osteoarthritis in neck symptoms

Annie324
Annie324 Member Posts: 6
edited 8. Apr 2017, 13:01 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi everyone,
I've recently been diagnosed with early stages of neck osteoarthritis and some wear and tear on spine. My pain started between my shoulder blades then my shoulders and now my neck. I have had neck pain for about 3 months. My ears are affected and I have some tinnitus but it is bearable. I can hear my neck crunching when I turn it. I have been given neck exercises to do but they don't seem to be helping much. I seem to be getting more headaches recently, muzzy head, sort of dizzy but more like migraine symptoms, something that I am familiar with. My rhuematologist said it us very early stages, I dread to think of it getting worse than it is now. I have no further appointments with her, just with physio. I guess I just need reassurance that these feelings are normal. I get good and bad days but already it prevents me from carrying on with my usual routine. I have an elderly mother dependent on me but she appears healthier than me at the moment. Any advice would be welcome. Thank you for listening.

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,219
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome.

    It's not just the diagnosis, is ir? At first there are so many worries and fears that come with it, Unfortunately there is no way of predicting how quickly or slowly things might progress. We can only eat semsibly, exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. That will help.

    I've had rheumatoid arthritis for 56 years. Back then there were no decent drugs so it progressed and osteoarthritis set in too. I have little movement in my neck now but virtually no pain.

    If the rheumatologist doesn't want to see you again presumably you have OA, which is treated by GPs. Physio is important for maintaining range of movement even if we don't recover any however necks are tricky areas so do tell your physio of the other problems you are experiencing as these may or may not be connected with the OA.

    With OA in neck and back do ensure you have a good mattress and pillow. I wouldn't be without my shaped memory foam pillow but they don't do for everyone. It's a bit of a steep learning curve, I'm afraid.
  • Annie324
    Annie324 Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello,
    Thankyou for replying and for your thoughts. Firstly I am very sorry to hear that you have suffered RA for a very long time and now OA. To have one is bad enough I'm sure. I did tell the rhuematologist and physiotherapist about the symptoms I am getting, they said it was muscle spasms in my neck and weak muscles. I thought my symptoms would have eased a little after exercising but my headaches are still there. Perhaps I am overexercising. I am the type of person who worries about health issues and I always have nagging doubts. I just wondered if anyone else out there is getting the same issues, if so I would love to hear from you. Talking to someone with the same symptoms would be very reassuring to me. I suppose that is why we are all posting, for reassurance and for sharing. I do wish you all the very best and thankyou again for your thoughts. Take care.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, like Sticky I too have a creaky foot in both camps. My rheumatologist ignores the OA and my GP the psoriatic arthritis. My neck is becoming an increasing problem but whether that's the OA on the march or not I don't know. I use a rollator for walking at length (i.e. more than ten minutes) and have to remind myself every now and again not to hunch my shoulders - I think that's a natural reaction to pain. My neck crunches from time to time, and it can ache (as do my shoulders) but that I put down to holding myself somewhat rigidly thanks to pain everywhere else. I wake up in the night with my chin pointing at the ceiling and my jaw very tight - I have no idea why I sleep like that! I have a regular sports massage on my neck and shoulders to knead away the build-up of toxins from the muscles and, despite causing more pain, it does help.

    Wheat bags can ease any aches and pains, likewise wearing scarves to keep the area warm; this helps the muscles relax. We may do exercises and feel that there is no benefit but, from experience, I know that if I don't do them for a week or so I rapidly lose my ROM in the affected joints (range of movement). They are about preserving movement, muscle strength and flexibility so they better support the affected joints. Backs and necks are tricky areas because they are key to all movement, I count myself very fortunate in that, at the moment, mine is OK but I don't take that for granted. After 20 years I know that arthritis is full of surprises, none of them pleasant! DD
  • Annie324
    Annie324 Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi DD,
    Thank you too for replying. I'm sorry you too are suffering from both these forms of arthritis. When I realise how others are suffering so badly I feel ashamed of moaning. I probably brought it on myself through work, stooped over a computer and not taking proper breaks. I also have bad posture, tend to have round shoulders. I hadn't realised how bad until the physio made me hold my shoulders back to do exercises and I felt the pull.
    Thanks for your advice on wheat bags, strangely enough I bought one as a Christmas present for someone but ended up giving them something else. It must have been fate because I didn't think I'd be needing it myself then. It does ease my neck for sure. I am also going to pay more attention to my exercises. I overthink things and constantly worry about everything and everyone. It was interesting you mentioned hunching your shoulders and not realising it. As you mentioned with your jaw tightening up in bed, sometimes I lie in bed and feel my shoulders tensed up, when I become conscious of this I relax them and what a difference it makes. You'd think in bed you'd be totally relaxed but I am obviously not. Well thank you once more for replying, I hope we chat again. My best wishes to you. Take care.
  • Annie324
    Annie324 Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Grace
    I replied to your post yesterday but it doesn't seem to have gone through. Thank you for replying, so sorry you have those awful symptoms. I can hear my neck crunching when I turn my head but it's obviously not as severe as yours, no fusion. The headaches and muzziness are the worst symptoms for me probably caused by forward head posture, sitting at a computer all day long. Not being able to do some of the things I normally do is disappointing. I am going to ask my GP for some stronger pain killers as I am only taking anadin extra. A heated cape sounds like a good idea,I had not heard of those.
    Well,upwards and onwards as they say, there are millions worse off than me. Hope to chat again, take care :)