Osteoarthritis in neck

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I have severe arthritis in my neck and shoulders. Recently I have noticed occasionally that when I am sitting looking at my phone or reading with my head down, all of a sudden I get a tingling in my hands and arms and then I go hot and cold and feel like I am going to pass out. It frightens me so I stand up and move about trying to get the dizziness to pass. I then feel quite off for a couple of hours. I try not to sit with my head down but sometimes get into my book and forget. Does anyone else have this, it could be blood pressure or a problem with my eyes, but want to find out if this is a common problem before I waste the GP's time. I also notice that I sometimes feel strange when I scroll down the screen on the phone, but that is probably my eyes. Thanks

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    i have degenerative disc disease throughout my full spine and they wont operate as it would be a domino effect and too risky.

    i often get frozen shoulders in both because of my neck and pins n needledles down both arms too

    unfortunatelatly its just what i have to accept and tolerate.

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    • Posted

      It's sad when there is no help and we live in pain. It's one of those problems that people cannot see so aren't always sympathetic either. Hope you find some relief. Take care

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  • Posted

    Get some physio to help you balance the muscle strength in your back and neck. Put a reminder on your phone to tell you to straighten up and move around at fairly frequent intervals.

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  • Posted

    Hi Youngatheart

    This could have been me writing this, I have the exact same symptoms with my neck arthritis and shoulder pain. I am trying to concentrate on my posture which is poor.

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    • Posted

      Hi, my posture is dreadful and I do make myself sit up straight but the pain makes me slump. I sit in an office and type which is how this all started and using phones doesn't t help either so try not to. I have tried physio but did that did not help and to be honest I am scared that they will do further damage as I am quite rigid according to the lady I saw. It is the dizziness and headaches that are getting me down. When I move my neck can feel the pain in my head and it feels like something is crawling over my scalp which is weird. I use a heat pad but that is about it as I cannot take ibuprofen. I wish there was something else but have been told nothing they can do. Wouldn't wish this on anyone. Take care

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    • Posted

      Hi youngatheart

      I have osteoarthritis in my neck and spine but early stages, diagnosed in 2017. My rheumatologist told me it's probably from sitting at a computer all day at work and it has taken its toll over the years - forward head posture. I started physio for my neck a couple of years ago but had to stop because it was making my dizziness worse. I was told the same thing that my spine was very tensed up but no advice was given then on what to do about it. I went to ENT about the dizziness and tinnitus but they found nothing and said it was probably due to the neck arthritis causing pressure on the nerves in my neck. My vision is affected sometimes too. Dizziness is quite common with neck arthritis so I've read. More recently I have been having shoulder pain and have been to physio, again I was told the reason was poor posture. I told my new physiotherapist about my dizziness so she is very helpful in not giving me exercises lying down flat that makes it worse for me. I am doing exercises to correct my posture using a tension rubber strip and it is helping. I've also recently started taking half a Kwell at bedtime and I think this may be helping with my dizziness, it been a lot better lately. An aunt of my gets vertigo and her doctor advised her to take Kwells. She takes them every day and they help keep the vertigo under control. I too find it painful to sit up properly but I am more aware of my posture now and I believe the exercises are helping. I cannot take ibuprofen, paracetamol or co-codamol, they all make me feel ill, the only otc painkiller I can take is anadin extra but if doesn't take all the pain away. My rheumatologist gave me capsacin cream but it didn't work for me. I use a warmed wheat bag on my neck and that sometimes gives me relief. I've given up on gels and creams, the massage effect applying them works better for me. I find sleeping on my back best with my knees slightly raised , I cannot sleep on my painful shoulder at all, it's agony. I suppose I am sharing this with you for you to know you are not alone with this. I have not given up though, I am going to continue with my exercises, my physio seems to think there will be a vast improvement in 12 weeks. Watch this space! Take care now.

