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Question
Posted by: Radio | 2010/01/06

Clarify Radiologist' s Report - Left Neck/Shoulder/Arm

Good Day

During June 2009 I started suffering from pain at the base of my neck on the left side and pain in my left upper arm.
I could still move my neck and arm but I was in constant pain.

I visited a pharmacist who prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and pain medication but this did not help. I then visited a GP who also prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and pain medication but this did not help.
I then visited two chiropractors.

One explained something using his fingers that bones in my neck were not moving together –  therefore this is causing strain. He did acupuncture on my neck and shoulder area.

The other said that my condition was something like a slip disk. He recommended 3 or 4 sessions of manipulation but as I could not do so he said that I could try a neck brace.
The neck brace provided some relief initially but later actually resulted in discomfort and pain.
(The first chiro said that he could not understand why the other chiro recommended a neck brace.)
At subsequent sessions he also did acupuncture on my neck and shoulder area.

The latter recommended that I visit a radiologist.
The radiologist furnished the following report.

“ CERVICAL SPINE –  2 VIEWS
Loss of the lordosis is consistent with muscle spasm
Degenerative changes with marginal and bridging osteophytes seen.
There appears to be a disk space narrowing at the C5-6 level.
Posterior elements appear intact.
There is osteophytic encroachment of the right C6-7 neutral foramen.
No cervical ribs noted.
Pre cervical soft tissues appear intact.
Cervical spondylitic changes are seen.” 

I’ m a 33 year-old female and for the last 3 and a half years I have been spending my working day in front of a computer.
I am 1,58m and I weigh 80kg –  so I’ m overweight –  as I have been for the past ten years.

I want to know what the report means. It is good, bad or to be expected.
Should a person of my age have the degenerative changes and other conditions indicated in the report?

I found that going to the chiros (+-6 sessions in total) was not all that helpful

I have been using one specific pillow for as long as I can remember but in May 2009 and decided to change to a new pillow.
One of my colleagues suggested that I change my pillow so I went back to my old pillow and that did the trick.

The pain in at the base of my neck on the left side and pain in my left upper arm and shoulder are occurring again although not so severely.

Could this pain be related to the air-conditioner or stress or bad posture?

I seem to be most aware of the condition when I’ m in the office.

What can I do to address this situation?

Please advise.

Thanks!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageChiroDoc

Loss of the lordosis is consistent with muscle spasm - There is a loss of the normal forward curve probably as a result of some muscle spasm
Degenerative changes with marginal and bridging osteophytes seen - possibly some narrowing of disc spaces as well as some small "osteophytes" - tiny spur formations.
There appears to be a disk space narrowing at the C5-6 level - narrowing (degeneration) of the C5/C6 disc - possibly the causitive region for your symptoms.
Posterior elements appear intact - Normal
There is osteophytic encroachment of the right C6-7 neural foramen - more spur formation causing a diminished nerve root space between these two vertebra (another possible reason for your problem)
No cervical ribs noted. - Good (Normal)
Pre cervical soft tissues appear intact. - Normal
Cervical spondylitic changes are seen.” - as above report.

The symptoms are indicative of nerve root irritation and may require some surgical ntervention. A neurosurgeon would be the best option.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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