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Chronic pain - MRI of cervical spine
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Chronic pain - MRI of cervical spine

Hi,  I have been having chronic neck pain for a number of years now.  It varies from a dull achy feeling with what feels like inflammation to more of a burning pain at times.  It seems to be around C5 slightly off to my left of midline a bit.  When it gets really bad, I get a bad taste in my mouth as well.  So far I have not really recieved much in the way of medical help for this, but have had an MRI in 2009.  I am wondering if the results of the MRI could indicate what is causing this pain possibly, despite this.  It seems to be somewhat cyclical as well, ie. when it gets bad it usually feels bad for a number of days before subsiding.

In a nutshell, here is the report:

At C4-5 there is minimal diffuse disc osteophyte bulging, minimal effacement of the anterior thecal sac with minimal central stenosis, no foraminal stenosis or disc herniation.

AtC5-6 there is a small postereolateral disc osteophyte present minimally narrowing right neural foramen.  This may impinge on the exiting right C6 nerve root.  There is no central stenosis.

No central or foraminal stenosis or disc herniations at other levels.

Is it possible that the items listed at C4-6 could be causing my symptoms, as it does seem to correlate with the level of the pain?  Thanks
Kevin
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1083596_tn?1313398276
Dear Friend,
The pain is predominantly due to arthritis, which is causing muscular spasm and hence weakness.
I would suggest PHYSIOTHERAPY as the best possible remedy.
You need to consult a good physiotherapist and then start on Cervical spine stabilization physiotherapy. We geenrally strat with level-1 and then gradually increase it, upto level-4, depending upon the tolerence level of the individual.
What i would like you to understand that other modalities of treatment would only be considered, if there is a failure of physiotherapy, even after 6-8 weeks.
I hope i clarifed your concern,
Please discuss, if you need further clarifications.
Regards
7 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
It could be related to sympathetic ganglion involvement plus since there is altered taste sensation as well there must be something due to the osteophytes affecting the soft tissues and causing inflammation.

Osteophytes normally dont cause nerve root dysfunction as they are present anteriorly. So sympathetic ganglion can provide a clue to your complaints.
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Avatar_m_tn
It indicates a postereolateral disc osteophyte, does that not indicate it is posterior and not anterior?
I have tried sympathetic ganglion blocks by a pain doctor in the past - no real success with this.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the reply.  From what you are saying, you do not anticipate that the pain is coming from the osteophytes?

Also, is it possible that it could be a result of ligamaent damage or strain?  I suffered a whiplash type injury approx 7 years ago and also have forward head posture.

I have been doing some neck physio and traction, so far with no resolve.

Thanks
Kevin
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1450685_tn?1284930645
You post sounds interesting.

My first surgery in 96 C3/4 - 4/5 I had shocks whole body ones. I told the doctor it was like pi$$ing on a spark plug. I got a tinny taste in my mouth like when you test a 9 volt batter to see if it has juice ( don't try it on a new one). they pretty much fixed it till I fell face first about 2 foot in the air.

in 2002 I had C5/6 done mainly because the c3-5 caused pressure.
Anyway when I woke up from surgery I had a high pitched whine in my ears and that tinny taste in my mouth. The first thing I wanted when I got home was pizza. It was like eating fire. I could not use any tomato products for 6 mo. ketchup was like hot sauce on steroids.
It's been 8 years and I still have the whine in my ears and prickles, bee stings and all the rest. I'm getting weaker and yes I have yearly MRI's xrays and emg's. No real answers but great drugs.
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Avatar_m_tn
Did you ever figure out for sure what was causing the tinny taste you mention?  Pressure on a certain nerve perhaps?
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Avatar_m_tn
I recently had a lidocaine/cortiscosteroid injection into my neck.  It  seemed to help a little sbit at first with the lidocaine active, but has really had not effect beyond that.  Since the pain is still quite severe, I am thinking of getting a functional mri done.  What would be the best type of mri for determining ligament injury? Facet joints?  I believe the choices are soft tissue mri, or Cspine.

thanks
Kevin
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