Cervical Spondylosis Pain Management

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Hi Everyone.

I've had Cerv Spond (C/S) over thirty years. I'm interested in hearing about any advice, for pain management , fellow sufferers may have outside of the usual medications, therapies and surgery usually advised by the professionals. Any advice is welcome, especially any relating to how to provide yourself with most comfort between appointments. Please feel free to add your comments.

Gerry

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  • Posted

    Hello Gerry

    I've been lurking for a while and like everyone else here I have CS along with 2 slipped disks, and stenosis. I have the same range of symptoms headaches, numbness, tingly bits, clumsyness and pain in so many places I can't be bothered to list them all.

    I have found the ONLY thing that really helps on a regular basis is a hot bath, when I say hot I mean the hottest I can stand. I soak for a couple of hours regularly topping up the heat. The other thing I have found that consistently takes away the pain is illegal I'm afraid, but it works better than valium and tramadol combined and of course I cant use it at work.

    I'm waiting for a discectomy as the neurological symptoms are starting to have an effect on my bladder, this is a RED flag and suddenly the medical profession are much more helpful and I no longer feel like a malingerer :lol:

    Hope you are all having an OK day

    Sarah

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  • Posted

    had my first visit to the chronic pain clinic today. my consultant is referring me for acupuncture and also to the rheumatologist. Things certainly seem to be turning the corner in terms of getting some help, and all since my first visit to physio.

    got response from my borough blue badge scheme dept today tho. can't have one as i haven't had my condition long enough!!

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I have CS too. Why do all the solutions have to be surgical, medical etc.

    I cannot have surgery - it would kill me. I was told I would have to live with it. It doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt, or that it did not affect my life. It did - I do not work anymore, I cannot drive a car, I cannot swim, (I loved swimming), I cannot garden, (ditto), I cannot pick up my child or take her to school, etc etc.

    I have been fairly lucky - after initial diagnosis, I have lived with it for years on Ibufprofen, with the occasional help from Diclofencac. I admit I took Ibuprofen like smarties at first. Now, ten years later after a very bad flare up, I am now on tramadol. Tramadol kills the pain. Where do I go when this stops working though? Once you hit Opiates there is nothing else.

    In between I have been to a pain management programme a few years ago that works. It gave me the skills I needed to try to live with this conditon.

    So, at the moment, I have gone backwards. That is what happens with a chronic condition. I also have the means to get me out of this and to go forwards.

    The point I am trying to make is that we are all different. What works for one, may not or will not work for another.

    Yes we should pay attention to others experience, but there is no one answer for this condition. We do not all suffer the same, therefore the cure will not be the same. You have to find what works for you.

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  • Posted

    i have had cs for the past 19yrs and i have gone up the meds ladder,, getting stronger and stronger. i am now on oxycontin,, but i only really take it to stop the withdrawal,, not pain relief. my symptoms are increasing all the time but when i go to the gp he dosnt seem interested and i feel foolish keep going. i have had acupuncture,, deep heat,, injections, crams meds,, nothing has helped. i am waiting to be referred to the rheumotologist to see if my gp's diagnosis of fibromyalgis is right. as i have found out on another forum on hre, reading this poor womans symptoms it could have been me. now my main problem is my shoulders,,omg how much they hurt it is like waking up after a weight training session. i get sharp pains in my bi-ceps, even more so if i reach across for anything. i am on co-codamol for this as it is the only thing that helps but it wont be long before i need something stronger. as a previous poster commented we are all so different so therefore we need differnt treatments.
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  • Posted

    Hiya to all,

    Pain management whats that!

    I have been diagnosed with c/s for over a year now but i have had to live with the pain and constant trips to the physio for the last 4 nearly 5 yrs, i firstly took ibrufen like they were sweets, but have ruined my stomach, then i moved to 30/500 co-codamols , these too did nothing , tramadol was next and now i take amitriptyline 20mg, gabapentine 1800mg a day and Morphine sulphate 60mg a day and needless to say the pain never eases.

