in your body, and it is nothing to be taken lightly! So from my experiences I tend to maybe, be a little over cautious, but as they say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! And I do incourage you to be very, very, careful with your neck, as even the professionals can screw your up!
I do wish you luck..........White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!