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Is This from Neck Arthritis or TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by EileenS, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Although my symptoms are about 95% better than they were when I started out on my healing journey 5 years ago I still have few days when I don't have low level symptoms. My doctor diagnosed me with the generic term "arthritis in the neck" 5 years ago based on x-ray and MRI. My question to this TMS community is, do you think my symptoms are from TMS or from a structural problem? The symptoms that are almost a constant are; tightness in my throat and SCM muscles and sometimes I feel like a have a lump in my throat which I know is tight muscles and then I have to clear my throat or cough. Sometimes there is tingling in my SCM muscles. Symptoms are normally the same on my left and right sides of neck. The thing is, I rarely have any pain at the back of my neck and when I do, it's a sharp pain in one spot on the left side and it's always when a person in being a real 'pain in the neck' to me. Sometimes I have a stiff neck at the back, but not often and it's when I know I'm also tensing my trapezius muscles. I have no tingling down my arms and no restrictions in strength or movement, although symptoms get worse if I do many neck stretching exercises (which I don't often do). What do you think? Is it common to have issues with the throat and front of the neck and yet no issues with the back of the neck with neck arthritis or do you think it's TMS? @MindBodyPT ?

    My last (and 2nd) MRI from 2 1/2 years ago said,
    "C3-C4 minimal anterolisthesis of C3-C4 with mild disc bulging and mild left foraminal narrowing.
    C4-5 minimal anterolisthesis of C4-5 with disc bulging and mild left foraminal narrowing.
    At C5-6 an osteochonral bar which is asymmetric to the left side with no significant central stenosis but persistent moderate foraminal narrowing." (Even at my worst, nerve testing indicated no issues with nerve response.)
  2. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Eileen,

    These all look like "normal abnormalities" on your MRI (I had some similar ones in my lumbar spine). I think most folks have stuff like this on their MRIs over a certain age, as the studies have shown. These will not cause issues in your muscles (SCM or throat area)- those are TMS. It sounds like your last 5% of pain and stiffness is from holding out on the possibility of a structural issue.
    EileenS likes this.
  3. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Thank you so much for replying MindBodyPT. You are such an asset to this site. Now I can go forth with confidence telling my mind that I know it's all just TMS. I was seeing a PT the first year I had pain (pre hearing about Sarno) and I thought I remembered she said she had never heard of neck arthritis causing problems in the SCMs, (she had 25 years experience) but of course my mind was trying to convince me that I remembered her wrong. Yes, as much as I know and believe in tms, I think my protective brain has been holding out for a structural issue.
    Bodhigirl and MindBodyPT like this.

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