I have disc bulge c5/6 according to recent mri. I have been told this is nothing to worry about but I get neck pain, headaches and back pain. From a whiplash injury 5 years ago. I used to just get a manipulation every couple of months untill i tried stopping this and don't know whether this could be a reason for pain? I recently saw a chiro who manipulated my neck which helped but caused more back pain. Can this disc bulge cause pain? and if so where? I am young and athletic and feel a bit silly even asking this question given the more serious problems on this board, but I am suffering. Any thoughts?
Depending upon the severity of the bulge, it most definitely can cause significant pain. I had bulging discs which I fought off operating on for about 6-7 years. At the end, before my surgery, I could not even hum a tune without creating a headache because 2 of the bulges had finally infiltrated to the spinal cord area (I found this out just before operation). Before my operation (remembering I had 3 bad discs) I had severe arm and back pain, headaches, weakness in my hands and severe inability to get adequate sleep because the pain would wake me at night and make me keep shifting my position a couple times a night.
So, in short, yes. Bulging discs can cause pain. Good luck. I would definitely suggest continuation of Chiro. It was my only hope for many years and I had been through the whole gammut of ortho docs and neurologists.
Thanks for your advice. I found your story very interesting and I feel better knowing these bulges can cause the pain. I am finding chiro is helping. I am seeing a neurosurgeon after my mri to see what he thinks (saw him after ct which showed same bulge)but I think he will probobly just recommend epidural steroid injections. I am young, 29 and fit and I'm finding this very frustrating and so is my husband, who is always worried and trying to get me to do things to help. I am trying and I really appreciate your reply.
Your welcome and good luck. Typically the gammut is:
Physical Therapy, then steroid injections and finally surgery. I have always been one to avoid surgeries as much as possible but the doc finally said it's now or the damage will start to become permanent. Then you have no choice. Up until it hits the spinal cord area, you have other options. So go for the options but don't be as stubborn as I was!
I rec'd my diagnosis from an MRI yesterday. My diagnosis is in my sig below. I have had excruciating pain but don't know exactly which problem it is from. Both my PT & my doc finds the bulging disc a very serious problem. We are now seeking a neuro in the OKC or Dallas area immediately. Surgery is imminent as I have been in PT since May and had an injection in April. The PT has helped tremendously but now they are concerned about peralysis due to the extruding disc displacing the thecal sac.
Definately see an NS and good luck.
May 99 - ACDF C5/6 & C6/7
Aug 01 - Cervical Spondylosis;
Extruded Disc C6/7;
Right Paracentral Disc Bulging at C5/6;
Midline Central Disc Osteophyte Formation C3/4
Desperately seeking neurosurgeon in OK
Mel, let me tell you something, i worked for an orthopedic surgeon for many many years, and also myself had a bulging disc stuck into my spinal cord at c6-7, which i had a fusion done for, any good orthopedic dr will tell you that the worst thing you can do for your neck and prodruding disc is get chiropractic care on it, for sure it will worsen it, i have watched my patients go through this, first hand, i beg you no more chiro, the best thing to do, take care of it now, before it embeds in the spinal cord, and does permanent damage as i have, have the surgury before this happens, and i am saying this because i suffered terribly before having my surgury, unfortunately for me by the time they found it it was too late and already seriously embedded in my cord. Don't let that happen to you, and a chiro is a sure way to quicken that happening. Chiros are good for some minor neck and back problems, but definately not for this. <p>[this message has been edited by moderator3 (edited 12-16-2001).]
Mel: There is an age old debate about ortho versus chiro. Yes, some chiros, if not properly trained, can do more harm than good BUT, when properly trained and administered, do more good than all the muscle relaxers, tractions, etc of the ortho world. For every case of bad news about a chiro, you will get an equally bad news case of an ortho.
Do what is right for you. Know your body. It sounds like you are doing all the right things in seeing both the doc and the chiro. I happen to have had a neuro who has no problem with chiros. In the past I have had orthos who just said NO, point blank yet they gave me no relief and eons of traction, pills, braces ,etc. So that is why I learned to know what is too much for my body while keeping a good watch on the xrays and MRIs for progression. The problem is, the bulge is going to progress either way. Why not get relief while you can (especially in a non-chemical way) is my philosophy. My experience has taught me to always seek out Palmer graduates when looking for chiros in my couple of moves in and out of state and I have had only success with them and relief from the pain.
