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C6-C7 herniated disc

From: imanygirl - on 07/22/2011 3:32pm

Hi, This is my first time here. I went to the ER yesterday because my back pain got so bad, I passed out twice in two days. I had fallen down stairs back in October and went through several months of pain, but eventually got better. I always felt it and if I touched the area on my back, it would produce some pain but I was basically fine. Then about two and a half weeks ago, it started to hurt again and kept getting worse and worse. I couldn't figure out what I had done to make the pain come back and I got scared that I was going to make one wrong move and paralyze myself so I sucked it up and went to the ER. (I never saw a doctor after the initial fall because I don't have health insurance.)

Anyway, they did a CT scan and told me I had a C6-C7 disc bulge/hernia and referred me to neuro. I keep reading all this information about how cervical hernias are supposed to cause numbness and tingling and/or pain in the arm, but I have zero pain, numbness, tingling in my arms and no numbness or tingling anywhere. It's only my back that hurts and it's only in the one area. I don't go to neuro until next week, but does anyone know what kind of physical therapy options are available for this? Will working out make it worse? (Either biking or going on an eliptical at the gym?) I have never had a back injury and the idea that I might be limited in what I can do does not sit well with me. I can handle it for some amount of time, but I don't think I can manage any kind of limits long-term. Any help/feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!

(Btw, I'm a female, late 20s)


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5 Responses

on 07/22/2011 8:25pm

I've got lots of experience with this stuff. Early 40's male, played football for 10 years, car accidents, etc. One cervical fusion at C5-6 and another soon at C6-7. I would suggest stop working out until you see neuro. PT should always be a first option, ice it frequently to keep the inflammation down. Avoid surgery unless a last resort. you may need to limit certain exercises and your PT can help with that. You may need to adjust some things to accommodate the injury, as I have. No more sports for me, but I still go to gym and stay active.

on 07/23/2011 12:02am

Thanks. Yeah, I haven't been working out, but I'm getting that gross feeling from being so inactive for so long. I don't want to make things worse so I will wait and see what they say. I just got a soft reusable ice pack today for my back. I'd been making the mistake of using heat. It feels better today, a little bit anyway. I really don't understand this injury very well and it's really frustrating. I just want to get over it and move on. I feel like there has got to be something I can do to fix it or make it heal. I can learn to live with and/or ignore the pain, but I don't want to do anything that is going to make things worse. How do you deal with that kind of balance?

on 07/24/2011 8:46pm

Well, I'm still figuring out how to deal with it. I had to give up all sports and I played everything all the time. Not easy. Started playing poker to get some competition. Just take one step at a time and don't overdue it. Being in good shape will help the healing process all the better.

on 08/01/2011 2:50am

For me surgery is the last, last, last resource. Sometimes we get worst after seeing our MRI. I read from anos that is important to do exercise to oxygenate the disk. You can walk or do standing bike. I would like to share with you the name of two good books but I am not sure if one can do this in this forum. Well the name of on of the book I thin is Conquer back and neck pain: Walk it off. He is a surgeon that understand the benefit of surgery but also understand how it can be avoided. I had c5 c6 fused, and I wish I didn't. Before the sugery, at the beginning of the lession I had pain in between my shoulder blades, then in my neck, then the pain in the neck went away. I was so afraid to do so many things, I wish I would not have been so scared. My neurologist told me I could exercise, dance salsa, no head banging, no crazy jumping... she said this lesion take time to heal and that the body compensates, and decompensates if you get hit, or if you have stress. I did have moments without pain, I had accupuncture, and Network Spinal Analysis, I think fear is sometimes our worst enemy. Watch funny movies, take this time for you. I really wish I could turn back time time to do what is best for you. What I don't understand is why you fell, because of the pain, or just like that? Did you know that must of us have herniated disc and is not until we need an MRI that they show up, a lot of people have herniated disc without symptoms, there are studies of this, also discs turn to reabsorve. You can look for studies on this. I had 4 MRI and they show how my hernia was getting smaller. Hope you get better and my experience help for something.

on 08/20/2011 1:16am

Your problem is too serious for self-treatment, no matter how many good books you read on the subject. Please call the clinic at one of the major hospitals, explain your situation, and ask them whether they can take you as a patient and on what financial terms.
You say you don't think you can manage any kind of limits long-term. I'm sorry but you may have to.
I had to give up certain sports. I wanted to avoid surgery but was losing the use of one leg, and so had to undergo it. I wish I had not delayed it, since deterioration was taking place.
I would suggest that while waiting for neuro you avoid painful movements, but try to use your muscles and walk if it's not painful. Zero exercise will make you very weak. Good luck.