Anyone with OA in their neck?

JenniferB27
JenniferB27 Member Posts: 74
edited 16. Jun 2017, 06:34 in Living with Arthritis archive
I've already got OA in my knees and thumbs, have had terrible pain in my neck the last 2 weeks and doc says it's probably a trapped nerve and referred me to physio. Physio says it could well be OA! Great just wondering if anyone has this in their neck and what the symptoms are and any good remedies as I don't know how long I can go on like this 😞

Comments

  • Sue
    Sue Member Posts: 40
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jennifer, you have my sympathy!
    I have just been diagnosed with OA in my neck and it's awful. I too felt like it was a trapped nerve. The muscles in my neck and shoulders are very tight and sore. Sleeping is nearly impossible.
    I had an x ray done which confirmed the damage in my neck. As this was only a week ago I too am looking for help and advice.

    I hope someone can help us.
    X
  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,086
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am sorry you are both suffering with your necks Jennifer and Sue. There are plenty of people who have Osteoarthritis in their necks who use the forum, but for now maybe this will help:

    https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/do-i-have-arthritis/publications/448-osteoarthritis-of-the-neck

    and this too:

    https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/do-i-have-arthritis/a-z-of-types/61-neck-pain

    I also suffer with cervical spondylosis myself so you both have my sympathy.

    Best wishes

    Ellen
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have OA in my neck. Some discs are narrowed (degenerative disc Disease) and some are bulging (spondylolisthesis). It causes me a lot of pain and variable neck movement, especially side to side movement which is problematic for driving. I've found that heat packs are good for pain relief. I also get a lot of relief from my mini TENS machine. I use it most nights and it eases my muscle strain. A good pillow is a must. I have a bamboo one, it wasn't cheap but totally worth it. Don't fall asleep on the sofa if you can avoid it, I always end up suffering for days after.

    I have much sympathy, neck pain is very debilitating.
  • bubbles
    bubbles Member Posts: 6,508
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jennifer and Sue,
    Yes, I can offer many sympathies, along with Starburst, neck OA is unpleasant to say the very least. I had mine diagnosed many years back now, spondylosis, osteophytes, bone spurs. I won't to through all the symptoms, as that would be unfair and they do vary from person to person.
    I take a range of pain relief, in strong doses, but that covers OA in various joints etc.
    A good pillow is a must, try and avoid the bargain ones. Something that keeps your neck in alignment is the best bet. Topical creams and gels, to ease inflamation can help, but they cannot perform the miracles that we see on the adverts.
    Arnica gel is something I always have in stock, SBC do one of the best ones, in litre pump dispensers. You can apply that as many times as you like.

    Best to get a confirmed diagnosis Jennifer, simple x rays can show OA in the neck quite clearly.

    Gentle movements, nothing too sudden and falling asleep while you are sat up is a big no no.

    Take care and I hope you are able to manage things with the Physio, GP and any medicines etc. Aidan
    XX Aidan (still known as Bubbles).
  • Sue
    Sue Member Posts: 40
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for your replies and advice. Much appreciated.

    Do you think I should be referred to a specialist? My GP hasn't referred me because he says that they wouldn't be able to do anything.

    Having a suitable pillow makes sense. The nights are truely awful! Can you recommend a web site to buy one from and what sort is best?

    Thanks again,
    Sue
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, I have OA in my neck (C4-C6). I also have a prolapsed disc in that area, spinal cord is narrowed there and when the prolapse moves it pushes on the nerve leading down my right arm. That gives me a lot of nerve pain, numbness, pins and needles.

    I've had several lots of physio on my neck and have been told that when I get the nerve pain/numbness again in the future my GP must refer me back to the physio urgently so the nerve can be released again.

    I've been "banned" from looking up for any length of time (so I'll never be able to star-gaze!), and have been told to keep my neck moving gently as much as possible. Surgery for me on this isn't an option as it's too risky, so I've had to learn to live with it.

    Ask for physio and do the exercises. I agree with the others that a supportive pillow is a must.

    I had an MRI which showed the disc prolapse and confirmed what was going on with me. I have to say I also have OA lumbar spine (L3-L6) with again prolapsed disc, facet joint damage and degenerative disc disease there. In addition, I have OA left ankle, and have 2 knee replacements (the most recent was 7 weeks ago). So as you can see I, like many others on here, have OA in a multitude of places.

    Good luck with the physio, hope it helps. Oh, and welcome to the Forum!

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have cervical spondylosis C4 to C7 originally and now also C7-T1 and I also had two prolapsed discs and as physio had no effect and my symptons were getting worse I ended up having surgery three years ago to remove the two discs and fuse the linked vertabrae. This is very much a last resort treatment and was due to the fact I had other symptons. You have been given lots of good advice, and a good place to start is with physio.

    Hope the combination of physio, pain relief and the advice you have been given helps.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • JenniferB27
    JenniferB27 Member Posts: 74
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you so much for the replies and great advice. I have had physio and sports massages but nothing seems to be helping at present. I will have to go back to docs and ask them to investigate further. I am concerned that this awful condition which affects so many people seems to be taken from granted by medical professionals who just refer you to physio and give pain killers. I feel like a burden to my GPS since being diagnosed this year with OA in bother knees and thumbs. Am I to go back everytime I get pain elsewhere? I need to get this sorted as I am in a very stressful and quite physical job I am only 45 but feel like this is taking over my whole body and mind lol. X
  • Stravinsky
    Stravinsky Member Posts: 8
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have a tempur support pillow (pillows were mentioned earlier in the thread) which I hoped would help with artritis in my neck, but instead I always wake up with a headache in the morning. Usually it goes within half an hour, but sometimes I can be stuck with it for days.

