Newbie with Cervical Pain Saying Hi
Hello -- I've been reading many of your stories -- and although I'm quite sure my situation isn't nearly as severe as so many of you dear folks, I am struggling with finding the right 'combo of treatments' that helps my horribly painful spin/nape of neck/back of skull.
I'm 71 years young -- and up to about 3 years ago was an active senior -- doing lots and lots of sewing/quilting for veterans, charities, etc. I as a treadmill jogger (called myself the 'collie trotter' as I could go long term, albeit slowly, for well over 40 min to an hour. My husband of 41 years and I did a lot of traveling here and there -- enjoying USA and visiting friends/relatives. Most of this has halted -- much to my dismay. At my age, I view anything that keeps me from being active as a 'death sentence'............
My spine has been diagnosed with a few 'minor' goodies -- none of which show that I should be in the kind of pain I am in. However, I'm fortunate to have doctors that BELIEVE me -- and for well over 2 1/2 years I've been trying a whole bunch of treatments, many of which have given some relief. My diagnosis seems to lie within the osteoarthritis area, facet joint pain, potentially pinched nerves, herniated discs, a little stenosis, and even a little scoliosis.
My treatments which have worked (not long-term unfortunately) have been radio frequency ablations -- coupled with a lot of Neurontin (which I am happily to say my body tolerates with minimum of side effects) and a muscle relaxant.
I've tried most of the conservative treatments -- but recently have 'found' a cervical PT 'guru' which concentrates on locating the source of the problem, coupled with some exercises to strengthen, etc. the neck muscles. He even discovered my neck position was a little too 'chin forward' -- which I'm finding is a great help, even tho that may sound like such a little correction.
My pain levels join me daily -- sometimes in the early a.m. (I'm up at 5 am most times in order to release pressure off the upper spine) it is so intense I hardly know which way to turn until the Percocet kicks in --- and often vomit due to the high pain. Immitrix and Maxalt (NOT together) also work for me --- but I'm cautioned on their use because what they do to contract the inflamed areas also happens to the heart..........something my doctors are worried about, although they allow me the meds...... When a flare hits the lower cervical area AND the back of the skull AND the nape of the neck all at the same time -- oh WOW............ I'm a mess.
I'm a pretty positive person -- glass-half-full sort of person -- and I do not suffer from depressive thoughts ---- but I sense this is going to be a life-long situation and I need to keep myself aware of new therapies and support groups.
I welcome your thoughts on my condition -- and any potential treatments you all may have used or know of.
Thanks for reading this.