I am having severe neck pain (fast becoming unbearable). I have had some pain for several years but, it has become much worse in recent months and am in the slow process of getting an appointment, through my family doctor, with a neurosurgeon. I am trying to gather all the information I can to anticipate his possible diagnosis.
excellent (no medication)
I have had surgery on C4 & C5 as early as 1972 (C4 normal intrusive surgery ) and as recent as 1997 (Micro diskoptomy) for herniated disks.
Ever since the 1972 surgery (I think it was on C4) I have had have some residual chronic neck pain (on the left side) from the original surgery and had contributed my current pain to that surgery (1972) however, two weeks ago, I happened to look in the mirror and realized that my right shoulder was noticeably lower than my left shoulder.
I also noticed that the left tendon/muscle that attached to the base of my skull (extending downward.) was extremely rigid whereas the right side was totally relaxed. (while standing straight and relaxed with both arms hanging down to my side).
With my wife was observing both the left and right tendon/muscle, I put light pressure (with my hand) to the right side of my head (horizontally), pushing it to the left (facing mirror). With this pressure exerted, the pain in my neck suddenly disappeared and promptly returned when I released the pressure.
At the same time, my wife had her fingers on each tendon/muscle in the back of my head and observed that the left tendon/muscle (which was distended) seemed to relax and both tendon/muscle felt equal when pressure was applied to the right side of my head as described above.
On my first visit to my family doctor, he was alarmed by the drooping of my right shoulder ( or raising of my left shoulder) and the tight tendon/muscle at the base of my skull (left side). He described it as being as "tight as a banjo string".
He attributed it to my body trying to compensate for the pain and, as a result, the muscles on my left shoulder was more developed. He didn't think the muscles on my right shoulder had atrophied.
When I visited my family doctor, I hadn't discovered the symptoms of putting pressure to the right side of my head (described above) that relieved my pain.
Tests ordered by my family doctor:
MRI - result: irregularity observed (pressure ) on C5
Nerve tests on both arms - result - anomaly on leftarm (C5)
I have researched Dystonia and involuntary muscle contraction but, I didn't find symptoms that matched my problem. If you can shed any light on the symptoms i have described or can provide links, I would appreciate it.
Sorry about my grammer, I may have to much codine in my system to be very coherent.