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Oh my aching neck!

Does anyone have arthritis in their neck?  Mine has been killing me for a month or so.  It's difficult to turn my head to check traffic when I'm driving, or to look to the side or behind me if someone calls my name.  I can't really tell if it's the bones, or muscles, or a pinched nerve.  I don't have any tingling/shooting pains in my arms.  I have a heating pad for neck/shoulder that is absolutely wonderful, but it's only good if I'm sitting still.  I sometimes use the Thermacare neck pads (self-heating adhesive pads) but my hair always gets caught in the adhesive.

I see the rheumatologist in a month or so; I'll bring it up at that visit.  Any ideas?

 

I have that too, but do not have the courage to bring it up. 

What kind of pillow do you use?  I was having horrible pains in my neck then hubby got me a memory foam pillow and I only have that pain once in a while [QUOTE=kelsaysmommy]What kind of pillow do you use?  I was having horrible pains in my neck then hubby got me a memory foam pillow and I only have that pain once in a while[/QUOTE]

I've got a memory foam pillow too.  But I tend to roam about the bed when I'm sleeping, and always wake up tied in a knot like a pretzel.  I wear wrist braces at night because otherwise my hands hurt really bad when I wake up, because I tend to sleep on them all bent up.

 

   I also have arthritis in my neck. My family Dr had xrays done on my neck a few years ago. I kept telling him it ached so bad especially at night. Rummy also told me at my last visit, that he saw arthritis in my xrays. They didn't tell me anything I could do for it though. I've been using a little travel pillow rolled under my neck at night and some nights a heating pad, some nights a cold pack. 

Hi, if possible you might ask to see him sooner. Yes, I have both kinds of arthritis (RA & osteo that showed in xrays), it can be very painful and probably means your 'meds' aren't working well enough. do you think? good luckCool Lynda (I think the fog is getting me, but it is about to come to and END.)It's damn near impossible to move up an appointment at my rheumatologist.  As for my neck - it seems like it might be some sort of muscle strain. It doesn't seem to have the same type of burning pain in my hands/feet/wrists. I've never had neck issues before.  I think I'll sign up for a massage at the gym this weekend and see what that does for me.  Perhaps I'll get a pedicure while I'm at it!  So far it looks like we don't have anything scheduled this weekend, so I'll be able to take it easy. Are you on a muscle relaxer? Flexeril has saved my neck (hah, what a play on words!) We're suspicious that I'm developing RA in my neck, and my muscles may be compensating and that's where my strain comes from. OR we're clueless. Either way, my neck hurts like hell a lot. And a muscle relaxer has been the only thing that's helped.



Do you sit at the computer a lot? I think I remember you saying you have a desk at work and stuff. You need to check out your posture. Do whatever you can to ensure that you're sitting properly. I was using a stool without a back at work and I think that GREATLY contributed to my problem. As soon as I got a chair with a back, my neck issues slowed down. I still have them, but it's not as common. I also have to watch my posture when I'm driving, I'm really bad about leaning to one side too much, and that has caused me some problems too.

The last time I set my neck off really good, I needed computer glasses. I was tilting my head way back to use the 'close' prescription in my no-line bifocals. (I didn't realize I was doing it.)There was a gap of about 3 years between needing bifocals to read books and needing computer glasses to read the screen. The far part of my prescription had worked fine on my computer.

I find 'splinting' my neck with a towel or a soft neck brace helps calm things down. It took months to go away. The key is to keep your neck straight and your head balanced on top - don't tilt head forward or back. It is like danging a 20lb bowling ball from that little stalk of a neck. When possible support the neck to rest the muscles.

I really hate the neck thing.

I have OA in my neck and lower spine. Recent x-rays show my neck has gotten a little worse since the last x-rays a couple of years ago. It's probably my worse complaint right now. My rheumy told me that the bad thing about OA is that you really can't stop the degeneration. At least with RA we can take meds and hopefully slow the progression down. He's sending me to P/T and I've been looking for exercises and stretches to help with the pain. If I'm sitting watching t.v. I have to have pillows propped all around my neck and back. It's very hard to read a book when you can't look down at it. So, I hold the book up to eye level but I can't do that for long.

