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Herniated disc and muscle twitches...
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Herniated disc and muscle twitches...

I am a 39 year old male and I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in my cervical spine 3 years ago.  I went to chiropractor and PT for about 6 month and most of my symptoms in my neck and left arm subsided.  About 6 months ago I started having symptoms such as eye twitches, minor arm weakness, and twitches in both arms, so I went back to my doctor and he referred me to a Neurologist.  They tested my reflexes, did an EMG of my arms, and a MRI of my head to rule out MS.  My physical exam came back good, the EMG was normal and the MRI of my brain also came back good.  They said my symptoms were typical a nerve root impingement in my neck.  I
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Steve(?)

A herniated disk in the cervical spine can be very serious.

I would not, under any circumstances, let a chiropractor manipulate my neck(or any part of my spine, for that matter) with this condition.

It sounds like you are getting the same run around that I got for 4 years before I finally went to a big name place and was diagnosed with cervical stenosis and spondylosis, and scoliosis throughout my spine.  Cervical stenosis is narrowing of the spinal canal and spinal cord compression.  If you have this condition, it MUST be watched.  You should have a repeat MRI done and the two MRI's compared for progression.  Spondylosis is the arthritic changes to the disks (bone spurs) that further narrow the spinal canal and compress the cord.  Scoliosis is abnormal curves in the spine and can result in yet further compression, difference in hip and shoulder height, etc.

As we age, spondylosis (bone spurs) occur in all of us.  If your spine has been severly injured like mine has, this process can be greatly accelerated.  If there is stenosis, the cord, at some point, will develop a lesion.  This means CORD DAMAGE
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Avatar_n_tn
sorry, I accidentally hit return.

Just so you know, I went to a chiropractor after an injury to my spine and he did not take x-rays but proceeded to manipulate me anyway.  He took his thumbs and put them on the back of my neck and pushed down very hard.  He would not quit when I complained about the excruciating pain.  When I went to him, I had one bulging disk in my cervical spine, now I have two very large ones.  

If you want to see what this looks like on my MRI, go to: http://new.photos.yahoo.com/kwujek1/album/576460762316092310/photo/294928803119687117/6

Scroll down a little bit and you will see the compression ofmy spinal cord.  I am 45 and am being monitored with repeat imaging for progression.  At some point, I will have to have a multi-level cervical fusion to relieve the compression on my spinal cord.  

I was rear-ended while sitting at a stoplight in 2001 in a 50 mile and hour zone.  $15,000.00 damage to my SUV.  I was then hit again in the rear in 2005 by a very large commercial Freightliner van.

Be very careful, please.
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Avatar_n_tn
Jenny,
Thanks for the update, I wish you well in your diagnosis on Monday.  I also have the same feelings on the top of my legs that you have especially when sitting.  My muscles never seem to relax even when laying down.  

To add insult to injury I pull a muscle in my lower back this weekend.  Felt a pop in the base of my back while trying to lift something heavy, dumb thing to do.  Ingrass is right, I have to be very careful. But with two boys 9 and 12 that's not easy to do.

Steve


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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the insight.  I had an x-ray of my cervical spine before going back to the chiropractor and it showed slight straightening of the cervical lordosis, disc space narrowing in the mid and lower regions, compressions of C-5 and C-6, calcification between  C-5 and C-6, and C6 and C-7, also showed some spurring.  They also noted that I have early degenerative changes involving the lower cervical region.  I'm wondering if I have similar problems in my lower back causing my leg issues.  I've never been in a serious accident, sustained my initial neck injury on vacation at the beach.

You seem very knowledgeable about the spine, I apologize if my details from my X-ray doesn't mean anything to you.  I'm just grasping right now so any further insight would be greatly appreciated.  I live rurally so a "big doctor" is not real easy to get to.  Been dealing with smaller practices so far.


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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Steve,

I did not mean to alarm you.  Remember, I have no medical training whatsoever.  I am just a patient with a messed up spine who is lucky enough to have access to a very good neurologist and a top neurosurgeon at a big name place.  

You and I sound so much alike.  I am 45 and my initial injury was 5 years ago.  I too, live in a small rural town without easy access to good doctors.  I have or have had at one time all of the symtoms (symptoms) you describe.  

Muscle twitches throughout your body, and a burning or crawling sensation in your legs are probably not related to your problems in your neck.  I have had a burning sensation throughout my body for 5 years.  If you don't sleep well or have a lot of stress in your life, this is probably why this is happening.

Regarding your arm weakness, it may be clinically significant in reference to your cervical disk(s).  If it was confirmed by the physical exam that the neurologist did, it is significant. If, like me, it is an off and on feeling and the neurologist didn't find true weakness, it is not significant.  

