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Several symptoms making it hard to know what to do!

Hello.  I am not
actually new to pain.  It’s something
that I have been dealing with more than 
half of my life at this point and it’s getting pretty hard to deal.  I am a 34 year old woman, and this is my

                At the
age of 15 I was in a minor car accident when my friend ran into a cattle
fence.  From then on I had neck and
shoulder pain.  I would cry and beg my
mother to help me.  Not knowing what else
to do, she took me to a chiropractor. 
This was 19 years ago, so forgive me if the details are a little
fuzzy.  He said that I had 4 cervical “ligaments”
out of place and started working on me. 
After visiting him I would always feel better, and the next day I would
just cry to go back.  Unfortunately I was
raised by a single mother who barely got by and at some point, the chiropractic
visits stopped.  Looking back, I am sure
that those are classic whiplash symptoms.

                When I
was a child I used to “pop” (or sublux) my shoulder joints.  I had no idea what I was doing to
myself.  My right shoulder has dislocated
over 10 times since I was around age 15. Neither of my shoulders have
dislocated for the past decade because I have A LOT of anxiety surrounding
this, and everything in general really. I baby my shoulders.  I raise them, but would never do certain
motions with them as the orthopedic surgeon stated that I had multi-directional
instability in my shoulder. He said I could have physical therapy or surgery.
Surgery would just need to be repeated though, as my shoulder would stretch
back out with time.  The physical therapy
hurt, and the surgery never happened. 

now, physical therapy for my shoulders and my neck hurt and I am too afraid to
do it.  I feel something badly wrong in
both and no one seems to worry about it. 
They just send everyone to PT. Everytime I try, I end up stopping
because of the pain. 

10 years ago while working at a call center, typing all day, I noticed my right
hand and fingers hurting.  It has
bothered me off and on all this time.  I
finally had it checked out this year.  I
had an EMG study and they determined that I have an ulnar nerve entrapment,
MAYBE. My ulnar nerve is affected for sure, but they don’t know that it goes
any further up and the ulnar nerve needs to be released first and blah blah


past 1-2 years in general my health has gotten worse.  I made a career move and now I sit all day
typing and scrolling, at a production level. 
So basically, I am living in repetitive injury city!  My neck and shoulders have always hurt me
every day, most of the day.  Now my pain
is worse. The activities I can do has decreased.  It hurts so bad all the time.  I finally had a cervical MRI that shows 3
bulging discs, with a protrusion superimposed on one of the bulges which is
diffuse.  It showed no narrowing of the
spine. That was almost a year ago.  What
have they done to help me?  Nothing.  Physical therapy.  But I hurt so much that I don’t want to do it
while I’m hurting (I’ve tried) and when I’m not hurting, I don’t want to make
it hurt!


                Now I
get to the issue that brings me today. 
Yes, it’s not even all of that. That, I have dealt with.  Maybe a little over a month ago?  My upper back started having a nerve
issue.  I know what a nerve feels
like.  The burning, numbness, tingling,
pain.  It goes from my spine all the way
over to my left shoulder. The only way to make it stop is to lean really far
back and push my chest WAY too far out to remain comfortable.  The only time it does not happen is when I
lay on my back.  Now its not just the
nerve.  I have a fist sized area on my
left upper back where pain just emanates from. 
When I turn my head, my body, when I sit down. It’s as if someone has a
hold of me right there and won’t let go. 
They have me pinched in their hands and everytime I move I feel them
pulling on me. I have also been having the pain move over to the right side as
well. I have not worked a full work week since this started. I have been
missing 1-2 days a week. 

                I went
to the doctor for this also and had an x-ray that showed I may have lost some
height in my spine.  I already knew that
because the back doctor had already let me know I have mild scoliosis and the
curve in my cervical spine is reversed. 
I was sent for an MRI.  One where
I was laying on my back *where I experience no symptoms*.  It showed nothing in my thoracic spine. It
did however, confirm the bulges seen on my cervical MRI and it did mention a
slight narrowing of the AP canal. 

                I know
this is a lot for me to expect anyone to read, but I do not know what to
do.  It seems like something is seriously
wrong with me. This back issue is the worst, so if anyone can relate to those
symptoms I would be so relieved. Also, if anyone can related to all of my
health issues as a larger syndrome that would be helpful.  I didn’t mention that I am having a lot of
hip pain in both hips almost daily.  Both
of my wrists and hands hurt also.  Sorry
for the long story.  Thanks for reading.




  • Anyone?
  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 735
    Sorry for your pain. You started with cervical and then went to hips, wrists, and hands. I have lots of experience with cervical but not the others. What are your questions? 
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  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 645
    Sorry to hear of all your pain....hopefully you'll get some relief soon.

    Are you going to have carpal tunnel surgery? I had both hands done back in 1999, two weeks apart. The recovery time wasn't bad, think I was back to work by six or eight weeks, sorry can't recall exactly. The surgery was 100% successful, but I did have an excellent surgeon. I also obeyed my surgeon's post op directions, and I still do the hand stretches when need be to this day. The agonizing pain I had before surgery, ugh!! So thankful that ended!!

    I've never had cervical surgery, and hope not to either...but in the past I've had agonizing pain there too, from bone spurs. Fortunately, they aren't positioned where they cause havoc with the spinal cord. I avoid doing certain things that would cause flare sleeping on my stomach, looking down for too long, repeatedly moving my neck back and forth (a whole lot of noisy grinding going on there), and I use my side and rear view mirrors more when driving, cause craning my neck is a sure way to aggravate all that does come in contact with the spurs, causing pain and inflammation, which takes forever to settle back down.

    Do you know if you have pelvic floor dysfunction? I've been told I do, and from what I've read about it, it can twist your spine up like a wrung out dish rag...and since my fusion surgery things have gotten worse. I tried PT for it but had to stop, was making my spine feel unstable. My release paper from the PT said the prognosis wasn't good because of other back issues.

    So, I'll keep reading, searching for ways I can improve any way I can. 

    Keep us posted : )
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,212
    hello oldncripple !

    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,443
    Wow!! You've had a lot going on your whole life. I am so sorry, I know how tough all of this can be. But, if you don't mind, I have some questions and maybe others will help reach out to you.
    After you had the MRI, what did your doctor suggest as options? Are you seeing a spinal specialist? You may also consider a second opinion with a specialist.
    As far as the back issues go, most of us can relate. You never know if it's one specific thing causing all of this or if it's multiple issues going on. Both of my hips hurt but I've got very progressive scoliosis. I'm in a lot of pain in my lower lumbar, I have 4 bulging disc. I also have 2 fractured vertebrae. 
    I think the best thing for you to do is discuss this with your doctor or a new one. We will be more than glad to talk to you and give you support and our own experiences as well as pain.
    Hang in there, keep us informed.

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical Story  
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  • jimandjr said:

    Sorry for your pain. You started with cervical and then went to hips, wrists, and hands. I have lots of experience with cervical but not the others. What are your questions? 

    I am not sure really.  Just hoping that someone can relate or has a suggestion.  Or even an OMG you have this moment.
  • Sheri76,
    I do not believe I have pelvic floor dysfunction.  My only bladder issues are that I am now peeing a little when I cough and every hour it's emergency bathroom time.  I believe that is due to me aging, though my doctor has said it is probably the 30-40 lbs I have gained in the last year.  
    I do plan to have the CUBITAL tunnel surgery at some point.  I can't afford to miss the work right now and I have pretty much exhausted my FMLA due to these daily pains.

    My neck and shoulders also make popping and grinding noises and they don't feel stable.  It has me too scared to do anything. Noone ever released me from PT.  I just kept going and going until I stopped.  
  • Memerainbolt,
    Thank you for your compassion.  After I had the cervical MRI, my spine doctor (actually the PA-never seen either of the actual MD's) they suggested PT and then a spinal injection -which sounds super scary. I have never gone for the injection, but I have had lots of other problems pop up.  
    After the thoracic spine MRI my primary care doctor told me to go back to the spine doctor.  I called them and they couldn't get me in for almost a month.  I left a message with the nurse telling them how I am hurting daily and missing work and asking for a sooner appointment-they never even called me back.  I think I am getting used to my back feeling like this.  I don't think they can help me.  I don't think anyone can really.  Not being able to do the things I need to do in life is depressing. 

    In my back I feel that nothing is right.  I feel it is all out of whack.  I keep having this popping in the middle of my back to the left side.  I'm wondering if this weird back thing is the scoliosis.  I know i have......I think its kyphosis.  It used to be mild scoliosis, now they are calling it just scoliosis.  

  • Sorry that it took me so long to answer.  I had forgotten that I started this forum and I don't get notifications.  I will try to change that.  Leaving this post was really my last hope. Thank you all for answering.
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