Neck and Shoulders.

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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby bigkev » Sat 13 Jun, 2020 4:38 pm

jobell wrote:Damn this is a club I so didn't want to join! After varying back issues and neck pain that I have mostly ignored over the last few years (except for one very painful week after limping home post an excruciating night in the bush, complete with vertigo, may I never have that particular joy again!) I finally bit the bullet and had scans done last week. The doc rang me yesterday (I am liking this telehealth thing) and it turns out I have early signs of degeneration/osteoarthritis complete with a narrowing between...C5 and C6. Oh and T6 to T10 is looking pretty shabby too. Are we all just...ah hem...ageing or is this a bushwalker's curse?

Luckily I rock an Aarn pack! But I did buy an Osprey pack recently to try something different (and lighter); it's going to be sold on now though. My partner has a top notch physio who I shall be lining up to see myself now too. Whatever it takes to keep me walking...



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Misadventure and age for me Jo :? Thankfully my back only really gives me a lot of grief when I'm sitting or lying down. A couple of pills of vitamin I normally gets me through the night on my walks in relative comfort.

Cheers
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Eremophila » Mon 29 Jun, 2020 5:20 pm

Wondering how you're getting on M-Al? I was thinking of you the other evening whilst having my colour rinsed.
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Mechanic-AL » Tue 30 Jun, 2020 5:41 pm

Hi there Eremo...

It's heartwarming to think that I may pop into somebodies thoughts when ever they get their hair colour rinsed.... :lol: :lol: :lol:

....the surgeon I saw was keen to make sure I had given this condition the full 6 weeks on anti-inflammatory medication as this is supposed to be the magical time period for things to settle down by themselves. Tomorrow is the 6 week anniversary of this curse and nothing has changed.

Have an appointment on Friday for nerve block injection in the C6 vertebrae so hopefully by the time you are having your next rinse I'll know how things have gone.

thanks for your inquiry and I let you know how I get on.

Al
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Eremophila » Tue 30 Jun, 2020 6:36 pm

Wow, 6 weeks is a long time with no relief!

One thing - if you are having physio treatment, clinical Pilates, remedial massage or the like - ask your GP for a "care plan". This gives you a couple of extra hundred $$$ after your private health limit runs out. You usually have an appointment with a nurse at your GP clinic, they ask some questions and complete the relevant paperwork, then the GP comes in and signs off on it. It's submitted to Medicare and then goes straight to your provider from memory.

You can apply for this every 12 months - I've been told different things by my GP and by providers, as to whether that's a calendar year or 12 months from the last plan. Anyhow hopefully once your symptoms settle you may be able to look at some kind of therapy.

Good luck.

Edit: it may be helpful if your specialist/surgeon can give you something - just a scribbled note on their letterhead - recommending the treatment/s for which you are seeking a care plan.
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Mechanic-AL » Tue 30 Jun, 2020 8:10 pm

Eremophila wrote:Wow, 6 weeks is a long time with no relief!.


Tell me about it :( :( :( :(

Interesting you keep mentioning clinical pilates and remedial massage. I made a point of asking about these after reading your replies and was told by the orthapaedic surgeon that these may give limited relief in the short term but they provide no long term benefits to a full recovery. A few people I've spoken to have expressed surprise that this was the advice I was given.
Do you think you get any long term benefits or not ?

Never thought Id say this but I cant wait for the first needle !!
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Eremophila » Tue 30 Jun, 2020 9:19 pm

I’m interested that your ortho mentioned full recovery. How does he see this happening?

Remedial massage can relieve the soft tissue pain and stiffness resulting from compressed nerves. Physiotherapy can address similar issues, my physio has provided me with stretches designed to stretch the nerves in my arm.

Pilates... how to explain. Can focus largely on core strength. Re-training muscles to work in a better way, some movements can be very subtle but it somehow works. My sessions have progressed to different and harder exercises, while some of the simplest still seem to provide relief. Sorry that’s a poor explanation, typing on iPad.

Long term benefits most certainly, as long as you keep it up. Like diet, exercise, any lifestyle factors. Recovery is ongoing and dependent upon continued input.

