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Off Topic :
Medical people-help with neck

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 deena04 (original poster member #41741) posted at 1:42 AM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

So I turned the other day and my neck started throbbing on the right side. Backstory, I have goofy joints and discs and have struggled with some degeneration the last few years since around turning 40. Anyhow, it felt like the muscle (trapezoid) was in a continuous spasm and finally I went to the ER yesterday after about a day and a half of it. I just couldn’t take it anymore. The spasm was still there, but I was getting weaker feeling along that spot in my neck, cheek, and around that area. It was almost like it was half numb. Anyhow, a CT scan later seems normal, and they think it was incidental. Does it sound like a pinched nerve? Herniated disc? I still do not have the feeling back in those spots, it still hurts to the point of tears, and I’m going to follow up with my general practitioner for an MRI. Any thoughts or ideas? It sucks and it hurts. He prescribed me an anti-inflammatory in the time being. A hot shower helps as does pressure on it.

Me FBS early 40s
Him XWS mid40s (lovemywife4ever), D
He cheated before M, forgot to tell me
Free and loving life

posts: 3141   ·   registered: Dec. 22nd, 2013   ·   location: Midwest
id 8707251
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 2:48 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Sounds like nerve impingement to me.
Have you tried NSAIDs? Ibuprofen/Aleve at prescription doses or celebrex or like med?
Have you tried Muscle relaxers? Baclofen, Flexeril
Have you tried using liniment? Like icyhot, bengay, biofreeze
Have you tried massage, and gentle range of motion exercises?

As someone w/ neck and spine issues these things work better for me than pain pills, and seeing what the outcomes of spine surgeries are, I will never consent for one w/o being essentially non-functional.

The other thing to consider is seeing a chiropractor, buying and using a TENS unit at home. Warm moist heat if it's more than 72 hours old.

You need to stop the spasm, the above medications, and liniment will do that. And then do some massage to release that trapped nerve.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 21 &23
Married for 28 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19103   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8707322
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jadedangel ( member #26979) posted at 8:58 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

My husband had to have an Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) back in September.

He actually thought his issue was an old shoulder injury as the pain started there before the pain actually moved into his neck.

Xray was useless. The MRI is what finally conviced the medical staff that my husband was not pain med seeking like they thought.

Have the MRI done as soon as possible. Do not wait. I would even suggest Neurontin and steriods as other med options besides what Tush nurse recommended. It's really going to depend on what your issue is and what will help.

And even with the surgery, he still has pain but now its different. So this past Thursday they have done injections to help him. I was recovering from the flu so I didn't go to this procedure. But that has helped him that now he has a little more range of motion and it's not interferring with his sleep as bad.

This will be a lifelong issue and he is only 41.

Divorced 2007.
EXWH died 2011
Remarried 2018!

posts: 650   ·   registered: Dec. 30th, 2009   ·   location: Central City
id 8707421
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 9:14 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Hi, I could write a book about my neck.

For me, a look in the wrong direction too quickly can bring on immediate spasm in the mid neck. Some go away, and some cascade into an unpleasant week with lots of muscles screaming. I sometimes get a stabbing pain in my neck that is not muscular, but feels like an ice pick in the bone. Those are the bad ones. I have multiple herniations and bone spurs, and a pinched nerve. C5-7 if memory serves, but I have issues in those above and below decades later. I've been managing neck flare ups for years. I suffered until I found a good neurologist who won't see patients unless they have a current MRI. He explained the arthritis based degeneration of my neck and gave me my limited options. I had normal x rays and CT scans previously, but the MRI showed the real story.

I have had multiple steroid injections, rounds of physical therapy, and occasionally have to take a muscle relaxer if I get into crisis. My physical therapists have used infra-red heat, TENS stimulaltion, manipulation, exercises and acupuncture. They taught me a lot about how to take care of these bones. Continued exercising, stretching, yoga, mild traction and excellent posture, neck support and proper pillows are how I cope. Ice can help more than heat, though heat feels nicer. Anti inflammatory meds help but they wreck my stomach. There is an OTC cream anti-inflammatory lotion that seems to help a little too.

If you spend a lot of time on a computer or with your head immobile, set a timer and stretch every 20 minutes. Slow, full range turns of the head, chin to chest, relax all the muscles and reboot. Use a rolled up towel under your neck and lay down to get some gentle traction. Do all those slow range of motions while you are down there. Most neck stretches and exercises are easily found online. Just don't push it if there's too much pain. The muscles take a while to heal after prolonged spasms. Avoid looking up and overhead lifting, I was told. Being very short, everything is up and overhead though.

Good luck and I hope it's just a little thing for you and not another long unwanted journey!

Edit to add: I took so long to write mine that you already got most of what you need to know more succinctly. And Tushnurse and jadedangel are spot on - get a TENS unit for home use and insist on the MRI.

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 9:18 PM, Tuesday, January 4th]

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year A with MOW, 7 month False R, years of trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 325   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 12:08 AM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Couple fo other things you want to try to relax those big muscles are inversion table or gentle neck traction.
Also soaking in a hot tub with epsom salts.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 21 &23
Married for 28 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19103   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8707495
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 deena04 (original poster member #41741) posted at 2:24 AM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Thank you all so much. I am getting an MRI. I also have a massage scheduled for Thursday evening because that was the soonest my lady could get me in. Hot showers and meds are keeping me semi-comfortable. I also find sleeping with my arm under my pillow straight behind me is helping. The concerning thing going on is there are certain spots on my neck now that I have no feeling. They are completely numb. Will that come back?

Me FBS early 40s
Him XWS mid40s (lovemywife4ever), D
He cheated before M, forgot to tell me
Free and loving life

posts: 3141   ·   registered: Dec. 22nd, 2013   ·   location: Midwest
id 8707528
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 2:31 AM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

It should if its just a pinched nerve.
Make sure you are doing some meditation or relaxation exercises. After the events of last week street can make all this even worse and tighter.
The more relaxed those muscles are the easier it is for the massage to allow the nerves to go back where they belong. If you have muscle relaxers take one before your massage.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 21 &23
Married for 28 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19103   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8707531
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PricklePatch ( member #34041) posted at 7:28 AM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

I use a neck shoulder heating pad for my daughter it helps. As some one who has neck and back pain I am like Tush pain pills useless. I have had numbness from a pinched nerve after it is released it goes away for me with in minutes to a hour.

BS Fwh

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id 8707569
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 1:48 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Sorry for the multiple posts. I keep getting interrupted.
Lastly and this is the important part, especially if you don't want it to happen again, or have to have surgery.
Make sure that you keep up with whatever stretches, and exercises they give you to strengthen the muscles around the culprit of the joint that is the issue.
I fell about a decade ago in the woods, the ground simply gave out under me, at the edge of a small cliff, I went down, and landed on my elbow, which jarred my shoulder, and up into my neck. I was absolutely certain that there was rotator cuff damage, and like a nurse, I tried to ignore it for 6 months. Finally went to PT and she determined that it was all due to an entrapped nerve in my neck, so after month of going to PT 2x a week it released, the simple exercises she gave me have prevented it from recurring.
I also had a messed up cervical spine issue when my kids were babies from how I sat when feeding them, and would get a pinched nerve in my neck, and when I finally went to chiro same deal, several treatments, and it released, but the exercises they gave me to do saved me, and has prevented it from coming back. That's been over 22 years ago.
Same deal when my SI joint was messed up.
When I feel these problematic spots tightening up I go right back to the exercises, stretches, and take muscle relaxers at bedtime, and it goes away.

Good Luck with your treatments.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 21 &23
Married for 28 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19103   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8707600
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 deena04 (original poster member #41741) posted at 5:53 PM on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

You all rock. I’m getting more numb. My massage is tomorrow. Hot showers, ice, heat, rest, all of it are rotating. I’m not huge on meds. I am allergic to weird ones. I use minimal as needed. I am hoping for relief.

Me FBS early 40s
Him XWS mid40s (lovemywife4ever), D
He cheated before M, forgot to tell me
Free and loving life

posts: 3141   ·   registered: Dec. 22nd, 2013   ·   location: Midwest
id 8707683
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