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vakularen, Other
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 4007
Experience:  practising medicine since last 35 years.
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I have a jumble of injuries that unfortunately have

Customer Question

I have a jumble of injuries that unfortunately have overlapping symptoms, and I'm trying to determine which is most likely to be causing the particular pattern of pain I'm currently experiencing.

Due to a blow to the head several years ago, I have what we think is atypical facial pain, TMJ, and a whiplash neck injury. I also have a ball-like bump at C2, which two doctors have determined is not worrisome (possibly congenital) and is unlikely to be causing functional issues, although I'm going to have an MRI to see if it's something that can be safely removed if it becomes problematic.

I'm currently having severe pain in my neck (left side, back and front/side of neck, sometimes referring to the clavicle area), upper shoulder pain/burning, jaw and ear pain - sometimes constant, searing, and/or burning, ear fullness, occasional jaw/facial numbness, some occipital-like pain/tenderness of scalp/in back of head at times.

Sometimes applying ice to the back/base and side of my neck - or to the clavicle area can reduce the pain. I do have numerous dental problems and my occlusion is not good. However, all of these issues began immediately after my accident, and a dentist that I absolutely trust feels that the majority of the pain issues I'm experiencing are directly related to these injuries, not my teeth. I often think I need a root canal, but the teeth in the area of pain do not appear to be the source.

I know much of this sounds like neuralgia, and that may be a component, but I'm feeling a lot more pain in neck, jaw, and shoulder in recent months.

To what extent can my neck be causing any/all of this pain? Any educated guesses?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  khagihara replied 1 year ago.

I will try to answer your question. How old are you? How much do you weigh? Any weight change? Exactly where is the pain? On a scale of 0-10, what is the level with 0 being no pain 10 being the strongest pain? What is it like? Does it radiate to anywhere else? How long does it last? When did it start? Is it consistent? Is it getting worse? Does anything make it better or worse? Any other symptoms? Are you aware of anything which might have triggered it? Any medical problem? Any surgeries? Any medications including over-the-counter pills and herbs? Any family medico history?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for responding. I didn't intend to post this in neurology, but hopefully you can look at this from a more general perspective. I'm postmenopausal, normal weight - and my weight is stable. Recently, the pain is hovering around a 9. I'm usually conservative when rating pain, so this is significant.

I think I provided a fairly detailed description of where the pain is, and where it radiates; if you need me to be more specific, let me know where/what to clarify. This all began immediately after a blow to the left side of my head (all pain symptoms are on the left side).

I've been theoretically diagnosed with atypical facial pain, TMJ, and a whiplash neck injury, and I appear to have symptoms consistent with all three, which is what makes it so difficult for me to know what's causing pain at any particular time.

The pain in all of the areas I mentioned can be aching (most frequent), often with burning sensation everywhere - with occasional stabbing or shooting pain. Sometimes a sensation of numbness in face, jaw, neck, and ear (also pressure/fullness in ear at times).

I experience occasional popping/clicking in my jaw and ear.

Most recently, I have what feels like severe neck and jaw pain that radiates to mandibular teeth and ear, and I often feel like I need a root canal. My endodontist has checked my teeth multiple times, and although they're not in great shape (for other reasons), he's been consistently confident that the pain is not coming from a tooth.

I'm experiencing a lot more neck pain which feels like it's radiating to my shoulder/upper back, jaw, ear, teeth, and even down the front/side of my neck to the area below my collar bone. I have a forward-head posture (thanks, computer), which I'm sure exacerbates whatever else is going on. When I apply ice to my neck, shoulder, and clavicle area, it sometimes reduces the pain, which I'm hoping is diagnostic. I'm concerned that too much of the pain I'm experiencing is being attributed to atypical facial pain/neuralgia, when there seems to be an increasing amount of neck and jaw pain.

I currently take Gabapentin for neurological pain, and probably too much Ibuprofen.

How much of what I describe is likely to be coming from my neck and/or TMJ?

Expert:  khagihara replied 1 year ago.

It is difficult to say what it is. Sorry I can't help you. I will opt out.

Expert:  vakularen replied 1 year ago.

Hello,I am Dr.Aren and I will help with your query.Apparently you had serious pain immediately after the accident,which has persisted and often is very troublesome.Though your symptoms are mostly those which present with cervical spinal i jury following trauma,over a period of time the symptoms should have abated or gradually reduced.Can you give me the MRI scan report of the cervical spine immediately after your accident?Were there any spinal bony injuries or only soft tissue trauma was seen?Have you had any physiotherapy done for this,and are you using a cervical collar?Please give me more information,thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry - I didn't see your response. I just had a cervical MRI and am waiting to review the report with my MD. I'll follow up if I have additional questions. Thanks!

Expert:  vakularen replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome,I will wait for your response>