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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


I would approach this “news” slightly differently. Without a MRI you have no idea the extent of the issues mentioned in the X-ray report, nor or you learning about anything other than the bones of the neck. You need a MRI to see soft tissue, etc. Not everyone who has neck pain needs an MRI! However, only you can determine the extent of your pain and whether the condition is worsening. If this is one of the first times you are experiencing this, and you do not have any radiating pain, PT will hopefully be an adequate first treatment. Too often though, it is just a bandaid that postpones the worsening of symptoms and the eventually need for a MRI.

I think it is a good idea to have a MRI to establish a baseline, to see the health of the discs and whether there is anything pressing into the spinal canal. This is the important consideration when considered cervical and thoracic spinal issues. If there is pressure on the spinal canal, it can cause compression of the spinal cord...which can lead to all kinds of problems...including a disease called myelomalacia which is an irreversible softening of the spinal cord, nerve compression, which can resulted in pain, tingling, loss of motor skills, even paralysis in the most severe cases.

I assume your doctor has assessed the level of change in the cervical spine and feels there is no nerve compression, since you aren’t complaining of referred arm/hand pain, tingling, loss of coordination, dropping things, etc. At this point, physical therapy may be able to help.

Sounds like you could also use some help in setting up your work area to be sure it is ergonomically correct. Invest in a really good, ergonomically correct chair and begin to really pay attention to your structural alignment and posture. You probably are carrying your head too far forward.

In the meantime, take NSAIDs for pain and use moist heat across your shoulders and neck for pain.

It can be tricky finding a PT who is able to treat to your specific issues. Good luck!





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