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Hi ..just been diagnosed with mild CS in c3-c5 then moderate in c6-c7. . I know it's going to get worse with time. Neck pain at present no oral pain relief . I been using gels , heat, icepack. Just wondering any advice to do not to do etc?

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  • Posted

    Get a head and neck MRI and find a great Neurosurgeon who is open to trying a discectomy BEFORE a corpectomy
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  • Posted

    your question is not clear when you say "no oral pain relief"

    I assume you're saying you're not taking any medication but you are in pain.

    if that's the case then the answer is obvious go back to your diagnosing doctor and get a prescription.

    if you're not in pain and you're not in discomfort on a daily life basis then you should just park the diagnosis and carry on with your life.

    most people have changes in the spine as part of the normal ageing process and only a small group have related pain or difficulties that require any type of treatment or medication.

    Treatment should be based on pain or disruption on your quality of life

    and not based on a diagnosis.

    just take care of your spine like anybody else would, dont lift crazy weights, keep a good posture, exercise regularly, don't smoke.

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  • Posted

    Hi Barney3771,

    I’ve had moderate to severe symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis (CS), for nearly three years. It initially began as hearing what sounded like a small grain of sand sliding and wearing in my neck. There was no pain for the first year or so but then got the pain became worse over a period of about two years. After being diagnosed, I did some research and ended up on patient.info. I found a post where someone had claimed to be cured of CS and many people pounced on the person for saying such a silly thing.

    I hope to avoid being pounced upon – but will accept the pounces if some of you choose to do so. In no way am I “cured”. I still get crunching sounds and pain. However, I believe that how I approached the problem has helped me to maintain a mostly normal life. Your time is valuable, so I will try to keep the post simple and to the point. But I will take artistic license and diverge intermittently. My only goal is to share what I did in the hopes that someone else may benefit.

    There I was, an average Joe kind of guy, having just turned 49 and finding out that my neck was disintegrating like an arthritic sand castle against high tide. “Doc, can you just give me an operation to fix it?” I thought. Well that still hasn’t happened though he did initially tell me that having an operation was probably inevitable.

    I felt sorry for myself. I thought my normal, average Joe life was over. I started not caring as much about the rest of my health because, frankly, why bother? It’s all gone to the dogs right? But then I thought, well you can’t go down without at least putting some thought and effort into trying to make things better. No, there isn’t and probably won’t be a “cure” in my lifetime for CS. But what CAN I do to make things less painful and maybe delay the timing of what appeared to be the ultimate fate, an operation.

    Fused vertebrae, going in through the front of the neck, the constant crunching sounds, the sleep impairing pain, THE CRUNCHING - all of that had me scared and feeling helpless and self-pitiful. So I drank more beer, consumed more food and partied like it was the last times I would be able to do all those things. I did all that for about a year.

    Then, at some juncture, I snapped out of my self-pity party. I started to think about the underlying physical problem. My neck structure was still there, it was just a bit faulty and weak. I’ll cut to the chase now as I can tell I’m starting to, or are well under way with, boring the bullocks out of you. I said to myself “Self, what are the things you do that not only may’ve contributed to causing the neck problem but what are you doing right now to make it worse?”

    Like a brass Chinese bell being rung by Neal Peart in the middle of the song Tom Sawyer, an idea popped into my obtuse and sometimes IQ-challenged cranium. Dude, Sir, Man! You backpacked for 25 years. You hiked Half Dome at least once every summer, sometimes more than once. You idiot, dweeb, nutball, whacky, silly guy. Hello McFly? You pounded Yosemite granite and hard ground all that time, you big lame-O. Of course your spine was going to be damaged. Of course!

    As much as I loved backpacking, I haven’t been since the summer I was diagnosed. I stopped jogging – completely. I stopped any and every activity that placed undue pressure on my spine. I haven’t walked longer than a half mile or so, for concern that it would aggravate my neck. All of this was not easy to do because I had just run my first half marathon and had always enjoyed running as exercise. So, giving up that activity kind of sucked.

