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What causes severe and constant head, neck and arms pain?

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Posted on Tue, 19 Jul 2016
Question: Have had severe constant head,neck,and both arms pain. Ranges from 6-10 never going below 6. Feels better when head,neck, and both arms are supported (in bed 15-20hours a day). It increases almost immediately when I use my head and neck to 10. Arms are super fatigued and feel flushed /hot when used. Occasionally drop things and don't have strength. Ongoing for over 3 years.
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Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Suggestive of nerve root compression.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
The constant severe pain and weakness of the arms 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 after the acute pain subsides.
5. Hot fomentation helps in relieving acute symptoms.
6. You can avoid using a pillow.
Since you have already had neck fusion surgeries, alternative therapies like TENS and pain killers in combination with muscle relaxants can provide some relief. You need to consult a neurologist and a pain specialist.
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.
Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Praveen-Tayal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 4874 Questions

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What causes severe and constant head, neck and arms pain?

Brief Answer: Suggestive of nerve root compression. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query. The constant severe pain and weakness of the arms 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 after the acute pain subsides. 5. Hot fomentation helps in relieving acute symptoms. 6. You can avoid using a pillow. Since you have already had neck fusion surgeries, alternative therapies like TENS and pain killers in combination with muscle relaxants can provide some relief. You need to consult a neurologist and a pain specialist. 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. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Praveen Tayal. For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Praveen-Tayal