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This is not normal for 56 years old female and these changes suggest degenerative spine and disc disease. Following measures are usually helpful (you may have tried almost all);
1) Neck care in the activities of daily living.
a) No working on computer for more than half an hour in a single stretch. Same for TV.
b) Monitors and televisions exactly in front (180 degrees).
c) Contour pillow: Should fill the hollow when lying on back or straight. Available over the counter.
2) Cervical Collar or Brace
3) Cervical traction
4) Anti-inflammatory analgesics like Ibuprofen
5) Some physicians do give oral steroids in severe radiculopathy cases, in which pain / numbness / tingling is quite significant.
6) Physical therapy: gradually increasing exercises from passive stretching to active against resistance regime.
7) Electrotherapy in the form of TENS, interferential and laser and ultrasound.
8) Hot fomentation
9) Local analgesic patch / ointment / spray
You can consult following specialists;
c) MD in Physical medicine and rehabilitation
If the conservative treatment as above fails, surgical option of the spinal fusion may be resorted.
Please feel free for your follow up questions.
Since I possibly had adhesive capsulitis in my left arm and now I have almost regained alot of the movement, still have a weak arm when tested for strength. Not sure if this is due to nerve damage or muscle problem. Is this common when you have the neck situation I have? Also, they say that most of the findings from MRI show findings on the right side not the left side where the arm hurts and has cold sensations, etc. I have a little numbing in my fingers at night on the right side and when I raise my right arm to do my hair . They do not consider that anything. So they do not have any findings yet for what is causing my arm pain, tingling, not quite full movement yet. I feel it could be from the bulging disc's - I could of had nerve impengement. Not sure why I still have the discomfort. I will be having an EMG but I was told that I was normal in my neck - just a little arthritis by one of the doctors. The pain can escalate so easily if I work on the computer or push a door open at the doctors office that has a little resistance to it, etc. This all started when I was doing some of the repetitive lifting I was required to do on my job. Now due to some light restriction with my arm and no overhead activities I do not get my old job back. Does any of this sound right to you or off?
A pain or other symptoms are quite distinctive to the pinched nerves in the neck. An adhesive capsulitis does not give motor or sensory symptoms (weakness, numbness, tingling etc). If these symptoms come; an EMG and NCV (nerve conduction velocity study) are needed. I would associate your weak arm due to the neck condition. Though, adhesive capsulitis may aggravate it. The findings of MRI may vary on both the sides but that alone is not the single criteria to rule out any pinched nerve as many times, MRI findings do not corroborate to the severity of the physical findings, signs and symptoms.
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Can it still be due to the neck if the EMG & nerve study do not show any nerve problem?
A pinched nerve will show some kind of definite findings in the EMG or NCV. If the EMG and NCV are normal, usually pinched nerve is ruled out.
If the pinched nerve is ruled out; neck problem seen in MRI is not likely related to the pain and weakness in the left arm.