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  • walkinonstatestreet
    Member
    Post count: 2

    Dr. Corenman,

    I’ve been in and out of the E.R. multiple times over the last few months. I’ve had an MRI and an X-ray, but they’ve found nothing out of the ordinary.
    There’s a tremendous amount of pressure in my neck, primarily on my right side right beneath the base of my skull. If you feel up my spine, the last cervical vertebrae you can feel (C3 or C4?) is a bit more than 5″ below the base of my skull. When I feel others’ necks it feels like it continues nearly all the way up. Could something in my MRI/X-Ray have been overlooked?

    I’ve been cracking my neck since I was in 4th grade to relieve stiffness. I’m 22 now.
    I’m on the computer all the time and have spent a lot of time looking up from lying down to see the screen at my feet. I can’t lay on my back for long periods without blacking out.

    Sometimes when I go to crack my neck, it doesn’t crack (although it feels like it’s about to) and it leaves me light headed, dizzy, confused, and makes my heart race sending me into a severe panic attack. This happens about once a week.

    Every visit to the E.R. reveals nothing. I’ve spoken to many doctors and they are perplexed by this, due to my MRI and X-ray being clean.

    Today I had an evaluation for physical therapy. The lady doing the evaluation told me my C1 was “stuck” and all of the other “C’s” were bothered as well. She told me as she prodded, “All of these muscles are very angry with you.” This doesn’t exactly tell me what’s wrong with my neck.

    Symptoms in order of severity:
    – Heavy Head
    – Pressure behind and under my right ear
    – Dizziness after prolonged sitting/standing
    – Difficulty looking up, down and right
    – Pulling along the right side of my neck
    – Blacking out when lying on back
    – Difficulty breathing/swallowing/speaking

    I’m currently unemployed and without insurance, so my resources are limited.

    Could you recommend a stretch/exercise for my neck in place of cracking it?

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8460

    Many of your symptoms fit with degenerative facet disease (arthritis) in the upper cervical spine. These facets can be difficult to diagnose on an X-ray or MRI and can be commonly missed by a radiologist. Be careful in taking the diagnosis of a therapist for a specific disorder. She might be able to tell you what she finds in the way of muscle spasm but that does not always translate to the discovery of the true disorder.

    If this looks to be facet arthrosis (arthritis but without the inflammation), facet blocks can yield diagnostic information. See the section under facet blocks on this website for more thorough explanation.

    Your lack of insurance will make diagnosis and treatment difficult. You can check with your local university to see if they treat indigent patients. You could apply for Medicaid.

    Dr. Corenman

    walkinonstatestreet
    Member
    Post count: 2

    Thank you for your insight. I just had my first actual physical therapy session. My therapist told me my c2 was twisted and my c1 was stuck to my skull. Would this be related to degenerative facet disease? I’ve read into a “NUCCA” treatment, would this be a viable option in alleviating some of the pain?

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8460

    If the therapy is gentile and gives you some relief, this combination is a winner. Any forceful ballistic therapeutic maneuvers can be somewhat dangerous.

    Dr. Corenman

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