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Pain in the neck. MRI showing deterioration in the cervical spine. Advice?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
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I am 59 years old, very athletic. Marathon runner
I had a MRI of my cervical spine 7 years ago and one just last week that showed some deterioration. Reasons both times were because of ongoing pain in neck.
I would like to have a doctor look at both, read the reports and tell me about whats going on. I understand the MRI's can be viewed on line through the imaging center
Posted Tue, 29 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 3 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The recent MRI shows mild degenerative changes. There are chronic inflammatory changes at C2-3-4 level intervertebral joints which is causing the pain. There is also mild compression of the nerve root at C3 level which might be causing shooting pains along the arm.
The changes are suggestive of cervical spondylosis.
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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