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Neck and Shoulder Pain and Popping
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Neck and Shoulder Pain and Popping

I was in a rear end car accident 3 months ago.  I was sent to an orthopedic doctor who after looking at my xrays diagnosed me with whiplash.  I did PT and cervical traction for a month and a half with no relief.  The doc kept just handing me pain meds, muscle relaxers, and telling me that I needed to quit reading so much.  After the month and a half I quit going.  I am a college student and it is impossible for me to stop reading.  About a month ago my primary doc suggested massage therapy.  This has helped relieve my pain a little but not more than a day or so.  In the last couple of months I have noticed that my shoulder is popping and I have been having severe pain in the area.  My muscles in my neck and shoulder are hard as a rock eventhough I have had about twelve massages.  The other day my clavicle popped during a massage, that is what the therapist told me it was.  She suggested I get further testing, but I was wondering if anyone could tell my what is causing this popping and pain or what I need to do to make it stop.  The pain is so severe it is effecting my daily tasks; I have failed two exams and I am a President's/Dean's list student.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I think you need to have an MRI instead of x-rays. X-rays will show broken bones, but they do not show herniated discs or torn muscles. If this has been going on for three months it is time for your doctor to be more proactive. If he is unwilling, a neuro-surgeon who specialises in spines might be a better option. Just handing out pills won't cure anything, as you know. You need to find the cause of the pain.  Good luck. Hopefully the other driver was found at fault, and his insurance will pay for your diagnosis and treatment.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well you were right.  My doc made me get an MRI.  I got it yesterday but I don't go back to the doc for a couple of weeks.  I got a digital copy of MRI and being the curious person that I am I took a look.  The only problem is that I don't know what too look for.  Do you have and clues to help me see any abnormality that may be there?
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Avatar_f_tn
Unfortunately, it takes a trained eye to look at the MRI films to determine what abnormalities are there, if any.  I was an RN for 27yrs before my disability and I needed my neurosurgeon to literally point at the areas of concern on my MRI.  Some changes are very subtle in nature and depending on the angle/view being shown can look weird but not be considered abnormal.
Thankfully, you did get the MRI and while waiting a couple of weeks will be difficult, especially if you are in pain, the doctor will be best able to review your films in detail and provide recommended options for treatment.
Please post back with the results of your visit and any additional questions/concerns you may have.
Best wishes ------
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Avatar_n_tn
Well... I haven't been back to the Dr. yet but I called the office and they told me I had a minimal buldge at C5-C6.  Does anyone know if this could be the thing that is causing my shoulder to pop?  Any help on what a minimal bulge is?  And what the treatments are for it?
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