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Cervical vertebrae problems - Dante and Chris were right

thebrick

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2 years ago, I posted a thread about problems I was having in my left bicep. Without explanation my strength suddenly dropped in that bicep. Dante and Mainevent posted that it sounded like a disc/nerve impingement issue. At that time and at Dante’s suggestion, I changed my habit of using 2 pillows under my head and slept in a more flat position. I also did a program of neck stretching. The problem seemingly vanished as fast as it came.

The problem came roaring back in a big way right before Christmas. After a period of heavy training through the fall and winter and the next day after a heavy shoulder/shrug workout, I woke up with acute neck pain. The pain radiated down my neck into my left trap and into my left arm. I had tingling, numbness, even down to my finger tips and bicep weakness. My left forearm and hand/fingers felt almost half asleep at times. I could not get comfortable day or night. I tried ART with my chiropractor. That helped the pain somewhat but the pain wasn’t getting better very quickly. I was also concerned with the obvious nerve issues in that arm.

I went to a group of sports ortho doctors I have been going to for many years. I saw the doc that specializes in spine and cervical issues. Well, after x-rays and an MRI the diagnosis is in… I have cervical bone spurs on C4, C5 and C6 and they are irritating and inflaming nerves. There are no herniated discs, but there is some degeneration. Nerve with bone contact is not a good combination. He put me on a strong NSAID and a med to help with nerve inflammation. My pain is 95% better. The numbness and tingleing is also better. I still have significant left bicep weakness. I start my PT this week. I did get the green light to go to the gym and do certain things. You will understand that after being away from the gym 3 weeks, that helps my sanity.

Hopefully I will continue to improve and the PT does the trick because I do not want those 3 vertebrae fused. That would be the last solution if nothing else works and the situation deteriorates. My doctor did tell me that the outcome on this particular operation is consistantly good.

From my research, it seems these bones spurs tend to happen over time with age, injury or as a result of stresses the bone has incurred. I cannot help but think that the heavy stresses and demands I have put on my spine after 30+ years of lifting (especially all the deads, shrugs, etc.) has contributed to the process in my case. When I get past this and back to the gym full time, a major overhaul of my training methods is way overdue.

Roll with it Brick. Not the first time.
 

concreteguy

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Sucks

I'm sorry to hear this! Hopefully you can just work through this.
What I can tell you is the wife of the gym I go to is a former BB Miss America and had three fused in her back. She now continues to train and rides a motorcycle half the year. She has stiffness but not pain.
But for now let's hope you don't go that way.

CG
 

IRON37

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Im glad to hear you seem to be well on the road to recovery. Hopefully after all of this you will be much better off and with alot less pain. We never really think about our spines until were smacked in the face one day with pain or immobility.

I messed up my lumbar spine area a few years ago and I could barely lean down enough to tie my shoes without horrible pain. They mentioned fusing mine too but I got lucky and just wore a goofy looking full torso plastic brace a couple months lol. No problems since (knock on wood)
 

jmwhitt

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re

It is scary when stuff like this happens, hope it gets better!

I had some of the same stuff with neck pain, tingling and numbness down my Left arm.

Went to a Chiro and it has helped immensely. I have Arthritis in my back per the x-ray and it is familial so not unexpected.

But also, I have been on and off Prozac for anxiety for about 20 years and had been reading about how the Fluoride molecule interferes with bones and spinal ligaments, etc. Went off the Prozac and my neck has slowly gotten even better, so I do think that Prozac or Fluoridated water can interfere with bones.

Take care!
 

Amazon Doll

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My left arm is still an inch smaller than my right arm due to nerve damage from an impingement, so I feel your pain.

What will the Doc do if the bone spur gets worse.....surgery?
 

thebrick

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My left arm is still an inch smaller than my right arm due to nerve damage from an impingement, so I feel your pain.

