Cervical radiculopathy

sussle

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Nerve damage is weird. I have numbness and weakness of the extremities but no pain in the neck (only mild soreness if I sleep without neck supported).

I’m sure everyone is different , but curious to hear what your personal experiences were in terms the timing or sequence of your symptoms. Did all the symptoms appear all at once? Or was there a continuum of numbness first then pain then muscle weakness?
Not sure who you directed this to but I'll give you mine: for the last few years, I had a ache that felt like a knot under my left shoulder blade. I always treated it like a back thing, massage and heat seem to help... But in the last year I could feel it creeping into my neck and then more recently, pain/tingling /numbness spread down my arm like sciatica does down your leg. Come to find out it was a neck thing all along, nerve impingement.... Would have paid more attention to my neck years ago if I'd had it diagnosed sooner.
 
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silentbutdeadly

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Not sure who you directed this to but I'll give you mine: for the last few years, I had a ache that felt like a knot under my left shoulder blade. I always treated it like a back thing, massage and heat seem to help... But in the last year I could feel it creeping into my neck and then more recently, pain/tingling /numbness spread down my arm like sciatica does down your leg. Come to find out it was a neck thing all along, nerve impingement.... Would have paid more attention to my neck years ago if I'd had it diagnosed sooner.
Did the MRI confirm the pinched nerve? I'm on my second MRI of them telling me everything is normal in my cervical spine. Now he wants to look at my shoulder. I've had two AC seperations in that shoulder (second one grade 4/5). I had the numbness/tingling, then weakness. Steroids helped it but I feel like I'm just on the verge of it happening again.
 

sussle

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Did the MRI confirm the pinched nerve? I'm on my second MRI of them telling me everything is normal in my cervical spine. Now he wants to look at my shoulder. I've had two AC seperations in that shoulder (second one grade 4/5). I had the numbness/tingling, then weakness. Steroids helped it but I feel like I'm just on the verge of it happening again.
Didn't get the MRI yet, had to go through PT first before insurance will pay for it. Looking forward to seeing what can be seen.
 

silentbutdeadly

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ah I see. Insurance is weird.

I am supposed to get an xray before the doc can send me to a musculoskeletal person. Damn HMO's.

Hopefully you can get that MRI scheduled soon.
 
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SurfDoc

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What did they do for "cervical decrompression" in PT?


Aka pinched nerve (C8). Kind of like sciatica of the arm, numbness/tingling/pain down the left arm and into the pinky and ring finger. Been through 6 weeks of PT - stretching, nerve flossing, cervical decompression, etc - got most of it to go away, but just can't get rid of it completely. Still some numbness, my grip is not what it should be, fine motor skills are off, kind of plateaued the problem right there. About to go back to my doc to escalate the issue to whatever's next (steroid shot in the neck, I think). Anyone been through this? Thanks!
 

VonMeister

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Doubtful analysis there VM :) LOL.
Let's see what the OP says!
I don't know doc.....do you believe that pulling on the neck is making a permanent change to the structure of the cervical spine and associated soft tissues? Like stretching......it isn't making any permanent changes......but it feels good and what makes you feel good can make you feel better and give you the confidence to resume normal day to day activities. Believing you are getting better is more powerful than most chemical interventions for most physical maladies.
 

SurfDoc

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True, but proper stretching, mobilizations, and light traction can alleviate some pressure potentially, make one feel a bit better, and possibly promote healing. Many people with a pinched nerve do eventually become pain-free with no loss of funtion even if the imaging studies remain ugly!

I don't know doc.....do you believe that pulling on the neck is making a permanent change to the structure of the cervical spine and associated soft tissues? Like stretching......it isn't making any permanent changes......but it feels good and what makes you feel good can make you feel better and give you the confidence to resume normal day to day activities. Believing you are getting better is more powerful than most chemical interventions for most physical maladies.
 

sussle

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So, what do you think? Any positive outcomes?
both are good for quick relief of numbness/tingling/pain in the affected arm (my Total Gym rig is actually a little better). the PT recommends 10 minute sessions, 3 times per day, so i assume i'm taking pressure off the pinched nerve when i use it?:shrug:

however, the relief is fairly short-term, so i'm not sure if there is long-term value to keep doing it as prescribed.
 