Thanks for what you said, bit worried about what helpful one said, or maybe it is specific to the practioner I hope so. So the disc will progress this is a bit of a worry I was hoping to stop that yet I guess that's nature for you. My neuro recommneds injections if I get a bad flare up and said he has done surgery on people like me yet they did not improve much. Bit concerned about my strange neck posture but will continue to do what seems to be helping which is chiro and accupunture so far.
Mel: I figured as much from your neuro. Surgery is always the last option and typically is not opted by the surgeon until the bulge infringes on the spinal area. Don't worry too much. Nature will take its own course and the worry will only lose you time you could be spending on something more positive. IF the bulges are not too severe, many people live a long time with minimal effects until surgery is necessary. Just pay good attention to the signs and symptoms. Once the numbness of hands and burning pains of neck, shoulders and arms does not go away more than short periods of time, it's time to push the doc for another MRI or Mylegram. As I said, know your body and keep watch on the symptoms. You will know when it's been too long and too much. Each person is different in what they are able to deal with. Good luck and God Bless.
having gone through the surgery on c5/c6 diskectomy. It not as bad as everyone makes out. I find those who suffer the most have let the condition go to far and have everything from bone chips to permament nerve damage. I tried it all just like you have and found the relief provided physical therapy and injections to be marginal. My concern was that before my fall 14 months ago i was vital and constantly on the go. No one could slow me down. Then one day trip backwards over a wooden pallet changed my whole life. The neck damage is only part of my problems but it is relieving to have that chapter compleated. I am about 75% of what i was before the accident in the neck area. That's a lot better than less than 25%. A few thinks to know before this surgery be sure your nerosurgeon is the best you can find. Have you collar fitted before the surgery (mine liked the miami j collar it has washable pads less hot as well). Finally you must make up your mind is how i feel exceptable? Will you have somewhat normal quality of life with or without surgery? There are no guarenttee to this. I weighed my options very carefully got second and third opinions finally it was still up to me to answer those questions. Time is of essence in recovery the longer you have had the pain the longer it takes to heal.
So it sounds like you found the surgery helpful. Did you have the peice of disk taken off or total disc removal? I have only been informed about the fusions and not too sure of all the differences. My Neuro does not recommend surgery yet I may get a second opinion as this would be interesting. My pain is ok at the moment with chiro and hoping this will continue. Your story in interesting and it sounds like you've been through it all. I also wondered whether you had opinions from neuro's who said don't have the surgery?
Thanks for your input. It is appreciated.
i had the entire disk removed and a graft from my hip used to fill the space. I found it interesting that none of my doctors through this process said surgery was my only option. I was given what i could do and it was left for me to make the final decsion. In my profession a strong body is absolutely necessary to function. I found that physical therapy would not in my case totally heal the disk(it was to far gone). The injection therapy did not help my pain at all. But, in retrospect i am glad it didn't. My reasoning is since my disk was so damaged how could hope without repair of returning to my job. The surgery went well and i was pleased with the outcome in most respects. I have lost about 20% of my head turning abilities which for most people is very unnoticable(unfornately in my case i only see out of one eye so it leaves me very blindsided). I must admit being able to turn my head with little pain is great.
I would sugest that should you opt for surgery that you get your collar fitted beforehand. That way for a few weeks before surgery you can get use to wearing it and it wouldn't come as such a shock when you wake up in one. Before i had my surgery i found the most comfortable couch and just the right pillows to put under me while i had the collar on. In fact for three months i slept right there. I also found it helpful that the collar i wore had replaceable pads that i could wash in the laundry. I changed them everyday after i showered. You will do a lot of sweating in that collar so clean pads daily are a godsend. The collar i wore was called a miami-j collar. It is slightly flexable but was quite adequate for the job. Since you are only dealing with one disk it should do well for you. I remeber when i woke from my surgery they had me in what is called a philadelphia collar and wore it for one day it was bulky and would give you difficulty when trying to swallow. It was made entirely of foam and plastic so i used it when i showered(it worked well for that). The miami-j collar has to fitted to you by a specialist but it well worth the wait for the comfort.
Should you want any other info i would be happy to help. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com