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  • Indianarose
    Post count: 6

    Hi Dr. Corenman,

    I’m having neck pain, shoulder pain, burning sensations, headaches, dizziness, off balance, vertigo (swaying rocking sensations), ringing in my ears (Bilateral Tinnitus), pins & needle sensations, electric shocks sensations I feel like they start from my head/neck area then travels on down my whole body.

    Is there anything you see in my MRI report that could be the reason for some if not all my symptoms?

    C3-C4: There is left posterolateral/lateral protrusion only mildly narrowing the neural foramen on axial T2*weighted Image #4

    C4-C5: The disc is moderately narrowed with minimal anterior intervertebral osteophyte formation, minimal bulge, and mild bilateral uncovertebral osteophytic neural foraminal narrowing.

    C5-C6: There is anterior discectomy with interbody fusion mass appearing united without ventral extrathecal defect.

    C6-C7: There is minimal central protrusion not approaching the ventral spinal cord on Image #18

    C7-T1: Unremarkable.


    1. C5-C6 anterior discectomy with interbody spondylodesis appearing satisfactory.

    2. Mild to Moderate C4-C5 chronic degenerative disc disease.

    3. Shallow left posterolateral C3-C4 protrusion.

    4. No definite neurocompressive lesion is identified

    I went to a ENT Doctor, I had a VNG test and all that showed up was that I have Left Hypofunction. Nothing else with my inner ear. My ENT Doctor also ordered the MRI of my neck for me at the same time I had an MRI of the temporal bones.

    Please help, I need advise on what to do next. Thanks

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8468

    You have three different types of symptoms that can originate from different sources.

    “Neck pain, shoulder pain, burning sensations, headaches” can originate from the neck itself. You have had a prior ACDF at C5-6 and degenerative changes both above and below. The two possibilities here could be lack of fusion of the C5-6 level (pseudoarthrosis) or pain from the degenerative changes at C4-5 or C6-7. Motion X-rays (flexion/extension views) can be valuable to diagnose a pseudoarthrosis but the gold standard for diagnosis is a CT scan.

    “Pins & needle sensations, electric shocks sensations I feel like they start from my head/neck area then travels on down my whole body” can occur from compression of the spinal cord but there is no evidence of cord compression based upon MRI report.

    “Dizziness, off balance, vertigo (swaying rocking sensations), ringing in my ears (Bilateral Tinnitus)” are not of cervical origin generally. There is however one diagnosis in which one of the vertebral arteries in the neck is narrowed or compressed and the blood flow is restricted to the base of the brain. This condition is very rare. I have looked for this diagnosis in at least 15 patients and have never found this disorder to be present.

    The next stop for you could be a neurologist.

    Dr. Corenman

    Post count: 6

    Dr. Corenman, Thank you for answering my post.

    Yes, I have a lot of symptoms going on now and it’s very frustrating not knowing where or who to turn to next to try and figure out what is wrong and how to fix me? I am a female age 54.

    A little of my health history if you don’t mind.

    In 1990, I saw my GP 3 times for right neck stiffness and right shoulder pain and each time I was given a steroid injection in my shoulder. The 4th time it happened it was for left neck stiffness and left shoulder pain. I got another shot and was sent to have a MRI of my neck.

    1990 MRI Findings: There is a slight narrowing of the C5-C6 Disc space. I was told nothing was wrong with this disc … (However, 5 years later this same disc ruptured)

    After that, I didn’t have any more neck or shoulder pain. It just went away.

    No major problems with my health until

    Aug. 1995: I had numbness & tingling in my right hand and forearm. I got a MRI which clearly showed that I had a ruptured disc at C5-6

    1995: I had a Ant. Disc Fusion at C5-6 using a donor bone.

    Then appox. 8 months later I started having all over body muscle pain and headaches. This is the beginning of my nightmare!!

    I went back to my Nero Surgeon to see if there was something wrong with the fusion I had or another disc gone bad. She didn’t find anything wrong. (I don’t have any of these records and she retired not long after my surgery)

    I went to several different type of Doctors.

    I was tested for MS – Normal, no findings on brain scan
    I was tested for Lyme Disease – Normal
    I was tested for Lupus – Normal

    Nothing explained my symptoms. So, I was dxd with Fibromyalgia.