GromsDad

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Aka pinched nerve (C8). Kind of like sciatica of the arm, numbness/tingling/pain down the left arm and into the pinky and ring finger. Been through 6 weeks of PT - stretching, nerve flossing, cervical decompression, etc - got most of it to go away, but just can't get rid of it completely. Still some numbness, my grip is not what it should be, fine motor skills are off, kind of plateaued the problem right there. About to go back to my doc to escalate the issue to whatever's next (steroid shot in the neck, I think). Anyone been through this? Thanks!
My golf buddy had what you describe, early 40s. Ignored it. Turned into searing fire down his arm and pretty much emergency fusion surgery. He's won our club championship twice and tried to qualify for the US Open a couple times since and you'd almost never know he's had his neck fused.

I've had neck issues from surfing since I was in my mid 30s. Really bad actually in my late 30s. I found exercises and stretches like others have mentioned that have worked for me. Wish I had found those exercises sooner. Almost 54 now and the one issue I do get is particularly when riding my bicycle and occasionally when driving my left hand goes numb and forearm gets tingly particularly the ring and middle fingers. I call it getting old.
 

sussle

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had an MRI yesterday - got a voice mail that says it shows severe canal stenosis and multilevel framal stenosis and am being referred to a pain guy and a neurosurgeon. none of this sounds good on the face of it but i guess i'll get it translated upon referral. in the meantime, i decided a week or so ago that i had been lax about my PT and made an effort to complete it to the letter, every day....and i actually feel much better for doing so. hmmm. :unsure:
 
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Swallow Tail

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01E770C4-D5B9-40FF-B0E9-A64702401794.jpeg

My MRI from a couple weeks ago

All this stuff is a trip… can have two people w “identical” stenosis, pressure on nerves etc 1st one has zero symptoms n the 2nd cries uncle n wants to go to the ER because the pain is just unbearable.

a good surgeon will strongly discourage surgery unless there’s like major trauma from a car accident. It should always be a last resort.
 
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sussle

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View attachment 158709

My MRI from a couple weeks ago

All this stuff is a trip… can have two people w “identical” stenosis, pressure on nerves etc 1st one has zero symptoms n the 2nd cries uncle n wants to go to the ER because the pain is just unbearable.

a good surgeon will strongly discourage surgery unless there’s like major trauma from a car accident. It should always be a last resort.
What am I looking for here on that image? Those two areas between vertebrae on the left side below the blue line don't look too good.
 

Swallow Tail

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C5/6 & C6/7 had disc replacements done 5 yrs ago. Metal plates (don’t remember the alloy) w small teeth - no screws- are in place on the top n bottom of the space. Bottom plate has a polymer ball, top plate has a small reciprocal concave spot that rests on the ball so you are supposed to get more mobility/range of motion than a fusion.


The metal makes it look weird in an MRI. This was done as a follow up to see how the rest of my neck looks.

conclusion: everything looks good. There’s a disc bulging toward spinal cord where that purple line is - normal for someone my age.

I was just about bed ridden (more like crawling up the walls in agonizing pain) for a couple months leading up to that procedure. Had gotten worse over a number of yrs. had to cut back work hrs that year til I couldn’t work at all.
Nerve pain is no joke.

The MRI n X-rays taken before the surgery - there was nothing obvious showing “wow, yeah you need surgery.” Post op, surgeon said stenosis etc was way worse than the imaging showed. Imaging has limitations.
fortunately- I felt immediate pain relief. I think I was back in the water 3 months after surgery
 

VonMeister

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