Cervical Spondylosis ESA

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I am new to this site and I have found it very interesting and helpful.

Let me begin.

Almost a year ago I was having problems with my right hand, my GP referred me to a doctor at a local surgical centre. I was immediately diagnosed as having Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. My hand was operated on a month or so later, without me first having any tests. My hand has never recovered. Due to continuing pain I was sent for a nerve induction test which revealed that the problem lay elsewhere. I then saw a neurologist who suspected CS. I then had an x-ray and MRI scan. The scan clearly shows what the registrar called considerably where and tear to a large area of my neck. I have stenosis, two herniated discs and a lot of wear to the vertebrae and a trapped artery. The registrar said that it was cuased by heavy work. Surgery would invole a major operation and did not think it advisable, he said that nothing could be done for the trapped artery. Incidentily, in America a trapped vertebral artery is referred to as \"Bow Hunter's Syndrome\" - I was an archer for fifteen years and no doubt this contributed to the damage. I am now waiting to see a Neuro Surgeon if only for a second opinion to convince the DWP bods, also I am to see a physio therepist.

From the end of May last year I was claiming ESA, I had a so-called medical assessment by an ATOS doctor who had special powers. He could tell my pulse rate and that both of my heart chambers were working normaly without taking my pulse or using a stephoscope. I told him that I was having carpal tunnel release two days later, also, that I had severe tennis elbow. I performed the required movements, albeit with pain and answered his many questions. He spent most of his time clicking answers to questions on his computer. Naturally I failed the test. The Decision Maker would not take any notice of medical evidence from my GP, consultants or surgeons or that I had surgery two days after the assessment. Many people ask what planet the ESA decision make comes from, I have found that ESA (Employment Support Allowance) also stands for European Space Agency. So perhaps the decision maker really has come from somewhere in outer space, he or she certainly is not human. Anyway I took my case to a tribunal and WON. I am now to have a second assessment in two weeks.

I was hoping for some successful treatment for CS but have not been given much hope, particularly as surgery has been ruled out due to the risks. I now have to live with CS for the rest of my life, I am 50 years of age. Will physio help, what about painkillers though I do suffer from vertigo, will a Tens Machine be of any benefit? The CS is causing pain in my hands, arms, shoulders, neck and is causing lower back pain due to change of posture. I am beginning to get pains in my legs and all my limbs are becoming a lot weaker.

Can anyone offer advice or a few crumbs of comfort?

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  • Posted

    Hi Janner. 

    I was also claiming ESA due to having spondylosis. I have not been able to return to work since February of this year as the pain is now excruciating. I am due to go back to see the orthopaedic surgeon in 2 weeks to discuss surgery. 

    My ESA payments have been stopped as I didn't score any points when I went for my medical assessment. I am also taking mine to a tribunal. I have enough medical evidence as I have suffered for over 30 years. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Lesley, 

      When you go to the tribunal hearing take someone with you. Let the tribunal people see what you cannot do more so than what you can do. You cannot lift things like cardboard boxes or open cartons of liquid (I always make a mess). Cs effects the use of your hands and arms, it causes pains in your shoulders. You may be wise to get advice from your local CAB or a disabilty help service as they know how to deal with tribunals and even can help you fill in those dreaded questionaires.

      In July I was surprised to learn that I have been placed in the support group of ESA without having another medical assessment. I had been in the work related activity group for five years, perhaps the DWP now realise that I cannot grow a new spine in order to be fit for work.

      Chin up and think positive.

      Regards,

      Janner 

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    • Posted

      Hi, its hard trying even to stay positive at the moment. I am in so much pain. It's got to the stage where I am having difficulty even trying to attempt to sit down. Even the slightest pressure on my neck is agonising. Its really wearing me down. This, and having to contend with the tribunal is just getting too much. I am having to support my head on my hands almost all the time. I would do anything, and I mean anyting, to even get the slightest bit of relief. I have been back in touch with citizens advice to inform them that I will be taking my case to a tribunal. They have now told me that I will be hearing from the benefits dept. 
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  • Posted