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    • Posted

      There are physiotherapists and then there are physiotherapists. See if you can get some recommendations in your community for someone with experience treating people with severe osteoarthritis. Perhaps your local hospital can put you in touch with someone. Just keep asking whoever you can - your dental hygienist, the woman checking your groceries through, acquaintances over coffee, etc. Someone will know. My physiotherapist is a miracle worker and has done a lot of things to help me maintain range of motion, and her prescribed exercises, although as boring as physio exercises always are, do not hurt me and have been helpful. I, too, find heat helps. If you are able to access low level light therapy you would likely find that very helpful too, but the availability depends on where you are. Google light therapy kahn toronto. There are clinics in many countries but only Canada, where the treatment originated, and parts of the US have many. My treatment is covered by our private insurance, as physiotherapy. It is also offered by some chiropractors. All practitioners have to get intensive training before using it, and the treatment is calibrated to the individual.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your posts. I have been to chiropractors and physio in the past with no real improvement but will try again as in so much pain. Have a pounding head ache all day and can hardly move my neck. I cannot take anti inflammatories as I am on blood thinners so am really stuck for pain killers. My wheat bag is permanently on my neck when at home and brings some relief. The last chiropractic said the bones in my back were fused and its now affecting my chest area. All this from learning to type on a manual typewriter who would have known how damaging they were all those years ago. Have also bad hands so getting really fed up but will not let is beat me.

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    • Posted

      Hi thanks for post, I was checked for that a while back. I have just had a 2 week holiday and before I went found I was low in folic acid and since taking the tablets the headache has virtually gone. I now know the neck problems are made worse by sitting as I had less problems while away but went back to work on Monday and pain back with a vengeance. Am going to ask for a different chair. Also noticing pain across chest and ribcage so think the arthritis is spreading around the front, getting the same burning pain across chest which is really painful. All this because I have typed for so long and learned on a manual. My fingers are bad as well. When you look at the posture of people on their phones I fear for them 😳

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    • Posted

      Well that was a useful holiday (hope you had a good time) as when you returned you learned new things about what you were doing, and perhaps you can develop new habits to alleviate some of your issues. Any chance of seeing an occupational therapist? Also some workplaces do provide a way for individual employees to have their work stations evaluated and perhaps modified if there are health issues. Not sure what this procedure is called. I used to work in a library and one of my co-workers actually got a new chair especially adjusted for her! I know this isn't likely to happen in most places, but there may be something which can be done. you will be a more productive and happy employee if some modification can be made, even if it's simply following the advice of a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist.

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    • Posted

      Holiday was great thanks, doesn't take long to get back to being stressed again though 😂 I have changed position of my chair so that I am sitting upright instead of slouching which helps and have changed my across the body bag and now have a backpack which is better. Take care

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  • Posted

    Do you use a neck support like a pillow or a rolled up towel? I find that helps me.

    Dressing is becoming more difficult for me.

    I have multiple other problems which impact this one like degenerative discs and osteoporosis plus scoliosis.

    I have a nerve that runs from the spine into the sacroiliac which I manage by not setting it off which happens by sitting on straight hard chairs or walking too far. I am therefore not able to exercise much except in water but not do aerobics any more. I also have puffy legs which I have had for longer than the preceding problems.

    When I see this all written I realise I am disabled but only describe myself as partially disabled. My husband is my carer.

    My life is reduced to sitting on a recliner with pillows under my legs and a neck support. I still have my brain and eyesight thankfully. I am mobile to a point as I can shower and walk short distances but my husband helps me dress.

    Now I feel depressed.

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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear you are not so mobile these days, its really hard when you want to do things that you can't. I am lucky in that it's just the pain that gets me down, I struggle with my hands more now but still able to do most things for myself. I am going to look into a pillow as physio suggested a rolled up towel and thought there maybe something I could buy that was similar in shape as the towels are a bit cumbersome. Take care

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    • Posted

      I have a great one that is soft and cushy and even has a clip. I could keep it on if i wanted to as it would not fall off. It is not cumbersome and I use it in th car. Even a rolled up washer would do the trick.

      My hands are bad too but I have a tablet it take that helps for raynaud plus osteopanadol helps too.

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