Life is what happens while your busy making other plans-John Lennon
I'm post op 4 yrs and it has never went away. I have found that lying down, taking the stress of my neck and shoulders does temporarely relieve it though. You might give it a try.
Best of luck to you.
Test after test...still no answers for the multitude of issues since the 3level ACDF. It seems that most doctors just don't want to get involved. I use the other drugs sparingly, the long term side effects are concerning and just plain scary.....but the muscle spasm meds are a must. Tizanadine is now my friend. Just hope it is not a life long one.
Good Luck to You.
I had my ACDF level 5/6 done October 15, 2009 and I am experiencing the same pain as you. I start to do things around the house, and the pain in between my shoulder stops me in my tracks. When I eat anytime at the table my pain comes too. I use cold packs alot.
I haven't asked my doctor about it yet. But, when you said your pain started after your surgery in your shoulders, mind did too. The nurse at the doctor office said it could from the stretching affect of the spine with new disk. I hope this will go away soon. Nerve pain is good example of the pain. Can Anyone out there can help us?
You are still recovering from your surgery so hopefully what I'm about to say is not your case (I hope!).
I had surgery in 2005 and have suffered from the pain you are describing since.
I have been to numerous doctors, had numerous MRI's, EMG's and any other test you can think of with no diagnosis except Fibromyalgia.
Nothing and I mean nothing entirely gets rid of my pain. Some days aren't too bad. Some days are hell!
Just wanted to give you some input. I know not everyone is the same and I'm not a doctor but I have been through it all trying to find a reason for this pain. Quite simply the only reason is I had the surgery and this is the after effect.
I had to quit my job of thirty years because of this. Now I spend my days around the house doing the most I can. When the pain gets severe I have to stop and rest. It's very frustrating but I've learned this is my "new life" at 49 and deal with it.
For some people I've heard Physical Therapy has helped (three times for me and it did not) but it is definitely worth a try since you are so fresh from surgey.
I wish you all the luck.
Thanks for your reply! It does help with my recovery. My shoulder pain is little today, believe it nor not! I was at a church function today for a little over three hours and feel better. Maybe, all these bishops and priest had something to do with it!!!!!! Well, anyway, pain is better. Thanks again for your support.
that the head is no longer pivoting the way it used to. With this new Folcrum Point the muscles
are having to do more/different work to hold and move the head. He likend it to a brick wall tumbling forward and the back muscles are holding it up.
Our goal will be to strenghten these muscles to the point they are no longer under strain. I sure hope it works. As I do this therapy, I'm to make sure I maintain good posture, with my head back.
I don't know if that helps anyone, but I hope it helps me, as this pain is not any kind of fun, and I'm not yet 40.
I think if your pain persists it's something to look into. The problem is that if something is wrong, then the damage is done. Only a MRI will show exactly what's going on.
After C-5,C-6 replacement in 2005 (yes you read it right!) I have not recovered from the type of pain you are describing.
I have had numerous MRI's, EMG's, the list goes on and on without any findings. Numerous doctors finally gave up on a diagnosis and decided to give it the name Fibromyalgia. Funny I developed it after surgery!
I do however personally know people that have had the same type of surgery, suffered the same type of pain, and had to endure another surgery. Needless to say it might have helped their spianl problems but they are still in agony like us.
Keep us updated on your progress and findings. I'm still not ready to give up hope for a cure.
I had a 5/6 fusion surgery done in October 15, 2009, my therapy has started and I am almost pain free!! I still have some pain in my traps but most of it is gone. I feel so much better now. The alignment of the neck theory is probably right. Lots of exercise to improve your strengh around your spine and neck are very necessary. My therapist is doing a great job in building my strengh. Time has improve my neck. Lots of rest. Lots of ice packs at night. The only problem that I seem to experience with my surgery was, when I lean over, my neck felt so so heavy. But now, it no big deal. Hope this helps.
If I had known all of this I would have NEVER had the surgery to fix my neck, which by the way is much better.