    This is so like mstory  I worked lifting heavy stuff or twenty years  self employed.   Which left me with cs I am 56 and been claiming ESA   Had one appeal and lost then claimed ESA again. Had work capabilit assesment and failed o points. , twisted lies all I can say about that.  So then hada mandatory reconsideration. But received no money whilst waiting for this. So signed up on jsa.  Had to keep getting my darter to take me backwards and forwards to sign on and have computer help.  Then I missed an appointment. Pure accident. After being there four times previous week they have now stopped jsa money for four weeks  I don't have a partner to lean on as some do. I have to manage on the 70 £   So now I'm in a mess I've heard that I failed reconsideration so now going to appeal this was lodged. 20 November and I've asked to go back on ESA  but they say I can't I have to wait up to 28 days then ring again.  I am so tired all the time. And only reason want to go back on ESA so I don't have to keep making trip to jobcentre  because the money is same amount. At least it would be if they hadn't stopped it.  I really understand why people commit suicide. I m n the. Edge. Find all these things to sort out. Really difficult whilst in pain taking gabenptin and tremadol  even a massive effort to go to docs. And hospital appointments. , ythe poor man in jsa  didn't know what to do with me when I burst into tears.    Can anyone elp me 
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    • Posted

      HI

      What you describe is so common with C/S and trying to deal with the benefit systems.  None of us really want to be dealing with these people,  and they keep coming up with evermore complicated barriers to making the process easy to negotiate.  I've been in that situation mysel;f,  so I know how difficult and distressing it can be.  THe only thing I can think of is this.....if your weekly benefits have been stopped, or reduced, even temporarily,  then you are entitled to ask JSA for emergency payments to tide you over until the problem is solved.  Depending on who you are dealing with,  you might have to insist on this,  because, as far as I know,  they can be reluctant to advise people that emergency payments are available....by law.  If you don't feel you can insist,  the other option is to go to Citizens Advice in your area,  and they should be able to help you in your dealings with the benefit people.  Unless you have been officially sanctioned,  they are obliged to ensure you have some benefits to live on....but sometimes you just have to keep pressuring them.

      Hope it works out

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  • Posted

    Hi Janner, You made me laugh with the bit about European Space Agency, I too am a CS sufferer,and was actually wondering about ESA due to several years of dealing with the condition and also the weariness that seems to acompany it.
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    • Posted

      Hi,  

      I have looked into the ESA for C/S issue in some detail.  Although C/S is recognised as registered as a qualifying condition,  it still must be assessed ,  and that assessment is mostly concerned with mobility issues.  Until the mobility test is certified,  the other C/S issues (headaches, stiff neck, arm pain etc ) are not even considered pertinent,  and won't really influence the outcome.  A doctor's, or consultant's, note confirming mobility limitations is vital to any assessment.  I don't know if they have relaxed this since ATOS were sacked as assessors. 

      It seems there are really only two benefits possibilities....either pretend to JSA that you are still capable of working 9 to 5,  and hope for your situation not to get too pressurised (unlikely!),  or apply for JSA and hope that they view your condition as eligible (also unlikely without proper certification).  They have unwittingly created a huge grey bureaucratic area which we pick our way through, against the odds.  Until policy is written up by people who really know the issues....i.e 'us',  then we will always be at the mercy of nimcompoops who are more concerned with protecting diminishing budgets than with helping real people.  

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    • Posted

      Hi Gerry, I only happened upon this forum whilst looking wether CS was classed as a disability,I myself suffered a slipped disk in 2011 only to wait 2 months before Doc sent me for an x-ray, I have tried to do different jobs, admin, driving, healthcare, it must have taken me at least 3 yrs to adjust to the developments of having CS now on JSA again,(sigh) went in last week to hear them complaining about my work history?! huh I have 2 teenage sons who I have to cook/ clean/ wash for Im 56 and now they seem to think that I could work full time as well!

      my CS has flared up again probably due to the stress alone so sick of it, they put me on tramadol last yr as Id developed bad reflux from taking iboprufen. what do they think we are machines.   

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    • Posted

      Exactly.  I can remember a time when you could expect to get a sympathetic ear, particularly if you had some supporting certification.  THat doesn't exist today in the benefits system....they even question the certification if it doesn't suit their agenda.  It's disgusting,  and demeaning.  I just hope that someday, these automatons get to experience a taste of their own medicine.  Might even take up praying for that one ! 
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  • Posted

    However I want to inject some positivity into this discussion, when my neck originally went, I went to doc they thoguth it was arthitis, I was in so much pain, and had several severe inner headpains and could feel something burst then I would have nosebleeds, I evetually went to the doc (after Id had xray) cos all they put me on was Diclofenac and strong Ibuprofen,this however did not get rid of it

    so I went back to the onther doc (same practice) and complained that my nose about feeling unwell, she diagnosed Sinusitus, gave me antibiotics, and I almost immediately felt better, + 2 days went to Dentist, I had a tooth abcess, she also gave me antibiotics, 4 packets of antibiaotics later and aremoved open tooth, and I was well again! I couldnt believe it! my neck was still in pain but I felt so lucky to be alive, cos that infection had gone straight into my bones.

