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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Yep, the hand/arm symptoms for CTS can be similar to that of cervical spine issues. My doctor did some manipulation as well to try and re-create the symptoms (if they can then sometimes it's CTS). I've actually heard of people having CTS surgery only to find out it was cervical problems all along.

It does affect every part of your life when the pain is ever present. That's why these boards are so useful as you can find people in the same boat. Sometimes friends and family don't understand more ongoing pain.

I believe in most cases they use cortisone for the injections. But let the doctor know of any adverse reactions you've had to other steroids. It may still be an option but they may keep you for a few hours to watch you to see if there's any reaction. Sometimes meds that are closely related will not affect you in the same way, but there's no way of knowing. I tend to itch on oxycontin but not on other narcotics. I also get very ill (stomach) on demerol but not other similar medications.

There is a wide spectrum of pain medications available. Often they will start you on a low dose of a more mild medication and then see if they have to increase it. There are things like ultram, tramadol and a ton more. For quite a while I was on vicodin twice a day but as my symptoms got worse they added a long acting pain medication called Opana ER. This has helped a lot. I also use muscle relaxers. I used to do well on Flexeril but the doctor thinks I've built up a tolerance so he changed me to Soma.

I was at a party on New Years Eve with a friend and her husband. My friend also has severe back pain and is on heavy duty pain medications. We've both been able to function quite well on these as our bodies seem to use them well and we no longer feel any of the effects such as dizziness, loopiness, etc. Her husband just had an arm injury and surgery and was given vicodin. He was telling me he can't figure out how both of us function as he was so out of it on vicodin. I told him that if using medications such as vicodin for pain management and used at therapeutic doses it helps those of us with severe pain function and we function better as we come out of that pain fog you mentioned. When I first had neck pain problems I was given percocet but didn't take it at work. But I was in a pain fog. My boss thought it was the medications that were causing me to be in a fog but I told him I don't take them at work. He actually encouraged me to try taking them and working - if I could function better it was worth it for him and the entire company. He was right. I'll be honest and tell you in advance that one drawback to ongoing use of meds such as vicodin, percocet, etc is constipation. It's a well known side effect and even has the name of "narcotic constipation" but many of us learn to function around it with diet changes, other medications, etc. I recently saw a post where the person chose to be in pain vs. constipation but with the right work around I'd rather relieve my pain. I'm also very lucky that I have no addictive tendencies. I feel sorry for those that have a history of their own addiction, or in their families, and they end up in severe pain and now are given narcotics. I'm blessed that it's not an issue for me at all.

Bone spurring is a side effect of disc problems in many cases. If there is actual bone spurring (osteophytes) impinging on the nerve they can seek to get the bone spurs out via surgery. After my 2006 neck fusion I had some new symptoms part of which were caused by bone spurs. The doctor when in via a more minimally invasive way and removed those which helped tremendously. I also had some narrowing (stenosis) and he took care of that at the same time as well.

Thanks for letting me know I was able to help you. I think that even good doctors get so lost in their own world and their own terminology that they forget most of society doesn't understand what they are saying. I used to work in disability claims and at times I'd hear my employees explaining stuff in our lingo and at a high level. I tried to explain that just becuase they were immersed in it every day, the person on the other end of the phone was not. I had a good friend who is a realtor write up a memo. She explained real estate escrow in "real estate pro" language. I gave it to my employees and asked them to summarize for me what the memo said. All the employees said "how do you expect me to understand this?" and I said "it's no different than the way you talk to the claimants sometimes". I'd tell them "explain it to your claimant the way you'd explain it to great aunt ruth who is stuck int he 19th century". Many improved a lot after that.

Years ago I had a great spine doctor. He did a good job on my back and seemed to understand. Then he broke his collarbone in a bike accident and had to walk his bike home and get himself to the emergency room, etc. When I went to my next appointment he said "that day when you were in tears over pain...I get it, I finally get it". Most spine docs have never had spine pain. Most primarey care docs have little experience with any significant amount of problems that they encounter in their patients.

The weather here is Phoenix is good. Days start in the 40's and end in the 60's or 70's. Only been here 8 years. Previously lived in IL, WI, NJ and OH (Kent) but didn't have the level of spine problems that I have now. But I've always had big knee problems and I would definitely feel the difference when the weather changed.

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