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?Cervical issue need advice

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,002
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone

I had a 2 level lumbar fusion 6 months ago and am doing well from that. I was wondering if cervical people could tell me how your neck problems felt when they started. Did they come on suddenley or gradually?

I have had off and on neck problems for the last 3 years. It feels very stiff and sore like I slept on it wrong but then my left shoulder starts aching and sometimes pain will go to my elbow and wrist. It has been like this steady for the last 3 weeks. I am going for a followup next week and will be asking about it but wanted some insight. I am sure it is nothing but after suffering terribly with the lumbar for years and finally getting fused I am so worried about anything happening to my spine! I am sure you all know how that feels.

Thanks for any insight!


  • But I am wondering if I might need one. I can't help but be a little paranoid. I don't have any numbness just aching pain but that was what I had in my legs with the lumbar issue.
  • I think it depends on how you ended up with cervical issues as to the pattern of pain. If you had a trauma it we be more pronounced but if it is from DDD then would come on more slowly. It is wise of you to follow-up with a doc as those sounds like symptoms of the neck. There are many conservative things they can try to help you out. What type of meds are you taking for your back if any at this point?
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  • My pain started in my shoulder a couple of years ago at least, that's when I started noticing it. And it was something that happened every now and then when movements were just right. After waiting forever for it to just go away it only got worse and that's when I started seeking treatment just this past February. What was thought to simply be an inflammed shoulder turned out to be much more. I have 3 cervical herniated discs. I've had oral steriods, a cervical injection and currently undergoing physical therapy and taking a muscle relaxer. I really do recommend that you get an MRI so you can find out what if anything is going on in there. Don't let it go too long. Good luck!!
  • You should definitely get an MRI. If you have lumbar spinal issues it wouldn't be out of the question that you have cervical spine issues as well.
    I have very simular symptoms. Was actually diagnosed with tennis elbow and carpel tunnel in both arms 2 years ago.My main pain was in my low back and legs so they did a CT scan of the lumbar that showed bulging discs and stenosis. I had an MRI done of both the lumbar and cervical areas last month. Turns out that not only do I have stenosis in the lumbar but also moderate to severe stenosis of the cervical and DDD. I started PT last June and it does help tremendously with the pain. Wish I had found this PT years ago. The one before didn't do anything for me.

    If you go the PT route, I would highly suggest finding one that understands trigger point massage and does spinal manipulation. My spine was a mess from the muscles tryng to brace my back. Johnny has used deep massage and manipulation along with exercises to strengthen my core, hip and neck muscles to keep the vertebra where they belong.

    Good luck O:)
  • Greetings,

    It is very normal to be slightly paranoid of any more spinal issues after undergoing any procedure, most especially surgery. The key though is not to focus your thoughts on it all the time. It does get easier to forget or lose the paranoia as time goes on from your surgery.

    However, like everyone says, if you are seeing your doc soon it won't hurt to ask for his opinion. Let him decide if an MRI should be done, let him stay in control and you will get better results and more than that, you can relax!

    It is very common to strain the cervical area once the lumbar area has been fused. Strain is generally in the form of muscle strain and tight muscles can cause pain that mimicks cervical disc issues.

    So hang in there and bring it up to your doc.

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  • My wrist & hand was very painful & tingly. I fought what I thought to be carpul tunnel for about 3/4 years. It got so bad this past year it went into ny shoulders & neck. I went to the Dr. they ran the carpul tunnel tests & another that stuck needles into my next & shoulders. From there I had an MRI. I was diagoned with "double crush syndrome". I have both carpul tunnel. DDD & herniated discs.
    I recently had acdf c5-6 on 08/08. Not wanting to deal w/ the carpul tunnel yet.
    I guess mine came on gradually. Not sure if that's the norm though. I would suggest an MRI also.
    Good luck!
  • I just woke up one morning & thought I had a stiff neck. The pain got worse & I couldn'd turn my neck. After that I started to have numbness & weakness in my left arm from the shoulder to the ring & small finger area. I was on pain meds& had physical therapy to no avail. I had an ACDF done 2 months ago. I also had bilateral carpel tunnel surgery done last year. I guess I am keeping my neurosurgeon in business :)))
  • Gulfpearl, you sound like me. One day I woke up and I could not move. Had problems before but nothing like this. Had ACDF 4 weeks ago.
  • I had a stiff neck for a couple of days and then woke up and couldn't stand up. Mine definately came on quickly and I treated it with PT and Acupuncture for over 5 years before having an MRI. Following the MRI, things moved very quickly and I had ACDF C5-C6 July 14th.
    I'm basically pain-free for the first time in 5 1/2 years now. I would educate myself prior to your Doctor's appointment so you know what questions you want to ask. I've already prayed for you and I hope things work out well for you.
    God Bless,
  • Yes,for sure bring it up with your Dr.

    It sounds similiar to my symptoms,but you can never be sure and of course I can't diagnose anyone..but it can't be 'just nothing'.Hopefully it won't be anything serious.

    It does sound cervicle though.Good luck :)))
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