    Any way then I got on with dealing with the neck pain, they sent me to physio, the girl doing it tried to turn my head so much that I would have been looking at my bum, needless to say I didnt go back,however... I did not give up, I continued with the diclofenc,until they refused to give me any more,  then I gust got Iboprufen and only did gentle exercises, I started taking two different types of fish oil, and even tried rubbing it into my neck, Ive gone to bed with the hot waterbottle under my neck, (bliss) ( but not to sleep)  and started taking vitamins,they seem to help,I allways keep my neck warm and wrapped in winter, and yes sleep on the side that doesnt hurt if there is one, or try different postures ,after three years I was much better. and ive tried iboprufen gell on the neck.that helps too. I hope this might help someone :@]      

     

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  • Posted

    Hi glad to hear your meds take the pain to manageable level for you , mine don't  next week I have appeal for ESA dreading it the whole thing the journey getting there , and the humiliation that they won't accept certification for gp to say should not work neuro and pain doc says same  but asos say different  this is second appeal and in interim period I've had periods with no money whle mandatory reconsideration takes place and claimed jsa  then got sanctioned  for missing a computer lesson  can't even sit at a desk or ten minutes, then finally got back on ESA.  The whole talking and sorting out  is draining whilst ill and in constant pain , pain dr says exercises. Very tiny ones should help  but don't do if in pain ha  that's never. VAnd headaches my goodness they drive you even more crasy   I just despair for the future. I am 56. And have a dependent teenager at home. With no partner. If I loose appeal. Where do I go . My sympathies to anyone suffering from cs 
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    • Posted

      Hi daryl , with regards to ATOS , if you get hold of the Atos Customer Charter, and make sure you get a letter from the specialist and your gp stating you are unfit for work, ATOS is not registered with General Medical Council, they are a private health assesment provider CONTRACTED by the DWP and are not medical facility or qualified for a recognised medical opinion, only to carry out an assesment for fitness to work, find out who did your assesment was it a Healhcare assesor, Nurse, Dr, or Qualified Specialist in your condition, The assesment is a box standard test used for everyone and not specific for your condition. If you are sent for assesment again take someone with you a friend or relative and ask for the assesment to be recorded, if not take a camera phone or voice recorder with you, take a pen and note pad and ask who comes with you to get the assesors name and write everything down.  get any evidence you can,  ATOS will do everything to fob you off, NUmbers count not people with them. There are People were theres nothing wrong with them get awarded ESA, and someone who is genuine doesn't, the mind Boggles. ANd get straight onto Citizens Advice Bureau, I ve added a link to an article which http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/18/after-hated-atos-quits-will-maximus-make-work-assessments-less-arduous. All the Best
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    • Posted

      I think it disgusting what they have done with ESA I have broke into tears

      at JSA.  read artical on ATOS !  God! pray for Help. this cannot go on

      know what . . .    It reminds me of the Third Reich.

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    • Posted

      In some people's experience,  it makes the THird Reich look like a caring support system !  There is a theory out there,  can't remember what it's called,  that states that in any internet blog there comes a point where the inevitability of a reference to Hitler or the THird Reich being made becomes inevitable.  Seems we got there quite quickly with this issue  !!
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    • Posted

      Im sure it happens often enough, however from what Ive read recently

      about what they did to women in camps, and how they used them for experimental uses like "strapping them to tables slicing their legs open (without any aneshtetic) and fillling them with and dirt and glass shavings, sewing them back up to see if their experimental antibactirial drugs could heal  these sort of wounds,because they wanted to find the best way to heal their soldiers. if theystruggled/ screamed too loud they shot them if they survived they would probably never walk again,and then to top it all when the war was finally over and  their ematiated bodys thought that help was finally at hand they were raped by the arriving soldiers.

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    • Posted

      Whoa !  Easy on the graphic details.  The mental imagery lingers, uninvited.  Makes C/S look like a walk in the park.  I think that culture was brainwashed to feel no shame or guilt,  and that opened the door to atrocities against their fellow man/woman.  Same for the other lot from the land of the rising sun.  The worrying bit....every culture is vulnerable to the same traits when things get out of control.  Spotting the next one, before it happens,  is the real challenge.
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