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C5-C6 pain, can't find relief
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C5-C6 pain, can't find relief

Hello,
I had an accident 4 years ago, and since have had bad headaches, but was diagnosed as having "tension headaches."  I've been having headaches daily, which would trigger into migraines at least 3 days per week.
At the beginning of this year, my neck was the worst it's ever been, and having a new Dr. I asked for an xray of my neck.  Well, here's what it showed.
- Reversal or the normal lordosis at C5-C6
-Minimal disc height loss at C5-C6
-Degenerative changes at the facet joints in the mid/lower cervical spine
-Possible constant muscle spasms

I then did PT weekly for 5 months, then accupuncture, massage therapy and also saw a Holistic MD.  Nothing helped and the pain continued to progress.  My Dr. then ordered a basic MRI (C-Spine) which showed a herniated disc at C5-C6 and abnormal curvature of my spine (top of the spine by neck). My Dr. sent me to the University, I've seen Neuology, Rheumatology and then I was given a series of Botox injections to my neck by the Neurologist,  he thought I had whiplash.  Well, this didn't work.  My neck is now worse, and the bands on my left and right side are tight, and the pain is excruciating when I lean forward or bend over.  It almost feels like a kinked neck on both sides!
The majority of my pain is on the right, near the occipital area, and the band from below to the outer right neck side.   I also developed numbness in my hands/wrists at beginning or year and leg cramps/spasms.  I'm now waiting to see a Spine Dr. but not till middle of Dec.  I'm really frustrated and the pain is making daily activities become more and more difficult. Why can't this be diagnosed as easy?  I've been seeing Dr.'s this whole year and no relief.  I don't want pain meds, because I can't function during the day and they only mask the problem.  My Dr. recently has me trying clonazepam 0.5mg at bed to help my leg cramps/spasms.  Do you have any ideas as to what's going on or any tests that would help me?  I truly would appreciate any insight you may have.  Thank you again!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Becky
We seem to share the same problem. I have had a constant headache which morphes into migraines for 18 months. You can read my post (jasper12) below yours. My c5/c6 disc is degenerate and my surgeon wants to replace the disc. I also have a loss of lordosis in my neck.
I'm worried that the pain might not be coming from there and about the prospect of undergoing unnecessary surgery. As I'm into my 4th day of a migraine, I'm feeling desperate. I'm booked for nerve blocks next week and will let you know how they go. I'm not on any painkillers either as I react badly to all of them (they throw a rebound migraine at me) but take Ambien to sleep through the pain a couple of days a week. My pain swaps sides too which is confusing me.
Can we keep in touch. We migh be able to help each other out.
Cheers
Sue
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Sue,
Thanks for the post!  I'm glad to hear I'm not the only having these problems.  I too, had many problems w/ pain meds, and migraine meds...It helped for a little bit, but rebounded much worse than the original migraine!  I don't take anything for my pain, except clonazepam at bedtime, which is helping me sleep.  The botox was suppose to help my symptoms, but actually I feel worse.  I feel like crying because I get so frustrated!!   I would love to keep in touch and share our adventure together.  It's nice to be able to talk to someone who knows exactly what I'm going through.  Good luck with the nerve blocks...I do hope this will help you!!  Very nice meeting you!!!
Becky
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Becky
I tried botox too but it made me feel nauseous and didn't do anything for the migraines or headaches. Just in the middle of a 5 day migraine now - the longest ever! Watch out for the clonazepam - its addictive. I take half a tab of ambien with 12mgs of doxylamine succinate.
The later is just an antihistamine with sedative properties. Basically it allows me to use less of the ambien as it creates an additive effect. I only take it approx 3xweekly as I don't want an ambien addiction to add to my woes. Experiment with the doesage until you find what works. You could even use the Doxy with a lower dose of the clonazepam if you want to cut down.
How can I get you my email address without the whole world seeing it?
