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Dr Basu
Dr Basu, Experienced Specialist
Category: Health
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Experience:  MD
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I have a pain in my neck. Left side only on the cervical spine.

Customer Question

I have a pain in my neck. Left side only on the cervical spine. Comes back for days and then stops for days. No tingling in my arm and no headache. I subsequently get knots around the left shoulder blade. Physical therapist says my head tends to tilt towards my right.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr Basu replied 3 years ago.

mysticdoc :

The views expressed by me are for educational purposes only and do not establish a doctor patient relationship.

mysticdoc :

Hi there,

I am Mysticdoc, experienced Internal Medicine Specialist.

I am here to help you with your concerns.

mysticdoc :

Based on your symptoms, it is possible you may have herniated disc at the cervical spine causing nerve compression.

mysticdoc :

In most cases, this is not significant requiring any surgical intervention.

mysticdoc :

Physical therapy is still the preferred initial treatment to correct the problem.

mysticdoc :

In many cases, the problem is related to the incorrect posture during sleeping and sitting ( incorrect position of the chair for example).

mysticdoc :

Hence, MRI scan although needed, is not going to change the management significantly.

mysticdoc :

Since you do not have any tingling, numbness or weakness of the arms or hands, this is not a serious condition.

mysticdoc :

You should continue with the physical therapy--be patient, sometimes, it may take several months to recover from.

mysticdoc :

Also focus on getting an ergonomic chair at work place, get a firm but comfortable mattress for sleeping.

mysticdoc :

Try to maintain proper posture during sleeping --avoid fetal position ( crooked spine position or sleeping on one side for long time).

mysticdoc :

You can use pillows under knees to relieve pressure on the lower spine.

mysticdoc :

Also choose a right pillow --not too high or low 2-3 inches thickness not too soft or firm either.

mysticdoc :

These changes should help with your recovery.

mysticdoc :

Best wishes,

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Expert:  Dr Basu replied 3 years ago.
mysticdoc : The views expressed by me are for educational purposes only and do not establish a doctor patient relationship.
mysticdoc : Hi there,
I am Mysticdoc, experienced Internal Medicine Specialist.
I am here to help you with your concerns.
mysticdoc : Based on your symptoms, it is possible you may have herniated disc at the cervical spine causing nerve compression.
mysticdoc : In most cases, this is not significant requiring any surgical intervention.
mysticdoc : Physical therapy is still the preferred initial treatment to correct the problem.
mysticdoc : In many cases, the problem is related to the incorrect posture during sleeping and sitting ( incorrect position of the chair for example).
mysticdoc : Hence, MRI scan although needed, is not going to change the management significantly.
mysticdoc : Since you do not have any tingling, numbness or weakness of the arms or hands, this is not a serious condition.
mysticdoc : You should continue with the physical therapy--be patient, sometimes, it may take several months to recover from.
mysticdoc : Also focus on getting an ergonomic chair at work place, get a firm but comfortable mattress for sleeping.
mysticdoc : Try to maintain proper posture during sleeping --avoid fetal position ( crooked spine position or sleeping on one side for long time).
mysticdoc : You can use pillows under knees to relieve pressure on the lower spine.
mysticdoc : Also choose a right pillow --not too high or low 2-3 inches thickness not too soft or firm either.
mysticdoc : These changes should help with your recovery.
mysticdoc : Best wishes,
Please rate the chat Good or Excellent, if you are satisfied with our conversation and do not have any further question, so that I get rewarded for my time & effort. Thank you!
Please bookmark my profile for asking further questions!
This is the link to my profile:
http://www.justanswer.com/medical/expert-mysticdoc/
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You are right for the most part. I have done physical therapy in the past. Many visits for this problem and they help a lot. But then it just comes back. Knots are forming around my left shoulder blade from this one pressure point at the base of the cervical spine. Is their a medical term for what this could possibly be? ie Cervical Foraminal Stenosis? I have reason to believe that this could be a recurring symptom from nerve damage.

Expert:  Dr Basu replied 3 years ago.
Cervical foraminal stenosis will affect the spinal cord and would have caused weakness of the both upper extremities.
Similarly, significant nerve compression will cause at least tingling or numbness in the upper extremities.
Hence, both are unlikely given the lack of other symptoms.
Knot formation is more of muscular nature --fibrosis of the subcutaneous tissue can cause knot formation and hence the trigger points since they pressure on the cutaneous branches of the nerves.
But that does not suggest problem lies in the spine.
Also, there is a chiropactic term called subluxation of the spine --due to the stiffness of the ligaments around the cervical spine.
These problems can be effectively addressed by the physical therapy and also with chiropractic therapy in some cases.

But, in summary, this does not look like any significant spine problem.

Best wishes,

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