    I did aqua pool therapy, myofashial release massage therapy, Tens Unit, Different kinds of med’s, cold packs, heating pads, walking, resting, I tried it all.

    In 1997 I went to the ER four different times with what felt like TIA attacks on the left side of my body. Each time no stroke showed up on any of the scans they ran on me.

    Then they just went away, I have not had anymore of those attacks to date.

    1998: I went to see another Nero surgeon I had another MRI of the C-Spine: The Doctors notes say … Decision Making: MRI shows a C5-6 fusion, decreased foramina on the right. My suspicion is that she has an incomplete fusion. I believe there is some micro motion at the fusion site, which might explain here neck pain with her head unsupported for any length of time. She may have some slippage here which causes nerve root compression and the shock-like sensations. 

    If I remember correctly I did have x-rays done of my neck but the x-rays didn’t show any slippage of my C5-6 fusion. So nothing was done. I just kept going with pain med’s, muscle relaxers to keep me going and working.

    *** Note: Much later after my fusion healing time, I’ve always been able pinch the front of my neck and move that donor bone at C5-6 in my neck on the right side only with my fingers and it rubs bone to bone, I can hear the bones rubbing together it in my head when I do this too. I didn’t try to move it before I thought was plenty of healing time like probably a year afterwards. I can also hear lots of cracking in the back of my neck when I move it from side to side. I’ve told several Doctors this but they have all said it’s normal to be able to move your neck bones around and to hear a crackling neck. ***

    Feb 2001 I’m once again in extreme pain!

    Muscle pain, headaches, mostly cervical neck and upper trap’s area of my shoulders pain.

    My GP sends me to a pain clinic. I had 3 Cervical Epidural Injections done. The 1st one lasted about 2 weeks, the 2nd and 3rd only a few days each. With 200.00 co-pays for each time I had one I just couldn’t afford to have anymore besides they wasn’t working for me anyway.

    After that, the pain Doctor put me on the Duragesic Fentanyl Transdemal pain patch. I started off on the 50 mcg changing it every 3 days. When they didn’t work anymore I was changed to the 75 mcg changing it every 2 days. Was ok for awhile but the pain got really bad again and was switched to the 100 mcg changing it every 2 days. Then believe it or not with that much pain med’s my pain was getting worse again. There was no way I would be able to go higher than what I was on without overdosing.

    I was a total Zombie. Finally, I ran across something that was called Re-Bound Pain. I read as much as I could about re-bound pain from pain-killers and was astounded. All I had asked my GP for was 1 more vicodine a day to get me through so I could continue to work but he wouldn’t go for it and sent me to that pain clinic. What a mess it turned out to be.

    I asked my pain mgmt. Doctor to take me off of the pain patch but he took me off way too fast. After being on them for 2 years I see now that I should have been down dosed much slower. His down dosage took me from the 100 mcg pain patch every 2 days to off completely within 3 weeks.

    Aug. 2003 I was in the hospital in severe withdrawals. They put me on IV with delodid I think but couldn’t be in the hospital forever they down dosed me until the vomiting stopped which was about a week and sent me home. I was in withdrawals for months.

    2009: Found I have acid reflux disease, Gerd, and diverticurlos,

    2009: I had lower back surgery at L5-S1 not fused just shaved the disc. Surgery went well. Haven’t had any problems with lower back since then.

    2009 & 2010: Had lots of teeth work done. Found periodontal gum disease.

    2010: I had a major heart attack in the left main Coronary Artery. I Had to have 2 stints placed in the artery it was 90% blocked.

    2012: Went To ENT doctor

    June 18th 2012: I had 22 teeth extracted and am still trying to recover from that. I haven’t been tested and don’t know what my heavy metal or mercury levels are yet.

    The post I sent you prior to this one is where I’m at now:

    I’m concerned about the C3-C4 Disc on my MRI

    From past experience with my C5-6 fusion. C3-4 pretty much says the same thing that it did 5 years before my C5-6 disc ruptured.

    Also, from what little I was able to find on the internet about the symptoms of C3-4. I read that the C3-4 disc nerves can be a cause of the rocking / swaying vertigo, neck and head pain. Any idea on this?