    I am 32 yrs old and still work , although im now office based but i struggle with that, i cant afford to give up work and to be honest i dont want c/s to win but i know myself that its getting worse at a frightingly fast rate , im due to see my Pain Management Doctor at my local hospital next month, i dont know what else there is to try , ive spent lots on osteopaths with no avail , any suggestions will be greatly appriciated , hope that you are all ok x

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I'm in agreement with what Juniper posted above. C/S will have it's bearable and unbearable phases. There's no certainty about how much worse it will get. I've had it 30 years and I feel better today than I did 10 years ago...some symptoms have eased off and some new ones appeared, but overall I feel better...less headaches and stiff neck. I think a reliance on increasing doses of medication is not a good thing, it might even hinder us in learning how to self manage our activities, and I think that most advice available to us falls well short of the mark. In fact, I think we owe it to ourselves to figure out the most comfortable way we can go about our business. This may vary for different people, but that shouldn't put us off learning what works best for ourselves. I can see the problems confronting the professionals when they try to generalise their advice to suit everyone...it can't be done....and that, to me, makes it even more important that we study our own needs and maybe someday we can advise them of what we want. It's only human nature to want to externalise the problem and look for answers in medications and surgery, which are absolutely necessary in some instances, but perhaps, in the meantime, our time would be better spent simply trying to maximise our own comfort by learning the skills of self management.

    I'll get off the soap box now !

    Gerry

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  • Posted

    It's all a 'suck it and see' process, helped along by how supportive and proactive your GP is. After a huge heart to heart with mine one evening (I was his last patient of the day) I've turned the corner with regard to support from him. I think my fantastic physiotherapist has been my biggest help. I'm off to see a rheumatologist next week and have just received appointments for acupuncture. I've found huge relief with tramadol and diclofenac, ably assisted with boosts of paracetamol. I ran out of painkillers over the Easter weekend, my goodness, didn't I know about it?! nothing helped whatsoever.

    As a single parent caring for an autistic teenager and supporting a son at University I can't afford to give up work, and I'd be mentally unable to too, I need it to keep sane. But I think my GP is realising that I need the support I'm now getting so as to avoid a situation where I need more carer support for my son, and indeed for me. (hope that all makes sense!)

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  • Posted

    Hi Nothing to worry about.

    I also ran out of tramadol over the holidays. I was totally unprepared for the terrible withdrawal symptoms. starting with irritability and headache, it quickly progressed to aching all over with hot sweats and shivers (at the same time) along with tummy cramps and the runs.I don't think I have ever felt so unwell. fortunately my Mother has the same painkillers and was able to lend me some until I could get my prescription. An hour and a half later I was feeling more myself. I now set my alarm on the phone to remind me to order more and so I don't miss a dose.

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  • Posted

    I won't be forgetting again in a hurry, that's for sure. I can't say I got withdrawal symptoms, perhaps the pain blurred them out.

    Been to see the Rheumatologist today. Now being put on amatriptylene (sp) on top of everything else. She also suggests that I've got a sort of precursor to fibromyalgia and wants to try to get it under control before it progresses any further. Top that off with her booking me in for a steroid injection in my right shoulder. I vaguely remember the days before pain tried to take over my life. I'm determined not to let it win. x

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone

    Sorry to move away from the previous postings, but I've got an issue that I need to deal with. I read all the C/S postings and its obvious to me that they inevitably lead, eventually, to ever increasing symptom descriptions and to descriptions of ever failing medications. Have to say that this trend is a bit of a physcological cul-de-sac for me. Seems to happen all the time. The only way I can communicate as an equal is by doing the same myself...i.e..describing my worst symptoms etc. I understand that its a great oulet to be able to do this, but, at the same time, its not really going anywhere that engages my more inquisitive instincts. In fact, it makes it difficult to interrupt someone else's posting just to get the focus back on what we're really here for......to learn about ways to improve our daily struggles.

    Personally, I'm not all that interested in the outcomes of various drug trials that are seemingly imposed on unsuspecting C/S victims. If anyone believes there is some value to this...that's their business. My one wish for all those who look for an answer in medication is that someday soon they will discover a drug that works satisfactorilly. Unfortunately, it may take another 5 to 10 years for that drug to be trialed and made available generally. What's currently available looks like a mish mash of half efforts that leave us dissappointed.

    The question is, really, what do we do in the meantime ? I like to think in terms of 'cause and effect'. If I understand and accomodate the 'cause', then I can hope to alleviate the 'effect'. The thing is to ignore the gloomy forecasts we are subjected to, go back to square one, and start thinking again.

    Once again, sorry if I sound a bit scathing. It's just that I feel excluded when the postings go in a certain direction that I'm not comfortable with. Maybe I should just say, once and for all, I sympathise totally with all future postings of worsening symptoms and failed medications, but can we please get back to the real business. That should cover everything !

