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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

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what causes pain starting at base of head and neck down top shoulder going down my arm
can you describe the pain a little better? Is the pain achy, burning, stabbing, electrical shock, tingly? It could be anything from a pinched nerve to something pressing on your spinal cord to whiplash. We need some more information. Have you had an injury recently like a car accident or sports injury?

Well I have been in two car wrecks in the last two years. I have a condition called Elanors-Danlos and lupus. As for the neck it shows a very large bone spur, bone lose, and a few slipped disc. In the past I have had my left shoulder operated on and wondering-is it possible that something is wrong with the right. The right side of my neck is unable to turn towards the right, the right arm has lost strenght (can't sleep) and the pain is bad all the time even with meds and tens unit. I did have trouble before the car wreck due to lupus and the EDS. Iam 41, mother of 4 and active. I walk or run almost daily. I don't give up. Though I am on Topmax, Lexpro, Clonazepam and oxycodone daily-use the tens daily and heating pad. They are suggesting an operation. I have been fighting pain for 14 years. I have tryed injections, nerve burns,ect.-it did stop the right arm pain not the right neck or head pain. I just like to hear from some others because life is so wonderful and I am beginning to get tired. Thank you ,this is my first time I have ever did this or even talked about it.
I am really thinking that it is a pinched nerve or the bone spur pressing on a nerve. There are a couple of things to think about:

1. Either go on with trying to use meds to mask the pain and possibly dulling it down or

2. Go ahead with surgery

Did they give you a possible success rate witht the surgery that they are talking about. If it were me and the success rate was above 70%, then I would go for it. However, that is only a decision that you can make. When you have pain it is a sign and your body is telling you to slow down. You will probably get to the point where you won't be able to do everything that you are doing right now. I have learned this the hard way over this past weekend and using a snow blower for 3+ hours on saturday and 2+ hours on friday. My pain is nerve pain in my feet and I am sure you can imagine what this did to my pain levels. Have you ever tried Lyrica or Neurontin. I did notice the Topomax and that is a good one but the Lyrica or Neurontin may work even better. I am sure your doctor could give you samples of the Lyrica and you may even be able to add it into the mix of meds you currently take. I am sure that Chrissy will be by soon to add some excellent advice. She has had quite a bit of injury to her neck and just recently had surgery. Keep us posted

Thank you so much-have a good night.
nae, I had some of what you are describing & the first diagnosis was pinched nerve the neck, went to pt no change became worse, after having an MRI it did indeed show problems in the neck but that was not causing all my symptoms. It ended up being in the shoulder, had the decompression done, when the surgeon got in there indeed there was a bonespur & he ended up doing alittle more then he anticipated, also showed arthritis. It took forever for them to find out what was going , I won't know how successful the surgery will be till around june. I would make sure everything that could be causing it is looked into before surgery is done, but I also would not wait to long. I had so many secondary symptoms it threw the doctors off. I am one year older then you & love to do everything physically on my own, you know move my own furniture, power wash, ect.. just love to keep moving, this has taught me to be careful in the future & never take for granted all I can do. I went through all the injections, meds, pt nothing worked, at times I may have gotten alittle relief from an injection but never lasted more then a few days if that. trying to sleep & mornings were awful. Good luck & let us know how it goes. Sammy
Thank you for the information. I had the some problems with my left shoulder two years ago. RCuff, ac joint and bone spur they fixed it. Three days after that I was in first car wreck. A guy ran into us. So not sure it worked the best. But like you I love to be active and hate to slow down. I will press the doctor to look into it because my problems are spread out and a little crazy. Thanks so much for taking the time.
rae, wow I am sorry to hear that, I don't know about you but I found this decompression surgery to be a heck of alot painful then I ever thought it would, I can't imagine being in an auto accident three days after surgery. Did you get the shoulder looked at after the accident to make sure it did not effect the surgery? For that matter could you have hurt your neck or back in the accident? I wonder sometimes as with myself if there are multiple problems going on, like perhaps it is the neck & shoulder combined. Even with my sister she has Rhuem. Arthritis & has told me something can bother her but it takes forever for the docs to find out what it is or for it to show up on a test such as an MRI, for example her neck was really bothering her, god awful headaches, but on the first MRI there was not enough damage showing in the neck to warrent all the pain she was having, she continued to live in this pain, got so bad they decided to repeat the MRI (after almost a year) & boom there it was in the neck so bad surgery had to be done asap. go figure. I don't know how much I trust all these tests, my shoulder did not appear to be to bad either on the MRI, but he sure did alot more decompression then he thought he would or that I thought he would. Good luck & please let us all know what it said. Sammy

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