Sleeping on your stomach is bad for your neck. But I wake up every morning on my stomach anyway. I have one of those U shaped neck pillows that I heat up in the microwave and it feels really good. Heat just feels good period on my neck and shoulders. The pain goes right up into my head and every night I'm practically immobilized by it. It sucks.

When I just can't stand it for another minute I'll take a naproxen. Some of the side effects cause me to only take it when I'm desperate. I've tried Flexeril and it didn't seem to work before but I have a new prescription and I'm going to give it another try. As I've said before, I'm scared. I don't want to be an invalid like Ruth Bell Graham who had OA in her neck and spine and was bedridden for the last 2 years of her life.

I hope you feel better soon.

Yeah, I have the same problem. It gets better when I am on Humira or on high doses of pred. But I can hear a fluid swish around in my neck when I move or try to move it. If I sit up for long periods of time, I cannot move my head to either side, and then my upper back/neck/shoulders get tense and it makes for a lot of pain and problems for me. Which is what I was going thru last night. But today it is managable. And I still hear that damn fluid swishing sound. It is much louder when my neck is loosened up. It is weird to hear. I have severe OA in my neck- partly from a car wreck.  I have a TENS unit that helps when it really gets back.  I also have some stretching exercises so it does not freeze up.  Probably a couple of doses of Mersyndol would do the job. I don't know if that is what it is called in the US, I think it is,  but it is a combo of 8mg codeine and muscle relaxer. I find a 3 -4 doses of something like that, 2 tablets taken four hourly will compound and it should relieve the pain. Even if you have to do it for two days until it's gone. This would probably be especially effective if you believe it is muscle pain. But the muscle relaxant part will make you drowsy.  [QUOTE=arriscolwell]Are you on a muscle relaxer? Flexeril has saved my neck (hah, what a play on words!) We're suspicious that I'm developing RA in my neck, and my muscles may be compensating and that's where my strain comes from. OR we're clueless. Either way, my neck hurts like hell a lot. And a muscle relaxer has been the only thing that's helped.



Do you sit at the computer a lot? I think I remember you saying you have a desk at work and stuff. You need to check out your posture. Do whatever you can to ensure that you're sitting properly. I was using a stool without a back at work and I think that GREATLY contributed to my problem. As soon as I got a chair with a back, my neck issues slowed down. I still have them, but it's not as common. I also have to watch my posture when I'm driving, I'm really bad about leaning to one side too much, and that has caused me some problems too.
[/QUOTE]

I sit at a desk for a good portion of the day, but I am constantly getting up and roaming about.  I have two chairs at work - one is a highback chair that the company provides, and one is a kneeling chair that I bought.  I switch off between the two.  Sometimes if my feet are bothering me I sit in the highback and prop my feet up on the kneeling chair.  My desk is ergonomically sound; this pain is new, however.
[QUOTE=Cordelia]Probably a couple of doses of Mersyndol would do the job. I don't know if that is what it is called in the US, I think it is,  but it is a combo of 8mg codeine and muscle relaxer. I find a 3 -4 doses of something like that, 2 tablets taken four hourly will compound and it should relieve the pain. Even if you have to do it for two days until it's gone. This would probably be especially effective if you believe it is muscle pain. But the muscle relaxant part will make you drowsy.  [/QUOTE]

I've had mersyndol before; I believe it has doxylamine succinate (which is a sedating antihistamine, very similar to benadryl or diphenhydramine), codeine and tylenol.  Problem is, I can't take doxylamine or diphenhydramine during the day or I will be nose-down in my keyboard asleep.  I do take it at night before bed, but it doesn't seem to help my neck much (other than it knocks me out so I don't care what hurts).  I have flexeril also, but that makes me goofy during the day as well.  Grrr.  Perhaps I'll take some tramadol on top of my naproxen for a couple of days and see if that doesn't loosen it up.
I also have degeneration in my neck and upper spine. I see a PT twice a
week for ultrasound treatments to bring down inflammation. I also have
a TENS unit which helps a bit.

