What can I do about arthritis in neck and lower back?

Posted by trellg132 @trellg132, Aug 16, 2019

What to do about this

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@jmb73

My MRI of neck shows arthritis in the area where the nerves leave the spinal cord and it is causing a constant headache. I am taking CBD with a little THC and it is helping but sometimes the pain is really bad. I sit with a heating pad on my head and that helps. Do any of you have this and if so any suggestions on how to cope with it. My PC is suggesting pain management for shots but I have had shots in my feet and hip and they don't work. So I don't want them. I have a low immune system and just got over an infection at the site where the pin was screwed in for my Gamma surgery. It took 8 months to get rid of the infection. This is in the same area of my head but my PC doesn't think it's related. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks, Joan

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Wow! You have been through a lot. I am afraid of surgery as I have such a low IgM and am fighting a yeast infection under my breasts caused by a mammogram. The dermatologist could see little cracks in my skin from the pressure of the machine. It has been 6 weeks. I had just gotten over the 8 month infection at the Gamma pin site. Gamma surgery is 240 lasers aimed at a brain tumor. Mine is a benign meningioma. I will ask my PC about physical therapy. Thank you and I hope you have a healthy, pain free New Year. Joan

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@jmb73

Wow! You have been through a lot. I am afraid of surgery as I have such a low IgM and am fighting a yeast infection under my breasts caused by a mammogram. The dermatologist could see little cracks in my skin from the pressure of the machine. It has been 6 weeks. I had just gotten over the 8 month infection at the Gamma pin site. Gamma surgery is 240 lasers aimed at a brain tumor. Mine is a benign meningioma. I will ask my PC about physical therapy. Thank you and I hope you have a healthy, pain free New Year. Joan

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@jmb73 Thanks, Joan. I am doing very well and I am pain free from the spine issues. I still have thoracic outlet syndrome that takes a long time to work through with myofascial release, but I am making progress. I was afraid of surgery too and woke up every day and thought about it and panicked. After 4 months of doing that, I asked myself WHY I was doing this to myself, and I began a conversation with myself to figure out why and deprogram my fears. The stakes were pretty high. I had to chose if I wanted to save the coordination of my arms and avoid being disabled in other ways too, and doing that meant I had to face the biggest fears I had. This was my choice to make and I decided not to let my fears make that choice for me. It can be done, and the root of our terrible fears is found somewhere in our past experiences and how we coped with it, or not, by leaving it unresolved in the past and learning to avoid it.

I think you are brave for having had gamma surgery for a brain tumor. As a patient, just hearing a doctor say that about you would cause alarm. I think when we are tested, we can find strength and a way to get through it, and we have to believe in our ability to do that. It is very empowering as a patient, and if you are really tuned in and paying attention, you can figure things out and find clues that have been missed. That is true in my case. 5 spine surgeons missed understanding why I had my pain symptoms everywhere and could not connect it to the spine imaging and because they didn't understand and didn't dig deeper, all refused to help me. I had to advocate for myself even when I was really afraid of spine surgery, and I found the medical literature that described "rare" cases like mine. I sent that with a letter to the surgeon at Mayo, and he helped me. All of this changed my life profoundly, not just because I had a great surgical outcome, but also because I defeated my fears. So does that mean I'm fearless now? Of course not! I just recognize the patterns sooner when it sneaks up on me from behind. The fear is lurking in the background when you are not paying attention to it and it's a very normal and human emotion. Doctors have the same fears when they or family members are patients, and maybe even worse because they see a lot of serious medical problems. It helps me to know that I'm not alone, and that a compassionate doctor does understand what I'm going through.

