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Brachial Neuritis ?
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Brachial Neuritis ?

I HAVE BEEN OFF FROM WORK SINCE 12-15-02 DUE TO A WORK INJURY TO MY NECK.FROM THE ONSET TO NOW I HAVE BEEN IN SEVERE PAIN RADIATING FROM MY NECK INTO MY HEAD,SHOULDERS,SHOULDER BLADES, CHEST,ARMS,AMD HANDS.ANY MOVEMENT OF MY HEAD OR ARMS FLARES THE PAIN.THE PAIN IS WORST IF I TIP MY HEAD BACKWARDS.I HAVE HAD MRI'S DONE,WITHOUT CONTRAST,SHOWING DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE AT C-4, AND HERNIATIONS OF 3MM AT C5-6, C6-7. 1 NEUROSURGEON SAID SURGERY MIGHT HELP,1 SAID NO HELP.THERAPY MADE THE PAIN WORSE,I HAVE HAD EXTENSIVE BLOOD WORK ALL RESULTS COMING BACK NORMAL.I HAVE HAD FACET BLOCKS DONE,NO HELP.I HAVE HAD EPIDURAL INJECTIONS DONE AT LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY PAIN CENTER,NO HELP.THE ORIGINAL DIAGNOSIS WAS CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY,BUT NOW MY TREATING PHYSICIAN HAS CHANGED IT TO BRACHIAL NEURITIS.I HAVE READ ARTICLES ON BRACHIAL NEURITIS,AND IT FITS ME TO THE LETTER.A NEW NEUROSURGEON HAS SAID I HAVE BRACHIAL NEURITIS WITH INFLAMATION (inflammation) TO THE NERVES AND SOFT TISSUES,BUT HE TOLD ME THAT THERE IS NO TREATMENT TO CORRECT IT.WOULD AN MRA IMAGE OF THE SOFT TISSUES BE OF ANY HELP?COULD IT BE SCAR TISSUE BUILT UP CAUSING THE PROBLEM? EVERY DR. BUT MY TREATING DR. SAYS THAT THE 3MM BULGE INTO MY SPINAL CORD IS NOT ENOUGH TO CAUSE THIS MUCH PAIN.I AM CURRENTLY ON DURAGESIC PATCHES 100MCG/HR,VICADIN 10/325,SOMA 350MG.EVEN WITH THE PAIN MEDS.THE PAIN IS STILL STRONG.ON THE 3RD DAY OF THE PATCH IT CLIMBS TO 8-9.ANY SUGGESTIONS ON TESTS,OR TREATMENTS WOULD BE GREAT.I CAN FEEL SOMETHING WRONG WHEN I MOVE MY ARMS OR HEAD,BUT THE PICTURES DON'T SHOW ENOUGH.I WILL TRY ANYTHING,I WANT MY LIFE BACK.HELP
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Avatar_n_tn
Unfortunately I cannot clinically diagnose you over the internet

Brachial neuritis (also called neuralgic amyotrophy) has no known cause and there is no proven effective treatment. It usually improves or resolves over time (up to several months), and can be recurrent. If this is what you have, then your best option might be to seek help at a multidisciplinary chronic pain management center. If you are in the area, Dr. John Covington at the Pain Center of the Cleveland Clinic runs such a program.

It would be unusual to have neck pain radiating down though. An MRA looks at blood vessels rather than soft tissues. Your neck MRI would have picked up any major soft tissue problems in the neck. It sounds like from your MRI report that that degree if bulging would not be enough to cause your symptoms (but I cannot confirm this without seeing your MRI) Otherwise without more clinical information I cannot be more specific.
Good luck
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Have you considered Upper cervical specific chiropractic?  I know it sounds like it won't help but it is the only thing that helped me with strange/unknown neck pain.  Read my posts a little ways down...  I'll pray for you.  Hang in there.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am sorry to hear of all your pain, and I so can relate to it. I also have herniated cervical disc's in my neck, a total of three, C3 through C7. I also have cervical stenosis and flattening of my cord along with loss of lordosis. I had injured my neck many years ago when I had dived into my pool incorrectly and slammed my head into the bottom. I see a neuro surgeon and a neurologist for my injury's both cervical and lumbar.

In April of 2003 I began to experience pain in both biceps and triceps. A few months later the pain also began in my shoulder's. My doctor's believed at that time that my pain was originating from my cervical injury's, afterall those are the symptoms. So instead of sending me for testing they just kept increasing my medication's. The pain just kept getting worse and the med's were not working any longer. What happened next was both of my shoulder's froze. This is medically known as adhesive capsulitis. Finally the doctor's new something else was wrong and sent me for mri's of bilateral shoulder's. I couldn't believe what the reports were stating. I had SLAP injury's in both shoulder's, tendonitis of the rotator cuff, arthritis, both muscle and marrow edema, and a mass in both spinoglenoid notch's. The report also stated that I may have possible brachial neuritis. and suggested more testing. A few other finding's but I don't remember them all. I then had to see an orthopedic surgeon.

I am only suggesting to you that it may also be possible that you may have another injury besides cervical. I cannot figure out how this damage has happened to my shoulder's. I had a lumbar fusion in June 2003, and haven't be able to do much of anything since then. But after reading your post your pain sounds identical to mine. I do wish you the very best.

Jeanne
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Avatar_n_tn
Many people are told that brachial neuritis is non treatable..has anyone told you you may have thoracic outlet syndrome..there are surgical treatments that can help the pain..I just had a cervical rib removed that was causing the same symptoms..many people however do not have the xtra rib but still may have a narrowing at the brachial plexus that can cause severe pain..MRI's EMG's do not always pick up on the damage until it is very severe. braintalk communitys is a great site with a wealth of information on TOS..I am in no way giving you a medical dx but your type of story is read everyday on the TOS forum at www.braintalk.org...good luck..
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