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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What are the options for treating nerve pain?

Hi. Since a car accident in Sept 09, I have had problems which seem to eminate from about half way down the shoulder blade but hard up against the spine. It will begin with a pin prick sensation which seems to just go puff and as it changes from that pin prick, that whole quarter of my torso will either go tingly like my arm might if I had slept on it or as is often the case it will give pain. Late last spring, my gp finally admitted that perhaps it is not just wear and tear as he had diagnosed, after I experienced my first ever level 10 pain. For me, a level 10 does 1 of 2 things. Knocks you right out or kills . Obviously, it knocked me out. But after waking face down in a puddle of my own sick, I called my doctor and he began giving me pregabalin capsules. They help a bit and I have progressed to 2 x 300mg per day by fall last year. I feel that there is some kind of on going nerve damage happening around that area, because the pain that had been brought to manageable levels a few months back, is now beginning to seriously hurt. Apart from increasing the dose of pregabalin- again! - what are my options? Can they some how kill the nerve which is causing this sciatic like pain in that quarter of my torso? I spent much of last year trying to get an MRI of that area done, but no joy. My last hoop to jump through, last year, before finally getting to see the guys who can order the mri and I was just referred back to my gp (square one) and months of depression and a hugely growing lack of faith in both the NHS and my gp for actually getting something done about it. Being disabled through lower and middle spinal injuries and damage (permanent and progressive, to quote my doctors), I cannot help but feel inside that they simply think that his body has had it anyway, so why waste the money trying to fix one problem when there are so many others which we just give him drugs for in the hope that he will suffer quietly. Many thanks Andy
Fri, 28 Mar 2014
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Emergency Medicine Specialist 's  Response
I am sorry to hear you are having such difficulties. I believe your pain is as a result of a "pinched nerve" in your neck. You can actually check this by tipping your head back as far as it will go. If this reproduces your pain, or increases your pain, you have your diagnosis! Fancy word for this is cervical radiculopathy, otherwise known as a pinched nerve. There is a specific type of physical therapy for this called cervical traction. You can go to a physical therapist and they will show you how to use the device. Once you have done that you can take the device home and use it in the comfort of your own home. Twenty minutes a day for two weeks and you will feel significant relief if this is indeed the cause of your discomfort. Hope this helps and that you feel better soon.
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