Neck and spine arthritis

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Just an update on my circumstances. I have seen the Physio and he has given me some exercises to do for at least 10 weeks. They are 5 strength building exercises which have been proven to improve neck pain in women from a Danish study on a small group of women all under 60 although I am 75 so not sure what that might mean in terms of being effective. I have to do 3 of 5 exercises 3 days a week. You are supposed to change the exercises so you cover all five but 2 of them I cannot do. So I have just finished week 1 and so early days and I am finding them quite hard and painful. I thought I would do my other exercises on the days in between. My problem is that afterwards the pain is bad so hard to do anything and I always seem to make dinner in pain. I only now go out if I really need to. I went out to town this morning as I needed to buy a Birthday gift but came home as soon as I could because of the pain where normally I would be out 3/4 hours have lunch out etc. It's not fair on my husband either. I do not tolerate pain very well and it is getting me down I cannot go out like I used to once I start moving around like housework or going out walking the pain becomes unbearable. I take regular paracetamol and use Dicofenac gel. I have thought about going back to gp for something stronger but I cannot take many medications because of side effects. Just thought I would update you I am beginning to think I will be like this forever and I cannot stand the pain. At night it is not too bad as I am laying down not that I sleep well which maybe part of the problem. Thanks for reading this and sorry for the rant.

Comments

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 540
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    Hi @Liberally13

    I have suffered with neck issues since 2007 in one form or another and eventually had a C6/7 Foramenotomy last week which appears to have eased the problem. I had pins and needles down my left arm to the extent it felt like holding a bag of marbles and squeezing that bag until it broke. My neck also felt like it was full of gravel every time I tried to turn it. The space where the nerve went through my spine was reduced and my surgeon has increased this space.

    It's still early days but I am hopeful.

    I was originally scheduled for an ACDF in September 2019 but days before the surgery the surgeon I had at the time discovered that my vertebral artery was in the wrong place so I was referred over to the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford who perforced the Foramenotomy through my back just to the left of my spine between C6/C7. This area was decided on through many CT scans to pinpoint the right area.

    I would be very careful of using Dicofenac Gel on your neck - some of these specically say not to be used on the neck. My method of choice was a wheat bag, and a gadget like a collar that heated and massaged my neck. The best exercises to do for me were moving my head from side to side, up and down and head rotations. I can't take anti inflammatories so my choices were limited but these worked for me - I also have a heated 'cape' that I plug in and can sit with it on and adjust the heat as needed.

    I do feel your pain and know what you're going through - I hope you manage to get some respite. Don't let the Physio's fob you off if you're not feeling any benefit - they may suggest a referral to a pain clinic and they were only interested in prescribing more pills that left me feeling likea zombie. After the 2nd referral to the pain clinic I said no, no more, I want to see a surgeon.

    Love n hugs

    Trish xx

  • Liberally13
    Liberally13 Member Posts: 39
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    Trish9556 Thank you for your reply and kind words. I have looked on the patient leaflet about Voltorol Emugel 1.6 and it does not mention anything about not using on the neck. Do you know why they say not to be used on the neck.

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 540
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    I think it's because of arteries and stuff. The advice to me goes back to 2007 so they may have changed it since then.

    Trish

  • Liberally13
    Liberally13 Member Posts: 39
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    Trish9556 Thank you for your reply. I googled it with mixed results some say its fine to use on neck and others say that the joints of the cervical spine and shoulders are too deep for gel to penetrate. Maybe that is why it is not working that well at least up till now. I do know that Ibuprofen gel worked well on my thumb joint a while back.