Neck Arthritis

March 8, 2006 at 04:40 PM · Hi-

I've been playing the violin for years and have had an issue that I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced. It's a long story.. Let me preface by saying I've had some wonderful teachers and we are all pretty sure I don't have any glaringly obvious bad physical habits or posture problems (not that I'm claiming perfection! Just sound technique.)

It started with a pinched nerve 6 years ago that made it so I couldn't move. I knew it was about to happen when my hand would start tingling in my 3rd and 4th fingers and my palm would click and crunch when I closed my hand. If I took a couple weeks off, though, I would eventually be able to move and return to the violin. This happened around once a year or so.

About two years ago, however, it happened and didn't go away. I've seen every practitioner and specialist alternative and otherwise, though you're welcome to ask if you know or have a favorite :). I had surgery on my elbow because for a while they thought it was cubital tunnel that was "telegraphing" up to my neck. Turns out that wasn't really the main problem, though.

Since then, I've had an MRI of both the brachial plexus and the neck and got a diagnosis from one physiatrist of spondylosis and stenosis (narrowing of the spianl canal from arthritis and general degeneration of the neck). She told me to go to physical therapy again. I found a great PT, but though I'm fairly strong in the neck and shoulders now, there's really been no reduction in symptoms from playing.

So, basically I'm dealing with osteoarthritis in the neck. I'm going to accupuncture and he's given me something called Ligaplex to strengthen the muscles and tendons and things in the neck and he has talked about something called "Prolo" therapy.

My question to you all is, has anyone had a similar progression? Have you or has anyone you know been able to overcome arthritis or disk degeneration of the neck? And if so, how?

I hope to figure this out, find a solution and come back to post the answer for others..

In the meantime, if you have a question about violinist injuries like mine, please contact me!

Thanks..

E

Replies (6)

March 9, 2006 at 05:07 AM · Greetings,

the obvious answer to releasing downward or inappropriate pressure on the upper spine is Alexander Technique. The spine has a natural upward lengthening movement which we supress by incorrect positioning of the head. A similar option is Feldenkreis which is an offshoot of AT.

With these kind sof problems one tends to get locked into one kind of cure IE thinking in terms of having stronger muscles, or less tense muscles or whatever. But disease or imbalance in our body is a function of the totality of our lives. That is, returning to optimum health requires a good hard look at nutrition as well as the emotional traumas thta arelocked up in our physical problems. For the former I would point out what is very much mainstream medicinal advice here in Japan where degenerative bone disease among an ageging population are commonplace. Do not eat aubergine, potato or tomato in any form. I would also get into the habit of taking omega 3 flax oil once a day. Very good for protection and lubrication as well as stimulating immunity.

Also consider that the condition of muscles and tendons is inextricably linked to the condition of the related internal organs so if your liver is stuffed you are not going to ever achieve optimal body function how ever many special exercise sand drugs you take. The candida diet is veyr close to an optimal diet for complimenting the kind of treatment you are getting. Macrobiotics (perhaos take a look at the Kushi Institute) are well worth exploring.

In her book `You can heal your life@ Louise L.Hay argues that athritis is linked to the habit of continually criticizing yourself and others ( aveyr common habit). I have noticed a tendencey for this problem to develop early in Japanese teachers and am seriously wondering if it is because a Japanes e teacher however brilliant is reared in a culture where education focuses on criticism rather than illmuniating the good that a person has done. Having neck problems is also associted with inflexibility and reluctance to look at things from other perspectives.

Another kind of treatment I am currently undergoing is cranio sacral massage. this is based on the idea that bones actually vibrate in synchronicity. When trauma occurs which may well be part of your problem , then the vibration becomes disturbed and the bones that work in pair become de synchronized. The healer actually stops the vibration and allows it to restart of ots own accord which oit does correctly. I broke a bone in my foot about ten years ago and as a result, even though I had regular hospital treatemtn I accumulated trauma in my right hip which has drastically affected y overall helath. Such a problem will not easily be detected by regualr therapists but during a session a few weeks back , purely by the use of energy directed from a distance of inces by a healers hand my right hip suddenly realigned itself with quite dramatic repercussions across my whole frame. That kind of healing is not always pleasant and it has taken a week to recover my equilibrium but I no longer walk with slightly splayed feet.

A good place to get help with this kind of approach is the Hartwood Institute which is somewhat close to Los Angeles.

Cheers,

Buri

March 10, 2006 at 04:08 AM · Greetings,

sorry didn@t click that it was you. Must be getting tiring...

Cheers,

Buri

March 10, 2006 at 01:11 PM · Sorry to hear E G. Best wishes.

March 10, 2006 at 08:50 PM · Stephen,

I just got the report from my physiatrist. She never told me what was actually on it. It says I have moderate/severe foraminal stenosis in my neck. Conservative treatment is apparently rarely effective. Beats me then why she would tell me to go ahead and do yet another round of PT! Why are doctors stupid? Well, anyway, there's an update! Thanks for your emails.

March 16, 2006 at 03:23 PM · Turns out the diagnosis was wrong!

No disc degeneration...no arthritis...

I'm just made with a vertebrae a little twisted to the side.

Problem solved. Yay!

March 16, 2006 at 10:51 PM · Greetings,

there you go.

But I envy you. My brain is twisted to one side...

And yes, you still need the omega 3 flax oil and AT.

Cheers,

Buri

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