My pain in the neck

Information about how to manage or reduce the severity of BFS symptoms

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My pain in the neck

Postby dtmguy on September 28th, 2007, 5:39 pm

Well, finally finagled a C-spine MRI, and the news sort of confirms something I've been suspecting--disk problems with a bit of spinal stenosis and compression. I'm seeing a positive correlation between neck issues and my twitching as well. I'm waiting for a second opinion and also exploring conservative and more radical surgical options.

My MRI showed a congenitally fused set of vertebrae, as well as disk issues, some spinal cord effacement and stenosis, but thankfully no spinal cord damage (yet).

I began to get an idea what was going on when I found that when I woke up with horrible twitching, it might abate if I reoriented my sleeping position. Sleeping on my stomach was a guaranteed disaster.

I twitch like most of you do, but have not shown any correlation to autoimmune system issues. I can also get complete cessations for up-to-now unknown reasons, sometimes within seconds. I also get associated headaches, tinnitus, vision effects, and some things that many of you have not reported which are not typically associated with PNHE as Hart thinks of it. I'm *S-clear by MRI, and like all of us, don't have A*S. My worst time for twitching and other goodies is about 4 - 5 AM.

I'm finding that when I deal with basic neck things and also am trying icing down, that I get corresponding decrease in my twitching and paresthesias. Specifically, when I work my upper body without working my neck, I tend to feel better. Not always, but generally. I need that disclaimer lest I hear 50 BFSers making for their pharmacies immediately to buy neck icepacks. If I could invent a neck treatment device that also infused magnesium into the wearer, then sold it to BFSers, I'd make a nice piece of change, by the way.

I found when looking at neck issues (specifically cervical issues and stenosis) that there can be microdamage to the spinal cord. Of specific interest to me is the impact on spinal blood and CSF circulation and local ischemia, or inadequate blood flow in small parts of your spinal cord, which could account for the roving hotspots some of us get. Those circulation deficits need not just be on the outside of the cord either. Being that ischemia either produces neuronal death or hyperexcitable neurons, I found this info interesting. When I take various medications that are vasoconstrictors (various antidepressants in particular), it is like my brain gets hit by a train as well and I twitch like crazy. I'm looking now to find whether vasculature in the spinal cord has serotonin receptors and if they furtherconstrict in response to serotonin--no cites yet--which would make local ischemia even worse.

As always, I'll keep forum members up-to-date should things improve (or not). But, I guess my message is that for at least a subset of you, don't neglect your neck, especially if you have known cervical or spinal issues.

I'm also through listening to doctors say "that can't happen" or "that doesn't have any connection." 10 years ago I got that same response for GERD (GORD in the UK) and PVCs. Now, research has indicated that those two entities are connected and common. Ditto for antidepressant withdrawal symptoms, which were long denied by the medical profession, are now well documented and acknowledged. Research moves on, but unfortunately, clinicians who treat by the book rather than by their patients' symptoms and reports appear to remain the same.

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Joined: August 25th, 2005, 10:25 pm

My pain in the neck



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