 

   Rebecca, whats a TENS unit? Sorry I'm kinda new to all this.

                                      Thanks, Lori

OK...copied this from another source:

Definition: "TENS" is the acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve
Stimulation. A "TENS unit" is a pocket size, portable, battery-operated
device that sends electrical impulses to certain parts of the body to block
pain signals.
The electrical currents produced are mild, but can prevent pain messages
from being transmitted to the brain and may raise the level of endorphins
(natural pain killers produced by the brain).

TENS units should only be used under the direction of a doctor or
physical therapist. Electrodes are attached to the surface of the skin over
or near the area where you are experiencing pain. It is important that you
learn how to:

correctly put on the electrodes (proper placement is important)
operate the unit
change the batteries
vary the controls and settings (both the frequency and voltage)
set the proper duration and intensity of the stimulation (which depends
on the location and type of pain)
TENS units are prescribed for both acute pain and chronic pain conditions
such as:

arthritis
joint pain
fibromyalgia
For some chronic pain patients, a TENS unit provides pain relief that can
last for several hours.


My RD prescribed me one. It has been very helpful and between the
TENS and physical therapy I have been able to continue to work full time.

 

 

   Thanks Rebecca

I, too, have severe OA in my neck and throughout my spine. The doctors have been trying for years to find something to help ease the pain. Any movement of my neck, sounds like gravel in places, and rocks in others.

I tried a TENS unit several years ago and it caused me to have worse pain. But I know a lot of people find them very helpful.

Arthritis can cause you to have pain in the nerves and muscles, too. The bone spurs that grow around the vertebre, with OA, can narrow the paths where the nerves are and put a lot of pressure on them. Nerve pain can be very hard to treat. 

I have been on Methadone and Morphine IR for quite a while. Before now I was on most other narcotic pain meds at some time or other. The meds ease the pain a little, but not enough.

I am  currently seeing a new pain specialist, who my med group sent me to. He has been doing diagnostic nerve injections and facet joint injections to see where the pain originates. The lumbar injs. were not conclusive, but I've had the cervical spine ones twice and the are now awaiting approval for radiofrequency ablation. This burns the nerves that are causing the problems (hopefully) and is supposed to ease the pain for 9 to 18 months, at least. Then the nerve may begin to grow back.

But I would be very careful about getting a massage or chirpractic until you have, at least, x-rays of your neck. It's possible to do more damage than you already have.

Good luck. Please let us know how you are doing and if you go to the doctor, what they find.

Be well, Nini

Nini-

I had the radio frequency ablation a few years ago.  The injections were done and took my pain away, then I got a cervical ablation.

It was great after recovery from the procedure, but my nerves grew back within 3 months.  Drat!

Lynne

JASMINE I AM SORRY TO HEAR THAT IT IS VERY PAINFUL

AND YOUR RIGHT MAKES IT REALLY HARD TO DRIVE. UNTIL

RHUEMY GOT MY MEDS RIGHT IT HURT BUT IT HASN'T HURT

FOR COUPLE OF MONTHS NOW. BEST WISHES

I too suffer from the dreaded pain in the neck. Muscle relaxers and vicodin help alot. I have one of those neck thing a majings that you can put in microwave and I use it all the time. It helps. I do neck stretches often. I put my head down  and slowly rotate my head in a circle. My neck pops and cracks when I rotate my head around in a circle but it feels better after. People can actually hear it when it pops and crackles. It really grosses my daughter out! LOL

I hope you get to feeling better soon!

Lynne, Thanks for the info. I had not talked to anyone who had it done. I would even take 3 months of not having this pain.

I never considered that there would be a recovery period. How long did that last and what do you need to do during the recovery period/

Thanks for the info!

Hugs, Nini

 

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