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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » shoulder, back , and neck pain and tightness

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Author Topic: shoulder, back , and neck pain and tightness
LisaS
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I was diagnosed, through an MRI with bulging disks in my neck. My dr also told me I have a shoulder impingement. I can only lift my right arm half of the distance I can raise my left arm. At night I wake up and can't move my arm, it huts so bad.

I went to physical therapy for both of these but it is only getting worse. It feels like the muscles in my neck, upper back, and shoulder are so tight. It hurts to be upright.

If I stand or sit too long, This tightness starts to even go into my chest. It's like a tight burning sensation.

My question is... do many others have this too? I'm thinking it's more lyme related, or the spirochetes are causing this. What are the chances or bulging disks and a shoulder impingement out of the blue, both happening at the same time.

Plus it's all on my right side. Does anyone else have this? Has it gone away with lyme treatment? It started back in December and never went away.

In fact the ER doc gave me steroids for my neck and that's when the shoulder pain started. Until I had the steroids I never had any of the muscle pain or nerve pain, or arthitis, it had been mostly neuro symtoms. Now I got it all.

I believe I've been sick for 18 years with lyme, but have been only treating for three years. Well, actually two, because of money problems and not sure about the diagnosis I stopped all treatment for a year, but only got worse. So now I'm on Cef, Zith, and Nystatin. But jsut getting worried, I was bedbound for five months.

After going back on Zith I am able to get up and move around my house and yard again, but this muscle stuff is putting me back in bed. I try to do as much as I can, but sometimes it's getting to hard.

Any opinions or shared experieces with this? [bonk]

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Posts: 1078 | From Lake Geneva WI | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MBB3
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Hello LisaS

I suffer from mostly Neuro sx's=nerve pain (burning/stabbing/hypersthesia), tinnitus etc.

Like yourself, I too have bulging disks as shown on MRIs. The orthopedic md's who've seen these say everyone has them and that they don't explain my symptoms. However, my symptons are FAR worse in certain positions/movements indicating a 'physical' aspect to these sensory nerve problems.

My guess is Lyme has caused swelling or damage to the nerves amplifying the bulges to an almost 'herniated' effect in regard to the spinal cord/nerve roots? However, this is just a guess as Lyme can cause problems to the peripheral nerves as well.

Hope this helps? Anyone else?

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bettyg
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sounds like frozen shoulder; my mom had that surgery done .. she didn't have lyme.
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Gert
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I could have pretty much written your post.....I have the same symptoms. Mine are also on the right side and includes my collarbone which swells horribly bad. LLMD said it was lymph nodes causing this.

Also, my neck on the right is much worse than the left. The stiffness also goes to my upper back and down my right shoulder and arm.

There are times the pain is so bad I freeze up and can't move. Nothing kills the pain either. I would be careful about the steroids as I have heard they aren't good for someone with LD. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Posts: 261 | From NW Pa ~ Crawford County | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mmbl
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My first complaint was the horrible pain and stiffness in my neck and all down my back and through my shoulders. I described it like a flu that started in my neck. The same kind of unrelenting pain like when you have the flu. It was explained to me to be stress by my rhuematologist for over a year, even as my complaints got worse. I hope it gets better through treatment.

I too have bulging discs in my lower back that causes a lot of pain especially during certain activities and positions. However, I was in a bad car accident about 7 years ago, and that's when that specific pain started and I went through the mris and physical therapy, so I don't think for me that was lymes related.

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Amanda
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I don't have your sholder problem, but I have the neck and upper back pain/stiffness.

Whenever I sit, or stand for longer than 10 minutes, the stiffness and pain get worse in my neck, sometimes it feels like the base of my skull is burning, and that the muscles are going to rip they are so tight.

An MRI revealed a little deterioration, but no bulging dics. All non LLMDs are baffled as to why I am in so much pain, since most people have some of this deterioration by 40 in neck. I never had a fall or accident where I hurt my neck, never participated in any sports that would cause neck pain.