    I wholesale replaced my running/jogging go-to forms of workouts with swimming. Fortunately, I also liked to swim, so transitioning from bouncing across asphalt to floating through water, wasn’t such a bitter pill. Now, swimming is no longer optional for me. It has become mandatory. I literally cannot go more than a few days or my neck starts flaming up. And yes, just swimming is great but it doesn’t appear to be the best part of my swim routine. What came as a complete surprise to me was that by forcing myself to do neck exercises in the pool (ground exercises also help but the pool feels like it has the best results), EVERY TIME I SWIM, I began to have less pain and less neck crunchy sounds. It was simple as that. If I didn’t swim and do my neck exercises often, the pain comes back – bigly.

    Here’ s what the catch was for me. At first, it did not feel safe to force my neck to contort and crunch so much. Am I going to make things worse? But I went for broke and even though it felt unnatural and sounded like a quarry of calcified, rocky bones being crushed, I kept it up. After a few months, I thought “Wow, I think I just bought myself a little time before needing an operation”.

    At the same time, I started taking Wellesse Joint Movement Glucosamine as well as Calcium supplements – along with my normal supplements and vitamins. I’m a total skeptic on most things but I’d discovered there were some supplements that helped my immunity (I’m also hypothyroid), so I was hopeful about the glucosamine and calcium.

    It’s been over two years now and the crunching sounds persist and I still have neck pain. But it’s tolerable. I can’t stop swimming and need the glucosamine every day but I could live this way indefinitely because I’m not where I thought I would be two years ago. I am doing ok. No, none of this is a cure.

    This is how I made my CS something I can manage and tolerate:

    (In order of my perceived effectiveness)

    1.       Spinal Jarring - Stopped all forms of bouncing & jarring of the spine – including running, jogging, distance walking, riding a bike. I won’t do trampolines with my son. The only form of exercise is swimming and an occasional elliptical machine.

    2.       Swimming – I swim 20 freestyle laps in a 25m pool (up & back being a lap), at least 3 times a week.

    3.       Pool Neck Lifts - Performing neck lifts in the pool (see attached, extremely crude pic) in between each of the last 5 laps. I do them by leaning back in the pool, near a pool ladder, lifting my feet (up to my knee) onto the edge of the pool, holding onto the ladder rail with one hand, and pulling my neck out of the water repeatedly. I do at least 20 or so of these per each final 5 laps. NOTE: From the start, doing this has never felt right. It feels like you are grinding sand in your neck and the crunching and grinding sounds horrid and feels very uncomfortable, especially while wearing ear plugs and a swim cap! But it’s helped – a lot. So far, I’ve not experienced any negative results from doing this. But my goodness, it does not feel like it is a good thing to be doing. Sometimes my neck is a little sore afterwards but it’s nothing compared to the pain of NOT doing the neck lifts.

    4.       Floor Neck Lifts - In between swimming, I will lay on the floor and do neck lifts. It doesn’t seem to be as effective as doing them in the pool, but the more I keep up with exercising the neck, the less pain and discomfort I experience. The only problem is that doing pool exercises at least three times a week can be a difficult schedule to maintain.

    5.       Glucosamine – I try to take it every day. It seems to help as when I go for two or more days without it, my neck is far more crunchy and there is more discomfort.

    6.       Calcium – I really have no idea if it calcium supplements help. But just in case, I take 600 mg regularly.

    Conclusion

    I am unsure if providing this routine would/could help anyone else but even if it helps one person, composing the post will have been worth the effort.

    Good Luck & All The Best.  

    Danny

     

     

     

     

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Danny .

      Thanks for info. I love my gym and exercise. Being 46 i am feeling im finisehd and what am i going to be like in few years. Which im finding it hard to take in. I am currently still spinning. I heard swimming was good form of exercise . My problem is I can't swim.

      I am doing chin tucks and neck to shoulder tilts.

      Brenda

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