Has anyone heard of arthritis in the neck ?

I have had this condition for 4 months like Occipital Neuralgia but the doctor is not sure so has made a referal to Othopedics. I had 3 sessions of Physio he mentioned since i had Arthritis in my knee and other places it could be in my neck.

Has anyone heard of this or have they got it ?

Comments

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I have widespread OA which includes OA in my neck as well as a detached disc. I can hear my vertebrae grinding against each other when I move my neck, it frequently "locks" and I get an almighty crack when I move my neck to release it. I have had x-rays and MRIs which have confirmed the OA and that it is getting worse; I was referred to a Neurosurgeon 10 years ago who refused to operate on the grounds that there was too great a risk of paralysis! Although I have heard of someone who had a similar operation privately and was back to normal in a few weeks! I last saw my GP about it 2 years ago now but he was not that interested, sent me for an x-ray which just confirmed further degradation; as I was discharged by the Pain Clinic several years ago with the words "there is nothing else we can do for you" ringing in my ears and the Neurosurgeon will not do anything there is nowhere else for me to go. Even Physios have said that there is nothing they can do for me and I cannot exercise as I am too far gone. I normally sit in my recliner all day so my head is supported and when not I wear a cervical collar. Sleeping is an absolute nightmare as it is difficult getting comfortable and I wake up after 2 - 3 hours screaming in pain so I get up, make a brew, sit in my recliner and so begins another day. Luckily I have OA everywhere else (except my hips for some strange reason - at least not yet) to take my mind off my neck! I have an electric wheelchair to get around and a mobility scooter for some fresh air, other than that I am housebound as the DVLA withdrew my licence on disability grounds. At least I have my cat to keep me company, and the TV obviously. They say that pain is the body's way of letting you know that you are alive so that's all right then!!

  • George
    George Member Posts: 9

    How absolutley awful for you, to have to live with that pain ! You are keeping yourself going and doing what you can to keep sane. It's very lonely for you as well.. i sometimes think if someone cant physically see your pain and what your going through they don't understand and they don't think there's a problem, apart from thinking you are over reacting ! Have you found this group a great support ? I have only just joined but really hopeful it will help. Pets are a great comfort... i have a cat and she helps me stay sane or not as the case maybe 🙃

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 393

    Hi George yes I have it in my neck and spine horrible headaches

    take care

    Jona 💪

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    Have you found this group a great support ? 

    Hi George, yes, I get on here 3 or 4 times a day; not necessarily for support but it is a form of company and I like helping or advising people where I can.

  • George
    George Member Posts: 9

    Hi Mike i totally understand that, before i knew this group existed i would often feel alone with it all as no one really understood or wanted to. I would like to bring a 😊 to someones day.

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 510

    Mike has given a clear idea to you about the neck region and its problems, basically the top seven vertebrae are classified as the ‘cervical ’ region, twixt skull and thoracic areas. There is no reason why there can’t be OA there, it usually happens where the spine moves the most, cervicle, lower thoracic, lumbar and sacral to generalise.

    As with other joints, warmth, analgesic creams, painkillers, some exercise will help. Read and search the topics on here, twisting is usually to be avoided. I get a feeling as though my head has been disconnected if I lean my head forward, not very pleasant and I try to avoid it, just pressure on the spine. The physio gave me an exercise years ago which I use, stand or sit up straight, draw your chin towards your neck and try to stretch the muscles upwards, hold and let go doing a set of ten, it does relax the muscles and stops them knotting up to protect the area.

    its a grin, honest!

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    The physio gave me an exercise years ago which I use, stand or sit up straight, draw your chin towards your neck and try to stretch the muscles upwards, hold and let go doing a set of ten, it does relax the muscles and stops them knotting up to protect the area.

    I forgot to mention in my reply that I also have Degenerative Facet Joint Disease which means that the cartilage between the vertebrae has broken down and is probably now non-existent, as a result every Physio I have ever been referred to has said that they cannot help and have said not to exercise.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 27,467

    Take a look at this @George

    A long way down you'll find cervical spondylosis. Can have it with no apparent neck pain.

    Sorry about your vile headaches ((()))

  • Baz74
    Baz74 Member Posts: 5

    Hello Jona I also have it in my neck what sort of headpains do you get and were do they tend to be ?

