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mikeyp87 (@mikeyp87)

Concerns/Soreness/Neck/Pressure

Heart & Blood Health | Last Active: Oct 8, 2020 | Replies (12)

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@jenniferhunter

@mikeyp87 It sounds like you may have some spine issues. Can you provide details of what the MRI report said? I am a Mayo spine surgery patient and had a collapsed disc and bone spurs that pressed into my spinal cord in my neck, and I also have thoracic outlet syndrome that makes my neck and shoulders tight. I had neck muscle spasms because of the spine issues that would move my vertebrae out of alignment. Having spine surgery helped a lot. For years (pre-surgery) if I turned my head, I could feel a dull click and what I was feeling was the bulging disc rubbing. Sometimes there was more of a crunching noise and sometimes painful if it caught, and that was the facet joints grinding on each other. There was more pressure on the facet joints as the disc collapsed because things got closer together and at the time I had surgery, it had collapsed about 50 % and this wear causes arthritis in the joints. I had a whiplash injury about 20 years prior that caused C5/C6 to bulge and likely caused small cracks in the outer fibrous layer of the disc. With age, discs get drier and those cracks can open up causing herniation when the jelly like nucleus can squeeze out through the cracks. The body tries to stabilize this by growing bone spurs and that is caused by uneven pressure on the vertebrae above and below that injured disk.

What I might suggest to you now (if you are able) is to walk in order to build core strength which will support your spine and it will help you loose weight. Can you get up each day and walk around the block before breakfast? If you make that a daily habit, you'll feel better, reduce stress, get in better shape and you might improve your blood pressure readings. That will prepare you and make you healthier if you do need spine surgery. Other health issues are always a factor when considering surgery. You may also want to work with a physical therapist because undoubtedly, you have tight neck and shoulder muscles and may be having spasms. If you have had a neck injury like a whiplash, you could have thoracic outlet syndrome too, and physical therapy can help that. My PT does myofascial release which has helped my TOS and helped my neck before and after cervical surgery by making the muscle looser so it was easier for the surgeon, and for helping release tight surgical scar tissue after and get my neck moving properly. TOS causes compression of nerves and/or blood vessels as they pass from the neck and between the rib cage and collar bone. It causes a heavy or tingling feeling in the arms and can cause scapular pain and my hands used to get cold and turn blue.

I can also tell you as a patient, I would not have been first in line to ask for surgery. Actually I was turned away by 5 surgeons before I came to Mayo because they didn't understand my symptoms, and for 2 years I just got worse. I was loosing the coordination in my arms because of spinal cord compression and I am an artist, so I was faced with a tough choice of face my fear to have decompression surgery or loose my talent and ability that I had worked so hard for among other issues. I knew I could not allow my fear to make that choice, so I did everything I could to confront and defeat my fear and it worked. I was able to go into surgery calmly and confident, and had great results. You have to want success and do everything you can to make it happen. It also was not as bad as I had imagined it to be, and I woke up from surgery and the pain I had lived with was gone. The pain I had then was from the incision and surgical path. Because I wanted a fusion without hardware, I wore a hard collar for 3 months until my spine fused, and then I had to rehab because of the weakness caused by not using muscles for 3 months, but it was all worth it.

You should ask for a new MRI because a lot can change in 2 years. They also have open MRIs if that would help you. I do fine in an MRI and I can actually feel the beam passing through my body and can figure out what direction it was going. I asked and that was confirmed by the tech after the test, so that was kind of interesting to me. If you can focus on something like that or visualize being somewhere you would like to be, it helps get through some difficult tests. I understand being nervous, but realize that you are in charge and are the one to make the choices if you are headed for surgery. You should be able to choose your surgeon, and hire the very best one for the job. Look at it like a job interview and you are empowered with the choice. Not having surgery is also a choice and it can have consequences. When discs collapse, your spine can fuse itself because of bone remodeling, and it may not be in a good position, can cause nerve compression, and could become an inoperable problem later. It's best to be in charge and find out your status now, then do your research about your condition and find the best doctors to help. Always check if a doctor and hospital are in network first with your health insurance as well as getting orders pre-certified with your insurance for tests like MRIs. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you. I am happy to help.

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Replies to "@mikeyp87 It sounds like you may have some spine issues. Can you provide details of what..."

Thanks so much! I think it is more my neck/spine then anymore more. The other pain I feel just radiates. My kids can jump on my back and then I know later in the day or next I will feel it coming. Even sitting on the floor is sometimes tight, I get up and stretch… and I hear all this cracking. It is weird. I posted above a report from the OPEN MRI, I did…. **Notes: C3-C4 poserior central disc herniation, straightening of cervical lordosis. MRI 11/10/2017. Start PT, ortho eval, he will let me know who he wants to see.**

I am thinking of hitting the cardio early in the morning again, I was even slowly doing small weights and feeling okay. I was saying to myself while lifting a box a few nights probably about 15-20 pounds from my front door around to my garage…… My arms feel so weak, can this be linked? I think I should even start some minor PT. I went to a Chiro….. they put this machine on me that felt like it was pulling me (guess loosened me up)…. then did some cracking. It was okay.

Thoughts?

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