Even Though I Have Neck Problems I Was Sent For An Endoscopy Esophagogastroduodenoscopy
Often we will hear a story, it goes something like this:
I have had chronic problems with my neck. One of my problems is that, over time, I have found it more difficult to swallow foods. I was sent for an endoscopy to rule out digestive problems, I have already had enough x-rays and MRI to rule out cancer. I know the swallowing difficulty is from my neck problems. My diet over the last few months has increasingly become a steady menu of soups and broths. I feel something is stuck in my throat, I belch a lot, I get anxious about eating for fear of choking on my food. I also find that many times when I try to swallow I feel like I am going to faint or pass out.
My endoscopy was inconclusive
What Is Degenerative Disc Disease
One of the more unfortunate aspects of getting older is that your joints begin to wear out, oftentimes for no good reason. This wear and tear of the joints is not only common in the knees and the hips but also in the spine. The exact reason why the joints of the spine begin to wear out is not known and may be a combination of factors, such as doing a lot of lifting, having a family history of spine problems or having an injury to the spine. This wear and tear is a form of arthritis, which is where the cartilage in the spine joints begins to wear out. Regardless of the cause, it is well known that arthritis of the spine often increases with increasing maturity for no reason that can be identified.
Herniated Disc Arm Pain
Many cases of arm and neck pain are blamed on a prolapsed disc in the neck, but actually are not due to any structural source in the spine. It is vital to know that most intervertebral herniations do not influence the neurological tissues and therefore do not produce pain. In these scenarios, the herniations are incidental to the discomfort.
Some instances of upper back and arm pain can be caused by thoracic outlet syndrome, which typically presents itself as muscular interaction with the nerve center known as the brachial plexus. In other patients, the muscles might interact with the crucial vascular tissues in the region, such as the subclavian artery or vein.
Of course, there are other possible explanations for pain, including regional ischemia, disease processes and the very good chance for an idiopathic causation. A great number of patients have symptoms which seem to come from no definitive source, although most of these sufferers will be labeled with an incorrect diagnosis, since this is the way of the modern dorsalgia treatment sector.
Arm Pain from a Herniated Disc Suggestions
It is very possible to suffer arm pain from a herniated disc and related tingling, numbness and weakness from a physical injury. This is true whether a herniated disc is present or not. However, injuries will heal and should not leave long lasting symptoms in place for months or even years.
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The Universal Guide To Sciatica: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know Straight From The Experts
In This Article:What Is Sciatica? | What Is The Sciatic Nerve? | What Are Common Sciatica Symptoms? | What Causes Sciatica? | How Is Sciatica Diagnosed? | What Are Some Nonsurgical Sciatica Treatments? | Do You Need Sciatica Surgery? | What Type of Sciatica Surgery Do You Need ? |
The sharp, shooting nerve pain of sciatica can take your breath away. When low back pain radiates through the buttocks and down the leg, the symptoms are known as sciatica. Although sciatica is commonaffecting up to 40% of adultsthere are many misconceptions about what sciatica is.
Leg pain that descends below the knee is the classic hallmark of sciatica, a type of lumbar radiculopathy. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
What Do They Look For In An Mri Or Ct Scan
These scans are looking for problems that can occur in the discs that rest between the bones. As you get older, not only does the jelly part of the disc begin to dry up, the radial tire part that holds the jelly inside also can begin to weaken. As it weakens, the pressure of the spine on the disc can begin to squeeze the jelly part against the weakened radial tire part. If the disc sees a lot of stress, the pressure of the jelly can cause a bulge in the disc, . This bulging of the disc is very common as you get more mature, and almost everyone has some disc bulging in their spines. This bulging rarely causes symptoms and is considered a normal part of getting older. If the pressure is great enough and the radial tire part weak enough, this bulge can get larger. This larger bulge is called a protruding disc, and if it gets big enough it may actually push against the nerves as they leave the spinal cord and run to your extremities . This can cause pain or the symptoms of an unhappy nerve: tingling, numbness and weakness.
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Abdominal Aneurysm Can Present With Sciatica And Low Back Pain
abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarging of the lower portion of the aortic artery that resides in the abdomenThe abdominal aorta is the part that sits within the abdomen. It is below the kidneys and in close proximity to the front of the spineintense pain can be felt in the lower back along with sciatica symptoms
Is It A Slipped Disc Or Something Else
Are you hunched over when you get out of bed in order to avoid the debilitating pain that comes with straightening your back? Does turning a doorknob or reaching for something make you wince? Do you have pain that shoots down your leg?
These symptoms, and more, are the telltale signs of a disc problem, but not always. At Douglas J. Abeles MD & Associates, we treat many types of back problems in our patients in Castro Valley, California, and while disc issues are common, theyre not the only offenders. Your spine is an incredibly complex structure with primary and secondary players, and theres a lot that can go wrong. Lets take a look.