I’m very surprised that he would not encourage these avenues. Astonished actually. Different things work for different people, whether it’s swimming,yoga, whatever. As stated above, movement is the absolute key for me. And I’ve never had full recovery suggested. Only management.
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Mechanic-AL » Tue 30 Jun, 2020 9:53 pm

I guess I didnt question him enough but I just took it that a full recovery meant everything back where it was supposed to be, no residual pain or side effects and full strength and movement back to where it was. At least I'm hoping thats what he means !
To be honest it was a pretty quick question but when he didnt expand on the benefits of massage etc. I didnt really push the subject.
I can understand now from being in this situation how I have stopped doing certain movements ( using certain muscles ) because it triggers more pain.
I have always had a limited variety of stretches I do for 15 or 20 minutes everyday so I can appreciate where your coming from when you say physio and massage could help stretching things out and keeping different muscle groups moving. I've probably become a bit lazy/despondent being out of commission and should be doing more to help myself with regard to physio and massage. I hope I dont sound like a tight a#$@e but a few weeks ago I was haemorraging money dealing with this and when the Doc said massage etc was only a short term relief I was of the mind that it was just another thing to bleed the finances a bit more.

your advice has really been appreciated and I'll be sure to start looking into other ways to deal with this.

thanks
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Eremophila » Wed 04 Nov, 2020 8:41 pm

Mechanic-Al, wondering how you got on with the nerve-blocking injection? Be interested to hear of your progress.
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Mechanic-AL » Thu 05 Nov, 2020 6:44 pm

Hi there Eremo...

Well pretty much everything you said has come true ! When it comes to knowledge hindsight is by far the most valuable tool to be working with.

Nerve blocking ( cortisone ) injections did nothing except cause a nagging pain in my hip pocket which private health insurance did very little to alleviate :x

A friend of mine recommended a physio who had been treating him with good results. I saw her every week for 6 weeks and she put together a routine of stretches to do daily and looked at my working practises and posture and recomended a few changes.
Im not really sure just how much my body was fixing itself over a period of time or how much my physio routine was contributing but the end result was a very slow improvement. If I get a bit lazy on the stretches etc then I feel things staring to flare up again. The weirdest thing is my thumb.........From the last joint to the tip of my thumb has been hyper sensitive to temperature and feeling and has shown no sign of returning to normal regardless of how my neck is feeling. Not quite sure just what this is telling me ?

I asked the physio about a Care Plan but unfortunately they are only available for people who have had a condition for over 6 months which I hadnt at the time.

If this has taught me anything its that my body isnt made of Teflon and Carbon Fibre and if I want to continue living an active life then I need to start looking after it more as I grow older. I appreciate the advice you have offered me and hope that your experience has lead you to a place where you can manage your spinal issues to a point where there is little or no pain involved.

thanks again

Al
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sun 10 Jul, 2022 3:01 pm

Just thought I'd bump this as there has been a bit going on since the last post and it's obvious that there are quite a number of people in the bush walking community battling similar spine issues so hopefully my experience may help others in someway.

I have had some degree of pain/discomfort since January 2020 now. The worst of it being intense pins and needles radiating down my arm and hand. Strong enough to stop me in my tracks. After being diagnosed with posterior C5/6 bone spurs I have learnt that any activity requiring me to hold my arm out away from my body or having to tilt my head back would trigger this pain so I have learnt to avoid these movements and manage the pain to a degree. I have had regular visits to an osteopathy and have a stretching routine suggested to me by a physiotherapist. When things get out of hand I resort to painkillers prescribed to me by my GP.

But a couple of weeks ago the inevitable happened. The pain in my right arm (opposite side to the first episode) became agonizing to the point where booked an appointment with a neurosurgeon. More MRI's and X-rays revealed that the nerve impingement has become worse and now it has been recommended that I have an Anterior Cervical Discectomy. Basically surgery to create more space for the aggravated nerves to live in. When the procedure was explained to me in more detail my first reaction was to get up and run as it all sounded a bit grizzly but to be honest this has been dragging on for so long now I'm starting to look forward to getting it done.

My experience tells me that unless you have been diagnosed with something more complex than bone spurs and disc wear and tear then there isn't a need to spend a couple of years trying to manage it. Painkillers are evil and in my case osteo and physio treatment have only provided temporary relief. If surgery is an option I would suggest considering it sooner rather than later.

p.s. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has undergone an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and how it went for them.

AL
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby sandym » Sun 10 Jul, 2022 4:14 pm

My Mum had lumbar discectomy and got a lot better from it. As her problem nerve impingement was lumbar (not cervical like yours) her issues were legs. She went from being unable to walk more than about a street block to 18 km on hiking trails with a day pack, so had a very good result which lasted for about a decade. As she has osteoporosis, eventually her spine collapsed more and she got further problems but the surgery did give her an extra decade of activity.

My understanding, from going through with my Mum and also being in the health field myself is that generally the discectomy is not first line treatment as, with any surgical procedure, there are possible complications so medical management is usually tried before surgical intervention. YMMV.
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Re: Neck and Shoulders.

Postby Eremophila » Sun 10 Jul, 2022 5:15 pm

My partner had a lumbar discectomy around 6 years ago. Instant relief from a long-term issue.
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