LLMD is sure its the lyme.

Alos, before I knew I had lyme, I got a steriod shot in my neck. That's when I started to have hearing problems, along with facial tics.

All this leads me to believe it is the lyme causing the neck pain

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mmbl
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I wanted to add, before I knew about the Lyme, even my husband couldn't believe the tension that was so easy to feel in my neck and shoulders, he sent me to get a 1 hour deep tissue massage. It felt good, but within hours all of the pain was right back where it started. The only comfort is to know that I am not crazy and as unfortunate as the situation is, none of us are alone in this disease.
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arcyone
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Yes, to all of the above and more. I am convinced that lyme inflamation of surrounding tissues will cause herniated disks. I currently have had 9 herniated disks. When you start having your lyme symptoms, watch out for the neck creaking and cracking because it was a precursor to herniated disks in my neck. A year before my disks herniated I had the same problems you all describe. Then one day my neck cracked and I herniated 2 disks in my neck. They had to be fused. Prior to that day I told my doctors that my head felt like a 10 lb bowling ball and my neck was a toothpick. I was having a hard time literally holding my head up. I was told that more force was needed to herniate the disk, such as being in a car accident, etc. One day I was in my kitchen, I turned my head and it made an awful noise... crack. then I had 2 herniated disks. Every time that I've herniated a disk it was when I was having a flare-up of other lyme systoms as well. I have a set of symptoms that when I get them I know Im in trouble. My set of symptoms start with ringing in the ears, then facial nerve palsy, stabbing eye pain, teeth grinding and teeth pain and severe shoulder & neck muscle pain in addition to the big round rash on my calf. From there I could add about 50 more symptoms, fatigue etc. But It's those first five symptoms is how it always starts for me. Always at the same time of the month also.
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LisaS
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Wow, all of you sound like me. It's good to know that I'm not alone, but sad that I'm not alone. I don't want anyone else to suffer.

I know the steroid thing was a bad decision on my part. The er doc said he called a neurologist, and it was one that I'd seen already and he didn't believe in chronic lyme. I explained that steroids were bad but he reassured me that short term (one week) wouldn't hurt me.

Boy was he wrong. I ended up bedridden for five months. Still cannot drive or leave my yard too much.

I too, have the symptoms of ear ringing and whooshing. Heavy head, or like my skull is too tight on my brain. My eyes are just starting to get weird. Blurry, and feel like they won't adjust when I look at something far then something close. I also sometimes see bright squiggly flashes in front of my eyes.

So after reading everyones responses I guess I can chalk it up to another group of lyme symptoms.

Betty G, did the surgery help your mom? Physical therpay didnt help me at all. Sometimes if would help the tense muscle pain in my neck for an hour or so, but nothing permanent.

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mustluvdogs
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HI. Had same issue but mine was on the left. It was from Lyme. I can tell you physical therapy didn't help one bit. However, once you get the lyme under control you will have to rehab these muscles so do physical therapy then.

I have degenerative disc disease and bulging disc in low back with some stiffness. During lyme it hurt like crazy all the time, so did my neck. It's not now.

We are all different so maybe it is from bulging discs for you.

I had been told I had shoulder impingement, frozen shoulder, arthritis, bulging disc, bone spurring etc., etc.

Most of the population as they age have these problems but don't necessarily have symptoms.

What ever you do, don't let them give you steroid or caudal injections. Steroids are very bad for lyme. It suppresses the immune system.

Good luck to you. There is a day without pain not far away.

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lemonsnotlymes
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The pain you describe is exacty what i had been feeling for a few years. I had the cortisone shot to help, not knowing I had Lyme and then all hell broke loose after that.

Just so you know, now that I am treating for lyme/babs (my llmd susects babs is more the culprit for the neck pain) ALL of my pain is gone. Hang in there...

Posts: 103 | From Northern VA | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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