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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can neck arthritis cause pain radiating form the back of the head towards the neck?

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Dr. Mahaveer Patil

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 1209 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 27 Jul 2018 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: How can arthritis in my neck cause me so much pain? most everyone by a certain age has arthritic somewhere in their body, but in my 70 years I have never heard of, or witnessed anyone having the same kind of reaction to the pain as I do, as I am right now. I just took my last Tylenol 3 but I don't have an appt with a pain doctor until the 16th. Backing up..the pain got much worse on Dec 20th so I went to Quick Care., Then Dec 24 it flared up again and I went to the ER. but most of the time it's just a dull ache. But then suddenly I will feel like someone hit me in the back of my head, OR the top of my shoulder starts to hurt as well as the left side of my head. and the pain radiates to my neck, front and back (still left side) and I have spasms front and back too. I also have another problem and it is a week ago when I woke up my feet and legs were terribly swollen with fluid. my primary care doc just gave me a diuretic but I misplaced it and only found it tonight. I'm sorry for such a long 'question'.
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Answered by Dr. Mahaveer Patil 41 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Rule out a slipped disc

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for posting the question.
I have gone through your medical history in detail.

I agree with you that arthritis of spine won't cause so much pain as you have been experiencing right now.
So,I would suggest you that you should rule out an underlying cervical slipped disc.
Such slipped disc often causes excruciating pain in neck,head and both shoulder blades due to compression of the spinal nerves.An MRI of the cervical spine will be helpful to rule out a slipped disc.

A severe degenerative cervical disc leading to nerve impingement will also cause such kind of pain.

Using a cervical soft collar around the neck during ambulating will be of immense help.
Physiotherapy including cervical traction,short wave diathermy and active/passive neck exercises should help.

Accumulation of fluid in the feet and legs can be caused by hypoproteinemia or long term use of anti-hypertensive drugs (if any).Anemia can also cause such swelling.

You should get a detailed blood investigation profile including blood counts,Serum electrolytes ,serum albumin and proteins checked.

Taking diuretics like lasix/furosemide will be helpful.

Keep the legs elevated over a pillow to allow gravity-induced drainage of the accumulated fluid.

I hope the answer was useful.

Feel free to ask me any follow up queries that you may have.

Thank you.
Best wishes.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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