General Question

gailcalled's avatar

If you have had bone spurs on cervical vertebrae (3 and 4), what treatment have you sought?

Asked by gailcalled (54456points) November 9th, 2012

Were they effective? Did you try PT and did that help? My bro-in-law is suffering and needs to make some decisions. He has severe numbness in one arm.

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7 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

C5-C6 for me. It was so bad when it started that I could barely raise my head. At the time, I had a two-year-old on the hoof, and chasing him when he took off down the street was pure agony. He’s 26 now.

Xrays, electrode tests, MRIs. Pills, PT, exercises, Lidocaine patches, ultrasound, cortisone injections, you name it. Everything short of surgery. Over those years, at least seven doctors in various capacities: primary care (3), neurologist (2), spine guy (1), orthopedist (1). Maybe others I’ve forgotten.

I haven’t had numbness, though. Just pain, pain, pain.

When surgery was the only option left, I gave up and said I’d manage this myself. The two things that have made the greatest difference are (a) heat (heating pad) and (b) judicious deployment of pillows and cushions large and small, mainly at night.

I don’t know what I’d do if I were experiencing numbness or other actual impairment. Maybe I’d capitulate and try the surgery. As long as it’s just pain, I do what works, ignore what doesn’t, and live with it.

And I’m better off now (in that respect) than I was when the trouble began.

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gailcalled's avatar

Thank you, @Jeruba. I will pass this on, FWIW.

VS's avatar

Just like @Jeruba I find that the only things effective at managing the pain, is heat and finding a position that doesn’t put too much pressure on my neck. Massage therapy is v-e-r-y effective at taking the tightness out but unfortunately it does not last long, I utilized chiropractic care for a short while but like the massage therapy, it was only effective for short periods of time. Good luck to your bro-in-law – I hope he can find some relief. Back and neck pain can be so debilitating and so very difficult to get an accurate diagnosis.

gailcalled's avatar

@VS: Where was your neck pain?

Was surgery suggested and did you reject the idea?

Jeruba's avatar

Concurring with @VS, I should have mentioned that although physical therapy did give very effective relief, it lasted only about 45 minutes after the end of a session. The break was nice, but it wasn’t worth it in terms of the out-of-pocket cost after insurance or the awkwardness of leaving work two hours early two or three times a week.

janbb's avatar

My SIL has found relief from something similar through botox injections after exploring other treatments.

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