Have neck arthritis and pain elsewhere?

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by Nanamel2u, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. Nanamel2u

    Nanamel2u New Member

    I am new here but have a question concerning osteo-arthritis of the neck. I have been diagnosed with arthritis of the neck. I have the usual symptoms, stiffness of the neck, pain when turning my head etc., all on my right side. However I also get pain down my upper spine on my right side. Sometimes it's by my sholder blade other times it's midback. Once in awhile it's like a ping or sharp poke then it's gone. Sometimes it will hurt arond my ribcage also.

    I am wondering if this is normal? Does neck pain cause upper back pain? Also, I was prescribed 500mg. of Naproxen for the inflammation and I am worried about long term use. How long is too long to be taking it? Thank you.

    [This Message was Edited on 06/24/2010]
  2. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I hope that you have gotten a specialist that is looking forward and got an MRI of your neck and spine to see what is happening. Did he? Sharp pain involving the spine or bones should be checked. It can be that a nerve is impinging on the bone--that might be caused by the inflammation you have or it could be something else. Here are two to consider

    1. Here is Mayo Clinic's Definition of costochondritis
    By Mayo Clinic staff

    Costochondritis (kos-toe-KHON-dri-tis) is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). It causes sharp pain in the costosternal joint — where your ribs and breastbone are joined by rubbery cartilage. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.

    Your doctor might refer to costochondritis by other names, including chest wall pain, costosternal syndrome and costosternal chondrodynia. When the pain of costochondritis is accompanied by swelling, it's referred to as Tietze syndrome.

    Most cases of costochondritis have no apparent cause. In these cases, treatment focuses on easing your pain while you wait for costochondritis to improve on its own.

    [TWO CATS' NOTE: I had this and the doctor diagnosing it and pressing just made me really hurt, but it went away. So to get more details, symptoms, etc., go to Mayo Clinic's site at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/costochondritis/DS00626 ]

    2. Years ago in another state I began having difficulty with some pain and walking and had to use a cane and saw the primary care doctor who gave me some anti-inflammatories. Eventually he shipped me to the Orthopedic doctor who discovered I had nerves actually getting impacted by my spinal bones. The next visit to the specialist that day I suddenly couldn't urinate and he put me in the hospital on emergency and the orthopedic doctor I saw did the surgery to correct that. I was then able to walk without pain and urinate once again.

    But it took the specialist to find it and take care of it. My primary care doctor and I never dreamed it was going to be that serious and need surgery. But it taught me that serious stuff occurs and to be careful and seek professional help and at times push for that x-ray or MRI.
  3. Nanamel2u

    Nanamel2u New Member

    Thank you all for your replies! I will definitely look into all the suggestions made here. I talked to my physical therapist and he said it may be that I have something called "referred" pain. It's where you hurt in one place but feel it in another. I looked it up on this website http://www.arthritismd.com/neck-arthritis.html and it is a possibility.

    My therapist also said the pings could be from from the nerves in my back being compressed by tight muscles finally starting to loosen up with therapy. I guess with the neck pain I lost some mobilty. I only feel the pings when I move my head in certain ways.

    When I was first diagnosed 2 years ago I wasn't given any info. I was given steriods for the swelling and that was it! Now that it has gotten worse I am getting treatment (therapy and meds). I am trying to understand the neck arthritis and how I can improve my quality of life with it.