Treatment Solutions For Neck Pain and Narcolepsy

Treatment Solutions For Neck Pain and Narcolepsy


– Hi everybody and welcome
to the Balancing Act. I’m Julie Moran. – And I’m Olga Villaverde. Today we’re going
behind the mystery. – [Julie] From neck
pain to narcolepsy, what you need to know. – [Olga] And, do we
have a deal for you? Get ready to shop and save! – That’s right, shop and save
and it all starts right now. (lively instrumental music)
– Today on behind the mystery we’re talking about narcolepsy. A condition that affects around
1 in 2,000 people in the US. – It’s often an underdiagnosed
or misdiagnosed disorder. And for one woman it
was quite the journey. (mysterious instrumental music)
– [Narrator] Narcolepsy can be described as struggling
to stay awake or nodding off at inappropriate times. It can affect a person’s
ability to work, attend school and build personal
relationships. Christine has been living
with her condition for over 25 years. – My symptoms started
around age 12. When I was in junior high. I was falling asleep
all day in class. The other kids were mean,
they thought it was a joke. They would always just slam
books next to my ears and watch me just like
jump out of my sleep. School called for a
parent conference. I was failing in school
and to be able to graduate I had to take night classes. It affected my social life. We’d have sleepover
parties and like I would fall asleep right away. I was doing my homework on
the floor and I’d fallen asleep in my book. My dad’s like, Christine,
Christine, wake up! He was trying to wake me
up and he thought something was wrong with me ’cause
he couldn’t wake me up and he got scared. I started to like wake up
out of this deep sleep and he was like okay, something’s
just, like, not right. – [Narrator] Dr. Raj
is a Pulmonary Critical Care Sleep Specialist and
has dedicated his career to helping patients
with narcolepsy. – When I wanna explain
narcolepsy, I define it as a chronic
neurological condition. Where there’s a disconnect
about day and night. When we talk about the
onset of symptoms it happens younger in life. It doesn’t care about gender. So males and females
are both equal. One in 2,000 people in
the United States may have narcolepsy and I gotta say
that number is underdiagnosed. Because of the lack in delay
and because it mimics many other diseases. It takes almost 10
years, sometimes, to make the correct diagnosis. A patient has to, even
up to, six doctors before they get the
correct diagnosis. – [Narrator] There are five
symptoms of narcolepsy, you don’t need to have all
five symptoms to be diagnosed. – When I think about the
symptoms of narcolepsy, I kinda put ‘um into the big five. Number one, it’s always gonna be
excessive daytime sleepiness. This is the most debilitating. People during the day,
are failing asleep from irresistible
attacks of sleepiness. Cataplexy, it’s when
you lose muscle tone. It could be weakness of the
legs, buckling of the knees, it could be only in the face,
it could be drooping of your eyes, slurring of your speech. Poor sleep at night, the
have multiple awakenings and arousal’s making the
daytime twice as hard. Sleep Paralysis, there’s a
disconnect between the brain and the body. You’re awake but your body
is still stuck in REM sleep and you can’t move. Hypnagogic and Hypnopompic
hallucinations, your body puts your mind in this hyper
aroused state and sometimes you see something out of
the corner of your eye. You may see a shadow out there. It could be scary. You’re not gonna have all five
symptoms at the same time. They could appear at
different times in life. – [Narrator] Along with
excessive daytime sleepiness, Christine also
experienced Cataplexy. – I loosed muscle
tension in my neck. Sometimes my knees will buckle. If I laugh my face will droop. Around my family,
their really hilarious. They just make jokes all the
time and I’d be like afraid to hang out with them
or be around the family. Because ‘um
I lose, my muscle tension in my neck,
so I’d be embarrassed. – And how scared can
you possibly be where you’re just laughing and all
of a sudden you can’t stand, your arms not working, your
visions getting blurry. You can’t even
get the words out. Christine was telling me
very emotional stories. Where no one knew what
this Cataplexy was. – My nephews and my
sister’s side of the family, they really didn’t understand
because they lived far away. They just thought that I
wanted to be by myself, they didn’t miss spending
time with my family. – Around 50% of patients who
have narcolepsy have probably been undiagnosed. The symptoms of narcolepsy
mimic so many other diseases. Things like depression, things
like anxiety, ADD, ADHD, so they see many doctors. There is a resource out there
called MoreThanTired.com. It’s a great place where if
you think you suffer from narcolepsy or know
someone who has it. They have a screening
questionnaire so it tells you hey maybe I should go see a
physician and on that note there is a physician
finder to find out whose close to you whose actually
familiar with this disorder. – I went to my family
physician and got evaluated. They did the blood work
and it came out clear. And they didn’t
understand so then they referred me out
to a neurologist. And then, schedule
the sleep study because she was unclear
of what was going on. – How do we diagnose
people with narcolepsy? The test we do is number one. We get an over-night
sleep study. We call that a polysomnography. We have EEG’s attached
to your brain, we’re getting your heart
rate, we have your movements. Then you’ll pursue what’s
called a MSLT, that stands for Multiple Sleep Latency Test,
it’s kind of a napping study. So based upon the criteria
on how fast you fall asleep, and how many times
you go into REM sleep. With the right history
and physical we can make a diagnosis. – So 25 years ago,
being diagnosed meant a week long study. My parents were very supportive. They went with me to the
hospital and I stayed there by myself, and was kinda scared. It’s a big white room, with
a clear glass mirror and they hook ya up to electrodes. My emotions were just confused,
didn’t know what was going on. Just waiting for results. We went back to the Neurologist
and they sat down and finally diagnosed
me with narcolepsy. – [Narrator] Relief can come
with finally being diagnosed. Which is why it’s important to
be aware of your symptoms and speak to a sleep specialist if
you suspect you have narcolepsy. – When I talk to my patients
with narcolepsy whether it’s before the diagnosis or after. I wanna give them the confidence
that there is a diagnosis, people out there do suffer. – So after being diagnosed
I felt more positive. Hung out with family
a lot more often. And not feel ashamed. A year ago, I got
referred to Dr. Raj. You can open up to
Dr. Raj, like a book. Since there’s no
cure, for narcolepsy, Dr. Raj has been really patient. – When I think of Christine,
it reminds me that every treatment is individualized,
every patient with narcolepsy is unique. There are certain things
that patients need and one treatment plan
doesn’t fit everyone. – Doing the research helped
me find some people that have narcolepsy that
understood my symptoms. Understood what I
was going through. Because they were going
through the same thing. Be your own advocate,
don’t give up! – If you think you have any
of these symptoms discussed, visit MoreThanTired.com to
take the symptoms screener and find a Sleep
Specialist near you. – You can also visit our
website TheBalancingAct.com. – We’ll be right back. (lively instrumental music)
– Our necks perform more range of motion then anywhere else
on the spine and this makes our neck extra vulnerable
to overexertion and joint degeneration. – Thanks to modern medicine and
advances in artificial disc replacement. Today’s patients
have more options when surgery is needed. Now we traveled to
Minneapolis to learn more. Take a look. (gentle piano music)
– [Narrator] Neck pain is something we’re all likely to
be familiar with. Whether it’s talking on our
phones, working on the computer, or just having a stressful day. In fact, it’s estimate that
about 50% of us struggle with some type of cervical disc
degeneration and the numbers continue to rise as we age. – Degenerative disc disease
of the cervical spine. Is nothing more
then wear and tear. The discs are the
cushions between the bones of our neck and
as we age they lose some of that water and as the water
comes out of it they degenerate. (gentle instrumental music)
– [Narrator] For most of us the aches and pains are
occasional but for many neck and the associated arm pain
can be severe and for some may lead to disability
and the need for surgical intervention. – If you get enough, wear and
tear to the disc and sometimes it’s even arthritis to
the joints of the neck. It can narrow the
hole for the nerve. As that nerve is narrowed
and compressed more and more and more, it can start to give
the symptoms of radiculopathy. And some people it affects
greatly, it profoundly affects their pain level, their
ability to function in society. To take care of themself
and their family. (lively instrumental music)
– [Narrator] For Katie a busy mother of three. What she thought were typical
aches and pains seemed to be getting worse day after day. – A couple of years ago, I
started to notice some pain. That was in my neck. Pain where I would feel like
oh I should go get a massage, or I should, ya know, maybe
I’m a little bit sore there. It started on my neck, it
started to go down my arm. I was feeling the pain then
in my hands and feeling like there was a weakness. It was not going away,
it was getting more severe day by day. – The conservative
treatment is always the best way to start. Conservative therapy
for neck pain for degenerative disc
disease is simple things like activity adjustment. Maybe avoiding the thing
that was causing the problem. It can be taking
anti-inflammatory medications. It can be physical therapy,
chiropractic, all of those things can have a very positive
affect on people’s pain in their neck. – [Narrator] Katie sought the
opinion of a Chiropractor. And soon emersed herself into
a routine of physical therapy, massage and corticosteroid
injections hoping to find some relief. – I had an injection, which
my first injection I did have some relief from my pain,
so I thought this is great. We’ve solved it, I’ve done
the PT, I got this injection I’m feelin’ good. I went on a vacation. And a few weeks later, I
started to get that dull pain. I was like, oh nope time to
go back to the specialist. He prescribed another injection,
that injection did not work. When that second injection
did not work, I was sad. I was defeated and then at
that point the physician, the specialist that I was
seeing, referred me to a spine specialist. – When patients have tried
conservative measures that haven’t worked for them. They generally come see me and
we talk about other surgical options, hopefully it’s
after six weeks or so of conservative measures. We then talk about, sort of,
two options to open up the nerve from the front
part of the neck. The first part would
be a traditional ACDF, anterior cervical
discectomy and fusion, that’s been around for 50 years. We go in, we make a small
incision in the front part of the neck, we go down we scrape
out the bad disc and the bone spurs that are
pressin’ on the nerve. And when we’re all done, we
put in a piece of bone and a small plate. It works, it’s a
very good procedure. Another option besides the
fusion is a cervical disc replacement or cervical
disc arthroplasty or the mobi-c. The mobi-c is for lack of a
better term, a disc replacement. People can think of it
like a knee replacement. You go in and instead of
placing a block of bone and a plate and locking the
level together, you put in a device that continues to
move like a normal disc. Really the only difference
between the two is at the end of the day the fusion stops the
motion and the disc replacement allows continued motion. And continued motion,
we know in the human body is advantageous. (gentle instrumental music)
– One of the things that I was concerned about when I looked
at all the options or even thinking about having surgery. Is what am I gonna
be like afterwards? Am I gonna be able
to move my neck? In talking with Dr. Wills
about what the Mobi-c product does, is that was going to
get me to the point where I wanted to be. Which was to have full mobility
in my neck and alleviate the pain that I was feeling. – [Narrator] After weighing
all the risks and benefits, Katie decided to have
the cervical disc replacement surgery
wit the Mobi-c. – The implant was designed
to try to mimic normal neck range and motion
as much as possible. We’ve taken the concepts
of continued motion and put it in the neck. A good candidate for a disc
replacement is an adult, who has attempted
non-operative measures. That hasn’t worked and continues
to have nerve-type pain or weakness or problems
that radiculopathy. Who wants to do some other
surgical option then a fusion. – Waking up from the
surgery was great. Dr. Wills had explained to
me, when I get into recovery. When I woke up, I would be
in pain, there would be pain in the incision area and
then in the back of my neck because that’s where they do
the work but the other pain, the pain that got me there
this whole journey, that pain hopefully would be almost
gone or completely gone. And when I woke up, it was gone! – The disc replacement Mobi-c
surgery is a procedure that I’ve noticed in my patients,
they’ve recovered quite quickly from. They’ve done very well, they
notice that the pain is not bad in their neck. It’s surgical pain,
it’s incision pain but they don’t have
that nerve pain that radicular pain anymore. And it makes a world of
difference to take away that type of pain. – As I sit here,
four months post-op, the thing that comes to mind
is I wish I’d done it sooner. – [Narrator] To find a
Mobi-c Surgeon in your area, visit cervicaldisc.com and
as always you can go to our website TheBalancingAct.com. (lively instrumental music) (lively instrumental music)
– You know we learned so much behind the mystery today. – We always do and remember
to head to our Facebook page and our website,
follow us on Twitter. – And also Instagram
@julieandolga. – That’s right, thanks
for watching everyone we’ll see ya next time. – So long everybody. – Mmhmm. (lively instrumental music)

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