Ask questions. Think into the future and ask how any issues you have right now can change for the worse, and if that would be a permanent undesirable change. Sometimes prevention or an early intervention is best, and life is a series of choices that affect the outcome of what happens and what future choices there will be. What can you do now to improve your health? You might ask what can be done to raise your immune function, and if there is an infection, disease or toxic exposure that is harming your immune system. That is a consideration for any surgery, and before mine, the surgeon had me do a preventative treatment for staff infections by using topical antibiotic ointment in my nose. I have a great physical therapist who taught me a lot, and I also have a biology background so I understand a lot of medical literature. I spent a couple years reading spine research and watching online presentations by spine surgeons. Another question you might ask would be how can you improve your skin? What comes to my mind would be to inquire about bio-identical female hormone replacement. I see a functional medicine specialist who does that for me. As we age our skin gets thinner and less supple, so that could help the cracks. If those could be improved, it can help if you do need surgery in the future. I can tell you that my fear of spine surgery was much worse than the surgery itself. I feared pain really, and I was able to manage after my surgery without pain drugs. I just rested and was patient and it was tolerable. I didn't place expectations on myself or judge my experience against other patients. I am doing great, and I'm ready to start giving talks about this and teaching people how to look at things differently so they can overcome their fears too. It means a lot to me to share what I have learned with other patients and that is why I am here on Connect. Sometimes it takes some professional help, but the core is what we do for ourselves and finding a different path through the problems and a different way to see it. Happy new year to you too!

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My MRI of neck shows arthritis in the area where the nerves leave the spinal cord and it is causing a constant headache. I am taking CBD with a little THC and it is helping but sometimes the pain is really bad. I sit with a heating pad on my head and that helps. Do any of you have this and if so any suggestions on how to cope with it. My PC is suggesting pain management for shots but I have had shots in my feet and hip and they don't work. So I don't want them. I have a low immune system and just got over an infection at the site where the pin was screwed in for my Gamma surgery. It took 8 months to get rid of the infection. This is in the same area of my head but my PC doesn't think it's related. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks, Joan

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@jmb73

My MRI of neck shows arthritis in the area where the nerves leave the spinal cord and it is causing a constant headache. I am taking CBD with a little THC and it is helping but sometimes the pain is really bad. I sit with a heating pad on my head and that helps. Do any of you have this and if so any suggestions on how to cope with it. My PC is suggesting pain management for shots but I have had shots in my feet and hip and they don't work. So I don't want them. I have a low immune system and just got over an infection at the site where the pin was screwed in for my Gamma surgery. It took 8 months to get rid of the infection. This is in the same area of my head but my PC doesn't think it's related. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks, Joan

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Hi, @jmb73 – Glad you have connected with @jenniferhunter. I moved your discussion on arthritis in your neck and lower back to this existing discussion on the topic. I think you'll get additional responses here to your question about whether others have had painful headache associated with arthritis in these regions.

@trellg132 @mickeyb2 @lioness @dorisena @pfbacon @looking4advice and others have talked about arthritis in the neck region in themselves or a loved one and might have some comments on how they have coped.

Are the shots suggested by your primary care doctor the same type as the kind that didn't work on your feet and hip jmb73? Did your doctor think it was the arthritis causing the headaches, or something else?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @jmb73 – Glad you have connected with @jenniferhunter. I moved your discussion on arthritis in your neck and lower back to this existing discussion on the topic. I think you'll get additional responses here to your question about whether others have had painful headache associated with arthritis in these regions.

@trellg132 @mickeyb2 @lioness @dorisena @pfbacon @looking4advice and others have talked about arthritis in the neck region in themselves or a loved one and might have some comments on how they have coped.

Are the shots suggested by your primary care doctor the same type as the kind that didn't work on your feet and hip jmb73? Did your doctor think it was the arthritis causing the headaches, or something else?

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I got a x-ray at my chiropractor he said i have arthritis in neck and back

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@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @trellg132. I'd like to invite @karolyn, @dodir, @pkindron, @pearly, @dorisena, and @noydb to this discussion as they have all discussed arthritis in the back in the past on Connect. @trellg132, what do you currently do for your arthritic back and neck?

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Chiropractor

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@lisalucier

Hi, @jmb73 – Glad you have connected with @jenniferhunter. I moved your discussion on arthritis in your neck and lower back to this existing discussion on the topic. I think you'll get additional responses here to your question about whether others have had painful headache associated with arthritis in these regions.

