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Thread: New SCI c6/c7, and nerve pain

  1. #1

    New SCI c6/c7, and nerve pain

    I was injured on 4/5/08 with a c7/t1 fracture. And did 3.5 months of rehab at Craig Hospital in Colorado, It was a wonderful place btw. Im only 16 and looking for help. For the past month my nerve pain has got increasingly worse. The day starts off I wake up with the feeling of pins and needles poking me everywere below my level of injury or about 3 inches above the nipple line and down. Through out the day it gets better till around 2:00, then sometimes my chest gets tight, real tight it feels like I can't breath very well. This happens off and on plus other stuff till bed time or 9:00. When I get in bed everything gets worse. It feels like I can feel my blood pumping on the left side of my chest. Now its getting worse. On the C8 nerves I feel tingling, and sometimes I get a warm feeling in my hands. Plus my throat feels warm and the back of my head. This stuff is really bothering me now and none of my doctors know what to do except increase my lyrica. Im about maxed out I take 150 3x a day. Im wondering if anyone here knows some tricks besides ignoring it to make it go away? I know theres not just this one pill cure but any suggestions would be nice. Also is this normal?

  2. #2
    Are you working with a physiatrist who is expert in SCI or with a good pain management physician? Have you tried Neurontin? Imipramine? Mexilitine?

    Have you tried TENS with a good therapist who knows SCI? Considered acupuncture? Self-hypnosis or biofeedback training? Are you exercising regularly (endorphins are very important).

    You might want to look at the Pain forum on this site for more information on neuropathic pain management as well. It is not unusual for it to evolve over the first year after injury, and unfortunately often gets worse than it was when you were first injured.


  3. #3

    Aimost in the same situation.

    Im sorry to hear about your injury, my name is Jake im 25 I crashed my Mustang on 11/14/07.I got a complete injury of the C5/C6/C7 the bottom half of my arms is where it starts getting numb. Thats also where alot of my nerve pain and itching occurs. My legs feel ice cold on the inside to the point of a burning sensation. I also get what feels like shots of electricity down my leg and my back feels tight all day. Unfortunatly I have no answers for you I cant find a doctor that knows enough about SCI to help me. I do have a question for you how is your body temp and blood pressure. My temp sits at a steady 94.5 so I always have the chills and then when its hot outside my temp just keeps climbing to over a 100. My blood pressure usually at 95 over 54 and I get white outs when I transfer sometimes. So all I can say is life sucks just keep your head right and occupied to keep your mind off the pain.

  4. #4
    All of these problems are the effects of SCI on your autonomic nervous system. You will have to dress more warmly in cold or cool weather, and avoid being in the hot sun or non-air-conditioned spaces when it is hot as your body now is poikilothermic (tends to assume the temperature of the environment). This is because your temperature regulation center in your brain stem is no longer hooked up to your body (through the spinal cord) to cause vasodilation, vasoconstriction, sweating, shivering or other mechanisms used to normally regulate body temperature. It is especially important to find ways to cool your body during exercise or in hot environments as heat stroke can happen very easily. Spray bottles can replace sweat, and iced towels, cooling vests, or just wearing a wet t-shirt can help a lot.

    Similarly, the blood pressure regulation center in your brain can no longer vasoconstrict to raise your peripheral resistance and keep your blood pressure up when sitting or standing as it does for ABs. Use of abdominal binders, TED (compression hose) and/or leg ace wraps, and sometimes medication are needed to manage this. It is also important to not let yourself get dehydrated, esp. when you first get up in the AM.

    These are common problems that most people with SCI have with injuries above the mid-thoracic level. You should have been taught about why this occurs and how to manage it in rehab. Where did you do your rehab?

    Here is a place to start looking for a physiatrist (specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation) who would be a physician who should be very familiar with SCI. Some are also board certified in spinal cord medicine:

    This is the list for VA:


  5. #5
    I live in a fairly small town. But the psychiatrist I chose was the best in town with SCI. Its nothing like Craig's Though. I have tried Neurontin, it was for about a month and it did almost nothing.

    I don't know anything about TENS but I will do some research.

    Idk about exercising. I push myself all day and that wears me out (as does typing

    I've thought about acupunctue but I was on Blood thinners.

    I will check out the pain forum and see what I can find.

  6. #6
    Have you tried Lyrica (Pregabalin)? cymbalta?Cymbalta is also an antidepressant but can work well and can be used in combination with other meds.

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