    And lastly where is says Mild to moderate C4-C5 Chronic degenerative disc disease. Could this disc rupture?

    I don’t take any pain med’s anymore after what I’ve been through with that pain clinic, the only time I take any is for after surgery pain, nothing on a long term basis. Other med’s are for heart, and Zorcor to keep down colsetoerol.

    I also have restless leg syndrome and am on Requip which it works great for restless legs.

    I know this is very long, but thought I’d give you my complete history.

    Should I also show this to my Neurosurgeon who did my back surgery in 2009? Or is it too much for him to decipher?

    Thank you very much.

    Something else I forgot to ask:

    You said:

    “Pins & needle sensations, electric shocks sensations I feel like they start from my head/neck area then travels on down my whole body” can occur from compression of the spinal cord but there is no evidence of cord compression based upon MRI report.

    Could my MRI report have been miss-read? Or is there any other tests that would show cord compression? The electric shocks sensations I have every morning when I get up and lessen up after a few hours, until the next morning.

    Perhaps I worded the pins & needles incorrectly? Where I feel these are constantly in my legs, most of the time in my feet not always and sometimes in the trap’s area of my upper shoulders and base of my neck. The sensations are very hard to explain what they feel like. Instead of pins & needles – more like lots of little electric sensations would be a better wording I’m looking for.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8468

    The first thought after reading your thread is that you had a non-union of the initial ACDF at C5-6. If that level never healed, that can be a pain source. The other two levels at C3-4 and C4-5 are degenerative and can also cause pain in the nekc, shoulder and cause headaches. Pathology at C3-4 should not cause dizziness or light-headedness.

    You might consider a rheumatological work-up. There are disorders that can cause whole body pain and ache like polymyalgia rheumatica.

    I am unclear as to why you had 22 teeth removed. Is it because of the fear of the fillings being toxic or from multiple abcesses causing infection?

    Electical sensations in your feet, legs and hands can be from peripheral neuropathy. Look this up on the internet as I do not have a thread yet on this disorder.

    Yes- radiologists can misinterpret MRI findings but central stenosis is only rarely underdiagnosed as it is easy to see on the MRI.

    Dr. Corenman

    Post count: 6

    Hi again Dr. Corenman,

    Thank you so much for the reply.

    I sure hope you don’t mind but this is going to be a very long post. I don’t know of any other way to convey to you what has been going on with me? Sorry.

    The Nero Doctor wouldn’t listen to me when I went to her for help eight months after she did my C5-6 fusion in 1995. I’ve always felt that it didn’t fuse properly. Since the X-Ray readings and her diagnosis didn’t show anything wrong with my fusion. I had no other choice but to accept her findings. She totally dismissed me.

    I was shuffled from one Doctor to another, all said the same thing “Myalgia” which I’d just have to live with. In 1996 none of the Doctors that I saw believed in Fibromyalgia. I was told that all I needed to do was exercise, meditate, keep my mind busy and not think of the pain, Mind over matter.

    Finally, I was sent for physical therapy. Just by chance, the Doctor I saw there was a Sports Medical Doctor who dxd me with Fibromyalgia. He was considered an expert on FMS. What a relief just to have someone from the Medical Community say “I understand” and “Yes, I believe you are in Pain” and not be looked down upon? Anyway, so I did the warm aqua pool therapy 3 times a week, had massages 2 times a week.

    After 3 months I had to stop going because that’s all my insurance company would cover for the year. I did get better for awhile. I’m not too sure that it was really Fibromyalgia or if it was the therapy that helped the pain from the bad disc in my neck.

    I went to a Rheumatologist for a few years, up until I was sent to the pain clinic in 2001 He really didn’t do much, just took my weight, blood pressure, checked for trigger points, hit my knees, legs with a hammer and that was that.

    I did look up polymyalgia rheumatica but it doesn‘t sound like me.

    The peripheral neuropathy sounds like what is going on with the electrical impulses in my legs, feet. I’ve been reading up on it and am trying to understand what it is and what tests are involved and what can if anything can be done.

    This has me wondering if these electrical surges are what’s in my upper body as well that’s causing the phantom moving, swaying – rocking – bobbing sensations?