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Using Shoes With High Heels And Arent Adequately Cushioned
Wearing high-heeled shoes shifts your body weight and the center of gravity, forcing you to hunch forward at the hips. On the other hand, footwear without cushioned insoles contributes to transferring the impact of steps to the hips or back. These events can lead to stretching of the hip and the knee muscles alongside the sciatic nerve, resulting in irritation and compression.
Why Do We Develop The Chronic Muscle Tension That Compresses The Lumbar Spine
The lower back muscles are core muscles: the strong muscles at the center of our body that initiate and control our movement and posture.
Full-body movements begin with movement of our pelvis, carried out by our lower back and abdominal muscles. These core muscles provide essential control and stability as we move. Our standing and sitting posture also develops based on how we hold our pelvis when were not moving.
Since were always using our lower back muscles, and often demand that they perform repetitive or powerful actions, its very common for them to become chronically tight. Heres why:
The movement and level of contraction of our muscles is controlled by our nervous system. The way that our muscles move, and how much we keep them contracted, is actually learned over time by our nervous system.
Our nervous system learns certain ways of using our muscles based on how we choose to stand and move each and every day. Our nervous system notices the postures and movements that we tend to repeat, and it gradually makes these postures and movements automatic so that we dont have to consciously think about them. Part of this process of automation is that our nervous system starts keeping certain muscles partially contracted all the timethis saves us time and conscious attention in carrying out repetitive actions.
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Shoulder Pain From A Herniated Disc
Shoulder pain from a herniated disc is often diagnosed when a bulging disc exists in the middle or lower cervical spinal regions and is suspected of compressing one of the nerve roots that innervate the shoulder anatomy. Shoulder pain can be associated with a wide range of neck and back pain conditions and can surely come about from a severe disc herniation, given the right circumstances. However, most structural conditions in the spine or shoulder respond well to indicated medical care and should resolve in a matter of weeks.
For incessant pain which defies all attempts at treatment, there may be a completely different reason for the symptoms. Patients must be aware of the alternate possibilities to avoid becoming slaves to lasting symptomatic therapy or victims of unnecessary spinal operations.
This treatise will examine shoulder pain as it may or may not be related to disc pathologies in the neck. The article will also propose other possible sources of these same symptoms when disc issues seem likely to be innocent of blame, being that no definitive nerve interaction is taking place.
Facts You Should Know About Cauda Equina Syndrome
- Cauda equina syndrome is complication from the compression of the nerves at the end of the spinal cord within the spinal canal.
- Cauda equina syndrome can be caused by any condition that results in direct irritation or pinching of the nerves at the end of the spinal cord.
- Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include low back pain, numbness and/or tingling in the buttocks and lower extremities , weakness in the legs, and incontinence of bladder and/or bowels.
- Cauda equina syndrome is diagnosed based on the characteristic symptoms and confirmed by neurologic and radiology testing.
- Cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency generally requiring a surgical decompression operation.
- The outlook for patients affected by cauda equina syndrome is determined by the extent of damage to involved nerve tissue.
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Swallowing Difficulties: A Problem Of Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction
Swallowing difficulty may also be due to autonomic nervous system dysfunction that may be caused by Barré-Lieou Syndrome, also known as a posterior cervical sympathetic syndrome and cervicocranial syndrome. This can be a severely debilitating condition in which the autonomic nervous system of the head and neck area is not working correctly. In almost all patients we see, there is a link between cervical spine instability and the onset of Barré-Lieou Syndrome.
Swallowing is a very complex process that involves the mouth, throat, and esophagus. Many nerves and muscles affect the correct functioning of these parts, and while part of the process of swallowing is under voluntary control, much of it is involuntary. Cervical spine instability can affect both voluntary and involuntary responses.
- Another clue linking the cervical ligaments to swallowing difficulties.
MRI of the neck showing bulging discs at c5-c6 causing a narrowing of the subarachnoid space. The space between the arachnoid membrane and pia mater containing the cerebrospinal fluid and large blood vessels that supply the brain and spinal cord. The person in this MRI had neck pain, headaches, swallowing difficulties, sinusitis, balancing issues that were related to cervical spine instability.
Altered Cervical Joint Position And Movement Sense Static And Dynamic Balance And Ocular Mobility And Coordination Should Become An Essential Part Of The Routine Assessment Of Those With Traumatic Neck Pain
Dr. Julia Treleaven, Ph.D., is a member of the Neck Pain and Whiplash Research Group, Division of Physiotherapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia. She has also written numerous papers on the problems of impaired function in the cervical neck. The paper cited at the top of this article is one that she co-authored.
In the July 2017 edition of The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy she wrote:
There is considerable evidence to support the importance of cervical afferent dysfunction in the development of dizziness, unsteadiness, visual disturbances, altered balance, and altered eye and head movement control following neck trauma, especially in those with persistent symptoms.