What will the Doc do if the bone spur gets worse.....surgery?
AD, right now the plan is to do physical therapy for a month and see how i respond. He made it sound like we would do the sugery only if things get worse, not better, especially if the muscle weakness gets worse. He did seem encouraged that the pain was better and I still have good nerve reflexes on that side. They put me on 6 days of prednisone. That helped a lot. I was WIRED on that stuff though :p I felt like I could have painted the house at 2:00 AM
 

Stump

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My left arm is still an inch smaller than my right arm due to nerve damage from an impingement, so I feel your pain.
Mine is exactly the same due to a pinched nerve...I had surgery back in August and it seems to have helped. Brick hope all works out for you. :)
 

LEX

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Brick,

those surgery's have great outcomes The recovery isn't as bad as you think. If you have to have it done don't worry you will be back...good luck to you.
 

jetset

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Hey bro, a guy I work with had the same problem and went the surgery route with great results. I really hope the PT works for you. Hope you heal up soon.
 

thebrick

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I appreciate the encouraging words everyone. Yeah, right now, I am focused on the PT for the next month, but if it comes to needing the surgery, I'll do it. My doctor told me my PT guy is a lifter as well, so he will understand my mindset. We'll see what he has me do to correct this, hopefully with good results.
 

thebrick

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BTW, my wife told me this AM, that a friend of hers told her that her bother and law had this exact same problem and had the surgery done with excellent result… and he is 70. But like I said, a non-surgical option is preferred in my book.

I told my training partner the other day that if they found bone spurs in just the part of my neck they scanned, Hell, I could have bone spurs all the way down my spine to my butt for all I know after all these years in the gym. Maybe I should just have my entire spine fused. LOL
 

MarBaSxx

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I have the same thing going on with me...it comes and goes though...im 26
 

richiec

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Brick

Did you sleep on your back or on your shoulder? I remember reading this a while back but can't remember if you said. If you did sleep on your shoulder, and that was causing the pinching/impingement, could you have slept on your back to improve or would it not have mattered? I only ask because I LOVE sleeping with multiple pillows
 

thebrick

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Did you sleep on your back or on your shoulder? I remember reading this a while back but can't remember if you said. If you did sleep on your shoulder, and that was causing the pinching/impingement, could you have slept on your back to improve or would it not have mattered? I only ask because I LOVE sleeping with multiple pillows
Both. My PT told me this week that sleeping on your side you want to keep your head level so 2 pillows is OK since most here are wide through the shoulders. However, in the night, I flip over on my back and 2 pillows is terrible because of the position your neck is in at that point. In that case, to keep your head and neck in alignment, either no pillow or a very low pillow is preferred.
 

richiec

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Thanks, I wouldn't want to go through that man, sounds like it was pretty bad
 

msforr75

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I too have major neck and back issues. It started 10yrs ago at the age of 25. X-rays and MRIs found I had 3 cervical and 3 thoracic herniations. After years of being prescribed NSAIDS with little relief, I finally found a good Neurologist since my neck pain was causing migraines. She started giving me Botox injections in my neck and traps every 6mos. I have not had a migraine since and my neck feels great. I do occasionally go 9mos if I feel my muscles atrophy too much. Turns out my issue wasn't from injury as I just tested positive for HLA-B27 which caused my Akylosing Spondylitis. Akylosing Spondylitis causes inflammation and occasional infections. I just recently got an eye infection called an Iritis which is extremely painful and took Prednisone to clear up, not fun. I also just started taking Serrapeptase which really helped. Sorry to get off track, but in the end, the Botox and Serrapeptase are something I think would really help anyone with neck or back pain. This combo will likely extend my needing surgery for many, many years. And if you have back pain especially when you wake up, you might want to get a blood test to see if you are HLA-B27 positive. It's very common.
 
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doctorwest

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Unfortuantely this is a progressive, degenerative condition that typically worsens over time. You just have to be smart at this point and see how the battle goes. You may find that surgery changes your life if you end up in a pain management situation. If weakness recurs and/or worsens, that would be your motivator to move forward. Sorry to hear about your status. Keep us posted and we hope you recover and have a lot of healthy lifting years ahead!
 

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