@trellg132 @mickeyb2 @lioness @dorisena @pfbacon @looking4advice and others have talked about arthritis in the neck region in themselves or a loved one and might have some comments on how they have coped.

Are the shots suggested by your primary care doctor the same type as the kind that didn't work on your feet and hip jmb73? Did your doctor think it was the arthritis causing the headaches, or something else?

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The shots are cortisone but I did get a nerve bloc in my thumb and it didn't work either. My PC thinks it's the arthritis on the nerve in my spinal cord that is causing the headaches. She suggested a nerve bloc from a pain doc but since the others didn't work, I won't get one. I see her today to go over blood labs.

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Good luck… arthritis is tough to get rid of!

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I don't believe you get rid of arthritis and we aren't very good at preventing it either, but I started believing in diet for prevention in my late forties. So maybe the diabetes diet helps my arthritis pain because I eat antioxidant foods to prevent more cancer. I know that when I was in college with my sons and my knees hurt so bad from walking, and they swelled when I put them up on the couch to rest, I quit eating sweets and quit baking and the knees got better.
Every birthday and holiday when I baked and ate the food, I had pain. This was many years before the diabetes, but it was after the hypoglycemia problems which I blamed on stress. I solved that problem eating a diabetic diet and eating six times a day. I did not understand that I was headed to diabetes anyway.
These are difficult health problems to manage. I know understand that "you are what you eat." I also know your body gets old and wears out but you keep on living, if God chooses. Today I want to do something nice for someone else, because it helps my attitude. Dorisena

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@dorisena

I don't believe you get rid of arthritis and we aren't very good at preventing it either, but I started believing in diet for prevention in my late forties. So maybe the diabetes diet helps my arthritis pain because I eat antioxidant foods to prevent more cancer. I know that when I was in college with my sons and my knees hurt so bad from walking, and they swelled when I put them up on the couch to rest, I quit eating sweets and quit baking and the knees got better.
Every birthday and holiday when I baked and ate the food, I had pain. This was many years before the diabetes, but it was after the hypoglycemia problems which I blamed on stress. I solved that problem eating a diabetic diet and eating six times a day. I did not understand that I was headed to diabetes anyway.
These are difficult health problems to manage. I know understand that "you are what you eat." I also know your body gets old and wears out but you keep on living, if God chooses. Today I want to do something nice for someone else, because it helps my attitude. Dorisena

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Well you are on the Right path. Stay well and God bless

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First, let me say that I do not have pain in my neck, but my neck creaks and pops as I have been diagnosed with arthritis in the neck vertebrae.
My doctor says I just have to live with it, but I am not taking no for an answer as I want to find a way to stop the creaking and popping. I try not moving my neck, I move my body and my eyes but not the neck. Now, can anyone suggest a method to solve this problem? Here is an idea: what if one were to take articular cartilage out of a good joint and inject it into the neck vertebrae, would that work. Thank you for any information.

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@bobwhitecoldsnow

First, let me say that I do not have pain in my neck, but my neck creaks and pops as I have been diagnosed with arthritis in the neck vertebrae.
My doctor says I just have to live with it, but I am not taking no for an answer as I want to find a way to stop the creaking and popping. I try not moving my neck, I move my body and my eyes but not the neck. Now, can anyone suggest a method to solve this problem? Here is an idea: what if one were to take articular cartilage out of a good joint and inject it into the neck vertebrae, would that work. Thank you for any information.

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Hi @bobwhitecoldsnow, I moved your post and question to th is existing discussion that @trellg132 started in Bones, Joints & Muscles group and the Spine Health group. See here:

– What can I do about arthritis in neck and lower back? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/arthritis-in-neck-and-lower-back/

I did this so you can more easily connect with members with similar experiences like @jenniferhunter @wgatap21 @dorisena @jmb73 @candrgonzalez @mickeyb2

Have you sought the advice of a spine specialist?

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