Back & Neck Pain Expert Forum
neck and back pain
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neck and back pain

I've worked for the Post Office for 18yrs. Just 1 1/2 yrs after starting at the P.O. on the night shift and working 6 days a week and 11 hours a night during peak holiday season I was diagnosed with Thoracic Sprain, this would occur for next 7 yrs. Always therapy was the answer and it helped. But now my mid back will tighten very often especially when lifting and twisting. I was hit with heavy equipment on the job and suffered pain to my lower back. I was receiving treatment from a doctor who specialized in pain management until my workmens comp. denied treatment. Then I started suffering bilateral hand pain and swelling. I had rt hand carpal tunnel surgery. Then I started having pain to my left hand, diagnosed with left hand epicandyle and my neck was also in pain mainly to the left side. Had physical therapy w/ iontoe treatment which helped very little but I was sent back to work through pressure from the P.O. I still experienced neck pain and weakness to the left hand and had neck surgery.Had protruding disc in c5 c6 level and the nerves were touching disc which was said to causedmy pain. Now I have a titanium plate in my neck but the surgery seemed to give back the strength to my left forearm/hand. Now 2 mths after surgery and having gone back to work abt 8 weeks after surgery I am experiencing pain and swelling in both hands starting from the elbows on down with more pain on the left side but right side still affected. I find it a bit difficult when I am writing/reading and looking down, also when I am driving looking to my extreme left at times brings a bit of ache to my left side and to my left arm. An EMG revealed a pinch nerve and I was told physical therapy should help. My question is is this enough or should other forms of treatment be offered as well and is surgery again required. I'm tired of dealing with this pain and interruption to my quality of life.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Not all symptoms can be fixed, and with more surgeries and interventions, the cause of symptoms can get more confusing. You have been through a lot and many physicians have tried to help, it sounds. You have lots of symptoms as well which are tought ot localize. For example, swelling in the hands is not caused by nerve issues - you might feel swollen, though. Actually physical swelling is weird. If the surgery went well and your C5-6 was the only problem, then your nerves should be decompressed. EMG is often positive after surgery because the nerve is already injured. I think you should explore pysiatry, physical therapy, and other things. I don't know if you need more surgery but based on your history I would be very careful and understand what the purpose and expected outcome would be.
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
i am 31 years old and had a crush injury to my neck and my back. around 6 to 8,000 lbs. i too had a emg  showing nerve damage to c5&c6 it allso bothering 4 muscles in my left arm , and have l1 - l5 disc bulging my work com dr. witch is a pain dr. said that disc bulging in lower back means nothing and the emg on my neck dos not mean anythig and emg are not worth holding so basically emg dont mean athing .   dos any one have a answer or what to do
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Avatar_n_tn
I am sorry for asking a question to your question. I just figured out how this works to ask questions. Good luck with your situation. jimtim  
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 36 years old and have suffered with neck/shoulder pain for years. I was in a major car accident at the age of 11, and suffered numerous problems after. I developed TMJ from my head hitting the seat (I was in back) and a concussion. At the age of 23, I fell off a chair and severely injured my left shoulder and clavicle. I worked in a job with repetitive motion on my left arm ( a warehouse conveyer) and the pain worsened to the point I had to leave my job. In  2001  I had an MRI that revealed a torn rotator cuff in that shoulder. Nothing was done for it, no treatment and no drug therapy. Over the years I've suffered with pain, but recently it has escalated unbearably. Almost three weeks ago, I was busy helping a friend prepare for her daughter's sweet sixteen. I worked hard cooking and decorating, but I felt okay. No pain, really. That evening, when party was over and I was relaxing at home, checking my email on computer, I went to straighten up and felt a terrible "tear" in my upper back. It has gotten progressively worse, now extending to my shoulder blades and middle back. The pain is so intense, it hurts to breath. I've been to urgent care clinic twice, the md's said it's most likely a deep muscle knot in my trap muscle. No position is comfortable and I'm at the end of my rope. I have an appointment next week with an orthopedist. Any advice until then? I've tried Flexeril ( cannot take because it makes me feel stoned) and Ibuprofen. Last night on my second clinic visit, they gave me a shot of toradol. It helped just a tad, but today pain is worse then ever. They gave me Rx for skelaxin too, but so far no relief. I am a pharmacy technician and work hard hours on my feet all day, so any advice for relief would really help. One question, I'm curious, is what happens when a rotator cuff injury goes untreated? My neck/back/shoulder muscles are so tight and painful, I don't see how they will ever be normal again. Could it be scar tissue? Thanks for listening.
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