Hello I'm new to this site need advice please

Grandmaof5 Member Posts: 3
edited 24. Jul 2015, 08:22 in Say Hello Archive
For almost 30 years I have been suffering from neck pains, after 6 years of being sent for different tests including one 'specialist' telling me I was too young/ imagining the pain/numbness/pins & needles and lack of strength in my arms and hands. I was finally diagnosed with damaged discs in my spine c5 & c6. No operation offered just pain relief which in itself caused other problems as I am sure most of you on strong pain meds know side effects that can happen. I managed in this time to lose 2 jobs because of this, and now after a severe spasm which happened at work in April I am back at the we don't know why your getting the pain syndrome (my description) the latest MRI shows discs bulging onto the spinal column. I've not been referred to a specialist the person I saw today was a spine physio. All the docs are doing is giving me strong meds that knock me off my feet I'm like a zombie/ plus other side effects.
By now I'm sure I'm boring you, am I wrong to go back to my doctor and demand to see a arthritis specialist? I just want an answer to what's causing this. Getting desperate now, pain etc is worse than ever was. Thanks for reading this .


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums Grandmaof5 from the moderation team

    As mods we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here with a wide range of experiences with arthritis and the problems of living with the condition. Just join in wherever you like you will be made very welcome.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    Best wishes

    Moderator JK
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,298
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello grandmaof5 and welcome from me, too.

    You are not boring me at all but I can see your frustration. I'm not quite sure who you've seen. In one place you write 'I've not been referred to a specialist' but earlier you wrote of 'one 'specialist' telling me I was too young/ imagining the pain/numbness/pins & needles and lack of strength in my arms and hands'. It sounds as if you might have seen either a neurologist or an orthopaedic surgeon.My own back's pretty good (I have RA and OA everywhere else) but, from what I've read on here, I get the impression surgeons are reluctant to operate on the spinal area, especially near the neck. In fact, when they do, it seems to be not so much to 'make things better' as to try to stop them getting worse.

    You ask 'am I wrong to go back to my doctor and demand to see a arthritis specialist?' I think I'd be inclined to ask if it would be worth my seeing one. From what you've said it sounds as if your arthritis (assuming that is the cause of your bulging discs) is osteo and rheumatologists don't deal with that, only with the auto-immune forms of arthritis.

    It is normally GPs who deal with OA until / unless surgery becomes an option and, yes, unfortunately, the treatment is usually just pain relief. There are other things we can all do for ourselvesand you can read of some of the ways here http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Selfmanagement You are quite right that heavy duty painkillers are an option of last resort. Many of us on here simply call them 'paindullers' as that's all they do and keep them to a minimum.

    As to what's causing it? That's a big question and even those of us who have a name for our disease (RA, OA, PsA, AS) rarely have any idea what caused it other than (for us auto-immuners) a bad-but-unknown combination of genetics and environment.

    I think you do need to chat to your GP though to ask if anything can be done about the discs, or to prevent things getting worse or if it would be worth your seeing a neurologist if you haven't already done so.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I wanted to acknowledge your post but, because I am battling with a bug and not feeling too good, this is a short reply. From what you have said I am wondering if OA is the culprit but, as I am not a doc, I cannot state that as a fact.

    I will return once I'm feeling brighter. DD
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,279
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome to the froum
    You certainly aren't boring us, sometimes all we need are proper answers..I also have 2 bulging disc ,but in my lumber ,and I have seen a neurologist and he offered to do an op, but at the moment i need to get my other hip replaced.and the op only has a 60% chance of success
    I would certainly ask your GP to refer you to a physio, see if they can help with that neck..exercise is very good for strengthening the muscle that support the neck..let us know how you get on.
  • Grandmaof5
    Grandmaof5 Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Than you for the replies I have received.
    Over the years this 'condition' as my doctor is calling it now has got me down. They mentioned years ago it was cervical spondylosis which on looking it up is a form of arthritis. At the moment my sick nots just say neck pain.
    Early on before they finally diagnosed damaged discs in my neck I have had numerous tests at numerous hospitals.
    I changed back to working in an office, have managed with the spinal headaches as and when they happen, and learnt to deal with the constant lack of use in my hands/arms/ etc.
    the spasm I had in April was the worst ever, pain shooting down my spine as well as up into my head and down my arms. After living so long with this I knew it was different.
    It's to kind of you all to listen to me. I don't feel so alone now.
    I plan to go and make an appointment today with my doctor. I have work occupational health phoning me again today for the outcome of my appointment yesterday, which the letter said was with a spine specialist but I had the spine physio instead, he wasn't very nice either. I just want the truth.
    Thank you all again.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,298
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    We are here to listen and support, grandmaof5 and we all understand the relentless grinding down of constant pain.

    I does sound as if it's OA but, even with a diagnosis of OA I can't see anything changing. You'll still just be taking pain meds.

    Please let us know how you get on.
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Grandmaof5,

    I`m sorry I can`t really help with your problem - I have RA plus some OA at the base of my spine. You must feel at the end of your tether, not getting any answers, and worrying about work issues too.

    I just wanted to welcome you to the forum, and hope you can get your problems resolved soon.