Not sure if spondylosis or cranio-cervical instability or...?

jcat33jjcat33 Posts: 4
edited 05/04/2020 - 10:26 PM in Neck Pain Forum

Hi all,

It's a bit painful to write, so I won't write much. Basically, am 50-year old woman in States, have had (starting last month) neck weakness, head pressure, headache, seems hard to hold head up, shoulder/upper back soreness, crunching sounds when turning neck, all of which were 'confirmed' as osteoarthritis in neck, with x-ray. 

However, I also have puffy (swollen?) fingers, eyes, bit of blurred vision, *lots* of fatigue, bit of imbalance, poor sleep (?), racing heartbeat, tinnitus, and bloating/loss of appetite, when the neck is at its worst. 

Was reading about cranio-cervical syndrome, instability, etc. Haven't had MRI. 

Concerned. Should I have upright MRI to check ligaments? Should I see specialist? I've only seen orthopedist and am getting p/t, but nobody seems to know what I'm talking about when i mention the 'extra' symptoms I'm having. 

Thanks so much for advice. So worried right now. :( 



  • Welcome jcat33 we’re glad you’re here!

    It sounds like you will need more testing to narrow things down, however some of your symptoms sound familiar to me, I have rheumatoid arthritis, the swollen fingers, fatigue, vision and poor sleep are all things I have dealt with because of it, since being diagnosed and doing a lot of reading about the disease I have come to understand that RA can cause all kinds of different symptoms. 

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you visited The site offers comprehensive information about arthritis and includes articles about specific arthritis typesarthritis coping strategies, and treatment tips. This site is a terrific resource for anyone looking for more information about arthritis.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,464


    I also have RA, osteo, Fibro and all of the arthritis that goes with it. When any of it flares up I have most of the symptoms you do, so I understand how you feel. If it were me, I would start with a rheumatologist. I always go to the doctor with a very descriptive list of my symptoms, pain and when it hurts the most. I always ask him what he can do for me, what test will he do and what are my options. I would also see a spine specialist, requesting diagnostic testing to find the problem.

    Finding the right diagnosis can take time and sometimes more than one opinion. Don't give up. We have a saying here, be your own advocate for your health. Good luck and please keep us posted.

    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

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  • Thanks guys. And yeah, I've been advocating for my health in many areas, for many years...;) Realized long ago that docs (or not many) often know much about what goes on outside their narrow windows. 

    I will go see a spine specialist, and I will consider a rheumatologist, too. Thought it was only Osteoarthritis, but really seems like it's more than that. Feels connected to ME/ Fibro which I've suspected for a long time, due to sleep disorder and other things. 

    Thanks so much. I'll check back in...

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