Learn from patients with pain similar to yours

CatchMyPain Community and Pain Diary App to manage chronic illness

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Jun 27, 2014 10:32 AM

Welcome and thanks for joining the CatchMyPain Community.

What could you do next? It might be a good idea to introduce yourself by creating a new topic and saying a few words about:
- For how long have you been suffering from your pain?
- Where do you have pain and what does it feel like?
- What are your biggest questions regarding your pain?
- And anything else you would like to mention or ask...

Feel free to start additional topics and write replies to other fellow community members!

Thank you for helping us to improve CatchMyPain.

Jul 01, 2014 7:34 AM

My name is Nicky I'm a 38yr Women. I have had this pain ever since my work injury in 2002, which has affected C3,C4,C5,C6 & C7 which has resulted in me not having or been able to get a job in the last 5 years I've got a constant and very painful, pain i get when i take a breathe in. It goes right through my left hand side, behind the shoulder blade, to the front of my ribs. I find that it feels like someone is standing on my left side with Pins that go right though. most times tight, very tender. most days i can't move without some kinda pain in neck, shoulders, collarbone & ribs
C3 (one of the first three cervical vertebrae) may result in functional loss of the diaphragm and necessitate the use of a ventilator to aid in breathing
C4 (the fourth cervical vertebra, etc.) may prompt loss of functional control of the shoulders and biceps
C5 may result in complete functional loss at the wrists and hands in addition to partial loss of the shoulders and biceps
C6 may result in complete loss of hand function and limited use of the wrist
C7 may result in decreased skillful use in the hands and fingers, and limited use of the arms.

Cheers Mate

Jul 04, 2014 6:14 PM

Hi Nicky, I have hdegenerative spine and hip disease, so I can fully understand where you are coming from regarding your pain. I too had problems with my Cervical spine at C3,C4,C5, C6. In 2007 I had a multi-level fusion at those level mentioned, and I felt great for about 6mos. When a year after the surgery, I was getting numbness in my wrists and pinky fingers. I had an MRI and, sure enough as the Doctor predicted, I had degeneration starting at C7, T1.

I also have degeneration at L3, L4, L5, S1. The Doctor wants to do a Lumbar multi-level fusion, but he did say since I am in that 4% that has hereditary degeneration, that if I have the Lunbar surgery I will eventually need another fusion below and above the fused area. That's exactly what happened after my Cervical fusion. So along with the hip degeneration, I'm undecided as to what to do next. All I know is that taking morpine every six hours isn't taking care of the pain, it just takes the edge off.

Just like you I have limited use of my hands and arms, and along with osteoarthritis my finger can't grip well and lock up all the time. I can understand your concern about finding a job, as I have found employers aren't always understanding of people in pain. So I hope your situation turns around, just keep in mind that even if you were to have surgery there is no guarantee that you will be pain free and have better use of your hands, arms, neck.

Just my opinion that, having your work injury in 2002, and your in the pain that you are in today, chances are even if you had Cervical surgery done, you won't be pain free and you will always have the physical deficits that you experience now.

Just my opinion based on my experience. So I hope all goes well and you find an adequate way of minimizing you pain.

Take care, Mak

Jul 05, 2014 8:30 AM

I agree with Mak. Any Dr who garauntees pain relief after surgery is not being totally honest. don't get me wrong I'm much better for the back and chest surgeries I've had but I also know my pain will never be gone. I was a physical therapist for ten years before they found a 5" x 7" tumor in my chest. Two chest surgeries later and a recent low back fusion I have been dealing with disabling pain for over 5 years now and had to give up my career. So I decided I needed to become a new me and play to the strengths I have left. I'm now back in school and will be receiving my BS in psych and then moving on to grad school. I figure I may not be able to ever lift patients again but I can sure sit and talk to them all day. I've also used my knowledge and experience to research psych treatments for chronic pain which will also be my focus as a clinician. I say all this to say, be who you are now and play to yr strengths.

Jul 05, 2014 8:21 PM

I've been dealing with chronic lower back pain for the last several years. It has affected my sleep and worsened my depression. Sometimes I feel so helpless to manage my pain that my only retreat is to sleep, and even then, I have horrible insomnia that won't let me sleep at night. So far, my chiropractor has been the most helpful in managing my pain without medication, but I still feel tied to the pain meds; without them, the pain would not let me sleep at all. I guess I'm just glad I'm not the only person dealing with stuff.

