Self help for Neck arthritis please?

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Hello, I don't know if I am on the right forum but here goes. I am female aged 71 and have various health problems including OA in the knees, spine and neck. I also suffer from anxiety. I am used to always have some sort of pain or stomach upset (I am IBS /gastritis/and divericulosis). At the beginning of October I caught an awful virus lasted 6weeks had one lot of penicillin then got a urine infection and had to have more anitibiotics.

My neck since diagnosis around 6 years ago has only ever caused the odd ache and pain easily remedied by half hour rest until around May of this year the pain was awful terrible headaches and pains in the head and neck saw doctor she was not too worried I self referred for physio had an examination and given some exercises to do but not further appointments. It did get better and I carried on the exercises, Since being ill and obviously laying down a lot the pain has come back for the last 2 weeks. same symptoms. I am due to see gp next week. I get headaches muzzy and neck pain going over back of head face pain and some problems ends of fingers on right hand but have had this before. Not sure if this is to do with the neck or maybe be carpel tunnel or something similar. It's not pins and needles its more like if you have had your hands in hot water and they feel a bit spongy at the tips and its not all the time. I can only take paracetamol no nsaids and I am what they call a steroid responder which means I should not take them unless really necessary as the could worsen my glaucoma by causing a rise in the pressures.

What I would like advice on is

  1. Best sleeping position and what type of pillow I did ask the physio but they said it didn't really matter as long as it supports.
  2. Should I ask for another xray or an MRI
  3. How can I deal with the pain better. I get so worried about not being able to do things. I am due to have my hair done this afternoon but worry it will make the pain worse. Do you find that you often have to cancel arrangements at the last minute. I find people really don't understand and doctors seem not to offer much advice on any condition these days. You are left to find out yourself on forums like this. If anyone could offer any advice or tips I would be grateful. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I think it is worse because it is nearly Christmas and there is shopping etc to do.

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  • Posted

    the spongy feeling in fingers is to do with neck, i had really bad nerve pain in my arms last June, had the feeling in 2 of my fingers since then, I've tried lots of different pillows, had a side sleeper, body pillow, memory foam, bamboo & goose feather, i prefer my goose feather, I've always slept with 2 pillows but now find sleeping with 1 is more comfortable, when was your last mri, i had one 2013, they just send me for x-rays every time now, I've tried majority of painkillers the past 7 years since being diagnosed with cs, you just have to find ones that work for you.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. The word spongy for the fingers describes it well. Funnily enough it is on the right side which was the worse side for the neck and head pain in May. This time is is the left side of neck and head which is worse but the left hand seems ok at the moment. Quite honestly I never know what is causing what pain whether its legs feet back neck and so on. I changed to one pillow ages ago but am on a pension so don't want to waste money on expensive pillows that don't work. I have never had a MRI just xrays and they were about 6 years ago when I lived in London and we are now up in the NW of England. Since nsaids are out because of digestive problems and codeine type cause constipation and make me spaced out I am just left with good ole paracetamol. My gp did suggest taking amytriptiline (wrong spelling) for general pains but that has a warning for glaucoma but am going to ask the opthalmologist at my next appointment about what drugs I should avoid in general. By the way if you do exercises each day which ones do you do.

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    • Posted

      I'm only 45, very slim, healthy eater (plant-based diet). Had long-term undiagnosed h-pylori which is now treated, but still problems with foods containing oil or seeds which give me severe neck pain, meaning I want to sit all day. I previously pushed for an MRI which showed inflammation, spondylosis, foraminal narrowing, bony spur, etc, with a recommendation for further scans which I haven't had yet. I am hoping probiotics will sort out the inflammation and have me all better, or else I will follow an on-line recommendation to see a spinal surgeon. Here (spineuniverse) they mention great improvement after surgery, and a scan finding bone on bone. Otherwise, with neurological issues, check out B12 deficiency dot info (free info site, no sales)

      https://www.spineuniverse.com/community/chronic-pain/44883/c4-c5-c6-disc-herniation-does-anyone-have-surgery-success-story?fbclid=IwAR32-RzvyaCX05b1SluMlsGpz9wFPIPxCneExviVREmFG7xy8Z0_wk7b430

