Neck, pain & stiffness

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Neck, pain & stiffness

by JustJulz on Mon Jul 09, 2018 04:25 PM

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Husband's last treatment was 5/30/2018.  He had 35 proton treatments to the right side of head & neck.  He has a very stiff painful neck.  Aches but hurts bad when he jars it by hitting a bump, sneezing or coughing.  Now feeling pain in his hips.  Has anyone had any of these side effects from radiation?  His Oncologist thinks the spinal cord is inflamed from the radiation.  He tried the pain meds, but they don't cut it.  Advil works for a while but has to take a lot.  I realized we are only about 6 weeks out from treatment, but just curious if this is normal or if we should be getting more help.  Thanks!

RE: Neck, pain & stiffness

by PopPop on Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:31 PM

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JustJulz,

We "Cook" from anywhere between 4-8 weeks after our final treatments and get the full effects of all the total treatments. At this current time, he should be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Each person reacts to treatments differently, some faster on recovery, some slower. He/ we measure improvements in weeks, not days like we did before. It is a slow process at times.

He may need a couple more weeks before he notices a decline in discomfort. Does he feel like he gets electrical shocks in his neck when he looks up or down? This is common for us for a spell. 

Energy levels are something else to be aware of, we can take as long as a year to feel ourselves. Again, each person is different so basically "one size does not fit all" with us. 

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

RE: Neck, pain & stiffness

by JustJulz on Tue Jul 10, 2018 04:19 PM

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Thank you for the information.

RE: Neck, pain & stiffness

by Diamond_David on Thu Jul 12, 2018 02:26 PM

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I had same treatment

1. Saliva glands will be less productive. depending upon type of radiation might need to carry a baottle of water around. i can no longer eat anything but medium rare meat, white meat chicken, got to have juicy

2. Neck will get better, will take a year before he goes "Oh, that was last year, i'm OK"

3. Massages help, at the mall are chinese guys who massage back and neck, I went there almost 2-3 month, felt better.

4. I would get my right neck muscle spams and tighten up 3-5 times a day, when I eat, go into cold ourdoors.

a. two things helped besides massage. one was aI went to re hab palce for my back problems and they did DRY NEEDLING. Looks like accupuncture but its not. I tried accupuncture with no relief and it hurt. Dry Needling is difefernt and done by a rehab place, not all do it. IT HELP IMMENSELY!, I went from 3-5 neck spasms a day to 3 a week!
b. By this clear gel at a drug store or amazon, rub it on and reduces my neck and back pain. ARNICARE GEL. Its clear, dry in 2 mins and helps a lot

RE: Neck, pain & stiffness

by JPaul18535 on Thu Jul 12, 2018 02:54 PM

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Hi Justlutz,

All the advice/comments given so fare are spot on.  Don't read too much into any of these early "issues" your husband is experiencing.  

May 2nd was my 4 year mark from my last radiation treatment.  I had 36 rounds of radiation, 2 chemo and no surgery.  

Even today, I have massive stiffness on the left side of my neck (where my cancer was located).  I also experience massive itchiness from the top of my ear down to my collar bone.  Like a million ants running all over the place.  This comes and goes.  I also can't always sleep on my left side. 

As Poppop mentioned, I had the tingly sensation run down my spine to my feet for a couple of months after my final treatment.  This is also common.  Though our type of cancers are typically located on one side of our necks, we get treatment 360 degrees around, more concentrated on the side with the tumor.  Spinal cord impact is not uncommon but should subside.  

A last piece of advice, please try and refrain from researching each of these side effects.  It will drive you crazy.  

I wouldn't be too concered with what your husband is experiencing this early after radiation treatment.   What your husband is experiencing today will probably be different in a month and will definitely be different next year at this time.  

RE: Neck, pain & stiffness

by JustJulz on Thu Jul 12, 2018 05:32 PM

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Thank you so much for all the information.  Really appreciate the help.  

RE: Neck, pain & stiffness

by JustJulz on Thu Jul 12, 2018 05:42 PM

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Thank you & I agree with researching will drive you crazy.  I am just looking for ideas to help relieve some of the discomfort.  His neck is better.  We called the Rad Oncol office & they said keep doing your stretches.  AH what, no one told him to do stretches.  So he started immediately.  The pain is in his hips now & is very uncomfortable.  We will keep at it.  I so appreciate every suggestion & we will try anything to make him comfortable. 

RE: Neck, pain & stiffness

by davezuro on Fri Jul 13, 2018 01:07 PM

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The stiffness is also a result of inflammation from the treatments.  Along with exercise, reducing the inflammation without meds is very simple.  Take lunasin, which is natural and very effective.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28990666

I can answer questions and provide further detail if interested.

RE: Neck, pain & stiffness

by Sdurnell on Wed Jul 18, 2018 07:41 AM

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You can do gentle massages and stretches to help the neck.  He is very recently out of treatment, so expect things to improve with time as well.  There are also massage therapists who are trained to help cancer patients.  And he might also try heat, or cold, or alternating between the two.

Best of luck to you both!

Susan

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