National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society

hi everyone, has anybody got ra in the top of their spine which causes your neck to hurt and crack when you move it

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9 replies

    gerri-1966
    gerri-1966

    hi jaqi1
    i have RA in top of my spine think they call it the peg bone, i get terrible pain in my neck and my head and my neck cracks wen i move, the pain gets so bad in my head at time s cant lift my head of the pillow, i have seen neurosurgeon he will do op on mine if it gets any worse, wish u well.
    gerri-1966 x

    WiseSarah
    WiseSarah

    Hi Jaqi1,
    I have RA in my neck and top of my spine. Funnily enough it was my first symptom and to begin with I thought I must have poor posture and then that perhaps the way I drove was causing the pain, loud cracks and sometimes being so stiff I couldn't turn it at all. I went to see a chiropractor who advised me to go and see a surgeon as he thought something was seriously wrong. I ignored this advice (!) as I thought how ridiculous, why would I need a surgeon? 6 months later I was diagnosed with RA as by that time my knees, ankles, wrists, fingers, hands, toes. Shoulders elbows etc were all affected. X-rays and scans of my neck show constant inflammation that has forced my neck into an unnatural position.
    I use a Tempur pillow at night which cost a lot but has helped a bit. Otherwise I use those heated pads which offer some comfort. I sympathise with you as I find when my neck is bad it is the most excruciating pain and impossible to drive or do anything which requires head movement. Sometimes I get headaches which last for days but I know are being caused by my neck and they can literally make me vomit the pain is so severe. It's miserable isn't it?
    I wish you the best of luck with it. Sometimes just knowing that other people can comprehend your pain makes it a bit easier.
    Sarah xx

    minka
    minka

    yep i can relate to this i get cracking neck and arms and shoulder aches
    didnt know xrays would show up problems thought mine was cos me left leg is knackered

    lynn-bel
    lynn-bel

    Hi: As Sarah, I use "memory foam type pillow" which has helped. Also use heat pads when its bad. I do gentle stretching exercises but my first RA consultant claimed it wasnt RA - hah! Havent had any formal treatment for it. Does bother me a lot when driving as find it hard and painful to turn to look back over my shoulder. But I take painkillers and I guess generally put up with it. But to be honest I dont think its that bad all the time - sounds like others have it worse. Hate hearing that cracking and creaking when I turn my head!!!
    The heat pads do help.
    Lynnx

    Wiliby
    Wiliby

    Hi Jaqi,

    I hope you have the problem that I had, I thought the same as you but I have a friend you is an oesteopath who had a look, he said because of the pain I was in I was holding myself in a position that wasn't right, I was also walking with a bit of a stoop at that time and hunched up because of the pain..

    He massaged area and gave me tips on how to ease it, I'm glad to say I rarely have problems with it now.

    It must be awful to have RA in the spine, I really hope it's not that.

    Loret-deleted
    Loret-deleted

    Hi Jaq
    My viewpoint and experience comes from the far side of 50, I have had RA and Psoriatic Arthritis of the entire spine, including the neck, and also my feey, ankles, hands and wrists.
    11 Years ago, I had to have emergency surgery on my neck, due to RA deterioration of the vertebrae and discs, causing compression of the nerves leading out of 4 vertebrae to the extremities. My arms and hands were numb and aching, couldn't pick up or hold onto items like pens, spoons, forks and knives, etc.
    The surgery was successful, I have not had any further problems until recently., and these are minor. The surgeon was an artist, the way he corrected every little piece of bones, etc. I have a plate across the vertebrae that were corrected, and 4 screws.
    It was felt that the destruction was caused by many years of having these two auto-immune types of arthritis, with no treatment. There just were not the drugs available that we have now.
    I can't turn my head as far as I should, but that is not a major problem.

    What I want to say to all of you younger ladies, is, don't mess around, putting up with something that is potentially very dangerous. If a deteriorated fragment of vertebrae were to severe a nerve, you would not be able to walk, or use your arms, considering which nerves are affected., or you could loose control of bowel and bladder function.
    Now they can do MRIs with contrast dye which would pinpoint the affected nerves and vertebrae. I suggest asking to have this done as soon as you can, before you get into permanent problems. Lxxx

    lesleyf
    lesleyf

    i was so pleased to read you had spinil surgery (dont mean that to sound bad) it just that i have to have spinal fusion and they also putting plate on to base of my scull so i wont be able to move my head side to side and only tiny bit up and down i very scared cos it posible i might end up paralised byt if i dont have the opp i will end up paaised so i got no choice but they did say my bones might not be strong enough to hold the screws and bolts but they wont know untill they try to put them in so as you say dont hang around get some thing done about the pain or numbness it not worth waiting

    Loret-deleted
    Loret-deleted

    Lesley, Be assured, from my experience, that surgery was the easiest to recover from. I was not limited, could use my hands and walk, unlike the 7 others. I really don't notice any negative results, it's harder to look back over my shoulder, so have to rely on side-view mirrors. I can move my head down as much as I want to, looking up at the top shelf in the grocery store is a strain. Other than that, it's really OK and took care of the numbness in my arms and hands.
    For every soinal surgery, they have to tell you there is a remote possibility of paralysis, but it's very rare. That is to keep the surgeon from being sued if something goes wrong.
    He told me too, the bones were eroded and might not be strong enough for the screws, but he did it and they are still there! That was 12 years ago.
    I think you will be fine, You will be amazed :) All the best. Are you scheduled yet? Be sure to let us know. L.

    summer
    summer

    My neck cracks too and has done since my 20s! had an xray in my 20s well prior to my ra diagnosis in my 40s and they said it was showing signs of wear and tear!??

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