Panicking about CS - only 23 yrs old

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Hi all,

I am panicking about CS. I'm 23 years old, 6ft 3, a bit over weight and have a large head. I work in an office and spend literally all day on a computer. But that seems to be the case with many people my age. My posture has always been pretty poor. But I never anticipated getting problems at my age. 

I recently saw a chiropractor as I was constantly having panic attacks over this. I suffer from severe anxiety and depression. He took an X-ray which showed I have mild scoliosis of both my back and neck. My neck is also straight (no curve) and he mentioned subluxations but said he can fix these - anything I need to know here? He seemed to make them sound harmless and treatable.

The X-ray showed no signs of any disc degeneration or arthritis, but then I read many stories as my neck is crunching EVERY time I turn it to the left, if I roll my head there's also a clunk. This has made me extremely worried to the point that I keep having a break down every night - pathetic I know. I also have moments of severe pain in my right shoulder blade which wakes me up during the night. This has happened twice in the last 2-3 weeks, lasting approx 48hrs. I've also had fairly mild/moderate back pain for the last 5 or so years, which has sometimes got worse and spasm'd causing much worse pain. My neck goes through periods of being stiff too, but I wonder if my anxiety could be causing these symptoms. I have clicking in my joints all over my body, but the crunching in my neck really scares me.

The Chiropractor is adimant that this is no arthritis and purely just need to adjust my spine and I should see improvements. And apparently neck crunching is harmless? Is this really true?

In terms of CS, I've read so many mixed stories, whenever I read it online people seem to lose all ability to do things in life like work etc. This scares the hell out of me. But yet I read stats that say only 10% suffer from chronic pain? Which is true? And even those who suffer from chronic pain can manage their pain well, yet I read all of these horrible stories? Can someone who gets diagnosed at a young age such as my self really live a long fulfilling life? I've just met genuinely my dream woman, been with her about 7 months which I know doesn't sound long, but she's everything I could have ever dreamed of. I'm really scared that this will ruin my life and I'll be lonely forever, especially if I can't go out and do things.

It probably sounds pathetic to most, but I've been sucidial for the past year or so following my tinnitus, I really think something like this would push me over the edge so I'm desperate. Sorry If I've offended anyone I really hope I haven't.

Are there any long term sufferers on here who have lived a long life still maintaining work, relationships and having a family?

Thank you for any help that you can provide.

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  • Posted

    Hello I'm only 32 and have been dealing with cs and I suffer with chronic pain there are a lot of things I can't do anymore that includes work because it effects my whole body with abnormal reflexes I also have arthritis and herniated disc in my neck plus i have ddd and lower back problems as well. You do need to work on posture physical therapy can do wonders for your neck region. I have a loving husband who had been with me through thick and thin for the last 8 years and my son. it sometimes puts strain on us as far as being able to go out and be adventurous but he sticks by my side and we get through it. Sounds like they found your cs early but since it was only a X ray go see a neurologist and ask for a mri for a better view dont panic or stress it won't do you no good and in fact it will make it worse because your stressing your whole body take it one step at a time and you will be ok. Hope this helped you.
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  • Posted

    Hi GM1992 you write that the  X-ray showed no signs of any disc degeneration or arthritis. While truly not wishing to discount your experience of pain, many of us here who have spondyllitis would love that diagnosis :-)  You write that you spend literally all day on a computer.  That could be a simple cause of your stiffness and discomfort especially as you say your posture is pretty poor.  You might find taking a short break to stand and gently stretch approx every 20 mins helpful. That's called 'pacing' your activity - being kind to your body.  You write that you suffer from severe anxiety and depression...and ask can anxiety being causing your symptoms. In my humble opinion, yes this can exacerbate the pain you perceive. It seems to me that physically, your chirporacter has tried to assure you that you just need to adjust your posture...? But you are anxious and worried about other things in your life...?  If you feel suicidal, have you spoken with your doctor? They could refer you for counselling - you could talk out all those tensions which you may be holding in your body. To me,  feeling suicidal is like wanting to kill off a 'painful part' of me - but think about this... you are more than 'just'  that.  Imagine yourself  as a cluster of many different social roles and qualities like an orchestra, where one part is playing out of tune. It needs to be heard,  but it is not the whole of me.  I am speaking from my own personal experience. 

    You will probably receive a variety of replies on this forum.

    Hope  my little contribution is helpful.

    Are you in the UK? If you feel suicidal you can phone the Samaritans for free anytime on 116 123    website

    In USA see website

    Best wishes...

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  • Posted

    Hey there,

    Believe me I get it. My neck issues began when I was just 17 years old and have never stopped in 30 years. 

    Mine began insidiously and I eventually ended up in the hospital for 5 days while they ran every test in the book and came up with nothing.

    My diagnosis was severe neck sprain though I remember no type of catastophic fall or blow to my head. 

    I also have mild mild levo-scoliosis of my lumbar a thoracic spine.

    Only recently has anything started showing up on x-rays and my recent MRI showed a couple osteophytes ansd 2 bulging discs (mild). Not to bad for 30 of years of sometimes near misery.I now officially have CS.

    I'm no expert but I have years of personal experience and am an R.N.

    Neck issues can be very complicated, confusing, and angering.

    DO get an MRI so that most questions can be eliminated and you can begin to move forward.

    Chiropractic has been indispensible to me. You'll hear otherwise but It's worth trying especially if it's not too much of a financial strain. I believe it helped prevent faster degeneration and keeps me active. It's only a stigma that's attached to some unscrupulous practitioners that gives it  a bad name.It's worth trying I believe.

    I don't have any idea what a normal neck would even feel like anymore.

    Though not exactly the life I've dreamed of I'ts been pretty good but diffferrent than it would have been otherwise. I've still managed to surf and mountain bike and be more active than most average people by far because I don't take these things for granted.. I just do things to my comfort level. It keeps me sane.

    Other people don't understand.

    Your lucky you  have a resource like the internet. When my troubles began there was no internet and thus no way to communicate with others or do research. I just had to suffer in silence. It wasn't easy. 

    After years of research and as a healthcare professional I've come to the conclusion that I suffer with chronic cervical joint dysfunction and chronic low-grade cervical inflammation of the facet joints that has eventually resulted in the degenerative process of CS. Whatever, it's not  going to stop me. These are things that don't show up on images of any kind.

    Get your anxiety in control because it will only excacerbate your symptoms and either find a profession with less sitting or at  least get up  frequenly. Maybe a standing desk  will be helpful?

    I have way too much to say so feel free to ask me anything and I'll help as much as I can. Your condition and age are about as close to what mine was as anyone I've encountered ever. After 30 years I can't  possibly touch on everything, it would be way too much but I have a lot of personal experience to draw on and will help anytime.

    Good Luck


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  • Posted

    Hi I'm 24 all my problems started at 16 I have been diagnosed now I struggle as have depression and anxiety i get bad heads the pain can be crippling some days om waiting g for surgary x
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