Greetings from a first time forum user; I just signed up to this site; having not used a forum format of this type, it has taken me a while to navigate it, although not as long as it took to navigate the health care system. I thought doctors knew what they were doing up until five years ago (how naive). It took visits to 12 doctors until I found one who figured out I had repetitive stress injuries in my arms and hands: it was a neurosurgeon who made the diagnosis in five minutes by just pressing points on my arm; he turned out to be correct. I had an operation on 3 areas of my dominant arm, and my unbearable arm pain went away.
I hope I don't have to go to another 12 doctors for my current symptoms--(and now I have really terrible health insurance). Basically my symptoms are intermittent weakness and radiating pain in my arms after doing activities such as typing, gripping, or lifting. I also have numb toes. I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis (sic?) of the cervical spine with three degenerated cervical discs. However, my neck rarely hurts; my legs feel fine; but my extremities get the brunt of my problems: i.e., tingling, severe sharp & dull pain (at the same time!); toes that tingle, feel numb (like novacaine). I did have MRIs for three consecutive years; a spine surgeon said although my discs were degenerated, they didn't warrant surgery, and believes no 'neurosurgical intervention would help my symptoms' (he is a world famous spine surgeon and doesn't need the business). So I'm taking tramadol (about 200mg a day) and neurotin (about 300-600 mg a day). I also have ADHD, and that doesn't help in remembering all the things I need to do to stay relatively comfortable (like wearing a back brace). I'm putting on red reflective tape on everything to help remind me to maintain my therapeutic interventions, and I'm doing low-stress yoga. I don't want the condition to get worse, though. I can just barely work full time. I'm reaching the 'tipping' point, though, since even typing thus far is beginning to give me tingling in my arms. Does this sound like cervial spondy...and bone spur interference/osteoarthritis, which did appear in my MRIs as well. Short of various interventions like electrical implants, from what I've read, 'living a healthy lifestyle' is about all the treatment I can do. Any feedback, observations, opinions would be welcome. Cheers!