My neck pain story is a bit more complicated than my true torture of lower back pain. I started having lumbar pain when I was only 16 and was bounced around the medical and complementary care systems for 18 years without finding a cure. That is 18 full years of suffering, agony, fear, anxiety, and above all, endless pain. This goes a long way in explaining why I am so dedicated to my cause at this stage of life. I truly feel as if I missed out on so much in what should have been my very best years. Instead, I was a constantly affected by acute and/or chronic back pain which left me unable to live life as a young person should.
My Neck Pain Story Began in My Lower Back
Some of you who are familiar with me already know that I am a martial arts instructor. During the many years of my training and teaching career, I suffered with brutal lower back pain and sciatica. I never really had a chronic neck pain issue, although I certainly had many acute attacks of neck pain which I blamed on training injuries.
My body was hard as stone, conditioned by decades of physical exertion. To think that it suffered so much injury seems naïve and foolish at this point. Looking back always provides 20/20 vision, as I am sure you all know from your own experiences.
I endured regular care from a great number of doctors and chiropractors over the years, but my pain never ended. It came and went until about the age of 30 or so then became a chronic concern most of the time. Of course, being that the lumbar pain was such a horrific burden, the neck pain events seemed to pale in comparison and I never thought much about them, since they resolved rather quickly in most instances.
Temporary Cure in My Neck Pain Story
Eventually I found a seeming cure which worked well for me. Under the care of Dr. John E. Sarno from the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine/ NYU Medical Center in Manhattan, I was able to beat my lower back pain and resume a normal and care-free life without the worry and constant misery of this spinal torture. To put it mildly, it was a new lease on life.
Over the years, I had spent an unbelievable amount of time learning all about back pain, neck pain and the spine, in general, always hoping that this knowledge would lead me to a cure. It seemed like such a waste not to share this knowledge with those who might utilize it to help themselves.
I wrote my first back pain ebook (which would eventually grow into a comprehensive and proven pain relief program!) and founded the first website in what would become The Cure Back Pain Network. I have been very busy ever since, trying my best to help others to end their various chronic pain conditions, as others were kind enough to help me. Years later, I feel that my contributions towards helping others to achieve better health are the most satisfying and rewarding parts of my entire life.
Recent Additions to My Neck Pain Story
So, where is the neck pain? Well, here it comes…
I am getting older and do have some pretty severe structural issues with my spine from decades of full contact martial arts. These eventually led me to undergo many routine tests to monitor the conditions, even though I was not in any active treatment.
After a bout of chronic and mysterious vertigo and related neck and ear symptoms, my neurologist eventually ordered a cervical MRI, along with a battery of other tests. What I saw was very frightening.
Every disc in my neck was bulging or herniated. Every one. All 6 of them. Now I knew I had some in the lower and middle back regions, from previous testing, and was able to cancel the nocebo effect of these based on the knowledge I had acquired over the years.
Although blamed for being the predominant source of my pain for many of those 18 years, I knew now that the lumbar disc issues where not causative and I had stopped them from affecting me with any more pain. However, when I saw this one particular herniation on the cervical films, I felt that power of nocebo come creeping back stronger than ever before.
My Neck Pain Story Intensifies
One herniated disc was displacing the spinal cord to such as extent that it looked like a deep letter “C” cut into it. There were other severe herniations, but this one really was terrifying. There was much talk about which of my 12 herniated discs were causative for symptoms and which might be innocent. All this speculation made me more devoted than ever before to researching the cervical spine, the cause of back pain and the reasons why so few patients find relief.
Over the next few years, I had acute and chronic issues involving my neck, including pain, ongoing stiffness, headaches, electrical surges behind my left ear, muscular spasms throughout my body, horrific sciatica and recurrent dizziness. Unfortunately, I have been forced to constantly be mindful of my neck and back, although I try not to let it change the way I live or the things that I do.
My Neck Pain Story Summary
Fast forward to the present and I am still not under any type of professional care. I see a spinal neurologist regularly to monitor my neck, but do not take any medication or undergo any type of therapy. I do not have a verified diagnosis of the cause of my continuing symptoms, although I have lots of opinions. Without a solid diagnosis, I would never proceed with any type of treatment or surgery, since I know how badly this can turn out from past experience with my lower back.
I will never stop looking for a way to return to a pain-free way of life. I am thoroughly immersed in the back and neck pain sector as a patient, an author and a researcher. I use the The Cure Back Pain Network of websites to bring you all my findings, along with professional article offerings from the various incredible doctors and therapists who sit on the editorial board.
I know that my neck pain story mirrors many of your experiences, as well. This is why I consider us to be a family, united by our shared suffering. I welcome you to join my crusade and help raise public awareness of the ravages of chronic pain. In the process, you might just find the information that you need to facilitate your own lasting cure.
Please read the newest installment of my neck pain story in my article titled: Neck Pain from Tripping.
You can also find my thoughts on chronic pain in this treatise detailing persistent neck pain.
Want to prevent future flareups of neck pain? Of course, no one wants to suffer again and again. Be sure to read the latest effective prevention efforts in the neck pain relapse report.