Osteoarthritis in neck

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Hi, I have arthritis in neck due to year of typing, but have started to notice that I am getting weird headaches which I think are connected to my neck pain.  I am noticing more and more especially when typing or reading, I almost feel like my head lifts of my neck, my eyes become unfocussed and it is as if I am in a lift going down, the sensation is quite weird, I sort of then lurch back to normal but get a bad head afterwards. The crunching and clicking in my neck is worse so may be a trapped nerve.  My GP said my neck muscles are solid and sometimes I have Valium to help release them, although I wish there was something else less worrying,  I use a heat pad but cannot take anything like ibuprofen. Has anyone tried a chiropractor, I would like to but am worried that as I am so fixed they might do more damage.  I have seen a physio but she said it was like kneading dough as she got nowhere LOL.

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  • Posted

    I've had OA in my neck for 11 years.

    I just remember that the pain was the length of my neck and into my shoulder blades and no matter what I did, I could never really relieve the pain.

    I went to a chiro who did crack my neck but after a few visits I started to hurt worse than when I started.

    I went back to him to insist on an xray because he never did one prior to my treatment.

    He took a look at the xray and referred me back to my PCP.

    As it turned out, I have OA, Stenosis, Bone Spurs and 4 herniated discs.

    I've had surgery twice on my neck, once from the front in 2006 and then from the back in 2011.

    Sadly, I still have pain today but it was successful at the time.

    If you go to a chiro, INSIST on an xray first!!!

    It worked for a few years though.

    I never had headaches or numbness in my arms but it was just the horrible pain down to my shoulder blades.

    Please see your doctor before you go to a chiro and follow his recommendations!

    Good luck to you!

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    • Posted

      HI, yes the pain in shoulders blade is really bad, I type daily so that is not helping.  I do find a few Valium helps, I get them for 3 days for muscle relaxation and it works for a couple of months, but always comes back. I am not keen on seeing a chiropractor, especially after the replies here, so will stay away.  Take care
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  • Posted

    I would never go to a chiropractor for neck issues.  My uncle had neck problems, and because of treatment, resulting in injury by chiropractor had to take early retirement from his job as a dentist.  However I have been helped very much by physiotherapy.  A physiotherapist can prescribe exercises which will help strengthen supporting muscles.  They can also perform treatments which relax  muscles which may be in spasm.
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  • Posted

    You've got some awesome advice already but I'd like to add that I had 2 discs removed from my neck.  Prior to surgery and post surgery I had those symptoms.  Also, I found it best just to get a massage from a great masseuse. From my experience even if it's a trapped nerve it'll get better.  Just keep seeing your docs and find either a great physio or masseuse.  Lots of luck 

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  • Posted

    I have recently developed arthritis in my neck too and I also get headaches from it. I wouldn't go to a chiropractor for it. I have lower back pain partly due to arthritis and I did go to a chiropractor for that many years ago and got no relief whatsoever. But I would not let him pop my back either. And although my chiropractor seems knowledgeable and very friendly I would not go back. You can try seeing a pain management doctor and ask for an injection in your neck. Sometimes those help. Also I would ask the doctor to prescribe you muscle relaxers instead of a benzo that you're on. Reason being is that benzos are very addictive and you can't just withdrawal from them easily like you can opiates. With benzos you can actually die from the withdrawal so you have to be monitored very carefully. I'm just thinking you'd rather be on something that wasn't a narcotic and would work just as well if not better.

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    • Posted

      Hi, I did ask about injections but my GP refused as she said it would be dangerous as they would need to make sure they injected in the correct area !!  I thought Valium was a muscle relaxant, will ask for something different. I only get 3 days at a time, so never enough to get hooked, I hope.
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    • Posted

      Well your GP is right about the injection if he's doing it. That's why you have to go to a pain management doctor who is not only trained in doing it but also does it with a fluoroscope which is a special x-ray machine that helps him see where the needle is going. I think your GP was thinking of just a regular steroid injection like they would into an elbow or knee.

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    • Posted

      Yes, I think so as that is what I asked for and he said he wouldn't do one and would need an x-ray, so it makes sense.  Are you UK? if so how do you get to see a pain management doctor, is it private or can you be referred.  Thanks

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    • Posted

      No I'm not UK I'm US. But even so it is still not easy to get into a pain management doctor. But regardless of whether you're UK or US I think the procedure would be the same. You have to have a referral from a doctor. You will find that there are two kinds pain management doctors. Ones that will prescribe opiates (and those are few and far between) and those that will not prescribe opiates. It doesn't sound like you're necessarily needing opiates so that may not be an issue for you since you're really only looking for the epidural injection. But I believe most pain management doctors are trained in anesthesiology and that is why they can do these injections. If you do get in to see a pain management doctor you might also talk to him or her about medication. There are a couple of medications out there that can be used for pain that are not narcotic. I don't know if your GP has prescribed them to you or not. One is a Neurontin which is also called Gabapentin and the other one is Lyrica which is pregabalin. They get some bad rap because they mess with the synapses in your brain and some people complain about memory loss. Frankly when it was offered to me I did turn it down. But I had other options. Well good luck to you I hope things go well for you.

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    • Posted

      Hi, thanks so much for the detailed reply.  I have today picked up 3 days supply of diazepam which usually does the trick, but is short lived so I will look for pain management doctors and see what they can do for me longer term, as my arthritis is getting so bad I have a permanent headache and neck problems.   Take care
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    • Posted

      I reiterate, a good physiotherapist can help you.  My physiotherapist discovered I had very tight muscles in my back, she said they were like bricks.  She used some techniques to relax them, to make the tone normal.  This unbeknownst to me spasm had been the cause of referred pain in my hip, so bad I thought I was heading to a hip replacement, only x-rays showed no arthritis in that area.  She said the spasmed muscles can even cause spinal fractures in vulnerable people.  I have arthritis in various areas of my spine, especially my neck.  I do some gentle exercises for my neck as well, prescribed by the therapist.
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