ANYway, the point I wanted to make is that the only reason he even looked further was due to the symptoms I was telling him about between my shoulder blades. He told me that it's a VERY clear indication of the failed fusion when you have pain in that area... I am rather disgusted though not surprised to hear your surgeon did not know why you'd have pain there. I am a nurse (a neuro one to boot) and did a TON of research to find my surgeon and I trust him with my life (obviously! :-) and feel confident in what he tells me. (it's a phenomenal practice near DC and we travel to see him) We decided to wait a little more than 3 mos to try accupuncture for the pain and to make sure it's not just from spasms due to the therapy that has been focused on strengthening that exact area that according to my PT is very weak and unstable and may have been the cause of the neck problem to start with. I've had back pain/problems since around '03 now and ended up being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in '04 despite having a herniated disc at that exact level even back then and bulging discs in my lumbar spine... I told EVERYone that I knew my back was the source of my pain but they somehow convinced me that it was Fibro.
Well after being on TONS of meds for like 4 yrs and gaining over 70lbs despite working out and dieting religiously I was fed up and took myself off ALL my meds and saw a doc in CA whom I paid out of pocket for alternative therapy. No real success there but two good things happened... I found out how BAD my neck was hurting (like I'd nearly pass out if I coughed etc.) and was able to get a full back MRI out of that doctor since I paid for his services for a year... so ultimately I diagnosed myself and once I saw that scan and took it to a surgeon I trusted I was told I had two choices- have fibromyalgia or have it in a wheelchair!
SOOOO my point to this LONG :-) post is that you have to educate yourself and you have to trust your gut! Don't listen to ONE doctor if you feel at all you are not getting answers that make sense to you or if you are 'blown off' or if you are not getting better!!! I hate to be the one to say it but doctors are like the rest of us- there are great ones and there are ones I wouldn't let touch my cat! Same as any field, but unfortunately we as a society have been taught to trust them emphatically. Don't. NO ONE will care for your health as much as you do (and your loved ones) so if something either doesn't sound right or your body is screaming at you that things aren't right then keep looking, keep asking- who CARES if they think you are a pain- it CAN"T be as bad as the pain we deal with every day ALL day. I do feel for you all and pray that you find a solution to your pain- believe me I KNOW what it does to you. I'm praying that things work out for me and I am still completely happy I did the surgery to begin with- best move I made! My pain overall is MUCH improved and I know that I do have Fibro and that complicates things but I am hoping I can get off my Fentanyl patch again and stave off the pain in my low back with anti-imflammatories (which my surgeon couldn't believe I wasn't on! and which finally gave me tons of relief- WELL after my surgery of course!!!) and steroid caudal epidurals prn, long enough to let them get disc replacements for the lumbar spine approved by the FDA!!! My surgeon's part of the trials but I know we are a ways from that point. I swore that I would NEVER have back surgery after seeing all the failed ones come thru my unit etc. and knowing there is an actual diagnosis of failed back surgery due to SO many.... but never say never.
Best thing I did- I had progressed from numbness and tingling in my hands to having a serious decrease in my arm strength... but NO one believed me!!! LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!! :-)
hang tough- thanks for your posts and for reading mine- hope I am able to help even one person!
ps- my PT and my surgeon both told me that pain between the shoulder blades is also a very common symptom of a c5-6 herniation where the cord is impinged upon as well!!! NO ONE had told me that alllll those years and thru all those docs... I had been practically screaming about the pain there for years- and I was told that I was lucky that the CONSTANT pain I had there (slightly to the right and as if I had an arrow stuck there 24/7 that would become worse with every breath- and a deep breath- forget it!!!) was gone when I awakened from the surgery.. that very often with it going as long as mine did without treatment it's permanent and that pain in that area will never go away....I'm not a doctor- just passing on what I was told....and the pain I have now is different.. so despite the worse two days I've had pain wise since my surgery I'm hoping it's all spasm due to the car ride and stress of the bad news etc. Stress is a killer! I'll try to remember to post a follow up after that visit where we determine if another surgery is unavoidable. I dunno- as positive as I am about having done it, it was hell for me with the Fibro making the post op pain much worse...
I had this for the first couple of weeks after surgery. It gradually got better. The surgeon prescribed muscle relaxer for the first couple of weeks (flexeril, valium). These really helped. The thing that helped me the most, however, was a heat pack. You heat it up in the microwave and -place it in effected area. This helped relax those muscles and tendons.
It WILL get better. Listen to your body. When you start hurting you are OVERDOING. Take it slow. "This, too, shall pass".
I hope this helps.
Hang in there!