    Barry

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 393

    Hi Barry, sorry not replied earlier my sister died last week so have just not felt able too, my headaches are mostly at the back of my head and sometimes at the front but I do have extreme tinnitus so it doesn’t help they’re more like a dull ache have had a couple of extreme like migraines.

    Do you get headaches?

    love Jona 😊

  • cummid1
    cummid1 Applicant2 Posts: 3

    Yes I do. I have been told it is called spondylosis, and I also have severe OA in my lower spine and knees and it is creeping into my feet and hands. I use voltarol and heat of any kind and that helps a bit. Light exercise can help me too. Take care.

  • Saltmarsh
    Saltmarsh Member Posts: 42

    If it's any small comfort to you, a friend suffered distressing neck pain, for which she couldn't wait for surgery. When she finally came back into circulation, she eventually & reluctantly confessed that she wished she'd never had it done. Even though there were no complications, she had seriously underestimated the post-operative process. Not many of us fully realise the sheer weight of the head.

    Hope this helps.

    I do sympathise with your pain. Good luck & best wishes.

  • crinkly
    crinkly Member Posts: 96

    I too am a veteran of widespread OA that includes my neck. One of the early signs was that I couldn't make overhead shots when playing badminton. The range of movement is (fortunately slowly) becoming more restricted and is accompanied by some 'interesting' sound effects.

    Over time I have adapted to this so 'bad neck and head days' are much less frequent than they were despite the condition being progressive. My main fear is that I may soon be unable to turn my head sufficiently for safe driving. I rely heavily on mirrors and positioning the vehicle as well as possible at junctions.

    I'm also very 'choosy' about where I sit in relation to the TV or to people with whom I am talking as I almost lost consciousness when watching a programme from the side. It took several minutes for the extreme dizziness to abate and was sufficiently scary to make me assertive about where I sit!

    In an effort to retain as much mobility as possible I exercise the neck and shoulder muscles within pain limits and sleep with one small pillow. To date this is keeping headaches to the minimum and avoiding surgery, which would be an absolute last resort for me.

    It isn't pleasant but I hope you. too, can learn to live with it and are able to make an informed decision about possible surgery if it is offered.

    Take care - Crinkly

  • George
    George Member Posts: 9

    Thankyou i am only at the stage of Othopedics at the moment and have a phone consoltation with them this week. Physio did not help at all but i am still doing the exercises. Not looking foward to going back to work on the 12th only reason being how i am able to cope with the neck ! Standing up all day on a till. Thankyou for your message 😊

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
    edited 26. Mar 2021, 17:49

    Crinkly wrote: " My main fear is that I may soon be unable to turn my head sufficiently for safe driving. I rely heavily on mirrors and positioning the vehicle as well as possible at junctions."

    A couple of years ago my GP stated that I had a legal responsibility to advise the DVLA of my medical conditions, including OA in my neck (and everywhere else); at that time I had already put a wider rear view mirror in my car and additional mirrors on the wing mirrors as I had trouble looking behind me. The DVLA withdrew my driving licence on disability grounds so now I am virtually housebound (except that I have a mobility scooter to get to the village shop!) as I had a Motability car with a hoist in the back for my wheelchair, and as I live alone I do not have a partner to drive me about. Regrettably the cat never mastered driving!!

  • Baz74
    Baz74 Member Posts: 5

    Sorry to hear about your sister. Yes they start in the back of the head and move across the head to the front, they are horrible. I have now been told its cervical Spondylosis I go for an MRI scan for my tinnitus in my left ear and the recent vertigo attack I had that is booked for 6th April...

  • crinkly
    crinkly Member Posts: 96

    I'm sure Mike was, in his post above, quoting me in order to introduce an important point about DVLA regulations but I would not want any impression that I am at all irresponsible to be implied. I would like to point out that it is my awareness of those requirements that makes me aware of the importance of adhering to the terms of insurance policies and the possibility of having to stop driving at some stage.

    If surrendering my driving licence becomes necessary I will similarly question my ability to control a power chair or mobility scooter safely in a public place. From his previous posts I understand that Mike had to stop driving because of chronic sleep deprivation but that he retains sufficient neck movement to use his scooter on pavements so his situation is different from mine.

    This is a really important issue for people with arthritis of any kind that affects their neck and Mike is correct in highlighting our responsibility and duty of care towards others.

    Enjoy your driving and the liberation afforded by mobility aids but keep others' well-being at the centre of your activity.

    Crinkly

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