    The tempur pillow is curved, so that a raised section fits between your shoulder and head to support, but when recently away I found that a thicker non "sculpted" pillow allowed me to wake without the headache.

    Anyone have any recommendations for good support pilows?
  • JenniferB27
    JenniferB27 Member Posts: 74
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have been thinking about pillows too as physio said I had to get rid of my 2 fluffy ones 🙈. Will do some research x
  • Sue
    Sue Member Posts: 40
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am still on the hunt for the perfect pillow when you have OA in your neck.

    Please do let me know if anyone finds it.


    Thanks.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,270
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have a good tempur shaped pillow which goes everywhere with me. Right now we're in California. It takes up a lot of suitcase but it's worth it.

    Tempur shaped pillows should be used with the thick side at the bottom for side aleepers and the thin side at the bottom for back sleepers. If your , mattress is old and unsupportive the pollow will not be efficient. It's recommended we change our mattresses about every 10-12 years.

    Having arthritis is expensive :wink:
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • TrishaW
    TrishaW Member Posts: 121
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've had OA in my neck for nearly 20 years and have managed it quite well considering how painfiul it used to be. My first serious episode was when I tried swimming 'bad' breaststroke and ended up trapping my spinal cord in the bony spurs on my vertebrae. I had altered sensation and weak legs for months but recovered with rest. That gave me the wake up call to really look after my neck.
    I have used a Harley Designer memory foam neck pillow ever since...I'm on my forth one. I take it everywhere with me...on holiday etc it's my most important item! I also try to lie down rather than sit when watching tv, and have the tv at the right height at the end of the sofa so I don't have to twist my neck/look up. If I see a show/go to the cinema I always book a seat at the back in the middle so I can look straight ahead. I avoid looking up at ceilings in castles etc (this would make me dizzy too) and always sit with friends directly in front of me so I don't turn to the side. When my neck aches I lie down with a microwavable wheat pack round it or an ice pack. I only use a cross body handbag and wear light weight jackets (nothing heavy round the shoulders) If I take care on my neck it's not too painful (it's much better than it was years ago) If the muscles are tight and tense I see an osteopath for massage (never manipulation). I also do very gentle neck movements myself that my physio taught me. Be very careful that over zealous physios/osteopaths don't try and manipulate your neck. Keep it in a neutral position as much as possible and try the pillow! Good luck!
  • smartieclarky
    smartieclarky Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I really understand where you are all coming from. I am off work with awful pain in my neck and shoulder. I'm having to move my head with my hands when I am in bed. I have resorted to using my Morphine that I keep for emergencies. I am very limited what pain relief I can take but although the Morphine makes me fell sick it is better than the pain. I find sleeping a problem anyway but when I have a flare up it's virtually impossible. I have been referred to Rheumatology in two weeks time but was going there years ago until they said there was no more they could do. I'm hopeful there may be something new I can try.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,270
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there and welcome. I'm sorry to hear your neck is so bad right now but, unless your diagnosis has changed, I don't really see how a rheumatologist can help now if they couldn't previously. I assume your previous diagnosis was OA? Was there any suggestion that you might have an inflammatory type of arthritis? Have you tried physio and relaxation techniques? Either might help. https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/living-with-arthritis
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • smartieclarky
    smartieclarky Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there and welcome. I'm sorry to hear your neck is so bad right now but, unless your diagnosis has changed, I don't really see how a rheumatologist can help now if they couldn't previously. I assume your previous diagnosis was OA? Was there any suggestion that you might have an inflammatory type of arthritis? Have you tried physio and relaxation techniques? Either might help. https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/living-with-arthritis

    Hi.
    Yes I have OA in my neck , knees and wrists. They said I have cervical spondylosis with spurs. I also get gout in my wrist. I'm 61 now but have been like this since my early 50's and I have had physio and relaxation classes.I can't take anti inflammatories as I had a stomach bleed from taking them years ago. When they gave me Morphine for the Gout it was a great relief but I don't abuse it.
    Kathy x
  • JenniferB27
    JenniferB27 Member Posts: 74
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there and welcome. I'm sorry to hear your neck is so bad right now but, unless your diagnosis has changed, I don't really see how a rheumatologist can help now if they couldn't previously. I assume your previous diagnosis was OA? Was there any suggestion that you might have an inflammatory type of arthritis? Have you tried physio and relaxation techniques? Either might help. https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/living-with-arthritis
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,270
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    There are lots of us who can't do NSAIDS. I guess it's a pity but we're better off without them.

    If you have gout there must be a question mark over whether or not your arthritis is inflammatory which will be why the rheumatologist is seeing you again.

    Do you have a good mattress and pillow? These can help. I also have a neck support for emergency use only (as they encouragemuscle wastage which is not helpful).

    I assume the physio / relaxation don't help. Do they actually make it worse? I ask because I only do my neck exercises to maintain what little movement I have not to make anything better - alas :roll:
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran