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What is wrong with my neck?

It all started around 6 days ago. I woke up from sleep and felt a lot of pressure on my spine between the shoulder blades. I couldn't even sit up throughout the day. Eventually, I began having soreness/tightness at the base of the neck all the way up to the back of my head. When I turn my head left or right I feel tons of pressure and my back feels cramped in between the shoulder blades. I've began experiencing mouth/tongue numbness as well as some numbness to the back of the head. Just yesterday I went to the Dr. They made me do an X-RAY, said everything looked great, then gave me prescriptions. I got a pain med, a muscle relaxer, and a steroid. So far it's not helping at all and the numbness around my neck and the back of my head is getting worse. I also am having a hard time swallowing. It feels near impossible to swallow. What could this be? 



  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 946

    @spinalcolumnfix - I will give the same medical disclaimer for myself that the site monitors will give you, "there are medical professionals on this site".  I can give you stories from my own experience. 

    I've had two cervical surgeries and have another one scheduled.  I've been through most of the symptoms that you have describe. The treatment and diagnostics you have received to date is very standard practice.  You mentioned swallowing issues.  I highly recommend you request an ENT consult.  I ended up not being to swallow at all two years ago to be admitted as an inpatient in the hospital.  Yes, I could not swallow anything, including water.  I was also having trouble breathing. 

    Even if your symptoms don't get any better, you will likely be forced to wait until two to three weeks from you onset until any MRI will  even be considered, unless you can't swallow anything at all.  Please be advised, MRIs also miss a lot of issues when trying to diagnose spine related issues.  I also recommend, keep pestering your PCP.  If you don't complain, they assume your getting better. 

    From the symptoms you describe, I expect your have some type of nerve impingement in your neck, somewhere between C3 and C6.  Again, I say that as a guess based on my own experience.  Monitor your swallowing challenges and/or breathing constriction in your throat, because those are the most important issues on the short term.   


  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 702

    Did you keep the xrays? Did they do a full scan of your entire spine and pelvis, or just pinpoint the neck and separately the upper back? I only ask because when I went for xrays they only told me "you have a few disc bulges (lumbar)" but neglected to tell me I had a high hip, rotated pelvis, scoliosis, low shoulder. To me it is a mystery as to why doctors always try to focus so narrowly rather than broad-based view. 

    You said it started in between your scapula and then moved up to your neck. The chances the two are relative are very great. In fact I'd be willing to say it probably goes even lower into your pelvis (where the problem starts). My 13 year old complained of upper back pain. Couldn't turn his neck, etc. I had him take his shoes off. Stand up erect, but a relaxed posture. Turn both feet inward (pigeon-toed). Tighten the thighs slightly, but not the abs.Then gently pull the shoulder blades together and down. He said it was immediate relief and he could turn his head. This is not the fix to the pain, but it is proof that there is a kinetic link amongst the load bearing joints of the body. If you put them back into alignment you can ultimately find relief. 

    The six days aren't much of a worry, we've all had a stiff neck, but the numbing you are experiencing is cause for concern as far as nerve impingement goes. Keep a watch on this.  

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  • Thank you all for your replies. My case has been very strange. So the pain that I first described actually went away and was replaced by pain in my lower back. In this past week I have gone to my GP twice and to the ER twice. I went to the ER because I started experiencing shooting pains through my legs, numbness in both feet, the inability to bend my knees, and lack of function on my middle and ring finger in my left hand. An MRI was done at the ER showing nothing that they were able to detect. An XRAY was done as well and supposedly I have a compressed L5 area. I don't really trust this at all. That is because the way I feel shows that there is definitely something wrong. I'm trying to see if I can go to a different Dr. today because I am showing signs of either a bulging or herniated lumbar disc and perhaps a slight injury to the thoracic spine between the shoulder blades. I was told to just "ice it", was given the medications I mentioned in my last post, and was told to wait it out and that I could begin lifting light weights after a month. I totally do not feel comfortable with that advice because I highly doubt I'll even feel better after just a month considering the pain and symptoms I'm currently experiencing. 

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