    There is also the possibility I could have a disorder called (MdDS) Mal De DeBarqument Syndrome. The last & only time I was on a cruise ship was in 1998. I didn’t have any moving sensations afterwards. However, it can come on after a plane trip, a long car ride or just happen. Of course, there are no tests to prove you have it. Here’s there web site mddsfoundation . org if you’ve never heard of it and if you might be interested in reading about it. This is not something that I want to be dxd with either. From what I understand, there is no cure and not much in the way of help to relieve the symptoms.

    I’ve been going over all my medical & dental records for the past several months now trying to find a link as to why I’m having all this pain and crazy symptoms.

    In 1985 I had Silver Amalgam fillings put into every molar. I had no idea they contained 50% to 70 % mercury or I would never have agreed to have them placed in my teeth.

    After many years the fillings started breaking down. I had a few molars pulled in the past which didn’t cause any adverse reactions since they were pulled out.

    July 17, 2000 I had some Bad tooth pain. I Went to the Dentist and had one root canal with a cap and one molar. I had the silver mercury filling drilled out and refilled with white composite. It was not done safely. (I didn’t know about rubber dams and safe removal protocols then)

    July 24, 2000 ** Just 7 days after the root canal ** I went to my GP.
    This is what was written on his notes from that day:
    1. Decreased coordination 2. Inability to walk the day before and last night
    3. Tremor & jerking of her left arm and left leg 4. Paresthesias on left side of her face.
    Refer to Neurology. (I didn’t go to Nero Doc since it just went away that same day)

    Jan. 2001 ** 7 months after the dental work** is when my GP sent me to the pain clinic.

    July 2009 All my of teeth and gums hurt badly. I went to the Dentist, was dxd with periodontal gum disease. I had 4 molars done, 4 silver mercury fillings drilled out and refilled with white composites.

    **** All of the Dental work that was done on me. Never once was a rubber dam placed over my mouth or a mask over my face to protect me from the mercury vapors or bits of mercury that was drilled out of my teeth. I breathed the vapors and swallowed mercury bits. They never followed any safe mercury removal protocols whatsoever! I didn‘t know they should have and they didn‘t tell me ****

    Aug. 10, 2009 I had one molar done, the silver mercury filling drilled out and refilled with white composite.

    Aug. 10, 2009 I had the upper right quadrant deep root cleaning done.

    Sept. 1, 2009 I had the upper left quadrant deep root cleaning done.

    Sept. 17, 2009 I had the lower left quadrant deep root cleaning done.

    Sept. 28, 2009 I had the Lower right quadrant deep root cleaning done.

    Oct. 8, 2009 I had 2 more molars done, the silver mercury fillings drilled out and refilled with white composites

    Nov. 2009 ** One month after Dental work ** I started having rectal bleeding. I called my doctor but the bleeding stopped after 3 hours. I went to a Gastroentologist, had a colonoscopy and a upper GI since I was also having bad stomach problems. He dxd me with Diverticulosis in the Sigmod Colon. Also, Acid Reflux disease and Barretts Esophagus (Gerd) He checked for Celiac disease (questionable on that)

    Feb. 3, 2010 I had one molar done, the silver mercury filling drilled out and refilled with white composite. And full mouth teeth and root cleaning.

    March 21, 2010 ** Just 4 months after Dental work & many Mercury fillings replaced ** I had a Major Heart Attack and almost died. I had heart cath. Surgery with two stints.

    Sept 2011 (Not Dental Related) I had terrible pain in my left big toe and top of the same foot for awhile and haven‘t been able to wear anything but flip flops for a few years because of the pain. I finally went to see a Foot doctor and was dxd with Traumatic Arthritis. I had to have foot surgery called Cheilectomy 1st metatarsi double astronomy with inter-fixation. Meaning he had to chisel off the bone spurs that was growing upward on the top of my left foot and remove part of the bone going to my big toe and fixate it with a screw. Due to trauma I suffered in June 2004

    That takes me to 2012 with the head, neck, jaw, face, eye, temples, forehead, shoulder, traps, upper back pain. The off balance, feels like I’m walking on a air mattress or trampoline at times, I have this pulling downward force feeling at times, leg electrical vibrations, body electrical vibrations, brain zaps, neck zaps, ect. Ect

    I read up on inner ear problems that could be the cause of some of these symptoms. So started with the ENT Doctor this year. No inner ear trouble was found.

