Have you ever had an extraordinary pain that doesn't respond to medication, one that has a team of doctors scratching their heads as they start the pharmacologic dart game? I have. It's a thrilling MS tale of pain, drugs, more pain and more drugs, and even more pain and even more drugs rounding it off with some relief, some breakthrough pain and ultimately some breakthrough revelations.
Let's go back to the year 2005. I was in the last year of a master's degree program at New York University. With a family, a commute and MS, I had to keep pinching myself to prove that I was really pulling it off. Unfortunately, my self-inflicted reminder was replaced with one that forced me to be acutely aware of every moment of every day.
As the story begins I'm on a train pulling into Penn Station. Reading a book, keeping to myself, when all of a sudden every muscle in my foot cramps up and the pain... come to think of it, it started very gradually - a cramping that would c...
“Lene, you’re a neurological accident waiting to happen.”
My rheumatologist had ordered X-rays of my neck and the results showed that my rheumatoid arthritis (RA) had made the top joint unstable. This was how the doctor told me. They wrote an order for a CT scan to get more detail. Then I waited six weeks for the scan and another six for the results. Thankfully, the CT scan showed that the joint wasn’t in fact unstable.
I refer to those three months as the time my head was loose.
Image credit: Samo Trebizan
RA and spine joints
When it comes to the spine, RA can be either a pain in the butt or a pain in the neck. There is some disagreement in rheumatology about whether RA can affect the spine itself or if it should more accurately be called rheumatoid spondylitis, ankylosing spondylitis, or even osteoarthritis. However, there is agreement that RA can affect the two joints in the spine. One is the sacroiliac or SI joint . It is located...
Imagine holding a bowling ball all day, everyday, over your head. Can you feel your shoulder muscles getting sore? Can you imagine walking to work, sitting at your computer, cleaning your house, playing with your kids, and all the time holding that bowling ball over your head? Well, that is essentially what your neck is doing all day. All day, everyday, with few rests in between when you lie down, your neck is holding up your head, which actually weighs a little more than an average bowling ball. In addition, if you are like most people then you probably don't walk around with perfect posture all the time. You probably tend to carry your head in front of your body. If you do, then it is more similar to holding the bowling ball in front of your head--which is even harder!
It is no wonder that so many people develop neck pain! However, just because you have ne...
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