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chronic neck, shoulder and arm pain
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chronic neck, shoulder and arm pain

I had a 3 level cervical fusion oct 2006.  Dr stated that i would return to a normal pain free life, so not true.  I havent had a good night sleep since surgery.  I toss and turn, sometimes the pain is so severe that i have to lift my head off pillow to sit up. I suffer chronic pain, numbness, stinging, tingling from neck radiating down left shoulder to fnger tips DAILY....... The Worst part of it all,  Noone believes me. Pain meds make me sleepy, however i will not sleep through a painful position.  Sometimes i think i was better off before the surgery :(.  Last xray shows extreme narrowing of the nerve canals left side only.  Could this cause the pain to continue?
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Hey crclark, I am somewhat a newbie here but I have the same problem as you pretty much. Your surgery did not correct the problems and has left you worse off than before is what you're saying. I feel for you hon, I really do. Are you in pain management now? I only recently got into pain management after a double cervical fusion left me in pain. My pain is in my left side as well. Do you have shoulder blade pain along with it? I know that my surgeon acts like everything should be fine because his xray *not mri* he takes of me looks good :( I know also about how the pain meds affect us all making us drowsy/sleepy. You have got to get some sleep somehow. Talk to your doctor about this if you have not already. Is your pain being managed by using nerve meds/ narcotics, etc? that narrowing you speak of is the stenosis and yes it would be causing your pain along with possibly other things going on. More later hon, glad you meet you and glad you are here.
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Thank you and glad to meet you also.  I joined this forum to chat with others like me.  I am currently seeing a Dr for the pain, I get the impression that she doesnt believe me though :(  She prescribes medicine for seizures and depression...? Dont quite understand that.  Im drowsy and still in pain, ibruprofen is a joke (upset stomach for nothing)  Once i mopped the floor and the next day i could not move it felt like i had a stiff neck, pain from neck to elbow including the shoulder blade.  Once again thank you, nice to have someone that truly understands
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Hello Crclark,

Welcome to the Pain Management Forum. I am glad that you found us and took the time to post. I am very sorry that you have chronic pain. We can relate.  

Yes it is possible that the narrowing or stenosis is causing your painful symptoms. I am surprised that a surgeon has not suggesting a surgical repair. When there is stenosis on the spinal canal it often presses against spinal nerves at the level of compression. Nerve pain can be extreme as well and difficult to treat.

Is there a reason that you continue to see a physician that does not believe you? I made that mistake early on. It was a huge mistake to stay and I paid dearly for it. My concern for you is what is your PCP writing in your records. If your records contain statements that question the validity of your pain this will probably follow you wherever you go. I encourage you to consider at least a second or third opinion. There is no good reason to suffer needless chronic pain. It's not productive.

I encourage you to be assertive and find a physician that will determine the cause of your chronic pain. Once you know the reasons behind your pain you can hope for better treatments and pain management.
  
I also hope you be active in our community. If you have additional questions please feel free to ask. I look forward to hearing from you again.  I wish you the very best.

Take Care,
~Tuck
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello,

I had the same pains and I suspect I can solve your problem. I suffer from trigger points (inflamed muscle knots) in the scalene muscles of my neck caused by working on a laptop and looking down all day (the head is very heavy) this is made worse by having a weak back unable to take the load. However, the particular numbness in my hand and arm and the sensation of a frozen shoulder radiated from two large trigger points located in the middle and posterior scalenes at the base of my skull and back of my neck. The worse these got (bigger and painful upon touch) the worse my arm and shoulder pain - sometimes one shoulder was visibly higher than the other and my shoulders rounded as they tried to self-manage the problem. Pain from a trigger point is usually always referred to somewhere else in the body along nerve pathways, this is called referred pain. Most people think if they have a numb hand or shoulder the problem is in the hand or shoulder, this is rarely the case. The good news is it's fairly easy to locate a trigger point and to solve the problem. You can do this by either going for regular myofascial massage that targets the problem area or you can self-massage by using a triggerpoint guide. Personally, I prefer the latter option as I can figure out faster than a therapist where my trigger points are (there are 680 possible locations) I use the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook and although I don't love Davies' style of writing and triggerpoint evangelicalism, it did change my life. I should mention that I saw specialists in London and NY who advocated expensive and intensive surgery, instead I solved my problem myself. I now do yoga to keep my posture aligned and to strengthen my back and neck. I get flare ups (like now) but what I know what I have to do. I hope this helps.
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