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  • Posted

    I'm so sorry to read that you're not 100 % well. I had Lansoprasole for almost two years, because of gastritis. Now I use herbal teas instead. I read, afterwards, that the tablets put weight on 60+ people, so if you've put on weight, it's because of it. I have diviculitis, which can make people put weight on around the tummy area. Probiotic yoghurts help both problems. I have polyarthritis, which means arthritis in 5 or more areas. One is in my neck. I get dizzy when I lay on my right side, look up or look down. Also, every time I get my hair cut, near my neck, I worry about the buzzing of the electric razor, but so far nothing has happened. I worry when I get my hair dyed, because of the basin, but my hairdresser knows to be gentle in the area. I get headaches, but I try not to take pain killers, I lay down to watch tv and roll up a cushion to support my neck. I lay on my back. I use a firm bed pillow, that also supports my neck. As for the other arthritis; I used to work for St John Ambulance, and we learned that there's muscles between the bone and pain receptor, so anyone with arthritis should exercise to build up the muscles between them, the problem is still there, but it can't be felt so easily. I hope this helps, in some way.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I have taken omeprazole in the past but they upset the IBS so I now take Ranitidine. I eat probiotic yogurts and natural organic yogurt which I did not like at first but I now love it. I am going to the hairdressers this afternoon and I am worried about the washing and blowdrying but I will ask her to be gentle. I will try the rolled up. cushion when watching tv. Thanks.

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    • Posted

      Hello Chrissy

      I too have neck arthritis and in my back although I've been told by a rheumatologist that it's early days. I was interested to hear you say you get giddy laying on your right side and looking up and down. This has been happening to me too although not as bad as it once was. I was having physio but I stopped going because I was feeling dizzy after it. I also get tinnitus and am sensitive to noises and it all causes anxiety for which I am taking an anxiety med. My doctor referred me to ENT but everything was OK, the specialist told me he thought my symptoms were caused by my neck problem. Are you taking anything to relieve this? I only take otc pain killers and am limited to what I can take because most make me feel worse because of their side effects. I also get a muzzy head feeling. I have tried different pillows, spent a small fortune on them but have gone back to regular pillows. I find being propped up in bed is better for me as lying on one pillow gives me a headache. I think it has helped with the dizziness too. Just wondering what meds you are taking, looking for any ways to relieve this. Many thanks.

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    • Posted

      Hello Jayn, I don't take anything for the dizziness, my doctor doesn't seem to want to know. I first found out about my neck when I woke up to pop to the lou, and I fell into a wall because the room was spinning. Then the headaches started, which lasted about 4 months non stop. I used to sit and cry . I had a high pain threshold, but now I get swellings in both ankles, both knees and both wrists, and I have sensitive skin. I went for an x-ray, and the doctor just said I have neck arthritis and he gave me Amitriptyline, then sent me away. There's a lady who lives near me who gives me advice, because she has it everywhere. I wanted another tattoo, but she said I'd be in agony because of my skin sensitivity, then I'd suffer badly with another episode of pain for months. I'm sorry that I can't help you about the dizziness. A pillow which supports your neck is best. Your body will tell you what's needed to be comfy.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for replying Chrissy,

      My doctor tried me on travel sickness tablets but they didn't work. I don't have it all the time, probably when my neck is playing up. I just been to the supermarket and felt muzzy headed, not quite giddy, hard to explain, couldn't wait to get out from there. If I move around a lot if tends to improve. It's also worse when I'm anxious. Probably a combination of arthritis and anxiety. Happy days!😊

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    • Posted

      if you ever find anything to help it, please let me know. keep an eye out on the weather, sometimes it effects arthritis, for some it's worse in heat, sometimes it's the cold, but it doesn't happen to everyone.

