Hi Dr. Corenman,
Thank you so much for your thorough reply. As time goes on, I feel my symptoms point more and more to facet syndrome at C2-3, C3-4. I am scheduled for facet injections next week.
My only concern is when I palpate near the C3 facet joint, the pain is nerve-like, kind of like pushing on a toothache. And the pain I have from this area going into my head is stabbing in nature. The area is so hyper sensitive that I have pain with any small movement of my arms or even if I push down on a stationary bike with my legs, I will feel that area in my neck.
My theory is that the nerves surrounding the facet joint are irritated due to the swollen facet, or the medial branch itself is getting pinched at the joint. Because the nerves are inflamed, any contraction of my neck muscles to stabilize my arms or legs is pulling on the inflamed facets/nerves in the region.
Have you seen people with cervical facet syndrome with these type of nerve complaints? The nerve symptoms are what concern me the most as they are hard to pinpoint, treat, don’t respond to pain meds, and cause a lot of pain.
My MRI does not show much degeneration or disc problems, so I am hoping the facet is inflamed, not permanently damaged, and that facet injections may calm the area enough for me to be able to restore normal joint mobility in my cervical spine with treatment and stop the irritation. (I think faulty joint motion that I am currently treating may have cause excessive stress to C2-3 facets) I don’t believe there is nerve entrapment due to scar tissue because I have already treated and addressed that and still have the pain.
What are your thoughts about the nerve irritation and prognosis of pain relief with injections? I’m concerned about the whole chronic pain cycle that can be started and is hard to reverse. I think the problem has been building over time, but only this bad for about 10 months.
Thank you so much for all your help! I wish more Doctors were like you.