    Gerry

    :fullmoon:

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  • Posted

    on a positive note I'm now able to read again thanks to the discovery of the kindle e-book reader! It's lightweight so that it doesn't drag my arms down and it's a single 'page' so my hands don't hurt keeping the pages open. It's amazing how much it's transformed the life of a bookworm :D
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  • Posted

    Hi

    I've got a problem with books as well. It just gets uncomfortable trying to keep pages open. Also the old neck can get a bit strained after a short while. Must have a look at your ebooks thing ....see if it makes it easier. You can't beat a good read !

    Gerry

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  • Posted

    Have done already. The mission now is to find a cheap second hand one. Work in progress !

    On another subject, I was browsing the net recently to see if there are any accepted abbreviations for Cervical Spondylosis. It's such a mouthful , and not exactly easy to type either, that I've always thought that it would be so much easier if people recognised an abbreviated version, such as C/S. It works for MS, TB, RA etc. so why not for C/S. Also , once you say 'Cervical', especially if you're a bloke but the same applies to women also, people's thoughts automatically veer towards the other cervical area ! I think it then becomes hard to redirect their concentration towards our preferred area...the neck. It's almost embarrassing sometimes, or you have to be so adamant in explaining the differences that the initial effect that you would have liked to achieve is lost in the misunderstandings. Sometimes it's easier just to say it's Arthritis or Osteo-Arthritis , but that can be misleading for the sake of minimal understanding.

    So, wouldn't it be nice if there was a generally understood abbreviation, that left people in no doubt about what they were dealing with. It would save a lot of unnecessary explaining and make it easier to communicate amongst ourselves, such as on this site. I introduced the C/S abbreviation on this site (rummination pages) a couple of years ago , and it looks like most people here are comfortable using it. Having to type 'Cervical spondylosis' all the time sounds like a medical condition in it's own right ! THe same should apply to the spoken word. The fact that it's less well known than some of the more accepted abbreviated conditions is all the more reason for trying to raise it's profile with the general public by simplifying it's name and attaching a recognisable and easily understood description. People don't want to hear complicated medical terms when you bump into them at Tesco's.

    During my search, I came across one abbreviation 'CSM' which is used in medical circles. It stands for Cervical Spondylosis (there we go again!) Myleopathy, which is a sub-group of C/S and doesn't include other variations of the condition. So. Yes. I'm sticking with my own invention...C/S....... despite the delusions of grandeur which I am now experiencing. I've even added it to some dictionaries of abbreviations I discovered during my web search.

    C/S is now recognised as a fairly common complaint, globally, so it seems a bit strange that it hasn't acquired a more user friendly name as yet. This might be for various reasons...for instance, a lack of willingness by the medical profession to discuss the condition publically, or a lack of will by sufferers to publically promote their own condition, or neither or both or whatever. But, for something which has been so awkward to explain you would have thought that an easy solution would have been found by now.

    Gerry ( the inventor of the C/S abbreviation )

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  • Posted

    Obviously, that little bit of boasting in the last post didn't warrant a response ! I think it will take more than that to teach me a lesson in humility.

    Back to Pain Management, something I know a lot of C/S sufferers are sceptical about. Here's a recent event , just to highlight the complications that can arise which don't help an anxious situation. I was due to attend a funeral recently. It meant taking a flight and sleeping overnight. I thought long and hard about it and eventually decided that sleeping in a strange bed was not for me, because experience tells me that doing so can kick off several days of increased symptoms. It's always a gamble, but mostly this is what happens, and the risks seem to increase as I get older. I like my memory foam and cervical pillow, especially when certain quantities of alcohol need to be consummed ! So, I made that decision quite rationally, but that wasn't the problem. Problem was....How do I explain that to relatives, none of whom know much about C/S, without sounding like I was looking for an excuse, or trying to exaggerate a condition which they were already aware I could reasonably manage. What they don't necessarilly understand is the fact that, sometimes, I can really only manage it at home, close to my comfort accessories . This was one of those times, something which is becoming more and more common to me.

    So, I hit a crisis point . Funeral obligations v Possible C/S problems. An easy decision for me, but difficult to explain that decision. Eventually I opted for explaining it with the excuse of a combination of work committments (which was true, but changeable) and having a dodgy time with my neck problem. Surprisingly, the response was good, so I have been left with no residual feelings of having dissappointed expectations for meeting my obligations. A less positive response might easily have kicked off my usual anxieties about my limitations. The lesson I've learned here is that it pays to be direct with people and try not to include them in the confusion of the unpredictabllities that we experience. Coming from a culture where percieved whingeing is seen as a bit of a crime against society, it pays to be sure of what we say before it is misinterpreted as a negative.

    Gerry

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