    Then I found the connection with mercury vapors from dental fillings and root canal teeth. I read as much as I possibly could find and watched u-tube videos on mercury teeth and root canal lectures. Dr. Hal Huggins was one that I read the most. There are many others like Andy Cutler and Dr. Boyd Haley. I read up on the IAOMT and AHMA. One web site for great info is mercury exposure.

    I found my Holistic Dentist an hour away from me. He did extensive tooth x-rays, exam, and from the deep pockets in my gums mostly 5, 6 & 7’s gum pockets very bad. No matter if he removed my mercury fillings safely it wasn’t going to change the fact that I had very bad advanced periodontal gum disease and with me having coronary artery heart disease that was not good, not good at all. I was at risk for another heart attack just from the infection in my gums and no amount of antibiotics, deep root teeth cleanings would change that. My teeth had to come out. I had 22 teeth extracted on June 18th 2012 and my dentures contain no metals at all, and no mercury for the pink coloring added.

    After my teeth were pulled. Some of the symptoms went away. The pain in my face, jaw, temple, and eye is gone. The pulsating, crushing, squeezing pain on the sides and top of my head is gone. The feeling that my brain is moving inside is gone. The painful tugging and pulling feeling that I had in my brain is gone.

    Unfortunately, I still have the rest of the pain and symptoms, they didn’t go away after my teeth were removed like I was hoping or thought.

    I want to be tested for mercury and heavy metals to see how toxic I am and if that’s whats causing my pain and symptoms. I’m really confused and unsure what test or tests would be the best to do and who can do it and what lab to use?

    The urine test that most Doctors do is a major problem because if they don’t do the challenge type of urine testing it’s useless and will come back neg. when it’s very positive. Blood testing is not a good way to test either unless you can find a lab that will test as soon as the blood is drawn. From what I understand, the mercury vapor leaves the blood after only a few hours and will test neg. when it could very well could be positive.

    Mercury once in the brain will not come out on its own. I’d need a chelator drug such as DMPS to remove it.

    My Dentist found that I have what’s called a “Mercury Tattoo” under my tongue that he couldn’t remove during surgery. I don’t know what Doctor can remove it or how tough it will be to remove?

    Yes, I‘m very afraid that‘s what is wrong with me. Mercury in my brain, my heart, tissues and all the organs in my body. (mercury vapors from the fillings in teeth DOES cross the brain barrier) As long as that mercury tattoo is there I would never be able to use any sort of drug as a chelator because it would pull from that tattoo, not from my brain or body and it would make me very sick.

    Have you had anyone with these problems come to you for help?

    I’m thinking I am heavy metal and mercury poisoned but then again the MRI of my neck shows these disc buldges and degenerative problems that could be causing pain and symptoms. Also, peripheral neuropathy is a possibility.

    You said:  Pathology at C3-4 should not cause dizziness or light-headedness.

    When you said “Should not cause” … could it be Possible?

    From what I’ve read and researched Mercury can get in the brain, spine, heart, liver, kidneys, body, organs, muscles, tissues, it can cause Autoimmune disease, MS, Fibromyalgia, ALS, CFS, Gastro problems, stomach problems, headaches, heart attacks, balance and coordination problems, restless leg syndrome and over 200 other symptoms.

    Thank you for reading and hope it was ok to post all of this.

    I know your not a Dentist but thought you might know the effects of heavy metal and mercury toxic symptoms especially in the central nervous system.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8468

    I understand your concern about mercury poisoning. You must be very careful regarding associating your symptoms with mercury and your exposure from your teeth.

    One of the problems I am sure you are aware of is that you can expose many individuals to different chemicals and you will not see any adverse reactions whatsoever. If however, you are just that one individual who reacts to exposure and no others react, you are given no attention.

    The opposite corollary is at work too. If there is a one in a million chance that you will be the one who reacts to exposure, the physician should not look at one million individuals just to find you. The resources to look would be cost prohibitive. You also may not be affected by exposure.

    I cannot comment on mercury and how it affects you. That would be the work of a toxicologist. There are assessments to determine tissue saturation of mercury. I think that is where your next direction should take you.

    Dr. Corenman

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