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Bad stiff neck, muscle spasms, arthritis. Prescribed flexoril. Will CAT scan show the problem?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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This all started on XXXXXXX 1st. Woke up with a bad stiff neck with pains shooting into the back of my head. Went to doctors said I was having muscle spasms. perscribed flexoril. Went back week later no better took xrays said I have arthris and bone spurs. Started PT they said I have a Bluging disc and also bone spurs. Today woke up and really bad shooting pain in back of head again. Doctor all she said was muscle spasms again. My question is how do I get a cat scan to see what is really going on in there? The doctor I have seems to think its no big deal. I dont want pills I want what ever is going on to be fixed. Also when I sit on the couch my right arm goes numb and when I have the back of my head on the couch it really makes it hurt. The back of my head. Any ideas of what might be going on in there and also How can it be fixed?
Posted Tue, 17 Jul 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
Stiff neck with tingling and numbness in the hand along with some headache is suggestive of a nerve root compression at the cervical vertebral level due to degenerative disc changes or cervical spondylosis. It happens primarily due to degenerative changes secondary to age in the cervical spine. Past neck injury may also contribute to the degeneration.

X-ray of neck in lateral view or MRI will help in the diagnosis.

Treatment includes
1. Use of cervical collar helps in immobilisation and brings relief.
2. Medical drugs like pain killers - acetaminophen/ibuprofen and muscle relaxants might be helpful.
3. Methylcobalamin supplements are also recommended for nerve compression symptoms.
4. Cervical isometric exercises are beneficial to maintain the strength of the neck muscles. Neck and upper back stretching exercises, as well as light aerobic activities, also are recommended under the guidance of a physical therapist.
5. Hot fomentation helps in relieving acute symptoms.
6. You can avoid using a pillow.

As you try these measures, I also encourage you to consult an orthopedician for both evaluation and to avail stronger prescription medications (if over the counter medications are not helpful).
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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