Jul 06, 2014 1:31 AM

Hello ergbennett,
Never feel down or ashamed of taking narcotics! As mention, the Morphine I take is so I can somewhat be functional, to be able to get around at home and to be able to go grocery shopping, doctors apps, see the grandkids, etc.

If I wasn't taking pain meds every 6 hours, I literally would not be able to get out of bed. As it is I'm not taking the full dose that I should be on because I can't afford the full dosing my doctor wants me at.
You mentioned your Chiropractor managing your pain, I think if I was in your position (just my opinion) I would specifically go to a Pain Management Clinic, where they will expect you to be on narcotics and they manage that extremely close. At least they won't look down on you because you need narcotics to function.

Just keep in mind that when I say they manage your Meds close, I mean it. In order for me to get narcotics, I had to agree to initially see a Phsycologist. Then I had to sign a contract with the Pain Management Clinic,which means I have to see my Pain Doctor every month because there are no automatic refills with narcotics. I have to give a urine sample every couple of months to prove to them I'm taking what they prescribed. I also agreed to have them physically count any remaining pills I my still have before the new prescription is written. All this information goes to a state "clearing house" that monitors my usage. I also had to agreed that they could come to my house and do a spot check of the pills I have to make sure I'm taking the prescribed amount.

The Pharmacy I use also reports to the state "clearing house" everytime I fill a prescribed narcotic.
I put up with this because narcotics are the only thing take take the edge off the pain. I am never pain free, and I never will be. Sometimes I can literally sit down and cry because the pain is so bad. That's something you are just going to have to except and handle that as much as you can.

I sleep alot because of the pain, but at least I can make it to the grocery store Two times a week, and also be able to,see my grandkids. The people that abused narcotics have made thing very difficult for the people that truely need them to exist.

Hope this helps,

Jul 06, 2014 4:59 AM

I also CANNOT function or even attempt to live my life with out taking round the clock meds. I take a 24 hr extended release med and a immediate release breakthrough med. I would not be receiving my degree this year without being on these meds.

Jul 09, 2014 2:19 AM

Hi im Jessica, 26. widespread pain for 10 yrs now. I have muscle pain in my back,legs. Also joint pain, all major joints, and nerve pain throughout my body. Ive been told its impossible to have these problems for my age, weight, height. Every physician ive seen, refuses to do testing. Im not a junky,pill popper. I just want answers, and relief. Ive been through p.t, rxs, weight loss, and hot/cold compresses. narcotics are ineffective as well as other rxs they (Drs) feed me. nothing helps.

Jul 09, 2014 7:15 AM

my biggest words of advice to u is to research a pain specialist. You need to find someone that will work as a team with you. Have you ever been tested for fibromyalgia?

Jul 11, 2014 8:25 PM

Mak, what state do you live in that they monitor you so close. I am in California.

Jul 17, 2014 9:42 PM

hi folks, when I read your description about your pain, I relise that I am not alone, I am dealing with my lower back pain problem for about 4 months, which I could not work and study. I was in bed for about 3 weeks and still I have pain in my left side. dr suggested me to have steroid shot which made me scared, but because these days I only depended to my husband to take care of me so I decided to have them. I was taught that I am alone in this pain, but now I understand there are many people like me who suffers from disk herination . for me it is like an attack, when it comes, I am like disable person, so painful.

Jul 17, 2014 9:44 PM

one of my biggest dream these days is I could go out of home and enjoy weather ( specially we have 9 months winter here)

Jul 19, 2014 8:03 AM

where do u live

Aug 23, 2014 4:50 AM

Hi, wondering if anyone has a spinal cord stimulator ALS known as SCS. I just had one implanted in my neck at C1 and C2 in early August. I am still recuperating from the surgery. I has a trial and the Spinal Cord Stimulator Therapy really helped, I just didn't know that the surgery was going to be a long recovery and painful. still suffering from pain in neck and shoulder area though pain down my right arm is being masked by the the SCS. Also I bought groceries last night and didn't realize the bag was too heavy and I hD to walk about three blocks to. y house and it aggravated my back so now back is hurting. I have bulging disc all the way down the spine so I have numbness in toes that is controlled by meds.I take Cymbalta twice a day. it works good for lumbar region, wish it worked for neck and shoulders!

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