Neck shoulder pain with a drunk feeling since a neck operation 4 years ago.

by Judi
(Amarillo, Tx)

I had steroid injections 4 years ago then had C6, 7 & 8 fused in my neck 3 years ago. I head pain going down my arm and that stopped. The headaches, neck pain and shoulder pain are still there. It's very difficult to function. I used to be nauseous and couldn't eat but I'm not nauseous very much anymore and have gained back my weight. I can't work.

I have been to five chiropractors and I'm frustrated, I also went to a physical therapist, and a massage therapist.

Hello Judi,
I can understand you being frustrated; you have a very difficult condition that is not easy to manage.

Add to that the tendency of Americans to sue their doctors, and most chiropractors would be very hesitant to take on a case like yours and treat you with any confidence. They would be more likely to treat you VERY conservatively that would probably give minimal relief, but also less likely to make things worse.

The surgery in a sense was not unsuccessful; that pain in your arm has stopped.

I would start by going for a weekly sports massage; do you homework before consulting someone; ask friends and colleagues and find someone with a good reputation.

Then I would get a home cervical traction unit, they are not expensive, and lie in it for perhaps 20 minutes every day.

Good habits are important. Don't sleep on your stomach, or fall asleep in a chair; use one soft, feather pillow. Don't carry heavy parcels in the arm that was affected.

Upper cervical adjustments are relatively, but not perfectly safe; so would adjustments in the upper thoracic spine.

Is that woozy feeling from medication?

I wish I could be more positive; then having been to five chiropractors, choose whom you think was the best for you, and give him or her permission to treat you a little more aggressively and confidently. It won't be perfect; you have a serious, nasty problem; accept that and go for an occasional but regular treatment.

I wish you luck and God speed; it won't be easy or entirely satisfactory.

Dr B

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