Cheers
Sue
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Avatar_n_tn
Me again
I just reread your post. I didn't realise your disc was herniated! You need immediate medical attention. That can be fixed by shaving off the herniated part of the disc. Otherwise if the whole disc is degenerate you might be a candidate for a disc replacement. Can't you phone the spine dr and explain that your disc is herniated and you need immediate attention? Maybe things are different in the states but my friend had a herniated disc and she was in within a week getting the op.
I don't know how your coping but hand in there. This is a tortuous road we are on but at least you have a diagnosis. Your pain will definitely be coming from the c5/c6 disc.
Best wishes
Suex
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Avatar_n_tn
I had similar symtoms (symptoms) and almost lost the use of my left hand. They operated 8months ago on c-5,c-6, c-7 putting a titanium plate with six screws in . The relief was instant no pain any where now and I
am almost 100%. You've got to do some research and find the best doctor. The surgery was alittle
scary, they go in from the front. But I was back to work in a week. Good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
I just saw my new Neurologist 2 days ago.  I finally got a thorough exam and have an EMG and nerve conduction test ordered for 2 weeks from now.  I'm seeing him again a week after to discuss the findings.  If that looks ok, i'm getting a scan of my brain and further imaging.  I think I've finally found someone who truly wants to find out what is going on with me...At least their not throwing their hands up, yet at least.  I'll keep all posted.  The Dr. also noted have clonosis in my legs, I guess meaning hyperactive reflexes.  That's why their doing the EMG, also because of numbness in hands/wrist and legs.  I think these symptoms have to be related to the neck.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
My Name Is Tim , I Had A Ruptured Disc in C-5 and C-6  i found doctors to do the surgery they put 2 screws in and a metal plate and  said i would be fine after this surgery was done ...  before this i did the Nerve reduction test it came out fine before the relaized  i had a ruptiured disc ..  anyway  dont do it ..  i dont know if u know what a cow prod is .. but   that dr was shocking me so badly my entire body was coming off the table and lemme tell u i was crying and screaming toward the end begging him to stop ... my right left side was purse spamsn and my right side was just gave out ... he said the  test were all fine....  i did the surgery  they put the screws in and the plate and  now its gotten worse,  i have leg pains sooo badly now i  cry and im 43 yrs old ...  sometimes i have to use a walker cause i cant get my legs to work correctly ...   my eye sight is damn near gone...  and  the knawing in my neckl  and right side is sometimes unbearable ....  if i had to do it all over again i woulda just said no...  sure there was pain but now its like nothing i can possibly explain,    the doctors want to do another mri and see if there is nerve damage .. hello  im having so many issus now what else can it be... each doctor has his own theory on what the problem is .. my favorite is ...  when they are sooo arrogant  and treat u like they doint make mistakes...   yet  you practically beg them for some sort of relief  the only way i can fuction thruout the day is thru medication ....  and the help of my family ...  this is not the way  i wanted my life to turn out ....  and everyday  i sleep less... stress more... and cry alot ...   and i cant seem to get  the dr i am seeing now to understand anything ..... his arrogance is overseeing the problems   he told me he only deals with the spine and the neck ... but in my opinion this is what the main problem is ...  i ask for help and get no answers ...  i rarely come out of bed unless its to stand and lean against the wall  hoping that  the pain will ease off some...  i have a walker by my bed when i need help getting in and out ... and  i have lost weight since the surgery and still some days dont even want to eat ...  and there are days i feel like im slowily slipping into a depression....  i should also mention  that all this is thru the state of virginia workers comp.. so  they are no help...  the workers comp commisson ordered in my favor for them to pay for all medical but they keep sending me to the same doctor  here in louisiana that does nothing but do the same test over and over again .. and he has already mentions that he did not do the surgery  and if  anything else is needed he wont bethe one touching me .... sooo basically ....  i feel screwed...   no one seems to have the right answer... and i cant be on pain meds forever...   oh and the new doctor doesnt believe in pan medication ...  sooo now im left to suffer until the pain is sooo great i have no choice but to go to the ER and beg for help....  i ask myself what did i do to deserve this ... and try to focus that things will get better only to find out .. that  its not getting  better.... i just want the pain to go away ... or a doctor who isnt arrogant and one who will listen to the problems im having and heklp fix them.....  
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