I also have straightening of the cervical lordosis.  This means my neck is straight when it should have a slight curve.  

The things that bother me about your post are the length of time since your initial injury, your report that they found disk space narrowing in the mid to lower regions (suggestive of multiple disk problems, not just one disk) bone spurs, compressions and calcifications of both c5 and c6 (again suggestive of multiple disk problems), and the fact that a chiropractor is manipulating you based on x-rays alone.  

If I were you, I would gather all my films from the MRI and any x-rays, and take them to  another neurologist.  It would be a good idea to have another MRI, this time of your entire spine (the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions) and have them compare the two along with looking at the x-rays.  You want to know especially about the disk space narrowing.  How much narrowing is there?  Is is causing compression of your spinal cord? If so, what is the degree of compression.  How much has this changed in 3 years?  It sounds like one of the disks is compressing the nerve.  From what I understand, this can happen without cord compression, but you need to find out more about this, especially since you have arm weakness.  

Remember though, that even with my rather severe narrowing of my spinal canal and compression of the cervical cord, surgery was not yet recommended.  Close monitoring with repeat MRI was. They insisted that I have another MRI in one year to check for progression of the degree of narrowing.  I will be having that MRI in about 6 weeks and after viewing it and whatever other tests they order, the neurosurgeon will again make a decision on how to proceed.  

Keep you fingers crossed for me that they don't find any progression, ok?  That is a big and dangerous surgery and the thought of it scares me half to death.  Also, it is designed only to stop additional cord damage (and resulting paralysis) and doesn't do anything for pain.  In fact, it often makes things much worse and starts the surgery merry go round.  You eventually have to have more surgery.  

I hope this has helped.

Kathy
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667923_tn?1266738793
Hello to u two,
     I am also suffering from the same problem and found ur post that was really informative to me.
     I had to have surgery on my C5-C6, a spinal diskectomy ACD & F and have been told that I have a screw on top of a nerve that was done from the surgery. ...but also have other problems of T8-T11 disk hern.w/hypertrophy.Below is where I copied and pasted something of significance of the lower back that is causing trouble in my area and was worried @ it. I suffer so much...wether I am standing, sitting or laying. I know, I will probably have to have surgery on the Thoracic part, but I am also concerned @ what is going on in my neck. I have had trouble w/it since I had that spinal diskectomy.

Blood vessels that run up and down the spine nourish the spinal cord. However, only one vessel, the anterior spinal artery, goes to the front of the spinal cord in the area between T4 and T9. Doctors call this section of the spine the critical zone. If this single vessel is damaged, as can happen with pressure from a herniated thoracic disc, the spinal cord has no other way to get blood. Left untreated, this section of the spinal cord dies, which can lead to severe problems of weakness or paralysis below the waist.

I don't know, but that sounds scary and I am hurting severly to where I can't do much of anything and even laying is painful. So, I know there are answers out there...we have to find what we can to help ourselves go the right direction. I appreciate anyone who responds.
I just am having so many symptoms that it is becoming TOO MUCH...for me.My arms are very weak and if, I just barely use them they ache. My legs hurt ALL the time, weather I am up or down. It feels like something is stuck in the middle of my back. IT is very painful too...like an axe. I sure hope that the new NL can give me some hope in this nightmare that I am living in.:P
God Bless all and take care.:D<3  Karen
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Avatar_f_tn
I've had three neck surgeries laid alotfrom pain the reason I'm writing is I have been having severe neck spasms can't move or talk and my head and neck is digging in my pillow the pain is horrible I've been having neck spasms since 2005 does else have these?
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4053352_tn?1349577701
Hello, I too am continually seeking solutions; questions are: who DO I listen to? Follow this one's advice or deter from that one's suggestions! I also have  issues in the cervical area (2 herniated discs , 3 bone spurs and entrapment of a nerve) is the neurosurgeon's diagnosis) from an MRI test, and am currently seeking PT, however, they have ordered a cervical traction unit for me to take home. I am very skeptical about this, however, I have used it a few times and am now questioning whether or not to continue with "ANY" of all this...including the "PT"!!!!!!!!! I am 48 years of age. Wishing all of you out there.....a "SOLUTION". PS. I am trying the  "mindful" posture procedure, it obviously has an effect on the levels of my pain so why not? I've not mentioned that I've been using pt for 3 months now...seems to be  somewhat helpful,but, NOT a solution at this time...too much at a standstill which is why I'm choosing different routes to pursue. I've concluded only one thing thus far...it's all about positioning as to how severe the level of pain occurs for me...I am slowwwwly becoming very frustrated............Kind Regards. PJ
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