Neck and shoulder pain: I’ve had neck and... - Pain Concern

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Neck and shoulder pain

Chriskho profile image

I’ve had neck and shoulder pain that’s been getting worse over the past two years. Two years ago in July I had to do CPR on somebody on the ground and as a result I suffered two trapped nerves in the top of my spine ( lower neck) and a tear in my shoulder. I’ve had a nerve root block in my neck with negative result. I’ve been bounced backward and forward from the spinal specialist and the shoulder specialist each saying the pain is coming from shoulder/ neck, I’ve had steroid injections to no avail. The tear isn’t bad enough to repair I’ve been told in the end and Re my trapped nerve the only option now I’ve been told is an operation involving ‘a small cage’ at the top of bottom of my neck. I don’t want any spinal surgery. But..... the pain is awful and my neck is hard to move at all at times. I’ve had physio but nothing seems to relieve it. I can’t take ibrufen regularly because I have a lung issue.

Any ideas I may try? as I dread getting my head off the pillow in the mornings. I’m not too bad if I spend all day resting on a high back chair but as a nurse I need to do long shifts. Driving seems to make it worse also. Any advice greatly appreciated. I use warm wheat bags and have bought a good pillow.

19 Replies

Poor you , you sound like your really suffering so much . I too have bad shoulder pain but nothing like your suffering. Think my trouble is where my two poodles have been too boisterous and lively to hold. Yes it’s great if we can rest these joints , but it’s just not always possible .

Sorry could not open that

I share your pain! I had the nerve block too, it worked for awhile but resulted in surgery ultimately and no I definitely did not want surgery either!!! But you get to a point where the pain is unbearable and it impacts on too many aspects of your life and the quality of it is a shell of what went before it. Things will only get worse from here on in unless you have the surgery, I would bite the bullet and go for it, as you will more than likely be very pleasantly surprised by the resulting improvements in your quality of life.

Chriskho profile image
Chriskho in reply to Neckback

Was the surgery for your neck/Cervical ?

Neckback profile image
Neckback in reply to Chriskho

Yes it was cervical surgery, ACDF Cage Plate Fusion. I was extremely nervous before surgery, as I had never had any type of surgery beforehand and putting your life into somebody else’s hands was making me very anxious.

Chriskho profile image
Chriskho in reply to Neckback

So did it sort out the neck pain and the pain that radiated to shoulder/ arm?

Was it a long recovery ?

Neckback profile image
Neckback in reply to Chriskho

After my surgery I was virtually pain free , my rehabilitation was going extremely well and I was expected to make a full recovery, but I was involved in a car accident six months after surgery where I was hit side on in the collision and this has produced new injuries and impacted on the older injuries, I was told that if I had not have had the surgery then I would have been paralysed from the neck down after the accident!

Sorry you are in such pain but as Neckback says it will only get worse and surgery is the only option as we have all been there and once your disk's start to wear it's downhill from there but it's your choice at the end of the day . Good luck .. Clive

I had neck pain for 20 years and by chance about 10 years ago I went to see a chiropractor for my husband knee pain. My husband signed up for a course of treatment, but because he couldn't go for another reason and I asked if he could sort my neck problems and he said he would try. After 6 treatments it had gone and has never returned. A few years ago I had severe pain in my lower back and went back to him. That was sorted by acupuncture and disappeared after 2 sessions. Give both treatments a try .

Crystal-ice profile image
Crystal-ice in reply to Suzie42

So glad that on both occasions u found relief and permanent help surgery is not always the answer as often it can bring its own problems personally I feel only if other avenues have not worked then surgery can be an option everyone is different and has different views x

Suzie42 profile image
Suzie42 in reply to Crystal-ice

Yes agree totally. I was taking strong painkillers for my back and didn't need them after treatment it was like a wonder cure

Chriskho profile image
Chriskho in reply to Suzie42

Yes thanks was thinking of trying the chiropractor route. Have used a private physio to no avail. Did you need to supply MRI results to the chiropractor ?

Suzie42 profile image
Suzie42 in reply to Chriskho

I would think that would be useful.In total I had 4 years of physio and it didnt make any difference whatsoever.

My posture was also really bad because of pain and all of this was sorted out.

There are some really dodgy Chiropractors out there, so be careful, if your gp knows of one or from recommendations would be better. Really research first. I had a recommendation both times as I had moved in between. My first one was recommended by a friend, the next was by gp.

Hope this helps

I tried a chiropractor twice and needles, I find gabapentin and a good heat pad are the only things that work.

Have thought of going to an osteopath.

I have disk problems at c5 and c6 that cause shoulder blade pain, had an mri scan but gp's refuse to do anything else. Had two frozen shoulders and numb arms over 5 years or more and seen physios lots. On the list for pain clinics.

Chriskho profile image
Chriskho in reply to greekqueen

It’s awful to think this is it🤦‍♀️pain always. I use a heat bag for my neck . I’ve just bought a pain pen to try.

Hi there,I must point out that in my case one of the Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF)’s that I had did not work and the nerve pain from C5/6 is permanent. My second ACDF at C6/7 did reduce some of the nerve pain but not all. Once the nerves are compressed for any length of time then it’s a waiting game to see how your nerves recover. Choosing whether to have surgery or not is down to the individual and you must be aware that your nerves may not fully recover and you may be left in chronic pain of varying degrees. The decision to go ahead with surgery for me depends on all the conservative pain clinic procedures that you have had and whether they’ve worked or not, coupled with the amount of pain you can tolerate along with the advice of your Neurosurgeon. Personally Radiofrequency Ablation (4 times) has helped me to varying degrees and when I couldn’t tolerate the pain & disability that I had to endure then I decided to have surgery both times for my neck & numerous surgical procedures (9 stand alone surgeries on 3 vertebrae’s) completed in one urgent extensive lumbar spinal surgery only a few weeks ago. I’m waiting to see whether a numb foot & leg will recover. I wish you all the best.

Chriskho profile image
Chriskho in reply to Mitch48

Oh dear that’s a lot of surgery for you. Hope all settles down soon and things recover to make it all worth while. Best wishes .

Mitch48 profile image
Mitch48 in reply to Chriskho

Hi there, Thank you. Have you tried a Tens Machine? They’re inexpensive but can give you relief from pain, muscular or neuropathic. I’ve had countless ones over the many years that I’ve been injured and they have been so helpful in dealing with my breakthrough pain. I also use an electric heat pad, a foam roller and a massage machine from Germany. I also do yoga, meditate and have a daily bath which also helps to relieve pain. I do hope you get some relief from your pain.

Chriskho profile image
Chriskho in reply to Mitch48


I’ve just received a pain pen and will try that tonight. Similar function as tens I believe.

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