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    • Posted

      Yes if I find the magic cure I will let you know. You are right about the weather, the hot summer made made my anxiety worse for sure. Extreme cold weather has the same effect on me. It's hard to tell whether anxiety is causing these feelings or arthritis. I think one affects the other. It's good to know you are nor alone with these feelings although I wouldn't wish them on you. I hope you find relief soon.😊

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  • Posted

    libralady13, I am so sorry for how you feel. There is a lot of talk of sleep and pillows. I find the best pillow for support, either in a chair or in bed ( if one manages to get to bed) is a V shaped pillow. https://www.dunelm.com/product/fogarty-v-shaped-orthopaedic-firm-support-pillow-1000004508#

    This is the shape, can be purchased from most mobility shops. Please beware of purchasing on line as I did at first. It looked good but the filling was awful. My wife then went to out local shop in Swadlincote and bought one that looked similar but was more firm and perfect for my needs.

    Good look with pain/fluttering fingers & hands. I have the same and my main pain comes from cervical spondolitis.

    I hope you soon find some relief.

    DJ

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  • Posted

    I have Cervical Spondylosis but the main problem is that my head drops forward which causes pain but not as bad as you have. I have a neck brace to wear but not all the time. I have to sleep on my back but pillows are also a problem as I shouldn't have two. I bought a pyramid pillow designed by a Chiropractic doctor but that is not very thick so I tend to sleep on a single ordinary one.

    I have all the other symptoms like you of bowel problems i.e. colitis, divicular disease and have anxiety and stress with depression. My left arm and hand have the same problems and I have Osteoarthritis in all my joints. I visit my Chiropractic clinic every week to have my neck and back loosened up. I also have Scoliosis in my lower spine which wasn't discovered until I was 40 at a medical for a job. I am now nearly 77 . I unable to do exercise due to knee replacement joints in both knees and cannot stoop or kneel due to the intense pain. Gels to apply to joints do not have any effect at all. Without my visits to my Inspired Chiropractic clinic I would not have any sort of relief. I have to cancel and rearrange appointments too.

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    • Posted

      Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my post and to reply to me. I am sorry you are suffering so much but glad that you do get some help from the Chiropractic clinic.

      I do have a small hump on the back of the neck which my husband says has been there for years. I do seem to walk with my head forward and keep trying to walk better.

      As mentioned I am due to visit my gp next week and am insisting she sends me for tests or to a consultant. Two weeks ago I completed a course of an antibiotic called ciprofloxacin which I have since learned is one from a group of antibiotics which are very strong and can have bad side effects which could last in worst cases long term. I now of course have convinced my self this applies to me. I should mention that my husband actually did have an allergic reaction to this drug some years ago. I wish I had asked for something else. Most of the symptoms I have been getting I have had before and could be down to anxiety. All over itching odd pains tingling and headaches Of course of all of these are listed as side effects of the drugs together with breaking tendons. Anyone who does not have anxiety cannot understand how we feel. I went to see a counsellor and really started to get it under control but now it is back and I am awake at around 5pm every morning and immediately feel anxiety.

      Anyway going of the subject. I am having my hair done this afternoon hope my neck is not too bad but should make me feel better.

      Take care and have a good Christmas.

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  • Posted

    Hello Libralady

    I have too have neck arthritis and I believe I have it in my knees also. I get headaches too, I think it's pressure on the nerves in the neck. It can cause headaches, dizziness, muzzy head etc. It sounds to me that your symptoms are from your neck arthritis made worse by laying down a lot because of your virus and infection. I find it better if I keep moving but the moment I sit down for a while all my aches start up again once I get up.

    I tried cervical pillows but they were too firm for me so I use ordinary ones. I know they say to use just one pillow but it doesn't work for me. I have to use four to prop myself up otherwise I get headaches. I think you have to work out what is comfortable for you.

    I went to my hairdresser last week, the first time in a year. I didn't make an appointment because I can never tell how I am going to feel, I popped in on the off chance and luckily she fitted me in. I have this agreement with her now that I phone up when I'm feeling up to it to see if she can fit me in. She gets anxiety and understands.

    Christmas is a very stressful time for me so I did most of my shopping online, started in October. Now I haven't got to fret about it.

    I wish I could offer you more but I cannot. I hope things will settle for you now you are over your infection. 😊

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