However, there are other possible causes for these symptoms, and secondary adaptive changes should also be considered in the differential diagnosis.
Understanding the nature of these symptoms and differential diagnoses of their potential origin is important for rehabilitation. In addition to symptoms, the evaluation of potential impairments and coordination) should become an essential part of the routine assessment of those with traumatic neck pain, including those with concomitant injuries such as concussion and vestibular or visual pathology or deficits.
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What Is A Disc Prolaps Of The Neck
If you have a disc prolaps , part of an intervertebral disc protrudes from the spine. This occurs most frequently in the lower back or in the neck . The protruding part presses against a nerve root. This can irritate the nerve, and it may even get trapped, causing complaints in the part of the body supplied by this nerve, with pain radiating to an arm.
Intervertebral discs may start to protrude as a person gets older. They may even tear, and then its contents can be pushed towards the spinal canal, just where the nerve root is located. This type of ageing of the intervertebral disc is a normal process and can happen to all people. This means that anyone can get a herniated cervical disc, though it does tend to occur more frequently in some families. Smoking also appears to have an influence, especially on the severity of the problem.
Signs and symptoms
The main complaint among patients with a herniated cervical disc is a pain that radiates to their arm. This pain usually starts before the pain in the neck, or at the same time. The pain often increases when patients cough, sneeze or push. But tilting the head backwards and/or turning it sideways can also increase the pain in the patient’s arm, often resulting in a sharp, stabbing pain. Patients may also feel tingling and/or numbness, or their muscles may weaken.
How is disc prolaps of the neck diagnosed?
Do I need additional examinations?
What are my treatment possibilities?
Can Neck Pain Be A Cause Of Something Serious
Neck pain is a common complaint for a large portion of the population at any age. This kind of pain can often be debilitating and can make performing even the most simple tasks extremely difficult. It can spring from serious back or nerve issues such as a pinched nerve, herniated disc, or underlying spinal/vertebrae issues.
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What Is A Herniated Cervical Disc
A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like center of your disc ruptures out through a tear in the tough disc wall . The gel material is irritating to your spinal nerves, causing something like a chemical irritation. The pain is a result of spinal nerve inflammation and swelling caused by the pressure of the herniated disc. Over time, the herniation tends to shrink and you may experience partial or complete pain relief. In most cases, if neck and/or arm pain is going to resolve it will do so in about 6 weeks.
Different terms may be used to describe a herniated disc. A bulging disc occurs when the disc annulus remains intact, but forms an outpouching that can press against the nerves. A true herniated disc occurs when the disc annulus cracks or ruptures, allowing the gel-filled center to squeeze out. Sometimes the herniation is so severe that a free fragment occurs, meaning a piece has broken completely free from the disc and is in the spinal canal.
How Is A Herniated Disc Properly Diagnosed
If any of the types of pain or numbness described above are felt, the best thing to do is to see a doctor. Typically, they will do a physical exam to find the source of the pain. They may want to do further testing to rule out any other issues. The most common imaging for this condition is MRI. MRI, magnetic resonance imaging, produces 3-D images of body structures using powerful magnets and computer technology. MRI will show the spinal cord, nerve roots, and surrounding areas and allow the doctor to see any abnormalities in the spine.
At CORE Orthopedics we use an Open MRI machine. The MRI magnet is considered open because of the size of the opening. The primary benefit is patient comfort during the procedure. By using the revolutionary technology of the MAGNETOM Espree we are able to give our patients the comfort and space of an open MRI with imaging power of a traditional closed unit.
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The Importance Of Not Damaging The Vagus Nerve In Pylorus
I want to use a study not to debate the use of pylorus-preserving gastrectomy, which may be a needed and necessary procedure for people with cancer, but to demonstrate a newfound awareness, of the role of the vagus nerve in digestion and the importance of not damaging or removing the vagus nerve during this surgery.
Some of you reading this article may have been recommended to this type of surgery because you are considered a very complicated non-cancer case and you are not responding to traditional treatments for the digestive and gastrointestinal distress you are suffering from. This surgery will remove part of your stomach. Pylorus-preserving gastrectomy means that the surgeons will leave behind that portion of your stomach with the pyloric valve intact. If the pyloric valve is removed, the food in the stomach will move too quickly into the small intestine and cause another problem, post-gastrectomy syndrome.
An October 2020 study produced by gastrointestinal surgeons gave us this concern about nerve preservation:
Function-preserving gastrectomy, especially pylorus-preserving gastrectomy, can improve the quality of life and has been widely recognized. With the development of surgical techniques and equipment, nerve preservation has become a new requirement in the era of precision medicine, but the preservation of the celiac branch of the vagal nerve remains controversial in gastric cancer surgery.
What is being said here?
Those functions outlined above include: