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Cervical Herniation C5/C6 - ongoing discomfort

Started by Chirper on 09/09/2010 9:27pm

Have seen the best docs there are. Had a bad bulging disc at C5/C6. Neurologist strongly suggested surgery; surgeon wanted me to give it time to resolve itself (90% do). Here I am 8 months later after two recent MRIs (regular and dynamic). MRIs show herniation is virtually gone by itself but I still have some pain in my neck and down my arm (with tingling). Will this too resolve itself? Any idea how long it will be or how I can speed this along? I believe I will receive some PT and I will continue to take anti inflammatories. I also take fish oil and drink lots of water. Any thoughts on resuming regular very active activities or should I be careful?

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Your cervical vertebrae and disks are very delicate. I tore the connective in my thoracic area of my back
and I was numb from the neck down for about a month before I could even feel a pen in my hand to write my name. This injury really threw my neck out of place and to this day I still have neck problems, but I had a good Osteopath who introduced me to a neck traction system that I used every day for 15 to 20 minutes starting with a light weight and increasing the weight progressively. It really helped and now along with neck exercises I hardly need to use it at all. Ask your doctor about the neck traction
system for decompressing your disks in your neck. You can buy the system at any medical supply store. A healthy spine needs strong core muscles for support and good nutriton. Remember for the health of your spine to focus on good posture when sitting, standing, and walking. Please take a look at my website backrepair.net. I created this site to help people with back pain. The plan I designed to reduce back pain is free to anyone who can't afford it.

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There are no "pain-free" guarantees and a good surgeon will tell you this~ just be as hopeful as you can, normally they say 6 months to a year post-op to see what happens, from what I have been told. Everything you do in life is a risk, just gather all the info. you can and then decide what would be best. There are a few other things you can do, try meds, light exercises that a PT could help with. You probably shouldn't overdo anything~ these kinds of things do somewhat alter a person's activity levels. Hope this helps.

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I had an injury in 2007 which resulted in a C5 C6 herniation. It took a good year for the chronic daily pain to subside. I did meds. PT, massage therapy but I was never the same after that day ( I still remember the exact date my life changed Aug 13 2007 :( ) I suffered a fall at work in Dec of last year and it was the same thing this time my lower back 2 lumbar discs that were herniated! I did meds, PT and finally had enough of it. I demanded more. They sent me to a Pain Management Center and I got trigger pain steroid injection and I have been fine with that injury since! That is going on a year.
My neck recently started to act up again for no apparent reason so I am hoping that I can do epidural or trigger point injections in my neck too. I am telling you it was like night and day with that. It beats surgery in my opinion. It might be something for you guys to look in to. I am hoping for another miracle when I go see him for my neck :) Good luck to all of you, and no one can understand unless they live it!

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My opnion is that after 8 months, most of the inflammatory component of your problem should be gone. Although the MRI interpretation reads that your disc herniation is " virtually gone" there is apparently still pressure on the nerve root as indicated by the symptoms down your arm. However the disc may not be the culprit. I recommend when you get physical therapy you find someone with advanced training who specializes in spine treatment.

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Thanks to everyone for your thoughts. I would have never believed that 11 months after I herniated my disc spot touching-up a ceiling, I'd have been through the journey I've been through. The good news? I am doing MUCH better! Started physical therapy a few weeks ago and have a very knowledgeable therapist. He nearly kills me (getting the knots out of my back), but boy does it help. He says the pain I've had down my arm is NOT nerve pain - it's muscle pain. That has gotten much better. We are working on building some strength back in my upper body. I still take anti inflammatories and muscle relaxers from time to time. Frankly, my arthritis (yes, I'm only 48) bothers me as much as anything at this point!
I think the bottom line is that these things take time. I never did stop doing anything. Am hoping to add back tennis and kayaking in several weeks. I am much more aware of posture.
Will keep you posted as I HOPEFULLY come to the end of my journey. Jan 1 will be a year! I would have never believed I would have avoided surgery. THanks to a conservative surgeon and a great physical therapist, I believe it's going to happen. Bottom line - just hang in there.

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